The No. 8 LSU Tigers (5-1, 1-1 SEC) host the No. 3 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-0, 4-0 SEC) in an SEC matchup that has a lot of conference championship and BCS implications riding on the outcome.
LSU—who lost last week to Florida—gets the edge from Vegas, as the Tigers are playing at home in one of the toughest places for opposing teams to come in and escape with a win from. However, South Carolina is riding an emotional high after beating the Georgia Bulldogs and look like one of the best teams in the entire country.
Let’s take a closer look at where you can watch this game, how to bet it, note the key players that may be absent, make a prediction for the final score and much more.
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
When: Saturday, October 13, 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Betting Info: LSU -2, Over/Under 40 (Point spread and total courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com)
Lean towards South Carolina here, as the Gamecocks have been cover machines in 2012. The team has only failed to beat the spread once, when the Vanderbilt Commodores kept things close in the first game of the season.
LSU, on the other hand, has been absolutely atrocious ATS. The Tigers have allowed teams like Towson to keep things within 16 as a 43.5-point favorite. They simply don’t cover against bad teams—and especially not against good ones, as evidenced by an ATS and straight-up loss to the Florida Gators.
While this line would feel much safer at SC +3, getting them with the points is the play here.
South Carolina Injury Report (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
DL Byron Jerideau—Ankle—QST
CB Akeem Auguste—Ankle—QST
LSU Injury Report (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
RB Alfred Blue—Knee—OUT
OL Josh Williford—Head—PRB
OL Chris Faulk—Undisclosed—OUT
BCS/Top 25 Implications
As of right now, South Carolina is sitting at No. 3 in both the AP and USA Today polls. Meanwhile, LSU dropped to No. 8 and 9, respectively, following its upset loss to Florida.
Of course, a win will help both teams drastically when the initial BCS rankings are released following Saturday’s slate of games.
There is still a chance for both of these programs—especially the ‘Cocks—to make the national championship game due to their SEC affiliation. All they need to do is keep winning in order to make the conference championship. If either team accomplishes that and emerges victorious, it is likely heading to Miami in January.
Key Matchup: SC Secondary vs. LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
Mettenberger hasn’t been the elite signal-caller that LSU thought he would become during his first year as a starter.
The junior QB has competed just 89-of-144 passes for 1,174 yards and six touchdowns, but has thrown three interceptions. Perhaps the most telling statistic is his inability to get in the end zone against Florida or Auburn, the only two SEC foes that the Tigers have faced.
Considering how good the Gamecocks secondary is—and the defense overall—Mettenberger will have to figure out a way to step it up if the Tigers want to even keep this one close.
Prediction: South Carolina 17, LSU 14
Which team will win?
This is going to be a low-scoring affair, and it’s all likely going to come down to a late turnover that will decide the back-and-forth battle.
We are giving the edge to the Gamecocks here, as they have a defense that has proven to be unflappable through six games, while the Tigers are reeling from a loss to UF and may have been fully exposed in the contest.
Expect a last-second FG to win this one for SC.