Georgia Football: What to expect from the South Carolina Gamecocks

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 12: Darryl Gamble #50 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 12: Darryl Gamble #50 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

For the first time since 2014, Georgia football plays South Carolina in the second week of the season. The Dawgs and the Gamecocks kickoff at 3:30 on CBS.

SEC play begins this Saturday for the 2018 Georgia football team as they travel to Columbia, S.C. to face the South Carolina Gamecocks. This game may very well end up being the most important game all season in the race for who wins the SEC East.

This will be no easy task. South Carolina has circled this game, and one of their former players has even guaranteed a win. Well let’s take a look at this opponent who is guaranteeing victory over our beloved no. 3 Georgia Bulldogs and see what we are dealing with.


Jake Bentley is a great young quarterback with a lot of SEC experience. The kid is now a seasoned vet, having started every game since around halfway through his freshman season. He is a playmaker who can find open receivers downfield and run when needed. The one knock on him has been his passing efficiency.  I expect that area of his game to improve in his junior season. A big year from him this season should see him climbing up 2019 NFL draft boards.

Another obvious strength of the Gamecocks are their wide receivers. Bryan Edwards proved he could be a playmaker last year in the absence of superstar wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Samuel is a different guy.  This guy has first round pick written all over him and could definitely cause some problems for the Dawg’s young secondary this Saturday.

Tyson Campbell, I’ve been bragging on you, young man! This Saturday you will get your chance to show the country how good you are as a freshman in just your second game. Wide receiver and quarterback are two areas where I think this team is close to as good as the Dawgs. I would say they are at least as good as us in the wide receiver department.


The Gamecocks have a new offensive coördinator in UGA alum Bryan McClendon. Muschamp saw that things weren’t working with former OC Kurt Roper, who was also on his staff when Muschamp was the head coach of Florida.

So, while McClendon already has one game as South Carolina OC under his belt (he ran the offense in the Gamecocks’ victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl), this will be his first full season and there may be an adjustment and learning on the job period there to deal with. Their stability at offensive line is also a question mark. They had nine players start at least one game last season and only two started all 13.

They have no definite proven elite running backs, although Rico Dowdle has potential. Their last weakness is the one that may be crucial this upcoming hot Saturday. Depth. They just aren’t that deep on either side of the ball at most positions except receiver.

Players to watch for

Jake Bentley. I’ll keep these first 2 short and simple. Like I said earlier he is a playmaker that can hurt us with his legs and his feet.  I see no scenario in which South Carolina wins the game without him going off.

Deebo Samuel. It pains me to say this as a huge Mecole Hardman and Terry Godwin (who is set to return to action this Saturday) fan but Samuel will be the most talented receiver on the field on Saturday. If this guy can stay healthy he could be a dark horse Heisman candidate.

Next. Georgia, Auburn and the College football Mecca of Atlanta. dark

D.J. Wonnum. While South Carolina lost a lot on defense from the 2017 unit, they do return the guy who led the team in sacks and tackles for loss in last season. Our offensive line must at least slow Wonnum down if we are to have success in both the passing game and the running game. If the rush from Wonnum and company makes the Georgia offense one-dimensional, it could lead to a close game going into the 4th quarter and while the Dawgs have the depth, this could be a potential factor that would lead to an upset. If the pass rush for South Carolina is contained, I see the Dawgs passing early and running late and not being stopped.