The South Carolina Gamecocks continue conference play with a clash in Williams-Brice — under the lights! — against the Kentucky Wildcats, who were long seen as an “easy” win on the SEC schedule but have recently developed into a bitter foe. Here’s how the GABA gang sees things playing out.
Kody: Okay, so, hear me out: I’m actually feeling kind of optimistic here? Sure, the Gamecocks got run out of the building against Georgia, but that’s a legitimate national title contender South Carolina couldn’t realistically hang with. Kentucky, meanwhile, struggled against Chattanooga last week, although they do have a W against Missouri under their belt. This is definitely a measuring stick game for Shane Beamer’s crew, because unlike the OOC games and Georgia, this is a team that matches up well with the Gamecocks in terms of talent and general aspiration. I hate to call a game this early in the season a must-win, but honestly, coming away victorious in this one would say a lot for this version of the Gamecocks, and a loss would equally be pretty devastating. I’m gonna say USC has the edge here, 24-17, because I think the combination of starting a clearly talented Luke Doty and being at home will carry South Carolina to the finish line.
Matt: I have been public about my take on this game, and my thought process hasn’t changed. I simply haven’t seen anything yet for me to warrant picking South Carolina here. The Cocks beat two teams so far that they frankly should have beaten, and they lost to a Georgia squad that they were expected to get demolished by. This is the game that decides whether USC really wants to compete in the conference or not. Win and the team could be staring at 6-1 come mid-October. Lose and the team will be 0-2 in conference games, which is right about where everyone had them up to this point. Kentucky is a good team, and respect for the Gamecocks lies right behind them. The Wildcats have already passed their early season test by beating Missouri. How will South Carolina fare? I’ll take Kentucky 34-16. I’d love to be pleasantly surprised, but with USC, I need to see it to believe it.
Sawyer: Don’t get me wrong, I think the Gamecocks are headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, these things take time, and the Gamecocks are not there yet. There is TONS of room for improvement on both sides of the ball. Our defense left UGA wide receivers wide open all night last week and the O-line is something I’d rather not talk about. This is a super important game for the Gamecocks on Saturday night. Our recent history against the Wildcats has not been great and I think the Cats get one more this weekend. Even though I think we will lose, I really do think we will play well in front of a packed Willy-B. I think the offensive line will look way better and we run the ball well. Even if the Gamecocks lose, we will take a step in the right direction Saturday night. I’ll take Kentucky winning this one, 27-21.
Katie: As y’all already know, I’m predicting a win for South Carolina. Last week was, uh, rough, and my optimism was not enough to get a victory - although we DID score more against Georgia than Clemson did, little victories! But anyway, Kentucky isn’t Georgia and this game isn’t on the road and let’s all just hope for the best here.