LSU regains its footing, title hopes
LSU coach Les Miles celebrates with his team after beating South Carolina in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (AP)
Photo by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. — Sam Montgomery's musings led him to the conclusion that LSU has regained a certain focus, intensity and chemistry that had been lacking in recent weeks.
The proof came in the Tigers' 23-21 triumph Saturday night over previously undefeated South Carolina, which came in ranked No. 3. The result vaulted LSU up the rankings from ninth to sixth.
“At the beginning of the season, it was about the national championship. But at the end of the day, it's all about family. I think we got back to that,” Montgomery said. “Last year, we never would have talked about a national championship. We took it week by week by week by week, getting closer and closer.”
LSU (6-1, 2-1 SEC) looked like a team in a slide for the past several weeks, capped by a loss Oct. 6 at Florida in which first-year starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger and the rest of the offense were unable to reach the end zone.
“Maybe we needed a loss to be humbled, to get that hunger back, to get adversity knowing that everything doesn't come so easily,” said Montgomery, who had two sacks of South Carolina's Connor Shaw. “It was something we needed to wake us back (up), to get us playing tough, hard-nosed football.”
LSU, which hasn't dropped back-to-back games since 2008, extended its school-record home winning streak to 22 games. South Carolina (6-1, 4-1) was unable to extend its school-record 10-game winning streak. The Gamecocks also seemed to lose some of the swagger they had when they overwhelmed Georgia, 35-7, the previous week.
LSU outgained South Carolina by almost double — 406 to 211. The Tigers converted 11 of 19 third downs, compared to 3 of 13 for South Carolina. LSU had the ball for nearly 37 minutes.
“Our front seven didn't come to play,” said South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was in on six tackles but did not have a sack. “We gave up way too many yards and too many third-down conversions. We can't win like that.”
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 â 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.