What will it take to make that 2 wins at home for USC? Well here are LOHD's 5 keys to a gamecock win---
1. Stop the LSU Run --- Simple right? USC D must step up big time and slow down LSU's Scott. LSU's offense starts with them being able to establish their running game. USC must shut it down before it can start. This will force LSU's young QBs to have to step up to beat one of the SEC's best defenses. If we can force this then it looks good for a USC win.
2. Garcia --- The young buck must man up this week. Time to prove all the haters, doubters, etc wrong. Time to seize control of the USC QB Slot. We all know that a Spurrier offense works best when the QB has time to throw, make plays and spread the ball. All 3 must happen vs LSU. We need the o-line to win the trench battle and protect Garcia. Garcia has to be the leader that USC needs him to be....all eyez on you kid.
3. Continue the 3rd Down / 1st Down trend --- The Gamecocks were a solid 8-of-17 on third down conversions at Kentucky, 47.1 percent, right in line with their 46.9 season percentage (46-of-98), which is the second-best mark in the SEC and ranks 22nd in the country. They converted just 35 percent last season. Conversely, they held the Wildcats to just 1-of-16 on third downs (0.6 percent). For the season, Carolina has held its opponents to just 30-of-94, 31.9 percent, on third downs, fifth in the SEC and 24th in the nation.
The Gamecocks lead the SEC in first downs, totaling 148 through seven games, an average of 21.1 first downs per game. The Gamecocks have had at least 20 first downs in five of seven games.
4. Creating / Eliminating TOs --- USC can not do like they did vs. UK and have 4 turnovers. In the LSU game there is no room for error. So zero turnovers for USC. Flip the coin and the defense has to create some easy points. I would love to see some LSU fumbles and INTs made by the USC secondary. Defense help would be good....While the Gamecocks are one of the nation's worst in turnover margin, ranking in a tie for 10th in the SEC and 107th in the country at -1.0 per game, the defense has minimized the damage. Carolina has surrendered just 27 points following their 20 turnovers, while they have scored 41 points following their 13 takeaways.
5. USC Special Teams Play --- In this game, USC needs something special from the special teams unit. Need to win the field position game, need to get some good PR/KR and heck a block FG or K would be 'real nice.' Lastly, Succop needs to foucs on getting the job done. We all know he is good, heck he leads the nation in field goal attempts this season with 19, two more than any other kicker.
My prediction is a USC win by the score of 24 - 20. Should be a SEC Classic and big win for USC!