Rewind: LSU 52, South Carolina 24

No USC klckoff coverage defender could catch LSU's Trey Palmer on his 93-yard kickoff TD return Saturday night. Photo by: Kourtney Carroll / LSU Athletics)

LSU 52, SOUTH CAROLINA 24

PREGAME HYPE

South Carolina came into Baton Rouge trying to get its third straight SEC win, something it hadn’t done since 2017. LSU, after a week off because of the Florida game being postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Florida team, had two weeks to solve its early season defensive problems. Also, Tigers’ starting QB Myles Brennan was sidelined because of an abdomen tear sustained against Missouri. True freshman TJ Finley was named starter over fellow true freshman Max Johnson, but LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he would try to get both would get snaps.

HOW IT PLAYED OUT

LSU scored five different ways including the first TD kickoff return in Tiger Stadium since 1981. The Tigers’ offense totaled 541 yards with 276 yards rushing meshing smoothly with true freshman quarterback TJ Finley’s 265 yards passing in his starting debut replacing the injured Myles Brennan. Running backs Tyrion Davis-Price and John Emery Jr. shouldered the running load, rushing for 135 yards and 88 yards respectively and each scoring a TD. Terrace Marshall Jr. had six catches for 88 yards and touchdowns of 7 and 51 yards. LSU’s defense contributed a TD on true freshman cornerback Eli Ricks’ 45-yard interception return late in the second quarter. Special teams added a 27-yard Cade York first-quarter field goal and Trey Palmer’s spectacular 93-yard TD kickoff return in the third quarter.

TURNING POINT

The Gamecocks were on the verge of re-gaining momentum when they cut LSU’s lead to 31-17 on their opening possession of the second half on a Kevin Harris 1-yard TD run.

But LSU’s Trey Palmer stopped the visitors’ dead in their tracks on the ensuing kickoff, which he muffed and then returned 93 yards for a TD to start a run of 21 consecutive points by Tigers.

LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Aided by an offensive line didn’t allow a sack, a mostly-well prepared true freshman QB TJ Finley had as flawless a college debut as you’ll see, 17 of 21 for 265 yards and 2 TDs and 24 yards rushing and 1 TD on 8 carries.

LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Pass rushing specialist BJ Ojulari had a game with four tackles, three of them sacks for losses of 21 yards.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE PART I

“I just focused on preparing every week like I was going to be the starter, competing with Myles (Brennan) in practice to make him better. He made me better. Every quarterback in the quarterback room has the ability to go in the game and win.”

-LSU QB TJ Finley

QUOTE, UNQUOTE PART II

“Myles (Brennan) is our starting quarterback. TJ has done a great job. I don’t know when Miles is going to be ready, but Miles is going to be our starting quarterback. I know this. If Myles ain’t doing well, I can put in TJ and feel good about.”

-LSU coach Ed Orgeron

GO FIGURE

7: Straight games with TD reception by Terrace Marshall

12-0: LSU’s record following a loss under Ed Orgeron

16: Plays on LSU’s first possession of the game is the most-time consuming drive by Tigers this year.

17: First-time starters for LSU in first four games of the season 23: Straight games LSU has thrown at least one TD pass

153:  Yards rushing for Tyrion Davis-Price, a career-best

265: Yards passing by Finley, the most-ever at LSU by a true freshman

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