BATON ROUGE, La. — Third-ranked South Carolina’s nation-leading 10-game winning streak is history, all but ended by a late-game sack by Sam Montgomery, the LSU junior defensive end from Greenwood, S.C., as the ninth-ranked Tigers escaped with a 23-21 victory in Tiger Stadium.
Montgomery, the player nicknamed Sonic because of his love for the video game character Sonic Hedgehog, blasted quarterback Connor Shaw on a third-and-11 from the Gamecocks’ 18 with less than six minutes left.
After the 11-yard loss and a punt, LSU’s Jeremy Hill ran 50 yards on first down for his second touchdown of the game, giving the Tigers a 23-14 lead.
South Carolina pulled to 23-21 with 1:41 left, but couldn’t convert an onside kick. It got the ball back one last time, starting on its own 20 with 35 seconds left, but Shaw was intercepted on a desperation heave as time expired.
South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) was trying to go 7-0 for the first time since 1984. Instead, it goes to Florida next Saturday needing to beat the Gators (6-0, 5-0), who pulled ahead in the SEC East by beating Vanderbilt 31-17.
LSU (6-1, 2-1) took a 10-7 lead 3:47 into the third quarter on Hill’s 7-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks went back ahead 14-10 with 5:11 left in the period, when Marcus Lattimore went two yards for the score, crossing the goal line on a strong second effort.
Early in the fourth quarter, LSU pulled to 14-13 on Drew Alleman’s 20-yard field goal. LSU got the ball back just three plays later when Shaw was intercepted by Eric Reid. LSU settled for another field goal, this time 22 yards that gave it a 16-13 lead with 6:37 left.
LSU has now won 11 of 12 meetings between the schools in Baton Rouge and leads the series 17-2-1.
South Carolina took a 7-3 lead to halftime on Ace Sanders’ fifth touchdown of the season, fourth in the air, LSU opened the scoring with a 23-yard field goal by Alleman with 5:23 left in the third quarter.
The South Carolina offense gained a total of 24 yards in its first two possessions but got a break when Jimmy Legree intercepted LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger and returned it 70 yards to the LSU 1.
On second and goal from the 2, Shaw found Sanders escaping LSU’s Craig Loston on right side of the end zone for a touchdown 6 seconds into the second quarter.
On its last possession of the half, South Carolina got inside the LSU 30 but couldn’t score.