We are back Gamecock fans, breaking down the 2018 edition of the Belk Bowl. We started this thing out by taking a look at the quarterback situation for the Gamecocks and the Cavaliers of Virginia. Now we roll on in our preview but stay in the backfield and take a look at the running back position.
The gamecocks have been up and down all season in the running game in large part thanks to injuries and being pass heavy down the stretch. Rico Dowdle has led the team in rushing with 638 yards on 117 carries and four touchdowns. He is followed by Mon Denson with 415 yards on 82 carries with two touchdowns. The Gamecocks have largely been running back by committee when everyone is healthy. There is no doubt in my mind that Carolina has more depth and talent in the running back room. The question is how many touches they get with Jake Bentley slinging the ball all over the field. If Rico, Mon, or Tyson Williams go for over one hundred yards the Gamecocks win the game.
Bryce Perkins and Jordan Ellis. That is what the garnet and black will get a heavy dose of come December 29 in Charlotte. We talked about Perkins and the havoc he can cause in the passing game in the previous article, but that is nothing to the havoc he can cause in the run game. With the dangerous Jordan Ellis by his side, who will be looking to get over 1000 yards on the season as he enters the game with 920 yards on 197 carries and nine touchdowns the Gamecocks have their work cut out for them. Perkins has 842 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground and with Javon Kinlaw not not on the field there is some serious cause for concern.
The Edge: South Carolina
The Gamecocks have overcame the defense giving up huge yardage on the ground before and may have to do it again. Bryson -Allen Williams and Jaycee Horn look to get back on the field and bolster the defense. I give the edge to Carolina for the simple fact that they have more depth. If Carolina can get the ground game going along with Jake Bentley playing like a man on a mission it’s hard to see the Cavaliers stopping Bryan McClendon’s men. I do think Virginia will out rush Carolina because of the versatility of Bryce Perkins and the lack of depth and the youth of the Carolina defense. I am excited to see the battle of the Gamecock backs against outstanding linebacker Charles Snowden and Safety Juan Thornhill who leads the team with 92 tackles overall.