South Carolina‘s 2019 Football schedule was announced earlier this week, and it’s going to be a tough year for the Gamecocks. They will have to face the current top three teams in the country, but what about the rest of the slate?
The Gamecocks open up against North Carolina in Charlotte on August 31. UNC hasn’t looked as good as they have been in a few years. I expect the Gamecocks to win especially since they have only lost one opening game since 2000.
The second game is against Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers lost 53-6 to Florida in the first game this year, so I expect South Carolina to win with a similar score next year.
The Gamecocks hit the SEC slate hard next year as they face off against the current defending champions and probably the most dominant team in the country, Alabama. If Tua Tagovailoa stays, it’s going to be very hard for any defense to contain him. South Carolina did pull off arguably the biggest upset in program history over the Crimson Tide in 2010, but Alabama did not have a quarterback like Tagovailoa, and South Carolina’s quarterback play will play a big part in this game. A lot of people are high on newcomer Ryan Hilinski, but if Jake Bentley stays for his senior year, he’ll need to prove he can win in big games. I don’t think South Carolina will win this one due to the sheer talent that Alabama has every year.
South Carolina will then travel to the other Columbia to face Missouri. With Drew Lock gone after this year, I see no reason why South Carolina can’t win this. Missouri currently has the number 52 recruiting class for 2019, and I can’t see them upsetting South Carolina especially with the talent the Gamecocks will have next year.
South Carolina returns home to face Kentucky who should be an easy win, especially since it’s in Columbia. Obviously this is never an easy win since Kentucky is a curse team for the Gamecocks, but South Carolina’s kicking game has improved and so will the rest of the team.
The Gamecocks have a bye week before they travel to Athens to face the current number two team in the country, Georgia. The Gamecocks lost this year due to a talent gap, and I think the result will be the same next year since the game will be in Athens which is a very hard place to win.
South Carolina returns home to face Florida in what will be a defensive battle. South Carolina’s offense will be improved next year, but they will probably lose Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, and Florida always has a good defense. I expect South Carolina to win in a slugfest.
The Gamecocks then travel to Rocky Top to face a tough Tennessee team. The Volunteers currently have the number 12 recruiting class for 2019, but I still think South Carolina can win in a close one because the Gamecock defense will come up big.
South Carolina returns home to face a Vanderbilt team who is a giant question mark. Kyle Shurmur will be gone after this year, but they are looking like an improved team this year. I have to give this one to the Gamecocks because it’s at home. Also, I think Jake Bentley will return for his senior season and will have a whole new arsenal of receiving options with the Smith duo and Josh Vann. I also think the defense will dominate the Commodore offense.
The Gamecocks then face Appalachian State at home. This game sounds like an easy win, but Appalachian State is the upset team. They are known for their famous Michigan upset, and they almost beat Penn State this year. This is a game the Gamecocks shouldn’t overlook, but the Gamecocks should be well prepared for this game.
South Carolina closes their SEC slate with a road game against Texas A&M in the toughest road environment in the SEC. Jimbo Fisher is already building a dynasty with the Aggies. Also, South Carolina hasn’t beaten them since they entered the SEC. I have to give this one to the Aggies because they are only going to get better and South Carolina struggles in hostile environments, especially Kyle Field.
The Gamecocks have a bye week before they have a home game against Clemson. Trevor Lawrence will be their starting quarterback by then, but so far he hasn’t shown that he’s elite. I don’t think South Carolina will win this game because Clemson will be extremely talented again. Clemson will lose a lot of talent after this year, but like Alabama they will always come back with more talent.
The Gamecocks will be extremely talented. However, they will lose a good amount of talent and this schedule will be one of the toughest in the country.
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