Steve Spurrier lightheartedly, if not dismissively, shrugged off questions this week about the mystique of LSU's Tiger Stadium, even though he knows from experience how hard it can be to win there.

"That is THE Death Valley, isn't it? Or is there another one? There's two of them. That's right. There's two Death Valleys," the colorful coach of No. 3 South Carolina said in a two-pronged jab at both Saturday night's opponent -- LSU -- and the Gamecocks' in-state rival, Clemson. "We know it'll be loud and crazy and all that kind of stuff, but we've won in front of 90,000 before.

"The tiger doesn't play defense or offense for them, not yet anyway," Spurrier added, referring to LSU's Bengal tiger mascot, Mike. "They keep him caged up, I think."

Spurrier has his best team in his eight seasons at South Carolina, which is now ranked higher than at any time since climbing to No. 2 in 1984.

The coach has had plenty of victories at LSU, both as Florida's quarterback and coach, but also had one of his worst upset losses there, a 28-21 setback in 1997, when he was coach of the No. 1 and defending national champion Gators and the Tigers were ranked 14th.

This time it won't technically be an upset if South Carolina (6-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) loses. No. 9 LSU (5-1, 1-1) has been listed as a slight favorite by odds makers, even after losing for the first time this season last week at Florida.

Although LSU's offense stagnated in a 14-6 loss, the Tigers have one of the top defenses in the nation and can still win the SEC West by winning their remaining league games. Such a run would put them right back in the national championship picture.

The Tigers have also won a school record 21 straight at home. They haven't lost in Tiger stadium since Oct. 10, 2009, against then-No. 1 Florida, led by Tim Tebow.

If they haven't ironed out their problems on offense this week, they could be in for a long night against a South Carolina defense with a lethal pass rush led by Jadeveon Clowney and fellow end Devin Taylor, who've combined for 15½ tackles for losses this season, including 10½ sacks.

West Virginia-Texas Tech: Dana Holgorsen won't be nostalgic Saturday when he brings his No. 5 Mountaineers to Texas Tech, where he and Mike Leach drove opponents batty with their dizzying pass-heavy offense.

"All those feelings and emotions have gone away a long time ago," the Mountaineers' second-year coach said of his eight years in Lubbock. "I'm not going to think twice about it."

Holgorsen's thoughts will be on how to keep his Mountaineers unbeaten as they try to stay in the hunt for the Big 12 title in their first year in the conference.

West Virginia (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) got out of Austin last week with a 48-45 victory over Texas, with Geno Smith throwing for 268 yards and four touchdowns. The Red Raiders (4-1, 1-1) are hoping to rebound after falling 41-20 to Oklahoma in a game that saw quarterback Seth Doege throw three interceptions.

Oregon State: Junior Cody Vaz will start at quarterback for the 4-0 Beavers when they play a nonconference game against host BYU on Saturday. Starting quarterback Sean Mannion, of Pleasanton, is out indefinitely after injuring his left knee during the No. 10 Beavers' victory over Washington State last week.

Vaz insists he isn't nervous, even though he hasn't started a game since he was in high school.

"We're going to go win the game with Cody," Beavers coach Mike Riley said. "Cody's a good quarterback and he's been preparing for this for a long time. He'll be good, and we'll be ready to go."

Navy 31, Central Michigan 13: Keenan Reynolds threw three touchdown passes to lead Navy (3-3) to its second straight victory, over host Central Michigan (2-4). Reynolds is a freshman who filled in for injured starter Trey Miller and rallied Navy to an overtime victory last week at Air Force. He was 6 of 11 for 139 yards and also ran for 59 yards for the Midshipmen.