A way-too-early, game-by-game look at South Carolina’s 2019 football schedule

South Carolina finished the 2018 season with an uninspiring 28-0 loss to Virginia in the Belk Bowl. Their last game was played in Charlotte, and their first game of the 2019 season will be in Charlotte. The Gamecocks’ schedule is going to be a long and brutal one, but if South Carolina stays healthy, I’m confident they can have a good season with at least one big upset.

South Carolina starts out by playing North Carolina in Charlotte on August 31st. The Tar Heels finished at 2-9 this season, but they will be with a new head coach, Mack Brown, in 2019. South Carolina will be healthy and will be playing with a lot more motivation while Mack Brown will slowly build North Carolina. I expect South Carolina to win comfortably.

The Gamecocks will head back to Columbia to face Charleston Southern, an FCS opponent. This will be a confidence builder for South Carolina, and I expect freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski to see his first in-game action. This game is about staying healthy and seeing what the star-studded 2019 class can do. I expect South Carolina to dominate.

South Carolina will stay home to face Alabama, the titans of college football. Alabama will return stars such as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Jerry Jeudy. South Carolina will hopefully be healthier in 2019, especially on the defensive side of the football. Last time these two teams played, South
Carolina pulled off arguably the greatest upset in program history. The whole team will need to be perfect if they want to pull this one off. I expect South Carolina to lose by multiple touchdowns due to the sheer talent of Alabama.

The Gamecocks will travel to the other Columbia to face Missouri. The Tigers will be without Drew Lock, but they will have Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant at quarterback. Missouri is coming off of an eight win season, but I think South Carolina will be good enough to pull out a close one
against Missouri. I expect South Carolina to win by seven or less points.

South Carolina will return home to face Kentucky in what will be a revenge game for the Gamecocks. South Carolina has lost five games in a row to Kentucky, but the Wildcats will be without star running back Benny Snell and linebacker Josh Allen. Kentucky won the Citrus Bowl
and finished at 10-3, but they will lose too much talent. I think South Carolina will break the curse and win by 10 or more points.

The Gamecocks get a bye week and will face Georgia on the road the next week. South Carolina hasn’t been able to beat Georgia lately due to the fact that they have become one of the most talented teams in the country. Georgia will return quarterback Jake Fromm and their pack of running backs. South Carolina is slowly building their program, and I think this will be the game that Will Muschamp will run away with. Although this is a road game, I think the Gamecocks will catch Georgia sleeping. I have South Carolina winning by a field goal.

South Carolina will return home to face Florida in a key conference game. Florida is proving to be a successful program under Dan Mullen, and they will compete with Georgia for the top of the SEC East next year. The Gamecocks will be too fatigued and will drop this one. Florida will be too talented for South Carolina to keep up. I have the Gamecocks losing by a touchdown.

South Carolina will travel to Knoxville to face Tennessee in what will be a revenge match for the Volunteers. Every team has their curse team and lately, South Carolina has been that team for Tennessee. Jeremy Pruitt is doing a good job of building a program there, but South Carolina will continue to curse the Volunteers. I expect South Carolina to win by a touchdown or less.

The Gamecocks start out November by playing Vanderbilt in Columbia. South Carolina always seems to beat the Commodores easily, and I don’t think anything will change. The Gamecocks will easily beat Vanderbilt and will show more from the 2019. Vanderbilt will not be good for awhile, and I expect South Carolina to beat Vanderbilt by more than two touchdowns.

South Carolina will play at home against Appalachian State in what will be a trap game for the Gamecocks. This seems like an easy game on paper, but the Mountaineers are upset specialists. In 2007, the Mountaineers pulled off an upset against Michigan and almost beat Penn State this past year. This is a game South Carolina shouldn’t sleep on, but I expect the Gamecocks to win by a touchdown.

South Carolina will play their last road game at Texas A&M. Jimbo Fisher already has one of the top recruiting classes for next year, and the Aggies will be one of the best teams in the SEC West. South Carolina will fight for the win, but will fall short in one of the most hostile environments in college football. I expect South Carolina to lose by a field goal.

The Gamecocks will have a bye week before they face their rival Clemson. Clemson loses a lot after the 2018 season, but they will also return a lot of talent, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence. South Carolina will face the Tigers at home. However, they will be too beat up and fatigued to hang with Clemson for four quarters. I expect South Carolina to lose by two touchdowns or less.

South Carolina’s schedule is going to be one of the toughest in the country, but they can easily win eight games if they stay healthy. Only time will tell of quarterback Jake Bentley will play the whole season, or if the Gamecocks will finally have a healthy defense all season long, but Muschamp and company will have their hands full either way.

FINAL RECORD: 8-4

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