No. 7 LSU Tigers (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Saturday October 10th, 12:00PM EST
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LSU -15/USC +15
Over/Under Total: 49
A game that was scheduled to take place in Columbia will now be moved to Baton Rouge this Saturday when the 7th ranked LSU Tigers meet with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Originally this game was scheduled to take place at Williams-Brice Stadium but had to be moved due to the catastrophic floods that have swept through the midlands of South Carolina. As a result, the Tigers who were originally listed as 11.5 point favorites are now more than two score favorites for this Saturdays matchup.
The Gamecocks have been a world of hurts this season with a 2-3 record that features an 0-3 mark in SEC play. It is actually the worse start that the Gamecocks have had since Steve Spurriers inaugural season in 2005. The Gamecocks rebounded from a 2-3 start that season to finish 7-5 and a lot is going to need to change for Spurrier to avoid his worse season in Columbia. Obviously moving this game from Baton Rouge to Columbia is not going to help the Gamecocks chances this weekend considering Tiger Stadium is one of the hardest environments in college football.
Outside of the location factor, South Carolina still has to get better on both sides of the ball before they can worrying about contending in the SEC. The defense has continued to struggle from last years horrific numbers and the Gamecocks are once again one of the bottom dwellers in the conference on defense giving up 388 yards per game. At least in recent years, the Gamecocks have had an offense that could make up for their defensive woes but that has not been the case thus far in 2015.
The Gamecocks have juggled 3 different starters at quarterback and simply have not found any type of success. Freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez will get the start for the 2nd straight week. Nunez is a solid talent that can run the ball very effectively but he must get better with his arm and decision making. Last week Nunez tossed 3 interceptions in the loss to Missouri. Nunezs playmaking ability possibly gives the Gamecocks the best chance to win but he has to do a better job of protecting the football and getting the football into the hands of Pharoh Cooper who is among the best wideouts in the SEC.
The success from the South Carolina offense will only be 1 part of the equation this week in terms of their potential to contend. The bigger part of the equation will be finding a solution for LSU running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette has proved that he is the best back and possibly player in college football through his first 4 games of the season. If you disagree, then perhaps you just do not know what you are looking at. Fournette has the size of a bruising tailback but has the homerun threat speed that can bust any play into a touchdown.
LSU has rode on the back of Fournette and that formula will not be changing until a defense proves they can stop it. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris has only attempted 15 passes per game this season while the LSU rushing attack has averaged 46 carries per game. The bulk of those carries has went to Fournette who has posted 3 straight 200 yard rushing games to total 864 yards and 11 touchdowns in just 4 games. With South Carolinas defense still in disarray, do not expect anything different from the LSU offense this Saturday. So far this season, South Carolina has given up 170 yards per game on the ground and this weekends matchup against LSUs rushing attack will be their most difficult of the season.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think the scoring in this game has the potential to stay really low. South Carolina has shown flashes of decency against the run. Even if they do not hold up an entire game, I think they keep LSU from any huge numbers while South Carolinas offense continues to struggle. Take the under 49
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