Tomorrow afternoon (technically morning, thanks to time zones), the South Carolina Gamecocks hit the road after a three-game homestand and travel to Ole Miss, where they haven’t played a football game in a literal decade. The teams appear evenly matched, and oddly enough, USC hasn’t won consecutive games yet this season. Does that change tomorrow? The GABA gang weighs in.
Kody: I don’t really know why I’m saying this after the...interesting...rollercoaster ride we all just took during the Tennessee game, but I’m feeling oddly optimistic about tomorrow. While Ole Miss has an offense that can score in bunches, it’s counteracted by a defense that ranks somewhere near Coastal Carolina’s. Could this be the cure for what ails the Gamecock offense? Well, it IS South Carolina we’re talking about, so I never expect anything to come easy with this group. And maybe I’m completely wrong and Ole Miss just runs away with this one and never looks back. But I think USC can at least hang, and I think they have a decent shot to steal a road win, too. I’ll go with 31-28 Cocks.
Cole: Well, the Gamecocks head down to Oxford for ANOTHER noon game. As the road team that does favor Carolina as they look to try and string two wins together. The Rebels aren’t going to wow anyone on defense. If Carolina runs the ball like it did last week the Gamecocks should come home with a fairly comfortable W. Unfortunately, the Ole Miss does have weapons on the offensive side of the ball in wide receiver A.J. Brown. We all know the Gamecocks like to play to the level of the competition and that’s the scary part to this game. I honestly don’t believe Ole Miss can flat out beat South Carolina, but Jake Bentley has to protect the ball and the receivers can’t have drops. If South Carolina can not shoot themselves in the foot and put a full game together the odds are in our favor. I’m going with a 28-13 Gamecock win.
Demetri: I think the timing here is really important. I genuinely wonder what the psyche surrounding the Landsharks is going to be after this week. The good news is their NCAA sanctions have been reduced. The bad news is they didn’t get back bowl eligibility for 2018, something they were really hoping for. I am not sure how or if that will manifest itself on the field, but it has certainly been addressed in practice and team meetings this week,
As for how this plays out, I think it helps the Cocks’ chances that DK Metcalf won’t be on the field for Ole Miss. Auburn showed a couple of weeks ago that without the NWA at full strength, Ole Miss can be contained. Also, this is just not a super talented defense. Carolina has made everyone play ugly this season and I think they do it again in Oxford and pull out a much needed road win. Carolina 21-16.
Katie: Another week, another prediction for a win from me. After last week’s late-game rally at home against Tennessee - a team that is, uh, not really very good - I have moderate concerns about this game against Ole Miss. I admittedly haven’t really followed them this year, but based on some quick googling, it appears their offense is pretty good and their defense is pretty not. As for USC, their offense and defense could be good or bad, or somewhere in between, it’s honestly a toss-up what you’re going to get in a given series. I think it would be cool if the Gamecocks maybe decided to be a team that plays all four quarters, instead of looking silly for one half of the game and then deciding to get it together in the second half, but that’s just me. As for an actual prediction, I don’t think this is going to be a particularly thrilling contest, but I think South Carolina can win it, provided the offense does the thing with the completed passes and the not fumbling and the scoring, and the defense does the thing with the tackling (FOR THE LOVE OF COCKY PLEASE MAKE TACKLES). Regardless of which team comes out on top, this will probably be a close one that causes far too much stress while watching.