Oct. 18, 2003
By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Matt Mauck threw two touchdown passes and No. 10 LSU bounced back from its first loss to beat South Carolina 33-7 on Saturday night.
The Tigers (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) looked like serious national championship contenders in starting 5-0. But the momentum – and the title hopes – took a serious hit a week ago with a surprising 19-7 loss to Florida at Death Valley.
Freshman runner Justin Vincent, playing because of injuries to starters Joseph Addai and Shyrone Carey, had two 1-yard TD runs and fellow freshman Alley Broussard gained 108 yards on 19 carries.
Mauck and his freshmen backfield got LSU back on track against the Gamecocks (4-3, 1-3). And just in time with an SEC Western Division showdown against Auburn ahead next week.
Mauck was 24-of-30 passing for 199 yards, while Broussard, seeing his first-ever SEC action, became the first to gain 100 yards against South Carolina this season. Vincent added 77 yards as LSU piled up 263 yards on the ground.
Mauck ended the Tigers’ first possession with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Devery Henderson. Then on LSU’s next series, Mauck led a 97-yard, 21-play scoring drive that lasted nearly 10 minutes, flipping a 4-yard TD pass to tight end Eric Edwards.
On the following series, Mauck’s 19-yard pass to Vincent brought LSU to the Gamecocks 1. Two plays later, Vincent got his first touchdown to put the Tigers up 19-0 by halftime.
South Carolina came in with nine days to prepare after its 27-21 win over Kentucky on Oct. 9, hoping for just its second win over the Tigers in 16 games since 1931. But the SEC’s top pass defense could not corral Mauck or his young runners.
About everything went right for LSU in this one.
LSU outrushed South Carolina 164-5 in the opening half, despite playing without its top two rushers Joseph Addai and Shyrone Carey because of injuries. Broussard had only 8 yards on 11 carries coming in, yet became the first to gain 100 yards on the Gamecocks defense this year.
The Tigers were 8-for-9 on third-down attempts. Facing fourth-and-1 on the Gamecocks 29, Mauck calmly found David Jones on a 17-yard pass to keep their second touchdown drive going.
Nitpickers worried about next week’s Auburn game could point to freshman Ryan Guadet’s two missed extra points, or LSU’s shoddy defense on a desperation pass to end the half that South Carolina’s Syvelle Newton hauled in a yard from the end zone.
But when LSU’s offense stalled in the second half, the defense took over.
The Gamecocks had a brief flurry of hope in the third quarter when Dondrial Pinkins threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Thomas – South Carolina’s first points against LSU in 74 minutes of play since last year – that cut the lead to 19-7.
A series later, though, Tigers defensive end Kirston Pittman hit Pinkins as he cocked his arm, jarring the ball loose. Linebacker Jason LeDoux picked it up for a 15-yard touchdown return to put the game away.
The Tigers held South Carolina, which had rushed for 187 yards a game so far this year behind freshman star Demetris Summers, to zero yards on the ground. Summers had 16 yards on eight attempts.