Coming off another tough loss, the Gamecocks are getting for another primetime matchup, this time against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford.
After four wins against the spread to start the year, South Carolina has dropped two in a row to where they are now at 4-2. Reverse those numbers, and that’s where they are straight up.
Ole Miss is coming off a morale-boosting win against Vanderbilt where they saw quarterback Matt Corral pass for 412 yards and six touchdowns while South Carolina... never mind.
According to VegasInsider.com, the Cocks are currently 11-point dogs, increasing by four points from the opening line of seven.
ESPN’s FPI gives South Carolina a 32.6% chance of victory.
The over/under is set at 70 points, which appears to be the third highest line of the week next to Alabama/LSU and Temple/Central Florida.
Why was the line set at this number?
Wow. It looks like all confidence in the Gamecocks is lost.
Hell, they were predicted to come closer against the Aggies.
Yes, the Cocks appear to be in shambles, but seeing a 2-4 team be favored by double digits against another 2-4 teams honestly confuses me.
I guess their mindset was that Ole Miss will put up a lot of points and South Carolina simply won’t have the firepower to keep it close (which is fair).
I would THINK after two embarrassing losses and Muschamp coaching for his job USC will finally play with a pulse in this one, but at this point I’m really not sure.
Historically, this series is dead even with eight wins a piece, but South Carolina took the last three with the most recent being a 48-44 shootout in Oxford two years back.
Throwing the Rebels a few bonus points for being home makes sense too, but that line is still insulting if you are in that Gamecock locker room.
What will have to happen for the Gamecocks to cover?
To put it best, they will have to not suck... and Ryan Hilinski has to be out there.
I don’t know exactly why, but when Hilinski entered the Texas A&M game in the fourth quarter, the offense lit up and was playing for him with more energy than they were for Hill.
This team needs to light a fire to get past this bump in the road, and I believe a change in quarterback will do the trick.
That’s only part one of the plan, though.
This team needs to bring back the defense we saw against Auburn. Jaycee Horn needs to be the shutdown corner we saw a glimpse of a few weeks ago.
Elijah Moore has been Matt Corral’s favorite target, and his production at least has to be limited.
Their run game can’t be ignored either because they’ve also had success on the ground. Jerrion Ealy has run for at least 95 yards in three of his last four games, and he isn’t even the only back to fear in that offense.
Their best path to a victory, though? Turnovers.
Corral loves to throw picks, having thrown nine on the year. If the Gamecocks win the turnover battle, they may have a shot at covering.
What’s the better bet?
I may be a clown for saying this, but I can’t leave all those points on the table.
I see this being an entertaining game with lots of scoring.
South Carolina won’t get blown out three games in a row.
I’m predicting anywhere from a five-point South Carolina win to a five-point South Carolina loss.