Predicting South Carolina football’s final record
Eastern Illinois Panthers, Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
The Gamecocks will open up the season with the EIU Panthers this weekend in Columbia. While the team will be forced to start a backup under center, it shouldn’t matter against this FCS foe.
The Panthers have won just two of their last 20 games, and they won’t expect to reverse that trend against South Carolina. The Gamecocks will be able to out-talent Eastern Illinois at every position on the field to get the Shane Beamer era started with a win.
Look for the South Carolina offense to lean heavily on a potent rushing attack, while getting quarterback reps for all available. It should be a fun game for those in attendance, and the final result won’t be close.
Expect a win in game one, but the competition gets much tougher in the following weeks.
East Carolina Pirates, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greeneville, NC
The Gamecocks will travel to North Carolina in game two to take on a tricky East Carolina team. The Pirates return a veteran bunch under head coach Mike Houston and should be able to put up some points on a depleted South Carolina secondary.
The question for the Pirates will be whether or not they can stop the Gamecocks rushing attack. Kevin Harris and Co. should be able to run roughshod over a defense that finished 98th in the nation in stopping the run last year.
Expect that rushing game to open up options in the passing attack for Luke Doty, who is likely to return for his season debut. This one could be high scoring, but the Gamecocks will make just enough stops while controlling the clock and the ball in this road matchup.
South Carolina starts the season with two straight wins.