#asexpected, the South Carolina Gamecocks couldn’t pull it out against Alabama last week, but they now hit the road to Bizarro Columbia for a much more winnable matchup against the Missouri Tigers. Here’s how the GABA crew is feeling about things.
Kody: It’s not often one feels anything other than doom with a true freshman quarterback, first true road game of the season, and a double-digit point spread in the other team’s favor, but I’m actually not feeling horrible about life. The Bama loss was hardly a surprising result, and while some aspects of it stuck in my craw (poor tackling, anyone?), I was really encouraged by the offense and specifically Ryan Hilinski, as well as the more aggressive approach employed by the coaching staff. If this team and staff can keep that same energy, the Gamecocks will be in good shape for the toss-up games on their schedule -- of which this is one, 10-point line be damned. These games against Mizzou are always crazy, and lately, that crazy has been favoring the Gamecocks. I’ll go with USC getting one more crucial drive than the Tigers, 35-28.
Demetri: Am I nuts to think the line here is way off? The only thing that concerns me about the offense is do they suffer the Bama hangover? They played terrific on Saturday and still got beat by 3 touchdowns. Sure, you can say that the reality is Bama is just 3 TDs better than Carolina right now, but when you’re on the field, that has to have some emotional effects that carry over. Both defenses in this game are flawed, so I think we are looking at a shootout. Maybe it is optimism. Maybe I’m just not familiar enough with Mizzou’s D, but I think the Cocks have the talent to make one or two more stops than the Tigers. I’ll say Carolina 41-35.
- Cycle players on offense. Throw out some weird looks: Feaster at WR, Dak Joyner wherever the heck he wants, Kinlaw at RB (I KNOW THAT’S A PROBLEM TO HAVE TWO #3 JERSEYS ON THE FIELD AT THE SAME TIME @ ME). What I’m saying is, get funky. We have depth. Use it.
- Defer the kick. Missouri is a decent offensive football team with a lot of positive aspects, including their own re-tread from Clemson via the transfer portal. This game is about the defense making stops. Make a stop to start the game and they’ll win.
DON’T DO THIS:
- Run from the pistol formation. Please, Please, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY. Side note: if they do this on third and >4 yards I will personally smack BMac in the face with a cream pie.
- Play cover 2 for any reason. This matchup (good quarterback, meh receivers), will be great for the defense if they stick to a man coverage gameplan. TRob likes these ‘half-boner’ soft zones in the middle of the field and that crap will not work against Kelly Bryant. Not gonna happen. The secondary needs to be locked in or we’ll get julienned.
That being said? My heart says Gamecocks come out ready and roll 38-whatever, but my head says they give up a long scoring drive to start the game which leads us to a confusing and stressful 27-24 win. DSGCTYW.
Katie: I feel somewhat better about my obligatory THE GAMECOCKS WILL WIN THIS WEEK prediction for this game than for the Alabama game, if we’re being honest - ALTHOUGH I LET MYSELF HOPE LAST WEEK AND THEN I WAS SAD. Anyway. No team of Tigers should ever win anything ever imo, nor should any team from Missouri. This game honestly seems like it could go either way, but the thought of South Carolina being 1-3 to start the season is too upsetting to contemplate, so I really do think the Gamecocks can pull off a win in the wrong Columbia. Ryan Hilinski and the offense showed flashes of greatness last week (that Shi Smith catch tho), and the defense has hopefully practiced how to complete tackles since last Saturday, and if they could pull off a pick-six or two, that would be a nice way to get some redemption. Also, please, if you run a trick play, don’t anyone do anything dumb that leads to something being taken away (#Justice4ParkerWhite).
Matt: This is a must-win game for both teams. If that isn’t fun enough, combine that with the fact that recent games versus Missouri have all been relatively high scoring and entertaining. With both teams being from Columbia, it’s also very fitting how similarly the two teams are set up. The Cocks and Tigers will both kill the opponent offensively on occasion, but their plans on defense are to simply control the bleeding. I expect a shootout with both teams exchanging blows and for things to potentially get a little rowdy. One team will definitely put up 30 and I believe that will be the Gamecocks. As for my pick, South Carolina will be coming back to the superior Columbia with a 31-27 win against Missouri and some sweet revenge over former Clemson quarterback, Kelly Bryant.