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First Impressions: LSU 45, South Carolina 24

The running game gets even more dominant

This guy. Again.
This guy. Again.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It's starting to come together.

Things aren't perfect, and there are still plenty of things to work on. The special teams, especially, is simply terrible right now. Trent Domingue hit a field goal, but had a miserable day kicking the ball off. For some reason, Miles seems reluctant to put in Gamble, but this is a change that needs to happen.

But it's not just the kicker. The coverage on the kickoff return for a touchdown was atrocious. Any time an LSU player took the ball out of the end zone on a kickoff, I cringed. And it took a slightly impatient kicker to save LSU from an onside kick.

However, let's talk offense. The receivers had their drops early, but both Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural found their focus and hauled in touchdown catches. The passing game looked downright effective. OK, it's South Carolina's defense, but LSU only completed four passes against EMU, so we'll take a good performance, regardless of opponent.

Brandon Harris threw for 18/28 for 228 yards and 2 TD, but more importantly, he looked poised and confident in the pocket. He made good decisions, and he was the Official Game Manager that the team needs. After a John Battle interception late in the first quarter, Harris guided the team on an effective two minute drill to steal three points before the half.

Leonard Fournette is still Galactus, Eater of Worlds, but he was looking downright mortal at the half. We're used to Fournette getting close to the century mark by the end of the first quarter, and he had under 50 yards at the half. That's just unheard of.

However, he set things right on the second play of the second half, running 87 yards straight up the middle of the Gamecock defense for a touchdown, making it a two-score game. Fournette would play a bit more in the third quarter, but Miles wisely decided to put him back in the packaging, wrap him in bubble wrap, and put him up on a shelf.

At 158 yards on 20 carries, his work was done. He has cleared 1,000 yards in just five games, he kept his streak of 100-yards game intact, and he gave us another cool highlight. Then he had the best seat in the house to watch his understudies tear through the defense.

Derrius Guice provided most of the highlight reel runs in the game, and he also cruised past the century mark. Darrel Williams had a solid, effective, yet unspectacular game by doing what he does: trucking defenders. Williams found the end zone twice as well. I guess two guys were bothered by the talk of who has the best backfield in the SEC. They showed up.

The defense held USC to under 100 yards in the first half, and the only reason the game was competitive was because of the special teams breakdowns. Then, in the second half, we had our usual problem of the defense relaxing and letting the other team rack up yards and points while down multiple scores. We still are yet to a see a full 60-minute effort from the defense.

Now, if the biggest gripe about the defense is that it loses focus when it is protecting a three touchdown lead, then things are probably going pretty well. Still, you'd like to see them to finish off a team instead of letting them up off the mat.

It's not all there yet, but we're getting closer and closer. This team looks like it is on the verge of becoming the team it can be. When it does, look out. In the meantime, the wins keep on coming.