College football is in the air, the 2018 season is right around the corner and the South Carolina Gamecocks look poised for one of the better seasons in school history. With practice starting August 3, I am foaming at the mouth. So, with that being said, I want to take a look at each road game the Gamecocks will have this year and rank the toughest places to play.
Vanderbilt Commodores: Vanderbilt Stadium (Capacity 40,550)
The Commodores welcome the Garnet and Black on September 22 with the time TBA. This will be the first road test of the season for Carolina and the Gamecocks will be looking to win their tenth straight against Vandy. South Carolina, who owns the series with a 23-4 record, won the last meeting in Nashville 13-10. We all remember that game as it was the first game with coach Will Muschamp at the helm. It took an Elliott Fry 55-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the game to put the Commodores away for good. The Gamecocks could also have more fans in the stadium than the hosts which could make this the easiest away game they have all season in terms of environment.
Kentucky Wildcats: Kroger Field (Capacity 61,000)
Kentucky has been a PROBLEM for the Gamecocks even when they had legends like Marcus Lattimore, Jadaveon Clowney, and Connor Shaw. Nobody can quite put their finger on as to why Carolina struggles with Wildcats, but they do. The Wildcats have won four straight and are looking to extend their longest win streak in series history. The Gamecocks lead the all time series 17-11-1. The last time Carolina went to Lexington, it fell short in a 17-10 loss to Boom Williams and the Wildcats. With last year’s 23-13 loss, the Gamecocks look to end the streak and quiet the Kentucky faithful.
Ole Miss Rebels: Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium (Capacity 64,038)
Ole Miss looks to be one of the tougher road trips on the schedule in terms of environment. The Rebels have lost star quarterback Shea Patterson with him transferring to Michigan, which is a huge loss, and with all of the controversy in Oxford, recently Carolina could be getting the Rebs at the right time. South Carolina has won the past two meetings against Ole Miss, and won the last time in Oxford by a score of 31-24. Chris Smelley had arguably the best game of his career, throwing for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Ole Miss leads the series 8-7, but the Gamecocks will be heading to Oxford with hopes of making it a three-game win streak against the cross-division foe.
Florida Gators: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Capacity 88,548)
The Swamp is one of the toughest places to play in the country. When the Gators are playing well and the fans get behind them it gets intimidating for opposing teams. So when South Carolina travels to Steve Spurrier Field, it hopes to quite the crowd early. With new man in charge Dan Mullen, the Gators will look to improve on a very strange Jim McElwain era as they could never really put it together. The last time the Gamecocks played at The Swamp, Carolina never looked in the game, losing 20-7. Last year was a different story, when the Gamecocks pulled out a 28-20 win at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gators lead the all time series 26-9-3 and have enjoyed traditional success against South Carolina.
Clemson Tigers: Clemson Memorial Stadium (Capacity 81,500)
With Clemson’s rise to a national power in the past few years, the Gamecocks have been overwhelmed the last four meetings. Last yea,r the Tigers came into Columbia and handled Carolina 34-10. The running game never got going and Jake Bentley looked pedestrian in the loss. The last time Carolina traveled to the upstate was a time we all wish we could forget, when Deshaun Watson and the eventual national champions thumped Carolina 56-7. For the Gamecocks to go into Memorial Stadium and come out with a win they need to be clicking on all cylinders. Clemson leads the all-time series 69-42-4.