Date: Saturday, September 14
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
South Carolina arrives at this game with quarterback Jake Bentley unable to go, but backup quarterback Ryan Hilinski looked solid in last week’s win over Charleston Southern. The Gamecocks can’t be to worried about the signal-caller position.
Alabama, on the other hand, is well. Alabama again look like they are one of the best teams in the country, and as always they are loaded on both sides of the ball, looking poised to once again make a run at a National Championship game. Bama is favored by 25 points. Can they cover that large spread on the road? Let’s take a look.
How can South Carolina win
This game depends on the Gamecocks line giving Hilinski time to work. If they can do that South Carolina has the skill position players to score some points. The offensive line has looked good so far but blocking the Bama pass rush is an entirely different beast. This Bama line does not look as dominating as their lines of recent years, but make no mistake, they are still better than most and South Carolina has to play at the top of their game to have any chance in this one. The Gamecocks have the running backs to take some of the pressure off the passing game and if they can they will make Bentley’s life much easier in this game.
On defense, the USC secondary has to be able to hold up, and the linebackers have to get in on keeping the short passes from turning into backbreaking home runs. The Gamecocks have the linebackers, and the secondary is actually starting to pick off a few passes, but this is not Charleston Southers or even North Carolina–this is Alabama we are talking about.
Bama just needs to be Bama. If they get after the quarterback they will win this game and that is what probably will happen. Tua will have to have his normal game. If he doesn’t turn the ball over the Gamecocks will not be able to win.
Prediction: Bama is just too strong, but the Gamecocks are not as bad as people think and this game will be fairly close most of the first half. Bama will eventually pull away.
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