Overall Record: 2-3
Conference Record: 0-3
South Carolina enters the game Saturday with a losing record for obvious reasons. They lost eight offensive starters from their 2014 squad. This year, in their sixth game, they are already on their third quarterback. That is not a good winning combination. Since Steve Spurrier has been the head coach at South Carolina, the Gamecocks are 70-20 when they score 20 or more points in a game. This year, so far, they are 2-3, despite scoring 20 or more points a game. It is probably because they have given up an average of 25 points a game.
The Gamecock quarterback is freshman Lorenzo Nunez, who saw his first action in the Kentucky game, the second game of the season. Nunez became the starter at the position, replacing an ineffective Perry Orth, when the Gamecocks were trounced at Georgia 52-20 in the third game of the year. Since that time, Nunez has become the leading rusher on the team with 299 net yards on 45 carries. The second leading runner on the squad is senior Brandon Wilds with 181 net yards. Senior Shon Carson has rushed for 158 yards on the season. Nunez, Wilds, and Carson average 6.6, 5.2, and 5.1 yards, respectively, per run.
Nunez has thrown for three touchdowns, but he has also been intercepted three times.
Senior left tackle Brandon Shell and senior right guard Will Sport are returning starters on the offensive line, which is doing a solid job. Sophomore center Alan Knott is a returning starter, but an injured ankle has kept him sidelined for the last two weeks.
Junior Pharoh Cooper is a good wide receiver. He has 322 yards in receiving this year, averaging over 12 yards per catch. Cooper has caught two touchdowns so far this season. Actually, the Gamecocks have eight receivers who average in double figures per catch, but the problem has been getting them the football on a consistent basis. Senior tight end Jerrell Adams is the second leading receiver on the team with 164 yards in receptions, averaging 13.7 yards per catch. Wilds, the running back, averages 11 yards per grab.
The Gamecocks seem to be doing what they want to do on offense, but they cannot do enough of it to win ballgames against decent or good competition.
The best player on defense, and perhaps the team, is junior linebacker Skai Moore. Moore has 52 total tackles, second in the conference. He has 34 solo tackles and three interceptions. Like Cooper, Moore is a playmaker.
Junior defensive end Dante Sawyer has 2.5 sacks to the lead the team. Junior linebacker T.J Holloman, junior defensive end Darius English, senior defensive end Darius Cooper, and freshman defensive end Bootsie Whitlow have two sacks each on the season. Sacks will not make a difference if South Carolina cannot stop the run.
The Gamecocks have allowed 850 yards rushing for the season, which is an average of 170 yards on the ground per game. They allow 4.9 yards per carry.
They have allowed 218.8 yards per contest through the air.
The numbers fit the team. If one were grading them, their average would be C to C minus, which is not good and not bad.
This, however is a conference game, so nothing can be taken lightly.
Trending-- For what it is worth:
In five games this season the South Carolina defense has given up only 37 second half points, 28 coming in the loss to Georgia. That is an average of 7 points per game in the second half.