What they’re saying: expert predictions for Saturday night
If you’re a Carolina fan, allow me to sum up the predictions for you …
As evidenced by Vegas installing the Gamecocks as 13.5-point home underdogs, there’s not a lot of confidence in Carolina to pull off the upset on Saturday night.
Sports Illustrated’s Campus Insider has the Gamecocks covering the spread, but ultimately losing 31-20:
The Volunteers are hurting after two losses and have some key injuries. However, a bye week should have helped settle things down and get them ready for the second half of the season. Tennessee will come out with guns blazing, but the Gamecocks, with the help from the Williams-Brice crowd, will hang in there for a while. Dobbs won’t let Tennessee lose this one, though, and the Volunteers get back on track with a hard-fought road win.
Count Athlon Sports among the semi-believers, picking the Vols to win 24-14 — giving the Gamecocks the cover:
The Vols have fallen back to earth with back-to-back losses, but Tennessee can still claim the SEC East and meet most of its preseason goals. The Gamecocks will keep it respectable thanks to the Vols’ injury woes, but Butch Jones’ team should get back on track in this one.
Beyond the spread, are any experts putting the Vols on straight-up upset alert on Saturday night?
In short, no.
My take: I will be the first to admit, I don’t just wear garnet glasses, I sport a Cyclops-style garnet visor over my eyes 24/7. That being said, the Gamecocks are long overdue for a big win and I think they get just that on Saturday night.
Pharoh: King for a night
Overshadowed by the end result (a 45-42 OT Tennessee win), former Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper’s performance in the 2014 South Carolina vs. Tennessee tilt was one for the ages.
The Havelock, N.C., native finished the game with an absolutely bonkers stat line:
- 11 catches, 233 yards, 2 TDs
- 3 carries, 23 yards, 1 TD
- 1 of 2 att., 30 yards, 1 TD
- Total: 286 yards, 4 TDs
In the pantheon of all-time performances by Gamecocks (in a win or loss), Cooper’s show against Tennessee is near the top.
We haven’t seen him throw a touchdown yet, but WR Deebo Samuel seems like a solid candidate for a Cooper-like triple-threat game against the Vols.
In Case You Missed It
- Coach Will Muschamp confirmed freshman QB Jake Bentley will start against the Vols.
- The State with a freshman breakdown — who’s played, who’s redshirting, etc.
- Gamecock Central says first team vs. first team practices are benefitting the Gamecocks.
- Turnovers from occasionally error-prone Tennessee could help South Carolina pull off the upset.
- Garnet & Black Attack simulates the Digi-Gamecocks vs. the Digi-Vols.
- Three losses, eight points — The Post and Courier on South Carolina’s last three losses to Tennessee.
- Former RB Marcus Lattimore leads middle school team to championship as head coach.
- The Knoxville News Sentinel looks back at Joshua Dobbs’ coming out party in Columbia in 2014.
- South Carolina’s 16-man class of 2016 baseball recruiting class was ranked No. 10 nationally by D1Baseball on Thursday.
- Former South Carolina OF Jackie Bradley Jr. was named a Golden Glove finalist.
- Recruiting coordinator Sammy Esposito touts the Gamecocks’ achievements on the diamond.
— Sammy Esposito (@SammyEsposito41) October 28, 2016
- Freshman TE Evan Hinson has been practicing with the basketball team.
- The Lady Gamecocks will be recognized at Williams-Brice on Saturday night.
- Women’s basketball is ranked No. 3 in the Preseason Coaches Poll.
6️⃣ #SECWBB teams in Preseason Coaches Poll:
— SEC (@SEC) October 27, 2016
The nonrev report
- Sophomore Ingrid Gamarra Martins was extended an at-large bid for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Indoor Collegiate Championships.
- Six players from South Carolina men’s and women’s soccer teams were named to the CoSIDA Academic District 4 Teams.
- Women’s soccer completed its historic undefeated season with a win on Thursday night.
— Gamecock W. Soccer (@GamecockWSoccer) October 28, 2016
Cocky Tweets #RIPVine
Pay your respects to Twitter’s gone-too-soon looping video service by watching these classic Carolina clips: