Under heavy criticism after failing to produce at touchdown in a loss a week earlier at Florida, LSU's offense was down to only two opening day starters on the line because right guard Josh Williford was unable to return from a concussion and right tackle Alex Hurst was excused for personal reasons.
"To see the offense moving the way it did tonight was a tremendous credit to them," LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow said. "They have worked all year long to get better and tonight fans got to see what we see in practice every day. ... To see the progress that they made was beautiful. We fed off of them."
The unit opened impressively by driving 69 yards on 16 plays, but settled for a field goal after freshman right tackle Vadal Alexander, elevated to starter two weeks earlier, was flagged for a false start on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
The Tigers were moving on their second series as well until Mettenberger's only major mistake — Legree's interception, which was returned to the LSU 1. That set up Ace Sanders' short TD catch to give South Carolina a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter.
LSU went back in front on Hill's 7-yard TD run on the first series of the second half.
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