Anything short of an appearance in the Superdome for the National Championship game will be a disappointment for the LSU Tigers, especially after their victory last Saturday.
Matt Flynn took the field with a weak ankle as the rain poured down during warmups. LSU’s star receiver, Early Doucet, was standing on the sidelines in his jersey and sweat pants with a painful groin injury.
In the end, though, the Tigers proved that their top-ranked defense was good enough to make up for a wounded offense...while remaining on track for a perfect season.
The Tigers were behind 7-0 in the first quarter—the first time this season they've trailed in a game. But LSU's D stepped up and only allowed nine more points throughout the contest.
South Carolina gained just 89 yards of offense in the first half and 172 in the second while surrendering two interceptions. Cocks QB Blake Mitchell only managed 70 yards passing and was sacked twice.
The South Carolina offense appeared shakier as the game went on, while the LSU defense only got rougher and tougher with each passing minute.
The Tigers’ offense, although certainly not at full power, still performed well under new offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, the former BYU coach.
Miles and Crowton devised new schemes to get the pigskin in the end zone. They hid 5'5" receiver Trindon Holliday behind the line of scrimmage on one play, and kicker Colt David found his way to the end zone after receiving an over-the-shoulder toss from Flynn on a fake field goal.
Even South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier smiled in admiration of the play, saying the fake "worked perfectly."
Spurrier has had success this season by being patient and placing confidence in his defense. His luck ran out on Saturday, as the Tigers won 28-16.
LSU still has a difficult schedule ahead of them, with Florida looking to be their toughest remaining opponent. The Tigers will also have to face Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, and Kentucky—but I'm confident that the Tigers will claw through the competition en route to the BCS championship.