Top 5 South Carolina Gamecocks to Watch vs. Georgia
South Carolina Gamecocks
When South Carolina welcomes Georgia this Saturday in a matchup between unbeaten SEC east teams it will be a clash between two contrasting teams. Georgia boasts a dynamic offense that currently ranks inside the top ten nationally and will battle it out with the top ten defense of South Carolina.
Last year’s game between these two was an epic game between the two rivals that first started competing against each other back in 1894. A wild finish would be considered an understatement for the 2011 game that saw a combined 39 points on the scoreboard-21 coming in the last three and a half minutes of the game.
A number of the playmakers that stood out for the Gamecocks in last year’s game are now playing on the next level, in particular Melvin Ingram, who scored a touchdown on defense and on offense when he returned a fumble for five yards and scampered 68 yards for a touchdown run before halftime. Another contributor that will be missed is Alshon Jeffery, who had the game’s first touchdown and finished with five grabs for 85 yards to lead the Gamecocks.
Will South Carolina have enough ammunition to compete with Georgia if this game follows the path of the 2011 game?
The Saturday night showdown between the two preseason favorites to represent the eastern division in the SEC championship game will go a long way toward determining the SEC east race.
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Last year’s game was decided by a mere three points and I predict this year’s game will be a one possession game, meaning the special teams will be crucial to defeating the #5 Georgia Bulldogs. Adam Yates has only attempted four field goals this season, hitting on three, and none over 40 yards. His leg may force Steve Spurrier into electing to bypass a field goal opportunity in favor of going for it on fourth down.
The freakish Clowney made an impact last year in Columbia as a true freshman after being the #3 recruit out of high school. The super sophomore has taken his game to the next level this season and has made a living in opposing team’s backfield that they should start charging him rent. He can single-handedly neutralize the Georgia passing game with his relentless pursuit off the edge.
Battled injuries early in the season but has looked outstanding in his last two starts. Completed 20 consecutive passes in a win against Missouri two weeks ago and followed that up with a 15-18 performance at Kentucky last week. His four touchdowns in the last two weeks have kept teams from stacking the box in an effort to limit the running game. Can also make plays with his legs when necessary.
Slowly returning to the form he displayed before his devastating ACL injury suffered in a game vs. Mississippi State last season, but had his second 100-yard game last week and looks to be gaining confidence in his leg and is hitting the hole with much more authority in the last two games. Over the last two weeks he is averaging 22 carries for 102.5 yards and two touchdowns.
The ole ball coach is looking to be the first Carolina coach to defeat Georgia three straight games. This team may be the best chance Spurrier has at getting back to the national championship game and the chess match between he and Georgia coach Mark Richt will be fun to watch. He is obviously not a player, but he will have the biggest impact on the success or failure for the Gamecocks on Saturday night