South Carolina 20, No. 14 LSU 20
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Sheddrick Wilson, who severely sprained his left knee just before halftime, returned to catch a 19-yard touchdown pass with 1:06 left as No. 14 LSU salvaged a 20-20 tie against South Carolina on Saturday.
Wilson limped through most of the second half after getting helped off the field in the second quarter. But he sped past safety Chris Abrahams slanting toward the middle of the field for his sixth catch of the game. Andre Lafleur came right out and tied it with the extra point for LSU (3-1-1, 3-0-1 Southeastern Conference).
Kendall Cleveland ran for his sixth touchdown of the year and Lafleur made field goals of 46 and 41 yards.
South Carolina (1-3-1, 0-3-1), the league’s worst defense, had six sacks and, except for the Tigers’ final scoring drive, continually pressured Jamie Howard into mistakes and overthrows.
Howard completed only 10 of 24 passes in the second half and twice South Carolina linebacker Hank Campbell stopped LSU runners _ first Kevin Faulk, then Kendall Cleveland _ a foot from the end zone to end a third-quarter series.
It looked like Howard’s end was midway through the final quarter, when Maynard Caldwell tackled him for South Carolina’s sixth sack _ triple the amount LSU had given up its first four games.
But Howard steadied himself and his teammates with 3:59 left for LSU’s last drive. He hit passes of 16 and 9 yards to Eddie Kennison and 7 yards to Wilson before the TD.
Kennison finished with nine catches for 129 yards.
Duce Staley ran for 140 yards, 88 on South Carolina’s fourth-quarter scoring drive that ended on Reed Morton’s second field goal and put the Gamecocks up 20-13.
Steve Taneyhill, the conference’s leader in total offense, threw a 5-yard TD pass to Monty Means and South Carolina’s Stanley Pritchett ran for a 1-yard score, set up by Joe Troupe’s punt block.
LSU fumbled twice, was called for 10 penalties and managed just 90 yards rushing after gaining 154 yards a game coming in.
But the Tigers defense, which was third in the league entering the game, was stronger in the second half. Linebacker Chuck Wiley had four of LSU’s seven sacks and South Carolina was held to 181 yards.
Taneyhill threw his SEC leading 13th TD pass to give South Carolina a 7-3 lead.