South Carolina football begins its season on Sept 4th.
The South Carolina football team is gearing up for its inaugural season under head coach Shane Beamer, looking to erase the memories of last year’s two-win campaign. The Gamecocks will have their hands full with a schedule that ranks among the toughest in the nation, but the path to improvement is in sight. The success of this year’s season will largely be based on the Gamecocks’ bowl status come December. A six-win campaign and trip to the postseason would be considered a success seeing that the program is just 6-16 since 2019.
The Gamecocks should see three wins in non-conference action, and there are a few toss-up games in SEC play, but there are four to five matchups with potential top 15 teams. Take a look at the full slate below.
- Sept 4 – Eastern Illinois
- Sept 11 – @ East Carolina
- Sept 18 – @ Georgia
- Sept 25 – Kentucky
- Oct 2 – Troy
- Oct 9 – @ Tennessee
- Oct 16 – Vanderbilt
- Oct 23 – @ Texas A&M
- Oct 30 – BYE
- Nov 6 – Florida
- Nov 13 – @ Missouri
- Nov 20 – Auburn
- Nov 27 – Clemson
Which of these games will be the most difficult? We’ve given our thoughts on South Carolina football’s three hardest matchups based on opponent projections, schedule placement, and returning production.
3. @ Texas A&M
South Carolina makes the long trip to Kyle Field still in search of their first win over Texas A&M since their inception into the conference. The Aggies do need to replace four-year starter Kellen Mond under center, but the offense boasts one of the best backfields in the SEC. All-conference tight end Jalen Wydermyer is also back, and he should help relieve some of the pressure from the new quarterback. The defense returns a number of contributors from a unit that nearly shut the Gamecocks out a year ago.
We almost put Florida in this spot, but the Gators have just lost too much on offense. With the meeting against the Aggies being played on the road, prior to the bye week. Texas A&M nearly earned a playoff spot last year. They’ll have similar expectations in 2021.
Clemson will once again be a playoff frontrunner. Despite losing number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence and the ACC’s all-time leading rusher Travis Etienne, the Tigers will bring back a ton of talent in 2021.
Luckily for the Gamecocks, they get their archrival in the friendly confines of Williams-Brice Stadium. Unfortunately, it comes at the end of a brutal November slate that sees the team match up with Florida, Missouri, and Auburn prior to the season finale.
DJ Uiagalelei is already considered a Heisman candidate despite having started just two games. He’ll have a plethora of pass catchers to throw to in Justyn Ross, Frank Ladson, and Joseph Ngata. Clemson could very well be undefeated by the time this game rolls around, but they’ll have to get past the next team on this list first…
1. @ Georgia
South Carolina travels to Georgia in the third week of the season. The Bulldogs will have already been battle tested following a season opener versus Clemson, and JT Daniels is back to lead what could be one of the most potent offenses in the SEC.
The Gamecocks, on the other hand, have issues all over the defense, and an early season meeting could lead to problems as the team tries to integrate a new defensive scheme. On offense, this will be the first true test of the season for new signal caller Luke Doty, and South Carolina’s second road trip in as many weeks.
The Bulldogs will be looking to regain control of the SEC East and earn their first playoff appearance since the 2017 season.