Defense Saves the Day for South Carolina Gamecocks Against Mississippi State Bulldogs

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 34-16 to stay alive in the hunt for an SEC East title. Although they only put up 307 yards of offense, they forced five turnovers and quarterback Connor Shaw threw for four touchdowns. The Gamecocks better hope that their offense steps up in the next few weeks, because the SEC East race is wide open.

With the Florida Gators losing to the Georgia Bulldogs, the Gamecocks definitely have a chance to end up winning the SEC East. However, they have to hope for a loss or two by the SEC East leaders, the Missouri Tigers.

Luckily for South Carolina, Missouri has a very tough schedule remaining. Although they dominated the Tennessee Volunteers 31-3 and should win easily against the Kentucky Wildcats, the Tigers finish off their 2013 schedule against the Ole Miss Rebels and Texas A&M Aggies. These are two extremely good teams that have every opportunity to beat Missouri and give the Gamecocks a fighting chance.

South Carolina plays both Florida and the Clemson Tigers before the season ends, but will fortunately face them at home. However, the Gamecocks can’t afford to lose to either team, because Georgia has a fairly easy schedule left. The only challenge the Bulldogs face the will be the No. 11 Auburn Tigers, and they definitely have the talent to pull off an away upset.

The Gamecocks have to get a little help from other teams if they want to make it to the SEC Title game, but cruising to wins against lesser opponents like Mississippi State helps their cause greatly.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google

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