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Don't Sleep on Carolina

posted Sep 7, 2016, 12:03 PM by Austin James   [ updated Sep 7, 2016, 12:05 PM ]
Listen I know the Gamecocks aren't supposed to finish well this year, but the way the SEC is looking they may be able to steal some this year.

Head Coach Will Muschamp
The Gamecocks were able to pick up a solid and unexpected week one win at Vandy with a game winning 55-yard FG. The Cocks were 4.5 point dogs, but they showed that they aren't going to let this season get away. They had a rough go of it early offensively, but, once they hit their stride in the passing game, they had a few solid drives. Also, I don't care how bad the opponents offense is, I'll take a defense that allows 10 points every day of the week. I liked what I saw from freshman QB Brandon McIlwain, and I think he will take better care of the ball in the future. Senior Perry Orth also showed some grit late in the game. Overall, it was a good day to be a Gamecock fan, who also are currently in 1st place in the SEC East (only team with a conference win).
QB Brandon McIlwain last week vs.
Vanderbilt

Moving on to this week, Carolina travels to Mississippi State, who is coming off a loss to South Alabama on a missed game-winning FG. The Bulldogs are 6.5 point favorites as they probably should be; however, I'm staying away from that spread. I think the Gamecocks give them a run for their money. Mississippi State allowed 285 passing yards in their last game, and, if the Gamecocks can get into rhythm, they can make the air attack a problem for the Bulldog defense. That being said, Carolina is going to need to firm up their run defense if they want to win. Vanderbilt was beginning to grind the Carolina defense late in last Thursday's win, and they totaled 170 yards on the ground. This can't happen again this week as the running game is the big strength of the Bulldog offense.

If Carolina can win this week, they come home to face East Carolina in their first game at WIlliams-Brice Stadium (ESPN gives Carolina a 79% chance to win). From their they go on the road to face a UK team that looked less than impressive in week one with a loss to Southern Missouri (ESPN gives Carolina a 61% chance to win). Bottom line, this could be a solid start to what is supposed to be a bad year for the Gamecocks. Don't sleep on Carolina.
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