LSU may be without QB Brennan vs. South Carolina
South Carolina is starting to turn its season around.
LSU is trying to get to that point as it prepares to host the Gamecocks in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday night.
The defending national champion Tigers are 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC after a 45-41 upset loss at Missouri two weeks ago. Their game at Florida was postponed from last Saturday to Dec. 12 because of a spike of COVID-19 cases within the Gators program.
The postponement gave LSU, which failed to score on four plays from the Missouri 1-yard line at the end of the game, a head-start on South Carolina.
“We spent most of last week fixing LSU,” Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said. “We’ve got a lot of improving to do. I told the guys to press the restart button. Let’s go.”
Orgeron listed “simplifying our defense, our communication, tackling, our fundamentals” as areas the Tigers focused on.
But perhaps the biggest concern this week is whether quarterback Myles Brennan will be able to play. Orgeron said the junior could not have played last week if there had been a game.
Brennan is questionable to oppose the Gamecocks because of a lower-body injury sustained against Missouri.
If Brennan is unable to play, one of two freshmen — Max Johnson and TJ Finley — or perhaps both would see action in a college game for the first time.
“Whoever has the best week is going to start,” Orgeron said. “I plan on giving them both a chance during the game. I want to see what they can do. The only way to do it is in live action.”
Orgeron said the Tigers did “a lot of soul-searching” with the extra time to prepare.
“Most of all, it was about us shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said of the Missouri defeat.
Meanwhile, the Gamecocks (2-2, 2-2) are back at .500 following a slow start to the season. After losses against Tennessee and at Florida, South Carolina won at Vanderbilt before defeating then-No. 15 Auburn.
“We faced a lot of adversity throughout training camp and throughout the season,” Gamecocks defensive lineman Jabari Ellis said. “A lot of people were talking from the outside. (The turnaround) is big for us, big for our organization and big for our fans.”
South Carolina registered its first victory against Auburn since 1933.
“We have to continue to progress and improve,” Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said.
South Carolina rebounded against Auburn in a manner similar to how it rebounded from the 0-2 start. The Tigers led 9-0 and 16-7 before the Gamecocks took an 11-point lead and hung on for a 30-22 win.
“We showed a lot of resolve and fight through the adversity early in the game and continued to fight,” Muschamp said.
Jaycee Horn made two interceptions and tipped a pass that resulted in another South Carolina interception, leading to 21 Gamecocks points. He was matched against Auburn star receiver Seth Williams.
“The turnovers helped a lot,” Gamecocks quarterback Collin Hill said. “That’s a bad man.”
Horn will have a similar challenge against LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr., who has seven touchdown catches.
“If a team throws at (Horn) like (last week),” South Carolina wide receiver Shi Smith said, “he’ll have a game like that every game.”
–Field Level Media