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LSU Football

Finley shines as LSU dominates South Carolina 52-24

October 24, 2020

LSU came into this game with as much uncertainty as ever. Despite opponents being a combined 0-6 when not playing LSU this year, the Tigers still found themselves at a dismal 1-2 record coming into this game.

Then, LSU announced star quarterback Myles Brennan would miss the game with a hip injury with no experienced backup on the roster.

Insert true freshman quarterback TJ Finley. 289 yards and three touchdowns and scores on seven out of nine drives and later LSU may have found a new star and rebounded its season in dominant fashion.

Finley led the Tigers to a 52-24 win over the Gamecocks.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron was impressed with his freshman gunslinger, but not quite ready to make any changes.

“He’s on fire” I was planning on play TJ in the 1st quarter and Max in the 2nd quarter, but I could the way he played,” Orgeron said. “If there’s a controversy, it ain't on our end. Myles is our starting quarterback.”

"I feel like we have our swagger back.,” Finley said. “Coach Ensminger did a great job preparing me for this game. I didn't have many pre-game jitters.”

Running back John Emery his second start of the season and rand the ball 18 times for 88 yards and a score, but he was quick to defer praise to his quarterback.

“TJ was very calm before the game and during the game,” Emery Jr. said. “When he first started, everything was kind of fast for him. He played a very calm game. He was composed the whole game."

LSU improved in a number of ways offensively, particularly on third down. LSU went 0-10 on third down in its last game and improved to 8-10 against South Carolina.

LSU also outgained South Carolina 545-403. 

Receiver Terrace Marshall was on the receiving end of both of TJ Finley’s touchdown passes, He had 8 grabs for 88 yards tallying him up to 21 grabs and 7 touchdowns this season.

Defensively, LSU opened the game struggling as it had in its two losses this season. In three plays South Caroline ripped the defense for 85 yards tying the game at seven.

But an improved running game aided LSU’s struggling defense dominating time of possession with more than 37 minutes.

“We made adjustments with our d line,” LSU linebacker Jabril Cox said. We made adjustments and played better for the rest of the game.”

Although a handful of big plays plagued the defense throughout the game, LSU managed two non-offensive scores and five sacks.

One of those non-offensive scores came in historic fashion. Trey Palmer returned LSU’s first kickoff for a touchdown in Tiger Stadium since 1981.

The other was from freshman cornerback Elias Ricks on a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Speaking of freshmen, this was an uncanny game for freshmen players.

Freshmen receivers Koy Moore and Kayshon Boutte each registered receptions along with tight end Arik Gilbert combined for 5 receptions for 80 yards. Defensively freshman BJ Ojulari registered four tackles and three sacks.

"Honestly I'm focused on Auburn,” Finley said on his thoughts on his performance. “If Myles isn't ready to play next week then I'll be ready."

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