Furman Paladins at South Carolina Gamecocks: Three Keys, What It Means, and Prediction

Three Keys to Victory

1. Turnover Differential. Simply put, if you look at most big FCS-FBS upsets, the shamed FCS team tends to lose the TO battle. In fact, it tends to turn the ball over at the worst possible moments--there's a way in which these upsets look like the acme of self-inflicted pain. If we protect the ball, we should be OK--maybe not golden and dominant against a good FCS team like Furman, but we should win if we don't give it up over and over again.

3. Play Disciplined Defense and Tackle. So, Furman has an offense. A very effective one. Chris Forcier is fast, and the Furman offense is disciplined and will hurt you. In the end, though, we're more talented. But that talent goes for naught if we don't play well defensively. Furman isn't good enough to consistently drive the field against us, so if we play smart and don't give up many silly long plays, we should be OK. Look a\t most FCS-FBS upsets--you'll usually see that there's a long TD or two by the underdog. Let's not give up one or more of those.

3. Fire from the Beginning. Most FCS-FBS upsets invole an early momentum play that puts the favorite on its heels and the underdog in control. We need to come out and score and start them from the start and put this game away.

What It Means

Obviously, a loss would be disastrous here. But a close--even a relatively close--win would also be bad news, IMO. This isn't meant to be disrespect to Furman. A game between what's supposed to be a good FBS team and an FCS team, though, should end in a quick blowout, and that's what I want to see here--although I'd prefer a respectful one against our Greenville brethren. I don't want a close halftime score like we saw against FAU and SC State last year. I want to see all the intensity we saw at points last week. I want a team that's ready to walk into Auburn  riding insanely good play. That starts this week.

Prediction

The 'Cocks will come out swinging again against an inferior opponent. This time, though, Spurrier will get his wish and we'll break 50. I predict a socre circa 52-17 Carolina.

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