The South Carolina Gamecocks open their home slate tomorrow afternoon against in-state FCS foe Charleston Southern, which will hopefully be just what the doctor ordered after a tough Week 1 left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth. We’ll get to see some new (old?) uniforms, but all eyes will be on new starting quarterback Ryan Hilinski. This is how the GABA crew sees the game going down.
Kody: I’m going to make sure I watch every snap of this game because I’m not sure when enjoyable Gamecock football will be in front of my eyeballs again. But seriously -- this should be a nice pick-me-up sandwiched between last week’s awfulness and next week’s abject terror. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Hilinski can show us, and it’d be nice to see some encouraging signs from the defense and run game as well. I think we’ll see a much different team than the one that played in Charlotte last week, and the Gamecocks send the fans home happy with a 45-10 win. How much of that can carry over into future games will remain to be seen…
Adam: I will be interested to see how lively the home crowd gets this week. I watched an army of spiritually broken men, women, and children shuffle out of Bank of America Stadium last Saturday and emotional wounds of that caliber do not tend to heal fast. This match-up is a guaranteed win for the Gamecocks, but Charleston Southern needs to be absolutely mauled to keep the fans engaged going into Week 3 and beyond. While I would love to see that happen, I think we will cruise to a more casual victory in Hilinski’s first collegiate start instead. 38-6, good guys.
Demetri: I genuinely don’t know what to expect. I am sure that Muschamp wants to get everyone reps and build up some confidence ahead of Bama coming to town. That being said, it’s no fun to fly the Millenium Falcon if Chewie never lets you jump to lightspeed. I am sure Bryan McClendon and Ryan Hilinski have been in Muschamp’s ear to throw the ball downfield in this game to see what they are working with before one of the nation’s biggest monsters comes to town. I think we see a few shots, but overall, the Cocks don’t try to show too much ahead of next week. Carolina 30 Charleston Southern 10.
Katie: As we all know, I predict that South Carolina will win every game, because I’m nothing if not dedicated to my role as our resident Eternal Sports Optimist. This is one of those games where I feel like my prediction will actually be correct, though, and since last week was a special kind of nightmare, we should all get a nice cheer-us-up game this week. USC by two touchdowns (at least, please, thank you).
Matt: If I learned anything from last week’s heartbreaker, I learned that I will take no game for granted, even ones against FCS opponents. Teams always say they are concentrated solely on the game being played the week of, but I can’t see that being the case for South Carolina. I believe they are going into this game expecting a blowout and are preparing to use it as extra practice reps for next week’s game against Alabama. Because of that, I believe the game will have a less than ideal start and the Gamecocks will come to life in the second quarter. I expect a comfortable 41-7 win in favor of the Gamecocks, a positive start to the Hilinski era, and their confidence to be through the roof as they welcome the Crimson Tide to Columbia next weekend.