Breaking Down the 2013 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Schedule
South Carolina Gamecocks: Breaking Down the 2013 Schedule
The South Carolina Gamecocks have been all over the news this offseason with the interesting off-field personality of Steve Spurrier to the talk of Jadeveon Clowney. This team has been in the spotlight, but only time will tell if they will live up to everyone’s expectations.
Spurrier led the Gamecocks to an 11-2 mark last season with a bowl win over the Michigan Wolverines in which Clowney nearly took their running back’s head off in the hit of the year.
Connor Shaw is back leading the talented offense and will look to take this team to the NCAA’s elite stage. Entering the season without running back Marcus Lattimore will be tough for this team, but a huge offensive line is sure to free up some space in the run game and ease the departure of the All-American running back.
Like the rest of the SEC, the Gamecocks have a typical hard-nosed, suffocating defense. Losing some key players on that side of the ball will be tough such as linebacker Shaq Wilson, safety D.J. Swearinger and defensive end Devin Taylor.
Returning Clowney, cornerback Victor Hampton and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles could make this team a top-10 defense in 2013.
Shaw will need to stay healthy and make the plays at QB that Spurrier trusts he can make, a running back will need to emerge as the clear No. 1 rusher and the offensive line needs to step up their pass protection in order for this team to have a chance at a national title in 2013.
Let’s see how the Gamecocks fare against their schedule in 2013.
Aug. 29: North Carolina
This is sure to be one of the most exciting games of the season and luckily for all of us college football fans, it serves as one of the first games of the year. North Carolina will be without some key offensive weapons, however, and that could loom large.
PREDICTION: North Carolina 17, South Carolina 31
Sept. 7: at Georgia
The Georgia Bulldogs and quarterback sensation Aaron Murray will be looking to dominate the SEC and make a strong run at an SEC title. South Carolina will be in their way, but not enough to take them down on the road.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 21, Georgia 28
Sept. 14: Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt surprised some people last season, going 9-4 with a bowl win. However, they aren't quite at the level of the Alabamas and South Carolinas of the SEC. Maybe a couple more years and this team will compete seriously in football.
PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 21, South Carolina 34
Sept. 28: at Central Florida
Central Florida will just be another minor speed bump in the way of South Carolina's SEC title run. This game will be a bit tight early, but the Knights won't be able to keep up with the Gamecocks. Too bad for the 10-win first-place finishers in Conference USA last season, because this would be huge for their program.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 38, Central Florida 14
Oct. 5: Kentucky
October will begin by resuming SEC play by playing a lackluster Kentucky team. Although there is a new man in charge for the Wildcats, they will likely have the same tumultuous season that they did in 2012. Oh, and they won't be any trouble for the Gamecocks.
PREDICTION: Kentucky 3, South Carolina 31
Oct. 12: at Arkansas
After the failed John L. Smith experiment in which Tyler Wilson severely underperformed in 2012, the Arkansas Razorbacks are under new leadership, but time will tell if it will pay off. Bret Bielema has taken over and the Razorbacks will need to improve on all areas of play.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 24, Arkansas 13
Oct. 19: at Tennessee
Tennessee looks to recover from their devastating 5-7 finish from 2012 under new head coach Butch Jones. The Volunteers are losing their starting quarterback in Tyler Bray. Losing starting wide outs Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter won't help their offense one bit, either.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 30, Tennessee 14
Oct. 26: at Missouri
The Missouri Tigers are returning a few key offensive pieces from their 5-7 squad in 2012, including quarterback James Franklin. However, they were, in fact, 5-7 last season and even with those returning pieces, they won't be much improved.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 33, Missouri 20
Nov. 2: Mississippi State
Mississippi State will be returning most of its offense from 2012. When I say most of the offense, I am talking about skill positions like quarterback Tyler Russell and running back Ladarius Perkins. Too bad the offensive line will still be relatively weak.
PREDICTION: Mississippi State 13, South Carolina 27
Nov. 16: Florida
This will be one heck of a defensive battle -- as most contests between top SEC teams are. The Florida Gators will travel to South Carolina and try to stop the solid offense led by Shaw. I just think home-field advantage means far too much in the SEC.
PREDICTION: Florida 16, South Carolina 28
Nov. 23: Coastal Carolina
This game will certainly be a laugher. Coastal Carolina boasts zero threat to the Gamecocks and the fighting Spurriers will take down CC with ease.
PREDICTION: Coastal Carolina 7, South Carolina 49
Nov. 30: Clemson
In what will turn out to be one of the best games late in the season, the inter-conference matchup between Clemson and South Carolina will go down to the wire. The Tigers have an explosive offense and the Gamecocks have a stellar defense. Advantage? Hard to tell.
PREDICTION: Clemson 25, South Carolina 31
South Carolina finishes 11-1 and makes a strong bid for an SEC title.