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Daniels: SEC Team Projection – South Carolina

Williams Brice Stadium  Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org
Williams Brice Stadium
Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

South Carolina has already announced that Connor Mitch will be taking the snaps in the season opener on Thursday against North Carolina.

I think he will be a good fit in the Gamecocks’ offense, but he lacks the mobility that Steve Spurrier would like in a quarterback. He is a pocket passer but he will be affective with weapons like Pharoh Cooper on the outside. Shifting the focus on Pharoh Cooper, he is undoubtedly the best player on this football team. He can do everything from throwing, running, and catching the football. The Gamecocks’ defense should be better with the addition of new defensive coordinator, Jon Hoke. Spurrier decided to stay within his roots and take Hoke as the head defensive coordinator, and I think they will steadily improve. Overall, expect a good season from the Gamecocks.

September 3 vs. North Carolina, W 34-28: This game will open up the SEC season as it is the first game to be played in the conference at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Connor Mitch will be the starter for the Gamecocks, and he is going to need some help on the offensive side. Having Brandon Wilds at running back will take some of the weight off of Mitch’s’ shoulders.

September 12 vs. Kentucky, W 38-35: Kentucky shocked Steve Spurrier and company last season in Lexington. This season the game flips over to Columbia as they will battle it out in William-Brice Stadium. Home field advantage will be the difference in this one.

September 19 @ Georgia, L 27-35: Connor Mitch will struggle in his first true road game in Athens. They will put up points, but not enough to get the upset.

September 26 vs. Central Florida, W 36-23: George O’Leary will test Steve Spurrier, but they are not up to the task of knocking off an improved South Carolina team this season.

October 3 @ Missouri, L 24-31: This was a thriller last season as Russell Hansbrough was the deciding factor in the Missouri win. Expect another big game from Hansbrough, but also look out for Brandon Wilds. A defensive touchdown will make the difference in the ball game.

October 10 vs. LSU, L 24-28: This is a potential upset for the Gamecocks, but I do not think it will happen. These two teams will run the football most of the game as LSU tires the Gamecocks’ defense.

October 17 vs. Vanderbilt, W 34-21: South Carolina should be able to lay back in this one, as it will be a lot easier than the final score indicates. Vanderbilt will put up a couple of late touchdowns in the fourth quarter. I think Vanderbilt will have a chance early for an upset, but the Gamecocks will break away.

October 31 @ Texas A&M, L 35-45: This will be a good old-fashioned shoot out on Halloween night in Kyle Field with Texas A&M wearing all black. This should be a fun one to watch, but the Gamecocks will not have enough in the tank to pull this one off.

November 7 @ Tennessee, L 23-35: Tennessee is on another level with Butch Jones having his team on the rise. With Spurrier’s experience, he may have a few tricks up his sleeve for offensive weapon Pharoh Cooper, but it will not be enough to stop the mobile quarterback Joshua Dobbs.

November 14 vs. Florida, W 28-24: Last season, this game needed extra football to determine the winner as South Carolina won 23-20. This will be a similar type of game, as it will come down to the very end of the game, but no overtime needed. Connor Mitch to tight end Jerell Adams will put the Gamecocks up late in the fourth quarter.

November 21 vs. The Citadel, W 48-14: Giving Conner Mitch a break, Lorenzo Nunez or Perry Orth should get the snaps in this one to start it off. They should be able to rest many starters with a big rivalry game coming up.

November 28 vs. Clemson, W 43-42: Connor Mitch will come out strong and throw up some points. Steve Spurrier will let Pharoh Cooper run wild as he should make plays all over the field. I am going to go with a SEC vs. ACC upset here, as South Carolina will score a touchdown with under two minutes to play and Spurrier will be gutsy and go for two to win it.

2015 Projection: South Carolina: 7-5, 3-5 SEC; 4th SEC East


Grant DanielsGrant Daniels, a student at Oxford High School, is sports correspondent for HottyToddy.com. Email him at hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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