South Carolina Gamecocks 2023 College Football Preview
August 2, 2023
Record – 8-5
ATS – 8-5
The COCKS followed up a surprising 2021 season with an even BETTER campaign as they fought their way to an eight-win season. They posted a four-game winning streak at one point and finished the year with an impossible pair of upsets. How about a 63-38 blowout win over Tennessee? How about a victory over the mighty Clemson Tigers? Yup, that happened. South Carolina gave Notre Dame all they could handle in the Gator Bowl but dropped a 45-38 decision.
South Carolina Gamecocks 2023 Outlook
The offense was much improved LY as they went from averaging 22.6 PPG (2nd last SEC) to 32.2 PPG (#7). QB Spencer Rattler had a decent season but threw a few too many interceptions (3,026, 18-12 TD to INT). The COCKS lose a lot of production at WR/TE but they retain #1 WR Antwane Wells (928, 6 TD) and will rely on transfer portal additions to pick up the slack, particularly at TE. And don’t sleep on highly-recruited true freshman WR Nyckoles Harbor who could make an impact at some point. The THROW GAME should work just fine but we’re concerned about their ability to get things done on the ground. The COCKS lost their top-two RBs and there doesn’t appear to be much to choose from at that position. They only rushed for 119 YPG LY (#12 SEC) and the prognosis for 2023 isn’t rosy when you consider that the OL loses an NFL DC whilst bringing back just two starters.
South Carolina was steamrolled by opposing ground games LY (198 YPG, 2nd last SEC) but they did a good job defending the pass (24-15 TD to INT, #7 SEC pass efficiency D). The situation doesn’t look too promising heading into this season as they bring back a mere four starters and didn’t do much in the transfer portal to increase the overall talent level. The LB unit looks like one of the weakest in the SEC but they might be a bit better up front. DT Tonka Hemingway is a decent piece (8 TFL, 6 QBH LY) and Syracuse transfer Jatius Greer will be able to provide some PENETRATION (3.5 sacks LY). Three starters are retained on the back end but note that they lost a pair of NFL DCs. This appears to be one of the weaker stop units in the conference, especially if they fail to get heat on the QB (20 sacks LY, #11 SEC).
The COCKS had the #1 special teams unit LY according to the intrepid PHIL STEELE and they’ve got another top-notch group this season. They’ll feature a phenomenal punter in Kai Kroeger (46.1, 43.2) and recall that PK Mitch Jeter was 11-11 on FG attempts LY. PR Josh Vann will be missed but Xavier Legette is a dangerous KR (29.4, TD).
Overall – It’s gonna be a tough road, yo. The season has nasty bookends (North Carolina, Clemson) and they’ve got road games at Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. On a positive note, they don’t play a road game in November (!).
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Missouri (Oct 21)
This could be a prime opportunity for a letdown as the COCKS will be coming off the yuuuge games with Tennessee (A) and Florida (H).
Season Win Total
Market consensus August 2
Over 6 -115
Under 6 -115
They’ve got a tough schedule and we’re certainly not in love with the roster.
DEGENERATE NATION take note. It’s a small sample size, but HC Shane Beamer is 8-2 ATS in non-conference action but just 7-9 ATS in SEC play.
South Carolina has only appeared in one SEC Championship Game. They won the SEC East in 2010 under the tutelage of our boy Steve Spurrier but were smoked by Auburn in the big game (L 56-17).
Shane Beamer has done fine work in his first two years in Columbia and appears to have this program moving in the right direction. However, this season might be a struggle as while they’ve got the QB and special teams, there appears to be an overall lack of talent on the roster compared to their key competitors. We’ll call for five or six wins but concede they might be a team that consistently overachieves under this coaching regime. Good luck, Gamecocks!