Heading into the 2013 season, there were many question marks surrounding the South Carolina Gamecocks. How will Jadeveon Clowney do? What will the quarterback situation be like? Those two questions have been semi-answered and one Clowney’s performance thus far is below par while Connor Shaw has been solid at QB for this 2-1 team.
On the other side of the field, the UCF Knights could be considered one of the surprise teams in the league if they somehow find a way to take down the Gamecocks. Coming off a win at the Penn State Nittany Lions‘ home field, the Knights have put themselves on the map with a 3-0 record.
Connor Shaw has been pretty solid this season thus far for the Gamecocks. Coming into the season, people weren’t even sure if he should be the starter, but he has gotten better in each game this season. Shaw has 661 yards and six passing touchdowns to go along with 202 rushing yards in three games this season. Sophomore running back Mike Davis has been a nice complement to Shaw’s passing attack, rushing for 341 yards and three touchdowns on 7.6 yards per carry in 2013.
Central Florida has a junior quarterback by the name of Blake Bortles that has been the reason for success this season. Passing for 816 yards and seven touchdowns while completing over 71 percent of his passes has been nothing short of impressive — especially against a tough Penn State team. Bortles’s favorite target has been Rannell Hall who has 11 catches for 212 yards and a score. Running back Storm Johnson completes the solid offensive trifecta with his 305 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
Defensively, the Gamecocks haven’t been as good as expected thus far. Clowney has underperformed early in his junior season and his way behind the top pace he set a year ago. Furthermore, Clowney is suffering from a nagging foot injury in which he will get surgery on at the end of the season. Central Florida has played just one solid opponent in three games and allowed 31 points to the Nittany Lions, but the Knights give up just 12.7 points per game.
South Carolina will travel to Central Florida to take on the Knights at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Sept. 28. The game will be broadcasted on ABC.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 35, UCF 21