LSU-South Carolina Preview

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

So far only Mother Nature has stopped Leonard Fournette and LSU.

A month after having one game canceled due to thunderstorms, more inclement weather could again be a major factor for the undefeated Tigers.

Devastating floods in South Carolina could lead to a change of venue as No. 7 LSU goes for its best start in three years Saturday against the Gamecocks.

Fournette leads the nation with 864 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns while gaining 8.7 yards per carry. The sophomore running back's staggering numbers - which includes being 170 yards shy of his total from last year - have come in one fewer game than many of his challengers.

LSU's opener against McNeese State on Sept. 5 was called early in the first quarter due to thunderstorms.

The Tigers (4-0, 2-0 SEC) expect to get this game in, however, it's unclear where that will be. South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said he's not "100 percent sure" if the game will be played at Williams-Brice Stadium after storms pulverized the region, creating flooding that killed at least 14 people.

"There are a lot of concerns and a lot of things to consider," Tanner said, adding that roadways have been washed away and it's uncertain if there would be enough first-responders available to handle game-day duties.

"Our intentions are to stay on schedule and play in Columbia," he said. "But it's not a definite."

One option has the game switching to Baton Rouge, where LSU has won 38 of its last 41 games and 11 of 12 against the Gamecocks (2-3, 0-3). However, Tanner said the condition of the field at Williams-Brice is fine.

"We've been spared," Tanner said. "We're in pretty good shape as far as that goes."

The same can't be said of LSU's passing game, which ranks last in the conference at 95.5 yards per game and two touchdowns. The Tigers were held to 80 yards through the air, as quarterback Brandon Harris completed 4 of 14 passes in last weekend's 44-22 win over Eastern Michigan.

Fournette, a Heisman Trophy candidate, picked up the slack again, scoring three times and gaining 233 yards on 26 carries, but Les Miles is looking for more from the passing game.

"We're looking at shuffling the lineup. We're looking at all those things," Miles said. "I like the effort of my wide receivers. It's not as productive as it needs to be. It needs to be more in line with the coaching. ... We have to execute better. Period."

Top receivers Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural have combined for 18 catches, 242 yards and one touchdown. They totaled 12 TDs last year, but key drops near the goal line last weekend forced LSU to settle for field goals.

"If he does go along with that, apparently he has a plan and we have to trust that plan and be prepared for those changes," wide receiver John Diarse said. "Any time you kind of have those hiccups on your team, your coach has to make some type of change, whether it's a big change or whether it's a small change.

"We've got to find a rhythm. We've got to find a flow of things."

That hasn't been a problem for the defense, which ranks third in the SEC with an average of 293.5 yards allowed. The unit yielded a season-low 255 yards - 94 rushing - while creating three turnovers against Eastern Michigan.

South Carolina is trying to avoid its worst start to its SEC schedule since finishing 0-8 in 1999. The Gamecocks have dropped seven of their last eight in league play after falling 24-10 at Missouri last weekend.

They're having a particular problem at quarterback as freshman Lorenzo Nunez is nursing an injured shoulder suffered against Missouri.

Nunez tossed all three of his interceptions last weekend and threw for 172 yards while being sacked four times and rushing for 60 yards on 15 attempts. He leads the Gamecocks with 299 yards rushing with 6.6 per carry and a TD.

"Last week he didn't want to throw much at all. He wanted to take off every play as you could tell in the game," coach Steve Spurrier said. "We need to coach him up a lot better. We gotta get the ball out of his hands when he gets back there.

"We'd just like to see him throw instead of run."

Spurrier hasn't ruled out the possibility of starting senior Perry Orth or sophomore Michael Scarnecchia. Orth has completed 24 of 50 passes for 288 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in seven career games.

Spurrier is fully aware of the threat Fournette poses to his defense, which gives up an average of 170.0 yards on the ground.

"You gotta hit him low," Spurrier said. "You gotta try to get his ankles together if you can. Obviously, our defensive backs and linebacker-type guys, hopefully our d-linemen can stop him hitting him in the waist area and so forth. It's called 'gang tackling.'

"You know, Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson, their teams didn't win every game."

LSU has won five straight meetings with South Carolina, with the last one coming in 2012.