2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The South Carolina Offense
Good things happen when the running game works. Jake Bentley and the passing game will be where the bread is buttered, but when the Gamecocks can run, they win. They ran for 15 touchdowns last season, but they were bunched in six games, going 5-1 when they scored on the ground and 2-5 when they didn’t.
They went 4-0 when running for 200 yards or more, and was 7-2 when hitting the 100-yard mark. In the three years under Will Muschamp, USC is 7-0 when running for two bills.
Biggest Key To The South Carolina Defense
Where are the takeaways? The South Carolina offense is fine, and the defense is good, but this whole puzzle of Gamecock football doesn’t come together under Muschamp unless the turnover margin is on the right side. Takeaways weren’t a problem in his first two seasons, but last year the Gamecocks picked off just six passes – one in the last eight games – and forced a mere 16 turnovers overall.
Key Player To A Successful Season
OT Sadarius Hutcherson, Jr.
The offensive line did an okay job overall. It wasn’t a force, but it wasn’t a glaring issue, either. Now the front five is undergoing some remodeling, and it starts with the 6-4, 312-pound Hutcherson moving from right guard over to left tackle … maybe. It’ll be a work in progress in fall camp, but if Hutcherson can hold down the gig, all of a sudden, the other four spots look strong.
Key Game To The South Carolina Season
at Missouri, Sept. 21
The Gamecocks start the SEC season against Alabama, and they have to go do Georgia in mid-October. They’ll be good, but it’ll take a big upset to win either of those two games. Lose on the road at Mizzou – USC has won three in a row in the series, including a 37-35 last year at home – and there’s a big, big problem. With a road game at Texas A&M and home date against Clemson to deal with, too, the Gamecocks have to win the 50/50 games like this.
– South Carolina Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 South Carolina Fun Stats
– Time of Possession: Opponents 35:03 – South Carolina 24:57
– Red Zone Scores: Opponents 51-of-62 (82%) – South Carolina 43-of-56 (77%)
– Opponent 1st Quarter Scoring: 71 – Opponent 2nd Quarter Scoring 129