The LSU Tigers defended their home field, and Freshman quarterback TJ Finley won his first career start as the Tigers exploded for 52 points. With Myles Brennan out due to injury, Coach Orgeron used the bye week to prepare Finley for his debut. The true freshman did not disappoint.
Finley’s first career start and game action was nearly flawless except for one interception. Finley threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 17-21 passing. Finley also ran for twenty-four yards and one touchdown. Max Johnson relieved Finley late in the fourth quarter as the Tigers looked to run out the clock.
John Emery Jr. started running back and darted around and through the Gamecock defense for 88 yards and a touchdown. Ty Davis-Price added 135 yards and a touchdown. This production at running back that LSU has been missing all season was a welcome addition to the offensive attack.
Finley’s favorite target was Terrance Marshall Jr., and he finished the night with six catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Jaray Jenkins added three catches for 76 yards.
Trey Palmer added a special teams score as he took a kickoff back 93 yards, the first in Tiger Stadium since 1981 (Eric Martin vs. Kentucky). After muffing the kick, Parker zoomed all the way home for the score.
The LSU defense showed up big after giving up 45 points to Mizzou. The Tiger defense held the Gamecocks to 24 points and scored a touchdown on a 45-yard pick-six return by Elias Ricks. Whatever changes and adjustments Pelinni made during the bye week worked as the Tiger defense was aggressive all night. The Tiger defense racked up five sacks, seven TFL, and three pass breakups.
The Tigers were lead in tackles by Jacoby Stevens and Jabril Cox as both had seven tackles. Damone Clark and Micha Baskerville both six tacks. Four Tigers combined for the five sacks as BJ Ojulari (3), Andre Anthony (1), Jacoby Stevens (.5), and Joseph Evans (.5) hounded Collin Hill all night.