#Gamecocks going with black helmets, white jerseys and white pants Saturday night against Ole Miss.#BeatOleMiss #TSUS pic.twitter.com/JFprNXqYx9— The Spurs Up Show (@TheSpursUpShow) November 12, 2020
Location: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
Time: 7:30 PM on SEC Network
All-Time Series: Tied 8-8
Spread: Ole Miss -11
South Carolina travels to Oxford, Mississippi this Saturday and comes in riding a three game winning streak over the Rebels. Most recently in 2018, the Gamecocks won an offensive shootout against the Rebels, 48-44..
This year however, looks like a good chance for Ole Miss to snap the losing streak. The Rebels come in as a double digit favorite, and are fresh off a bye week.
South Carolina has played some of its worst football of the season the past two weeks and are looking to get back on track.
Let’s take a look at how these teams match up.
When South Carolina Has The Ball
While the Rebels’ offense has been one of the best in the SEC and the nation, their defense has been one of the worst in the nation.
The Ole Miss defensive coordinator is DJ Durkin, who has a history with Will Muschamp and is well respected by him despite his controversial past.
Will Muschamp just launched into a long defense of DJ Durkin, who is now the DC at Ole Miss. "I hate what he went through."— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 11, 2020
The Ole Miss defense is allowing a ridiculous 534 yards per game, which is the worst in the power five among teams who have played more than one game.
Their 40.7 points allowed per game ranks second worst in the Power Five, only better than Kansas. Needless to say, the Rebs defense is porous and provides Mike Bobo with an easy opportunity to get the offense back on track.
It is still unknown who will be the Gamecocks starting QB this Saturday, but whoever it is should be able to move the ball with ease against the Rebels defense. The Mississippi secondary has only forced three interceptions on the season and is allowing over 300 passing yards per game.
Collin Hill hasn’t passed for more than 234 yards in a game so far, so this could be a breakout game for him if he ends up being the starting quarterback.
Kevin Harris should get back on track this game, and I expect to see South Carolina try and run the ball as much as possible this game no matter who the quarterback is. Playing keep away from Kiffin’s Nascar offense will likely be a major point of emphasis for Will Muschamp’s defense.
I expect Shi Smith to also get back on track as the clear number one option in the receiving game and see a lot of volume. At the end of the day, while the Ole Miss defense is one of the worst in the nation, don’t expect Carolina to put up video game numbers on offense.
The Gamecock offense isn’t designed to put up major points, it is designed to play slowly but efficiently and make life easier for Muschamp’s defense.
SC OL vs OM DL: Edge, South Carolina
SC RB+TE vs OM LB: Edge, South Carolina
SC WR vs OM DB: Edge, South Carolina
When Ole Miss Has The Ball
Just as many expected, Kiffin immediately made the Reb’s offense one of the best in the nation. Ole Miss has a top five total offense in the country, which is especially impressive considering they have only played against SEC defenses.
Quarterback Matt Corral is lighting up the stat sheet this season, he already has over 1,800 passing yards and 18 touchdowns in the teams 6 games.
The Ole Miss offensive line started the season off shaky, but has shown real improvement through the first half of the season and has done a great job protecting Corral in recent weeks. The OL group has only allowed one sack in the past two games, so the South Carolina defensive line will need to step up in a big way on Saturday night.
Rebels running back Jerrion Ealy has also had a season to remember thus far. The sophomore has 524 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns on the year already. The Ole Miss running game often gets overlooked by their flashy passing game, but the ground game is good enough to make their offense versatile and balanced if it needs to be.
Jerrion Ealy is so slippery pic.twitter.com/08rVVfv5YH— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) September 26, 2020
Having that type of versatility makes the offense a lot harder to keep in check. Junior wide receiver Elijah Moore is having a season that could have him winning conference if not national awards at the end of the year. Moore has compiled 829 receiving yards through his six games, which is the 3rd most in the country. The Jaycee Horn—Elijah Moore matchup will be very entertaining, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Most 15+ yard catches this season:— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 11, 2020
💥 Elijah Moore, Ole Miss – 19
💥 Dax Milne, BYU – 19
💥 Gunner Romney, BYU – 18
💥 Amari Rodgers, Clemson – 18 pic.twitter.com/Yv9NoumYn8
I hope to see the South Carolina defense, especially the secondary, a lot closer to the line of scrimmage this game. The reason being that, if Carolina elects to play soft man-to-man all game, Ole Miss will feast all day with the quick passing game, as well as the running game.
I hope to see the defense make Corral throw the ball deep downfield and try to eliminate the quick stuff for an easy 5-7 yards per play.
OM OL vs SC DL: Edge Ole Miss
OM RB+TE vs SC LB: Edge Ole Miss
OM WR vs SC DB: Push
OM QB vs SC QB: Edge Ole Miss
OM Coaching vs SC Coaching: Edge Ole Miss
While on paper it seems like this game will be a shootout, I don’t think there will be quite as many points scored as there was in the 2018 matchup that ended 48-44.
The only way that I see South Carolina winning this game is if Ole Miss turns the ball over a lot and Carolina wins the time of possession.
As far as the quarterback situation moving forward, I would caution fans not to make this game out to be more than what it is. By that I mean that whoever trots out at quarterback will more than likely produce better numbers than we’ve seen so far this year from the position.
I am hoping to see a new quarterback on the field to start the game Saturday, but at this point I still expect Collin Hill to be getting the first reps.
Ole Miss wins this one right around where the spread lies.