Daunting challenge for South Carolina at LSU
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 6:44 p.m.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Steve Spurrier lightheartedly, if not dismissively, shrugged off questions this week about the mystique of LSU's Tiger Stadium, even though he knows from experience how hard it can be to win there.
“That is the Death Valley, isn't it? Or is there another one? There's two of them. That's right. There's two Death Valleys,” the colorful coach of No. 3 South Carolina said in a two-pronged jab at Saturday night's opponent — LSU — and the Gamecocks' in-state rival, Clemson. “We know it'll be loud and crazy and all that kind of stuff, but we've won in front of 90,000 before.
“The tiger doesn't play defense or offense for them — not yet, anyway,” Spurrier added, referring to LSU's Bengal tiger mascot, Mike. “They keep him caged up, I think.”
Spurrier has his best team in his eight seasons at South Carolina, which is ranked its highest since climbing to No. 2 in 1984.
The coach has had plenty of victories at LSU, both as Florida's quarterback and coach, but also had one of his worst upsets there. That was a 28-21 setback in 1997, when he was coach of the No. 1 and defending national champion Gators. The Tigers were ranked 14th.
This time it won't be an upset if South Carolina (6-0, 4-0 SEC) fails to make it out of Louisiana's version of Death Valley with its record unblemished. No. 9 LSU (5-1, 1-1) is a 21⁄2-point favorite even after losing last week at Florida.
Although LSU's offense stagnated in that 14-6 loss, the Tigers have one of the top defenses in the country and can still win the SEC West by winning their remaining league games. The Tigers also have won a school-record 21 straight at home. They haven't lost in Tiger Stadium since Oct. 10, 2009 — against then-No. 1 Florida, led by Tim Tebow.
“We can't lose any more, or our national championship hopes are gone. We've got to buckle down and just get to it,” said LSU linebacker Kevin Minter, who had 20 tackles and a forced fumble at Florida. “If we win this game, it would give us a little more momentum going into the rest of the season.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout
- Steelers restructure Brown’s contract to become salary cap compliant
- Pirates seek to tap Alvarez’s remaining upside
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Gorman: Pitt should be happy with Dixon
- Minorities crucial to filling Marcellus shale gas drilling jobs
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings
- Unity woman loses appeal of DUI conviction
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career