The South Carolina Gamecocks are back in action against a hated foe in the Georgia Bulldogs tomorrow. Toppling the undefeated and third-ranked Dawgs will be a tough task, but the Gamecocks are coming off what was hopefully a refreshing bye week and might have a little momentum after finally beating Kentucky. Here’s how the GABA gang sees it all playing out.
Kody: I had the misfortune of being in attendance for last year’s game against Georgia, when that pass infamously bounced off of Rico Dowdle’s face and essentially lost the game within the first couple minutes. Things can’t possibly go worse, right? The last time South Carolina went to Athens, it was a surprisingly competitive 24-10 loss, so there’s that too. Regardless, I don’t expect much out of this game, but I’d really like to see the players and staff come in with the same energy they had for Alabama. With UGA as one of South Carolina’s principal rivals, it’s simply unacceptable to approach the Dawgs with anything other than a sincere desire to compete. In particular, I’m looking for offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon to put a cohesive plan together -- even though USC beat Kentucky, the offense never looked totally in sync, which was troublesome given UK’s struggles. I’m hoping the Gamecocks can put on a good fight for at least the first half, ala Tennessee, but I expect UGA’s talent and depth advantages to win the day in a 31-14 type of loss.
Demetri: UGA will spend the first half of this game dicking around and making us all feel like the Cocks have a chance, because that is sort of the UGA MO this season. I don’t expect the two halves to look as wildly different as they did last weekend when the Dawgs went to Knoxville, but I do expect a lot more of Hilinski’s passes to be batted down and even intercepted after halftime. I’ll say 42-20 Dawgs.
Adam: Coming into the season, I was fairly confident that the Gamecocks would take down one of the “Big 3” on their 2019 schedule. By “Big 3”, I am of course referring to Alabama, Georgia, and that school in the Upstate. I never once imagined that UGA would be that unfortunate team. I am less convinced now of Georgia’s dominance than I was at the beginning of the season, but the big difference between Saturday’s game and the other two is location, location, location. Anything is possible in Willy B -- even with a noon kick-off, Athens is a completely different story. That said, I think South Carolina will come out hot with rivalry-game energy and post-bye-week execution. Bryan Edwards will move up a few more draft spots, and the Cocks will get back to moving the ball well, especially via the tight ends, in a valiant but losing effort. Dawgs win, 31-20.
Matt: With the Gamecocks having the extra time to prepare, they should give this one a good fight. The trend in recent games, though, has been one side of the football looking completely inept (in the Alabama game, the defense; in the Missouri game, the offense; in the Kentucky game, the offense). After some people calling this the “best offense in the Muschamp era” following the win versus Charleston Southern and great effort versus Alabama, that statement has been revoked and the defense is achieving the success we expected the offense to have. Maybe this will be the game where both sides have success? I don’t know. If the Gamecocks limit the Georgia running game, which I think is very possible after looking at the past few games, this could be a good one. Despite all that, I expect the offensive woes to continue. Cocks lose this one 34-16.
Katie: Wow, the guys are a super negative bunch. Fortch I am here as our resident Eternal Sports Optimist, and as such, I will predict that the Gamecocks could pull off an upset on Saturday. You’ll note I did not say will pull off an upset, because I’m not an idiot and I’ve been burned before. Saying they could pull off an upset, however, is a legitimate fact. Other things that could happen include me becoming a Grammy-winning singer, the Kardashians taking a vow of poverty, and Dabo learning not to love every microphone thrust in front of him. All technically possible, if not probable! Anyway, if the Gamecocks have to lose, it would be nice if they at least didn’t do it in a blowout, and hopefully after getting a “big” win over Kentucky and having a week to rest up, heal up, etc., they’ll come out and at least make things competitive. To hell with Georgia.