The South Carolina Gamecocks will get in on a little Throwback Thursday action when they play the S.C. State Bulldogs tonight at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network, a contest that was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved due to the threat of Hurricane Ian. While the Gamecocks typically played at least one Thursday night game a season for much of the Spurrier era, it’s been quite some time since fans have been able to enjoy Carolina football on a day other than Saturday. With just one more week to iron out the kinks, here’s how the GABA gang sees it going down.
Kody: Not to be glib, but the Gamecocks are 37.5-point favorites in this one and that’s kind of the long and short of it. While S.C. State rules the MEAC, is a frequent FCS playoff participant, and is also the reigning HBCU national champion, South Carolina should be able to use this game as its final opportunity to tune up, get healthy, and otherwise work on its pain points before traveling to Kentucky next week. Although both teams will have less time to prepare for – and obviously found out on short notice – I don’t see that making much of a difference (and neither does SCSU coach Buddy Pough, who amusingly said his team had plenty of days to prepare for UCF and it didn’t help in the Bulldogs’ blowout loss). I’ll take USC 56-10 in a contest that hopefully lets Spencer Rattler show off a little, younger guys get some reps, and continues to build confidence in a team that dearly needs it before the SEC grind starts.
Brent: This is such a strange situation. Carolina just found out yesterday morning that they would be playing tomorrow. Not that there is ever a good time for a hurricane, this is the week for it to happen. The Gamecocks are playing an FCS team ahead of what is possibly their biggest game of the year next Saturday at Kentucky. However, if I know the South Carolina State Bulldogs, they will be extremely fired up for the national spotlight against the Gamecocks on Thursday night. They will be a very physical football team that will surprise you with how much talent they have on the field for an FCS team. If you want any proof of that, go watch their game against Jackson State last year. I absolutely love South Carolina State and think extremely highly of former Fairfield Central Griffin Head Coach Buddy Pough, shoutout to my hometown of Winnsboro. With that being said, Carolina is a 37.5 point favorite for a reason. They are the better football team by a large margin. With the quick turnaround and short notice of playing, the Gamecocks cannot be too fancy on either side of the ball, they just have to do whatever they do well. I think SC State gives the Gamecocks a little bit of a fit early with everything going on, but the Gamecocks win this one easily by a score of 51-13. Stay safe across the Southeast this weekend, everyone!!
Matt: Wow. It feels like just yesterday I finished watching South Carolina play Charlotte, and now the Cocks are getting set to play a surprise primetime game Thursday night due to the hurricane. It’s no secret, though, that if South Carolina was playing just about anyone else, the game would have gotten canned, not moved up. Just look at the should-have-been Marshall game from a few years back. USC feels confident it can beat South Carolina State anytime, and I honestly think it shows a lack of respect, if anything. I’m not too familiar with the Bulldogs, but I am familiar with its 56-10 loss this year to UCF and its 49-3 loss to Clemson in 2021. Basically, this is not a good football team we are dealing with here. The game also comes at a time where the South Carolina defense looks “fixed” in addition to the run game making drastic improvements just a few days ago. This matchup *should not* be close, but we also saw Charlotte hang around for a half last week, so I won’t rule it out. Nonetheless, I’m taking the Cocks 63-7.
Katie: Another week where I’m not the only one predicting a win! Strange circumstances for this one aside, like the guys said, the Gamecocks are highly favored to win here for a reason. I don’t have a lot else to add, other than that last week was more tense than it needed to be, so let’s hope this is the week where we see South Carolina cruise to a pretty easy victory and a winning record overall before they get back into SEC play.