Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Gamecock Football Prediction

This prediction took me a little longer than I thought. After much analysis, crunching numbers, reviewing opposing teams, and throwing some bones into a pot filled with Alligator blood, and smoking some peyote, I have seen a vision. Behold: Gamecock Football 2012, Permanent Press Prediction.

Gamecock Football 2012 Prediction

August 30: @Vanderbilt
The season starts on Thursday night, under the lights in Nashville. The Vanderbilt Commodores have been looking towards this first game during the entire off-season as their “coming out” party to show that they aren’t going to be the doormat of the SEC anymore. The South Carolina Gamecocks have high hopes for 2012, and it all starts with this conference game.

On the Gamecock offense, I see Lattimore getting the ball early to take the early pressure off of Shaw. If #21 and the offensive line starts to get into a rhythm early, this game is going to be over before it starts. If the Commodore defense starts to stack the box, then it will be time for Shaw to show why he’s the leader of this team. If USC is up late, guess what? More running plays.

On the Gamecock defense, they need to pick up where it left off last season. Everyone knows about the great DEs that the Gamecocks have, so my guess is that the Commodores are going to try and neutralize that with quick screens, draws, and slants. Hard running between the tackles will also be expected from Zac Stacy, who had a great year last year (1,193 yards and 14 TDs). If the Gamecock defense can keep Stacy from grinding out yards and make Jordan Rodgers try to beat them through the air, the less than stellar Commodore O-line will not be able to hold.

Ultimately, I think this game is a win. One thing that Spurrier is good at is winning the games that he is “supposed to win”. The Gamecocks have more talent than Vanderbilt and going to be the favorite going into this game. Apparently, the Commodores are going to “Blackout” this game, in an attempt to get the crowd to become a factor in the game. I predict that #21 scores the opening touchdown and the crowd doesn’t get a chance to get into the game.

South Carolina 1-0 (1-0, SEC)

September 8: East Carolina
The Gamecock’s home opener for 2012 comes against the East Carolina Pirates, who put up more than thirty points last year in Charlotte against a very good Gamecock defense. This year, the pirates have to come to WB and face a fired up crowd. I don't think they're going to get as many points as they did last year.

South Carolina 2-0 (1-0, SEC)

September 15: UAB
South Carolina’s first night game of 2012 (the new video-board is going to look AWESOME at night) will be against the UAB Blazers. This should be a final tune up before the SEC schedule starts, so look for the coaching staff to work out all the kinks. If Carolina gets a lead early, this would be a great game for the backups to get some reps while protecting the starters.

South Carolina 3-0 (1-0, SEC)

September 22: Missouri
The first conference game played in Williams-Brice in 2012 will be against the Missouri Tigers. Time to see what our new conference foes in "the other Columbia" will be able to bring. The Mizzou offense likes to go up and down the field, so this should be a great test for our defense. If the Gamecocks can keep Mizzou in check, we will know our defense is ready and loaded for bear. Mizzou will be coming of a two game stretch of UGA and Arizona State, so this may be a nice time to pounce on them. Look for QB James Franklin to be the center of attention - he's getting hype already. Hopefully, Clowney and Co. will make this a long day for him. Mizzou seems to have the playmakers, but I question their skill and size in the trenches. Look for Lattimore to have a big day, and TE Adams makes a solid contribution with a TD of his own.

South Carolina 4-0 (2-0, SEC)

September 29: @Kentucky
After a three game home-stand the Gamecocks head to LexingtonKY to take on the Wildcats. We whoop some Wildcats and come home. Every road win is a good win in the SEC, so I don't care if it's pretty or not. Get in, get a win, get home, no injuries. Get ready for Georgia next week.

South Carolina 5-0 (3-0, SEC)

October 6: Georgia
The month of October holds four games that will define the season for the Gamecocks. This date is circled on the calendar for both teams. You know the Bulldogs want to avenge the two game losing streak they have, they want to show that they are still the big brother program, and Spurrier probably wants to beat Georgia more than any other SEC team. This game is going to be a slug-fest of two heavyweights who know that everything is on the line. Can the defense get to Murray, will our O-line be able to open up some running lanes and give Shaw time to find the open man? I think this game will return to the old-fashioned, low scoring affair from several years ago. Turnovers will be the story of this game, but a field goal could likely be the difference.

South Carolina 6-0 (4-0, SEC)

October 13: @LSU
I'll be at this game in-person, as this will be my one road trip of the year. LSU will be without the Honey-Badger, but that's fine. They have a bevy of highly talented guys just waiting to step in and replace him. This isn't going to be a pretty game. I have to give the advantage to the home team here, and LSU knows how to win.

South Carolina 6-1 (4-1, SEC)

October 20: @Florida
Coming off the first loss of the season, the Gamecocks head to Gainesville to take on a Florida Gator team that has a lot of questions. We'll know more about the Gators than we do right now, but this isn't going to be a Florida team that runs up points. I think the first team to 28 wins this game. The Gamecocks will need to play disciplined and grind the clock out to get another win in the Swamp. Lean on Lattimore time at the end, but freshman WR Shaq Roland will contribute in this game early.

South Carolina 7-1 (5-1, SEC)

October 27 Tennessee
I like Derek Dooley as much as I can possibly like a UT head coach. He actually seems like a classy guy, which is more than I can same for the asshat that he replaced. Unfortunately, Tennessee is going to fire Dooley after the Gamecocks hammer the Volunteers. Ellington has a big day. Think kickoff-return for a TD-type big.

South Carolina 8-1 (6-1, SEC)

November 10: Arkansas
The Hogs. They've had our number for years. I just can't sit here at my keyboard and type words that predict us to win this game. I try, but the words just come out alksd adifojee rejadsoiew jeejielkdx. See? I tried. Arkansas continues to roll over us despite their lack of Petrino.

South Carolina 8-2 (6-2, SEC)

Will 6-2 be good enough to win the SEC East? I really don't know. This could be a repeat of last year where the Gamecocks sweep the East, lose two games to Western division foes, and the Georgia Bulldogs go to Atlanta. That could happen. Again.

November 17: Wofford
Yeah, Wofford. Am I looking ahead to the next game? Yep.

South Carolina 9-2 (6-2, SEC)

November 24 @Clemson
State Championship Game. The three-time defending Champion South Carolina Gamecocks travel up to Clemson to try and make it four in a row. Just think about that for a moment. Trying to make it four in a row. Clemson is going to fight like hell, the crowd will be fired up, and this will be a tough game. In the end, Carolina breaks their Tiger hearts for the fourth time in a row. Mass suicides may take place at the Esso Club after the final whistle. What makes this even sweeter is that Spurrier gets to become the winningest coach at South Carolina but sticking the knife into Clemson.

South Carolina 10-2 (6-2, SEC)

There you have it. A ten win season, four in a row over Clemson, sweeping the SEC East (again) and Spurrier becomes the all time winningest Gamecock Football coach. Sounds like a hell of a season. Who's with me?

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