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South Carolina Gamecocks National Championship Odds
It’s one thing to lose games and it’s another to not even be competitive. The worst season in Will Muschamp’s tenure mercifully came to an end with a 38-3 loss to in-state rival Clemson last week, sending the South Carolina Gamecocks to their third straight loss where they were outscored 88-24. With only one win in their last six games, the Cocks limped to a 4-8 SU record, the fewest by two in Muschamp’s four years in Columbia. They also failed to cover in their last three and were 5-7 ATS overall. Changes were made to the offensive coaching staff immediately after the season with coordinator Bryan McClendon demoted and two other assistants fired. A few weeks earlier Muschamp got the dreaded vote of confidence by the athletic administration.
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South Carolina Gamecocks Season Review
To say the 2019 season was a disappointment is a huge understatement. Before the season began Muschamp said this is the deepest and most talented group he’s had. Yet the club delivered the fewest wins in the coach’s four-year stay. The Cocks posted nine wins two years ago, reached bowl eligibility last year with seven wins and regressed to just four wins this season. It’s just the third losing record in the last 16 seasons with two of those coming under Muschamp’s watch.
It didn’t look too bad in the middle of October when the Cocks went between the hedges and defeated No. 3 Georgia, 20-17, in overtime as a 20.5-point underdog. It was their second straight win to put them at 3-3 with momentum heading into the back half of the slate. What good vibes the Cocks had soon evaporated in losses to Florida and Tennessee. Beating Vanderbilt in Week 10 put South Carolina in a position to become bowl eligible needing a pair of victories over the final three games. But the offense shriveled up scoring just one touchdown and 24 points over those three contests.
Injuries took a toll on the team’s depth presenting a huge problem. The loss of starting quarterback Jake Bentley in the season opener forced Ryan Hilinski into action much sooner than anticipated and the group never found a rhythm under the freshman. Scoring was a season-long issue with the Cocks averaging just 22.4 points to rank 104th nationally. Their 372 yards per game was also down in the rankings at No. 96. Those numbers were down significantly from last year’s total of 26 points and 425 yards. Bentley, a three-year starter with one year of eligibility remaining, plans on leaving after entering the transfer portal this week.
The decline sparked a change in the offensive coaching staff with McClendon demoted and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman fired. Muschamp said after Saturday’s 38-3 loss to Clemson that changes were coming, and he delivered. “There’s a lot of different areas at fault and we need to fix it, that’s what I’m going to do,” Muschamp added.
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A struggling offense against the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense was a recipe for disaster. And the numbers proved the point. South Carolina was held to 174 yards and failed to score a touchdown for the second straight game in the 38-3 setback. It was the fewest points scored by the Gamecocks in the series since getting shutout 30 years ago. “The bottom line is we weren’t productive and we need to get better,” Muschamp said.
South Carolina showed some grit early stopping Travis Etienne for no gain on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line on Clemson’s opening drive. Four plays later the Cocks gave the ball right back when Hilinski was intercepted setting up the first of three Trevor Lawrence scoring passes.
Parker White’s 39-yard field goal midway through the second quarter got South Carolina on the board closing the gap to 14-3. However, Lawrence struck again a few minutes later and B.T. Potter tacked on a field goal at the end of the half giving the Tigers a 24-3 bulge at the break.
Hilinski, who showed promise at times during the season, struggled against Clemson’s ferocious defense. He completed 16 of 27 for only 105 yards with an interception. The run game was equally inept producing just 69 yards with an average of 2.7 yards per carry. The defense wilted under the assault and was gouged for 527 yards while allowing Clemson to convert 12 of 17 third downs.
2019 South Carolina Gamecocks Betting Schedule
||South Carolina vs. North Carolina
||Saturday, August 31
||South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern
||Monday, September 7
||South Carolina vs. Alabama
||Saturday, September 14
||South Carolina at Missouri
||Saturday, September 21
||South Carolina vs. Kentucky
||Saturday, September 28
||South Carolina at Georgia
||Saturday, October 12
||South Carolina vs. Florida
||Saturday, October 19
||South Carolina at Tennessee
||Saturday, October 26
||South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt
||Saturday, November 2
||South Carolina vs. Appalachian State
||Saturday, November 9
||South Carolina at Texas A&M
||Saturday, November 16
||South Carolina vs. Clemson
||Saturday, November 30
South Carolina has long been a middle-of-the-pack team in College Football. There have been highlights but no national championships or many conference titles. Even so, the Gamecocks play in such a tough conference that it isn’t that big of a black mark to have a lack of titles. South Carolina did win the SEC East back in 2010 under coach Steve Spurrier. He led the team from 2005 through 2015 and had some impressive seasons, including 11-win campaigns in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but was unable to duplicate his dominant showing previously at the University of Florida.
After Spurrier resigned in the middle of the 2015 season, Muschamp was given the reins. He has a record of 22-17 through his first three seasons and is hoping to build the program into a perennial contender in the tough SEC. South Carolina has won some important recruiting battles, and some serious talent has made its way through the program in recent years. However, the majority of upper-tier talent in the region is still going to places like Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and LSU. South Carolina is trying to make the leap into that stratosphere but it is not easy. This year’s team is a talented one and would be good enough to compete for a conference title in other areas of the country, but it could struggle to even finish at .500 due to the tough opponents. The Gamecocks could really turn some heads with some upset wins, and a national ranking is possible if they do so because the voters will realize how hard it would be to pull off.
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