South Carolina Gamecocks 2021 College Football Preview
Created August 9, 2021
Record – 2-8
ATS – 3-7
Things didn’t start too poorly. They won two of their first four games and one of the losses was a CLOSE SHAVE vs Tennessee. The season got flushed down the CRAPPER after that as they lost the final six games in a row by a combined score of 262-113. Let’s check in with the program and see what new HC Shane Beamer has to work with in 2021.
South Carolina Gamecocks 2021 Outlook
The offense couldn’t get much going on a consistent basis LY as they averaged just 23.5 PPG and 355 YPG. The QB play was particularly mediocre as they booked a smelly 8-9 TD to INT ratio as a team. Last season’s backup Luke Doty is the likely starter (71 attempts LY) and it’ll be interesting to see if he can give the team some upside in the THROW GAME. The COCKS offense will be built around their star RB Kevin Harris who had a phenomenal 2020 campaign (1,138, 6.2, 15 TD; 21 receptions) and TE Nick Muse provides Doty with a reliable target (30-425, 14.2, TD). The WR room is a mystery with the departure of #1 Shi Smith but it was nice to get a legit wideout from Georgia Tech via the transfer portal (Ahmarean Brown). The OL has excellent size and returns four starters to the mix. They’ll need to do a better job stopping UNWANTED PENETRATION (last SEC TFL allowed per game LY).
The COCKS allowed 38+ in six games LY and ended up ranked #12 in the SEC in scoring defense (36.0). They couldn’t get after the QB and were dead last in the conference in sacks/game. They only return six starters in 2020, lose their top-two tacklers, and need to replace #2 sack man DT Keir Thomas. The good news is that the DL looks really good on paper with the return of star DE Kingsley Enagbare (6 sacks LY) and the addition of sack MACHINE Jordan Strachan who comes over from Georgia St after leading the FBS (!) in sacks (10.5). They need to reload at LB and have to get a lot better at defending the pass as they were an impossible #118 in the FBS in pass efficiency D in 2020 (67%, 18-8 TD to INT, 8.8 per attempt).
They made a sneaky good hire by adding ace special teams coach Pete Lembo. PK Parker White needs to be better (11/19 FG LY) and they need to improve in the return game.
Overall – They should be able to cobble together a few wins in non-conference play (E Illinois, E Carolina) but they get Texas A&M and Auburn from the SEC West. They only have one game ON THE HIGHWAY in November (Missouri).
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at East Carolina (September 11th)
The big game with Georgia is on deck and the Pirates will surely play like their hair is on fire. Not a prime spot to play the road chalk.
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes August 9
Over 3.5 -165
Under 3.5 +145
That number looks about right. We have them pegged to win three or four games.
South Carolina has just one conference title in program history. That came back in 1969 when they won the ACC (!) under HC Paul Dietzel. They finished that season 6-0 in conference play but went the entire season without scoring more than 27 points in a game. Trivia nugget, yo.
There’s no doubt this is a rebuilding season and the only question is how much they will struggle. QUESTIONS ABOUND across the roster (defense, QB, young coaching staff) and the SEC makes you earn every win. We’ll call for 3-4 wins and better things in 2022.
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