2019 South Carolina Gamecocks College Football Preview
BET ON THE SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS
80,250 Seat Stadium
Columbia, South Carolina
Last year’s record (7-6, 4-4 SEC)
Head Coach: Will Muschamp
Record at School (22-17) 3 years
Career Record (50-38) 7 years
Another ho hum season in Columbia last season. In a nutshell it is real simple. They lost the games they were supposed to (ranked teams) and won the games they were supposed to (unranked teams).
The only exception was their Bowl game vs unranked Virginia where apparently were not interested after their ordinary season, losing 24-0 in the Belk Bowl.
In trying to find a highlight from the season, I came up with QB Jake Bentley throwing for 510 yards & 5 TD passes in a 56-35 loss at Clemson.
SOUTH CAROLINA OFFENSE
South Carolina welcomes back senior QB Jake Bentley. In his career he has thrown for 7,385 yards and 54 touchdowns in 34 career starts. Those numbers look good, but he also has thrown 30 interceptions and they always seem to come against ranked teams which he is only 1-10 against.
In total South Carolina has (7) starters returning from last season, including a RB & 2 WR’s as well as 3 offensive linemen. The pieces are in place for a good offensive showing this season.
A key loss was WR Deebo Samuel. He was their top receiver as well as maybe the SEC’s best kick returner last season. WR Bryan Edwards will take his spot and the drop off is not huge. He had 10 less catches and 80 less yards receiving than Samuel last year.
Last season’s leading rusher Rico Dowdle returns as well. The Gamecocks 4th ranked SEC & 26th nationally ranked pass offense should only be better this season. If they cut down on those turnovers, this offense is going to be really good.
SOUTH CAROLINA DEFENSE
The defense only returns (5) starters from a team that was only ranked 12th in the SEC in total defense last season, so there is some work that needs to be done this season. Coach Muschamp is not down at all about this crew he has coming back.
In fact he feels this might be his best defense he has had since coming to S. Carolina. The thing about not having a very good defense last season is you try out plenty of players and in doing so gives the young guys experience and a chance to grow and get better, while creating depth for the team.
Return senior TJ Brunson returns as the leading tackler from last season. He is the leader and the star of this defense. A big key for the defense this season is the ability to create turnovers which is a trademark of Muschamp teams.
For some reason it just did not happen last season. I am not sure how this defense does not improve over last year’s 12th ranked defense.
SOUTH CAROLINA SPECIAL TEAMS
The kicking game is already in place and looks solid. Parker White returns after making 13 of 15 field goal attempts, and with senior Joseph Charlton returning, the punting game is in fine shape.
2019 SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS OUTLOOKS
I have faith in coach Muschamp. I believe him when he says this might be the most talented and deep team he has had since coming to S. Carolina. I love QB Bentley. He might be the most unnoticed, underrated QB in the SEC.
Last year was supposed to be the season it all came together. It is going to happen one year later despite the losses on defense. They will go a step further this season and maybe sneak in a win or two of those games they are supposed to lose.
This is a sneaky good type of team and may catch opponents off guard in 2019.
MYBOOKIE has listed the regular season win total at 6. At first glance I thought this was an easy OVER, but then I looked at the schedule. I still think they can reach 6. There are 3 automatic losses (Alabama, Georgia & Clemson), 2 automatic wins (Charleston Southern & Appalachian St). That leaves 7 games for them to get 4 more wins to reach 6. I love their QB and talent around him. I say they get to at least 6, with a great shot at 7+. TAKE OVER (6) WINS.
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