Image Credit: LSU Athletics

After winning the national championship, LSU seems to have a case of the Bayou Blues. After losing 18 of 22 starters and both coordinators, the Bayou Bengals have started 1-2. They look to rebound against South Carolina this weekend in Death Valley with a 7 p.m. ET tilt on ESPN. LSU is 18-2-1 all-time vs. South Carolina and on a 6-game winning streak.

To give fans a better understanding of what the Tigers will look like against the Gamecocks, we talked to TigerBait.com contributor and LSU fan, Preston Guy (@PGuy_77), on what he sees with this Saturday’s match-up.

Who should South Carolina look out for on offense and defense?

Wide receiver Terrace Marshall is as good as anyone in the country. He’s an absolute touchdown machine. It’ll be interesting to see if one of the true freshmen quarterbacks can get him the ball with Myles Brennan injured.

Defensively, the Tigers have been hashed. But make no mistake, Derek Stingley Jr. might be the best player in the country. Despite the team’s struggles, he has been a true lockdown corner this year.

Many South Carolina fans think the Gamecocks have a good chance to win. How do LSU fans feel?

I like the Gamecocks’ odds to win. LSU is in a rough spot with the defense struggling mightily and losing 18 starters and both play-callers from last season. Myles Brennan has carried the team with 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns, and the team is still 1-2. The drop-off from him to a true freshman quarterback (either Max Johnson or TJ Finley) should be dramatic – possibly greater than the drop-off from Joe Burrow to Brennan. South Carolina should win this game, but never count out an Ed Orgeron-coached team.

LSU is coming off a very disappointing loss to Missouri. How does the defense respond after giving up 45 points and nearly 600 yards?

The defense responded well against Vanderbilt, but reverted to its Week 1 performance against Mizzou. I think you have to recognize that you just might not have the wherewithal to be elite. Missouri’s quarterback made his first start of the year against LSU and shredded the Tigers for 430 yards. and Mississippi State had K.J. Costello break an SEC record for 663 yards. Two weeks later, Costello and the Bulldogs put up two points against Kentucky. LSU’s opponents are a combined 0-5 when not playing LSU. I don’t think those were elite offenses, I think it’s a woefully atrocious LSU defense that returned one starter from the national title and lost its coordinator.

What does LSU need to do in order to win this game?

LSU needs to run the ball effectively, giving its defense more time to breathe. Ideally, that will improve tackling and coverage which has been abysmal thus far. That defense needs all the help it can get after LSU lost its starting signal-caller. The only reason the losses were close was that Brennan lit up the scoreboard with 34 and 41 points. It wouldn’t be realistic to expect a pair of 18-year-olds to throw for 300-plus yards and hang 37.5 points on South Carolina. Finally, the offensive line must block better and allow for running lanes and unpredictable play calling.

What is your score prediction?

South Carolina 38, LSU 17.