- Associated Press - Saturday, October 10, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - South Carolina could only contain LSU’s Heisman Trophy candidate for so long.

Forced to move their home game to Tiger Stadium because of historic flooding, South Carolina quieted the Death Valley crowd by holding Leonard Fournette to 49 yards on 15 carries until halftime. The Gamecocks trailed No. 7 LSU by only one score.

But Fournette found the open field just two plays into the second half for an 87-yard touchdown that helped LSU pull away, 45-24 on Saturday.

“LSU was just too big, stronger, tougher and maybe smarter than us,” said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, who is 0-4 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time. “They got us pretty good in the second half. I thought our defense had a lot of fight in the first half and maybe just got worn down.”

Fournette finished with 158 yards on 20 carries in three quarters for season low totals. Freshman Derrius Guice rushed for 161 yards and a TD, while fellow running back Darrel Williams scored twice, as the Tigers (5-0, 3-0 SEC) piled up 396 yards rushing.

“We tried the same thing in the second half,” Spurrier said of the Gamecocks’ approach to defending Fournette. “But he busted that big run for 87 yards. We just gave up a lot of big plays.

“We did pretty well in the first half against them. I just wish our offense could have done a little bit more,” Spurrier said. “We just aren’t as talented as we have been in years past.”

Fournette became the fastest player to 1,000 yards rushing in LSU history, and the purple No. 7 jersey he wore for the milestone performance apparently will be used to help at least some Gamecocks fans. He said he’d give up the jersey for auction with all proceeds donated to flood victims if permitted. The NCAA said on its verified Twitter account that he would be permitted to offer the jersey for charity.

“I just wanted to help out the families or people out there, that’s all,” said Fournette, a New Orleans native whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina a decade ago.

Gamecocks defensive end Marquavius Lewis said his squad had too many missed assignments in the second half.

“We just messed up assignments and for some reason didn’t do what we were doing in the first half,” Lewis said.

With quarterback Lorenzo Nunez nursing a sore shoulder, Perry Orth started for South Carolina (2-4, 0-4). He passed for 200 yards and two TDs with one interception by John Battle on a deflected pass.

South Carolina freshman Rashad Fenton returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown - the first time he’d touched the ball in his young career.

Lorenzo Nunez “couldn’t even raise his arm this week, so I doubt he will be able to throw next week,” Spurrier added. “So it looks like (Orth) will start next week.”

Pharoh Cooper caught seven passes for 105 yards, highlighted by his 43-yard touchdown. Jerell Adams had a 36-yard touchdown catch for South Carolina, but the Gamecocks struggled to move the ball on the ground, finishing with 74 yards rushing.

The relocated game was like none seen before at LSU; the Gamecocks were technically the home team in Death Valley.

“It was difficult week for so many South Carolinians,” Spurrier said. “Our football team didn’t have it bad. We don’t have any excuses. Last night our chaplain asked how many people got flooded out and nobody raised their hand. We have been fortunate and blessed. A lot of people had it really rough, but most of us were spared. We are thankful and grateful for that.”

As the road team, LSU, which normally wears white jerseys with gold helmets and pants at home SEC games, wore purple jerseys and alternate white helmets and pants.

The LSU band played South Carolina’s alma mater before and after the game. And Tigers fans, who normally boo visiting teams as they enter the stadium, applauded the Gamecocks before and after the game.

“I just get frustrated watching our guys,” Spurrier said. “They run in there and nobody tackles them and they fall down. Their guys (LSU) must have broken eight tackles on their big runs. Our guys go in there and just fall on the ground. Nobody tackles them. That’s just the way we are I guess.”

___

AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org


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