Breaking Down Each Game In 2012: LSU
So far in this season breakdown of each game the Cocks (If things were to play out like I have imagined) are sitting pretty with a record of 6-0 and they would be coming off of a huge home win against East rival Georgia and probably ranked somewhere in the top five or six in the nation. Next up on the schedule is a brutal road trip to LSU who I would project to be the number one team in all the land.
2011 Record- 13-1 (9-1)
Bowl Game- Lost 21-0 to Alabama in the National Championship Game
Key Players Returning- Tyrann Mathieu/db, Spencer Ware/rb, Kenny Hilliard/rb, Michael Ford/rb, Odell Beckham/wr, Barkevious Mingo/de, Jarvis Landry/wr
Key Players Lost- Russell Shepard/qb, Jarrett Lee/qb, Morris Claiborne/ath
1. South Carolinas Defensive Front vs. LSU's Running Game- LSU is kind of like us in a sense that they have a stable full of good running backs. They will be breaking in a new quarterback (although at this point in the season he won't be to unfamiliar with life as a quarterback in the SEC) who won't be extremely experienced so expect them to try to wear our defense down by running a lot. LSU is a powerhouse, no doubt about it. For us to be able to stay in this game our defensive front has to play spectacular. We have to shut down their running attack and force Mettenberger to throw the ball if we want to win this one. Otherwise we are in for a very long day.
2. Conner Shaw (the complete package-runner and passer) vs. LSU's Nasty Defense- Shaw could make or break us in this game. LSU is surely going to have some sort of gameplan in place to shut down Lattimore and make us beat them with someone else. That someone else has to be Conner Shaw. If he can get us going early with his arm and loosen up their defense then we should be able to get him and Latti running the zone reads a little more efficient in the later parts of the game. On the other hand, if Shaw struggles early with his accuracy then it'll give LSU a chance to pin their ears back and stuff our rushing attack.
3. South Carolinas mindset vs. The Whole Nation Of Doubters- For as long as I can remember people from the media, other school fanbases, and at some points our own fanbase have doubted that the Cocks can go into a hostile enviornment like this against a team like LSU and pull off the upset. It really makes sense because we've not really done it before. Sure we beat Bama but we were at home and playing in Williams Brice is a lot easier to do then to pull it off in Baton Rouge. But...It's not impossible. I'd say that at this point in the season if we are 6-0 like I believe we will be, that still most of the media and outsiders will project that LSU will handle us at home and go on to worry about bigger games in their minds such as Alabama or Arkansas. Our guys can't get that negativity stuck in their head. We aren't the bottom dwellers we use to be nor should we go into a game just hoping to compete and not get blown out like we use to. If our guys go into this one with a good mindset and play like they are capable of playing then we have a shot to pull off the victory.
Tale of the tape- Like I just said in the key matchups not a whole lot of people are expecting the Cocks to pull this off. LSU is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and they are playing at home where it will be rocking from the opening kickoff. I do believe the Cocks will keep it close and be in this game until the very end and I wouldn't be the least bit suprised if we actually won this game but in the end I think LSU will be to much, especially at home.
Prediction- LSU 34 South Carolina 31