South Carolina is now on a two game losing streak, both to SEC opponents. Following the loss to Georgia, South Carolina’s injury list is beginning to stretch, with 6 injuries prior to kickoff (including Cam Smith, R.J. Roderick, and Alex Huntley) and 3 injuries during the contest (Darius Rush, Devonni Reed, and Stone Blanton).
Needless to say, the Gamecocks have reached a low point in the season. Back to back home games against UNC Charlotte and SC State couldn’t seem to come at a better time.
Carolina’s game against Charlotte should allow the Gamecocks plenty of opportunity to move the ball on offense and make the proper stops on defense. Although Charlotte found a way to defeat Georgia State (Carolina struggled offensively against the Panthers) in the final seconds this week, the 49ers rank last in the FBS defensively and 129th (out of 131 teams) in scoring.
Look for the Gamecocks to move the ball better than they have this season, and for the defense to step up and create several turnovers.
SC State was expected to be a powerhouse FCS program this season coming off a big bowl win against Jackson State. However, the Bulldogs dropped their opener to a now struggling UCF team 56-10.
Expect South Carolina to put up similar numbers at worst and have mostly second and third string players playing in the second half of the ballgame. Even if SC State proves themselves next week against NC A&T, the Gamecocks should still find a way to dominate.
They simply are a much higher caliber program than the Bulldogs.
Anticipate the Gamecocks to leave both games with little injury as well. Besides winning both ballgames and developing offensively, another important task for the Gamecocks is to stay as healthy as possible.
South Carolina will need to finish both games with little to no injuries, as they take on Kentucky in Lexington the following week. Carolina can not afford to walk into this game with too many injuries. Otherwise, Kentucky will make short work of them.
Therefore, look for Carolina to enter their contest with Kentucky almost completely healthy.
Despite South Carolina’s lackluster performance against the Bulldogs on Saturday, they are more than capable of showing up, dominating, and coming out of the next two games a better team.
I believe Beamer will find a way to turn the season around, and these games against Charlotte and SC State will help him in doing so.