College Football News Preview 2020: South Carolina Gamecocks Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The South Carolina Gamecocks Offense
Just move the chains. New offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is going to be terrific – the former Colorado State head man is great at the OC thing. He’s able to adapt quickly to what’s needed, and he’ll generate enough balance to get the offense going.
As long as it’s connecting on third down plays, everything else will be fine.
The running backs are relatively thin unless MarShawn Lloyd is ready to go off, and the line needs to give QB Ryan Hilinski the time to operate, but don’t worry about how the sausage is made – just convert.
USC connected on just 32% of its third down chances last season and was under 25% in three of the last five games. By comparison, the 2018 offense converted 42% of the time and was only held to under 25% once all year.
Biggest Key To The South Carolina Gamecocks Defense
Get the defensive tackles going in a hurry. The secondary is loaded with veterans, and the linebacking corps won’t be that much of a worry. Throw in the potential of the defensive ends being outstanding – especially if freshman Jordan Burch is ready right out of the box – and it’s up to the tackles to come through.
Javon Kinlaw was the force everyone had to worry about, but Kobe Smith was a tough guy who did a lot of the dirty work to hold up inside. There’s not a ton of size at the position – there’s no true 330-pound anchor – but 300-pound sophomore Zacch Pickens and 270-pound senior Keir Thomas can move. After those two, the depth has to stay in one piece.
Key South Carolina Gamecocks Player To A Successful Season
WR Shi Smith, Sr.
Let’s just assume that MarShawn Lloyd and Kevin Harris will be fine at running back, and let’s take for granted that all the bodies the coaching staff can throw into the offensive interior will yield three good starters.
Let’s also assume that Ryan Hilinski really is that good as the Gamecock quarterback for the next three years, or Collin Hill is just that good a transfer and he’s amazing this season.
The offense needs a No. 1 receiver.
Shi Smith has been a fine complementary piece behind Bryan Edwards and Deebo Samuel, but after a good three years, now he’s the potential No. 1 guy. Edwards made 71 catches last year – Smith was second on the team with 32. He’s quick, he’s reliable, and he’s not got to be the alpha-dog in a receiving corps that needs playmakers.
Key Game To The South Carolina Gamecocks Season
Tennessee, Oct. 10
For this to be a decent year for the Gamecocks, the SEC home opener against Missouri is a must-win. Beating Kentucky on the road is important, and a loss at Florida wouldn’t be the end of the world. However, for the fan base, losing at home to Tennessee just won’t do.
On the road to the Vols? Maybe, but it’s a home date for the first time in three weeks against a team that won 41-21 in last year’s meeting. Before that, South Carolina had won three straight in the series.
This is one of those games to possibly ensure no worse than third in the SEC East. It’s also one of those games that both fan bases will be circling as a win.
– South Carolina Gamecocks Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 South Carolina Fun Stats
– Rushing TDs: South Carolina 18 – Opponents 9
– Fumbles: South Carolina 12 (lost 7) – Opponents 9 (lost 5)
– 4th Quarter Scoring: Opponents 107 – South Carolina 64