Published October 14, 2012
| Sports Network
Baton Rouge, LA – Jeremy Hill rushed for 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 50-yard score late in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference, as No. 9 LSU knocked off No. 3 South Carolina, 23-21, on Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
Hill carried the ball 17 times, while quarterback Zach Mettenberger finished 12-of-25 for 148 yards and an interception for the Tigers (6-1, 2-1 SEC), who extended their home winning streak to 22 games, which is the longest in the nation.
"That was Death Valley. That was the place where opponents' dreams come to die," LSU coach Les Miles remarked. "It started early and it ended late. I recognize the great advantage that the team has in this stadium."
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw passed for 177 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 19-of-34 efficiency as the Gamecocks (6-1, 4-1) saw their school-record 10-game winning streak come to an end.
"They're a big, strong team," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said of the Tigers. "They can run the ball and stop the run. That was the biggest difference in the game probably."
Marcus Lattimore was held to just 35 yards on 13 carries, but his 2-yard touchdown score midway through the third quarter capped a 5-play, 54-yard drive to give the Gamecocks a 14-10 lead.
After the teams exchanged three-and-outs, LSU converted three third downs on a 16-play, 75-yard scoring march, but the drive stalled inside the South Carolina 10 and the Tigers settled for a 20-yard field goal from Drew Alleman.
Facing a 3rd-and-6 on South Carolina's ensuing possession, Shaw rolled left, but overthrew his receiver and the ball fell into the arms of Eric Reid, who returned it 29 yards to the Gamecocks' 22-yard line.
Spencer Ware rushed for 11 yards on first down, but the Tigers were stuffed on three consecutive rushing plays before Alleman kicked a go-ahead, 22-yard field goal to give LSU a 16-14 edge with 6:37 still to play.
LSU then forced a quick three-and-out and on the Tigers' first play, Hill broke through the line and outraced a trio of defenders en route to a 50-yard score to give the home team a 23-14 advantage with just over five minutes left.
The Gamecocks would not go quietly, as Shaw took to the air to lead his squad into LSU territory. He converted a 3rd-and-6 with a 9-yard strike to Ace Sanders before an unnecessary roughness penalty moved South Carolina to the LSU 38.
Shaw then connected with Jerell Adams for 16 yards on 4th-and-12 to the LSU 1 before hitting Bruce Ellington on a slant for a 1-yard touchdown pass to bring the visitors within 23-21 with 1:41 remaining.
South Carolina attempted an onside kick, but the ball bounced out of bounds to give possession to the Tigers, who forced the Gamecocks to use their two remaining timeouts before punting the ball away with 41 seconds left.
Shaw hit Lattimore on back-to-back plays to start the final drive, but his desperation heave was intercepted by Craig Loston to end the game.
LSU marched 69 yards in 16 plays on its opening touch to grab a 3-0 lead. The Tigers lined up to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but an offensive lineman was whistled for a false start and the home team settled for a 23-yard field goal from Alleman.
Mettenberger was picked off on LSU's next possession, as Jimmy Legree came up with the interception at the South Carolina 29 and scampered 71 yards before being taken down at the LSU 1.
After Lattimore was stuffed on first down, Shaw rolled right and hit Sanders for a 2-yard scoring strike as the visitors grabbed a 7-3 lead.
The Tigers responded with an 11-play, 50-yard march, but Alleman missed a 32-yard field goal to leave the home team trailing by four at the break.
Mettenberger opened the second half with an incompletion, but bounced back by connecting on his next three throws to move the Tigers down to the South Carolina 24.
After a pair of Kenny Hilliard rushes, Hill got the ball on back-to-back plays and finished off the 9-play, 69-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown surge to give the Tigers a 10-7 edge early in the third.
LSU's last loss at Tiger Stadium came on Oct. 10, 2009 ... LSU has won five straight against South Carolina and leads the all-time series 17-2-1 ... South Carolina hasn't beaten LSU since Oct. 1, 1994 ... LSU finished with 258 rushing yards compared to just 34 for South Carolina.