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Carolina makes most of modest pass game

10/12/2012

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Les Miles (left) looks to help his Tigers continue the nation’s longest home win streak (21) when they host Steve Spurrier (right) and his Gamecocks, who have just 1 win in 11 games in Baton Rouge.The SEC takes center stage again this week with another top-10 matchup, this time featuring No. 3 South Carolina and No. 9 LSU.

South Carolina will have history against it though. The Gamecocks have just two wins in 19 all-time meetings against LSU and have won just once in 11 games in Baton Rouge.

And that’s a place where the Tigers don’t lose lately. LSU has won 21 straight home games (longest current streak in FBS), with its last loss coming in 2009 to Florida.

One major storyline will be if the Gamecocks can handle the pressure of being somewhere they haven’t been in 28 years. The last time they were ranked this high in the AP Poll was Nov. 13, 1984 (No. 2). But they lost that week to Navy and dropped out of the top five.

LSU has been less-than impressive in its last three games, squeaking by a struggling Auburn team 12-10 before an uninspiring effort against FCS school Towson. Top that off with last week’s six-point, 200-yard effort against Florida and the Tigers are scratching their heads.

But LSU has responded well to losses in recent history. The Tigers haven’t lost consecutive games since 2008, winning their last six games in the same season after a loss. Under Les Miles, the Tigers are 15-1 in the same season after a loss.

LSU Pass Defense
This Season

Matchup to Watch: Connor Shaw vs LSU Pass Defense

South Carolina QB Connor Shaw has been the picture of efficiency over the last three games. Despite throwing a modest number of passes, he’s completed 83.7 percent (41-for-49) with six touchdowns and no interceptions over that stretch.

LSU has sent five or more pass rushers on 23.1 percent of its opponents’ dropbacks this season.

When blitzing, the Tigers have allowed four passing touchdowns, compared to just one when dropping at least seven into coverage.

Did You Know?

In Steve Spurrier’s 23-year head coaching career in college, this is just the third time his teams have started 6-0, and that could be good news for South Caroline.

In 1995, his Florida team went 12-0 and played for the national championship, losing to Nebraska. A year later, the Gators won their first 10 games en route to winning the national title.

Did You Know, part II?

LSU is outside the top five of the AP Poll for the first time since finishing the 2010 season eighth. The Tigers had been ranked in the top five in 22 straight polls, which was tied with Alabama for the longest active streak.