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3 Up, 3 Down: LSU 23, South Carolina 21

10/14/2012

BATON ROUGE, La. -- What we liked and didn't like from LSU in Saturday's 23-21 win over South Carolina:

Three Up

1. Offensive line: Few expected LSU's patchwork offensive line to hold up against a defense like South Carolina's. Not only did the line of (from LT-to-RT) Josh Dworazczyk, La'El Collins, P.J. Lonergan, Trai Turner and Vadal Alexander hold up, they opened holes for a running game that averaged 4.9 yards a carry (led by 124 yards for freshman Jeremy Hill) while quarterback Zach Mettenberger stayed clean, sacked just once.

2. Sam Montgomery: Playing against his home state school, the defensive end doubled his sack total for the season, getting to Connor Shaw twice to give him four for the season.

3. Saturday nights in Death Valley: LSU ran its school-record home win streak to 22 games and added another chapter to the Saturday night mystique. Les Miles called it "a place where opponents' dreams go to die."

3 Down

1. Red zone offense: LSU has three touchdowns and eight field goal attempts in three games against SEC opponents this season. While the offense was much improved Saturday -- the best it has been all season -- settling for four field goal attempts (making three) isn't going to be good enough.

2. (Not) Special teams: Not usually a problem spot, it was on Saturday, Drew Alleman missed a short field goal, Brad Wing shanked two of three punt attempts and the only good one he got off was returned 50 yards by Ace Sanders.

3. Score didn't match the stats: Largely because of the first two issues, LSU wound up in a two-point game on a night when he almost doubled the opponents' offense (406-211). Mettenberger thew an interception that led to a touchdown, the Tigers didn't finish in the red zone and they lost field position exchanges. Typically, Miles teams excel in those areas.