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October 14, 2012
South Carolina made its first error of the night before the game even began.
Prior to kickoff, some Gamecocks apparently stomped on the eye of the Tiger at midfield.
The LSU players didn't like it. No, sir, they didn't like it one bit.
"They got us a little riled up before the game with some of their antics," said junior linebacker Lamin Barrow, who led LSU in tackles with 12. "We're a very focused team. It's all about home territory. Nobody is going to step on our turf and try to downplay us or talk bad about us. To me, [stomping on the eye] was a sign of disrespect.
"No team comes in and does that. They're a team that has done that in the past, showed disrespect, and we handled it."
Barrow said the Gamecocks didn't show Death Valley the proper respect, and making them pay for that was on the minds of the Tigers all night.
"They came in ranked pretty high, and I seen a lot of confidence in their eyes," he said. "We're not used to guys coming in and thinking that. We really want to shut everybody down. There was a little bit of chatter back and forth in pre-game. I felt like they really thought they had a chance. We wanted to take their will. We wanted to and we did."
Another player who was more than happy to do a little post-game barking was Greenwood native Sam Montgomery, a junior defensive end who only finished with three tackles but had two sacks and pressured Connor Shaw into throwing the key second-half interception that allowed LSU to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Asked what it meant to beat USC, Montgomery paused for a moment, soaking it in, and smiled.
"All I know is one thing: From now on, no matter what happens, no matter if I play no more games, whatever happens, I can always sit down on the porch, walk around the state of South Carolina and say that the one time we played, I won," he said. "That's good enough for me. That's all I wanted.
"You don't have any idea how much that means to me, to walk around and say the one time we met up, when y'all were number three, I whooped y'all. That's when I'm an old man rocking on the porch, sitting back talking. They can't say nothing. It's about that state pride."
When asked what would happen if they played again, the possibility seemed to take him by surprise. "Well, I guess if it happens, we'll roll with it when it comes," he said. "Until then, we'll celebrate."
Just like Barrow.
"It was kind of like, if you're a tiger, your back is up against the wall, you have nothing else to do but to come out scratching. That's what we did tonight."
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