Tracking the enemy: How did South Carolina's past and future opponents fare in week 5?

Tyler Smith

Join us as we take a look at what the Gamecocks' 2013 opponents accomplished this past weekend in an effort to gauge the quality of our wins and losses and ascertain our likelihood of emerging victorious in future contests.

North Carolina (55-31 loss vs. East Carolina)

South Carolina's 27-10 win over North Carolina now has about as much value as that VHS of Last Action Hero that you're still holding onto for some reason. And with the Tar Heels now 1-3 on the season after inexplicably losing to both the Yellow Jackets and Pirates, it's starting to seem like Ellis Johnson got a raw deal at Southern Miss.

Georgia (44-41 win vs. LSU)

The Tigers came up just short in a shutout between the hedges, and South Carolina's hopes of winning the SEC East have been all but eliminated. It was difficult to watch Aaron Murray and his thick, lustrous eyebrows celebrating as Mark Richt poured his heart out to Tracy Wolfson while knowing that we now have to count on the likes of Florida, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Auburn to pull of a pair of improbable upsets.

Vanderbilt (52-42 win vs. UAB)

Austyn Carta-Samuels, Jordan Matthews, Jerron Seymour, and Jonathan Krause had an opportunity to pad their stats against a bad Blazer team. We'll learn a lot more about the Commodores during their upcoming stretch of games that includes vs. Missouri, vs. Georgia, at Texas A&M, and at Florida.

Kentucky (24-7 loss vs. Florida)

The Gators have a very strong defense, but 174 yards of total offense is just a nightmare performance for Neal Brown's Wildcat offense. Meanwhile, Matt Jones and Tyler Murphy grounded the Kentucky defense into a fine powder, racking up 246 yards rushing on 45 carries. I would expect to see a similar approach from South Carolina this Saturday.

Arkansas (45-33 loss vs. Texas A&M)

The Razorbacks surprised a lot of people, including me, by hanging around until late in this game. After another improbable touchdown pass from Johnny Manziel to Mike Evans put the Aggies up 24-10, it seemed like Texas A&M might roll right past Arkansas, but Brandon Allen and Alex Collins helped the Razorbacks go blow-for-blow with the Aggies until Allen's second interception of the game sealed the loss late in the fourth quarter.

And with South Carolina's game at Fayetteville in two weeks scheduled for the dreaded 12:21 PM start, I'm feeling a lot more uneasy about facing Bret Bielema's squad than I was two months ago.

Tennessee (31-24 win vs. South Alabama)

Yeesh.

The Volunteers needed a goal line stand with less than two minutes to go to seal the victory against the [googles] Jaguars. Justin Worley threw three interceptions in this contest, and I think it's time to stop introducing him as the former Gatorade National Player of the Year.

Missouri (41-19 win vs. Arkansas State)

James Franklin had another productive outing, throwing for 255 yards and connecting with Dorial Green-Beckham on a pair of touchdown passes. The knock against the Tigers is that their 4-0 start is the by-product of a soft early season schedule--their best win so far is a 45-28 road victory against Indiana--but they play Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina in their next four games, so we'll know pretty soon whether or not Missouri is as good as they've looked against some inferior competition.

Mississippi State

BYE

Florida (24-7 win at Kentucky)

Against Kentucky, the Gators did a pretty good job of executing their trademark: boring, run-first, run-second, run-third offense that does just enough to take advantage of the fact that their defense is the fat kid that wins arguments by sitting on people.

Coastal Carolina (53-28 win at Liberty)

Clemson (56-7 win vs. Wake Forest)

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