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Football Outsiders: One Foot Inbounds

At Football Outsiders, the weekly wrap is up, with notes on Texas Tech's improbable ascent in the defensive rankings, Gene Chizik's improbable descent at Auburn, and the weekly Lowsman Trophy Watch, featuring LSU's improbably scrappy offensive line.

One Foot Inbounds: A Defense Grows In Lubbock?

1. Josh Dworaczyk, OL, LSU. The Tigers' patchwork line was physically dominated at Florida, and limped into Saturday's season-defining visit from South Carolina with three veteran starters -– future draft picks Chris Faulk, Alex Hurst, and Josh Williford -– all missing from the lineup. In their place, the reconfigured line featured a true freshman (Vadal Alexander), a redshirt freshman (Trai Turner) starting for the first time, and Dworaczyk, a sixth-year senior coming off a major knee injury that cost him the entire 2011 season. On top of that, Dworaczyk was being asked to play out of position at left tackle, opposite the Gamecocks' five-star edge-rushing freak, Jadeveon Clowney.

Instead of wilting in the face of another blue-chip front, though, LSU methodically ground the Gamecocks down, amassing a 14-minute advantage in time of possession en route to a must-have, come-from-behind win. For the game, Carolina was gashed for a season-worst 258 yards on the ground and failed to record a sack by a member of the front four for the first time this year; by the fourth quarter, the Tigers were opening gaping holes for freshman tailback Jeremy Hill, whose first significant action yielded more yards (124) than any LSU back has gained against an SEC defense since 2008. Hill's second touchdown, a 50-yard dagger with a little over five minutes to play, put the game on ice and the Tigers back in the thick of the SEC and BCS races.

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