2021 Possible wins and loses remaining in the last six games of the schedule
Oct. 13, 2021
Through six games, the Gamecocks have largely been what we all expected: some good, some bad and some head scratching moments, But over all for a team that won just two games a season ago and hasn’t won more than four since 2018, a 3-3 start is a step in the right direction. With the back half of the schedule on deck, here’s a look at what our Gamecocks have facing them down the stretch and what ESPN’s Football Power Index thinks about the Gamecocks’ chances in each game.
OCT. 16 VS.VANDERBILT
Gamecocks do have there own set of issues and problems, but the rebuild in Columbia is not even close to what first-year head coach Clark Lea is undertaking up in Nashville.
The Commodores are one of the worst programs in the FBS. Vanderbilt has been an SEC doormat for the bulk of its history outside of a minor miracle stretch under James Franklin, now at Penn State. The Gamecocks still has a slim chance at sneaking into a bowl game if it can steal a couple wins late. If Gamecocks falls to a Vanderbilt team that already dropped a contest to East Tennessee State this year, there’s going to be a lot more problems around the Gamecocks’ practice facility than trying to piece together a combination for the six-win bowl eligibility threshold. ▪ ESPN FPI prediction: South Carolina has a 92.6% chance to win
OCT. 23 AT NO 21 TEXAS A&M
Jimbo Fisher wins a big in beating No 1Alabama at that time.
While the Gamecocks were getting trashed at Tennessee, Texas A&M was upsetting then-No.1 Alabama at Kyle Field. With the win, Fisher became the first Nick Saban assistant to defeat his former boss. The Aggies, like the Gamecocks, have been puzzlingly inconsistent through six games. Part of that comes from injuries to starting quarterback Haynes King, but backup Zach Calzada was awesome against the Crimson Tide this past week.
Texas A&M game day atmospheres in college football ranks with the best, place where the Gamecocks have never seen victory. A&M defense and an offense that has playmakers all over the field and this team may finally have found its mark after couple of miss fires against Mississippi State and Arkansas. South Carolina is 0-7 all time against Texas A&M, don’t expect this trip to Texas to end with a win. ▪ ESPN FPI prediction: South Carolina has a 13.7% chance to win
NOV.6 VS. NO. 20 FLORIDA
Like Texas A&M, Florida has had some up and down play in 2021. The Gators have already dropped two games this season and isn’t quite up taking on now No. 1 Georgia as of now at the top of the SEC East. QB Emory Jones has done an admirable job taking over for Kyle Trask, while backup Anthony Richardson looks like the long-term answer under center in Gainesville. The Gamecocks are just flat out talented by Florida. The Gators shouldn’t have much of a struggle in Columbia. This is a game that could get out right ugly for the Gamecocks. ▪ ESPN FPI prediction: South Carolina has a 16% chance to win
NOV.13 AT MISSOURI
Gamecocks will need this one to have any chance to achieve there goal of a bowl trip. Win vs. Vanderbilt compiled with a win here would make them one game shy punching there bowl ticket. On too Missouri, they have fallen flat on there faces after an inspiring first year under Eli Drinkwitz. QB Connor Bazelak really not too different from Gamecock QB Luke Doty has had ups and downs, but looks like good option at quarterback for the Tigers. Missouri’s defense has been downright abysmal Gamecock edge to the Gamecocks. The Tigers are allowing a league-worst 499 yards and 37.5 points per game through six games this year. The 499 yards allowed per game is also the second worst mark in the country.
The Gamecocks has had its share of offensive woes and there’s still a month before this game is played, but the Gamecocks should like their chances to put up some points and maybe steal a win here in the other Columbia. ▪ ESPN FPI prediction: South Carolina has a 44.5% chance to win
NOV. 20 VS. AUBURN
Gamecocks get past Vanderbilt and Missouri with two remaining games at home will need one upset out of the two to punch that bowl ticket. Auburn has found ways to win early in Bryan Harsin’s tenure on The Plains, but it’s only one year ago that the Gamecocks that time on-paper, was a more talented Tigers team. Can the Gamecocks twice it? Quarterback Bo Nix has seemingly turned a corner after an erratic first couple seasons under Gus Malzahn. Combine that with a rushing game that includes talented tailbacks Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, and there’s a lot to like with what Harsin is doing in Year 1.
The Gamecocks and Auburn have only played 13 times in their history. Prior to last year, the Gamecocks hadn’t won the matchup since 1933 over 75 years. A win over an Auburn team that dropped out of The Associated Press Top 25 this week is probably South Carolina’s best bet at a sixth win in 2021 But again if they can beat Vanderbilt and Missouri. ▪ ESPN FPI prediction: South Carolina has a 25.4% chance to win
NOV.27 VS. CLEMSON
Here it is the last game face-off with our arch rival. Gamecocks have suffered lately to the tune seven years with no victory. There could be a lot on the line here for the Gamecocks. Good news, Gamecocks will have them in the Cock-pit. We all know how annoyed fans are about the Gamecock offense, Clemson folks might have found themselves in a seemlier problem with their own offense woes. The Tigers have fallen out of grace. No longer have a top 5 team, but completely out of the top 25 all together. Clemson has quickly been thrust off their pedestal at the top of the college football world literally after losses to Georgia and North Carolina State, but they have still dominated this rivalry over the last decade. Clemson hasn’t found its footing with quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, along with the lack of a running game not too different from South Carolina. This has created all sorts of problems for the Tigers offense through the first half of the season. Dabo Swinney’s squad should still be heavy betting favorites in this one, but it may be closer than we all anticipated at the beginning of the season. ▪ ESPN FPI prediction: South Carolina has a 14.4% chance to win
Well that’s it a look at the remaining schedule filled with lots of potholes and hills to climb to get to a 6 win season. Odds are stocked against the Gamecocks. Old cliché take them one at the time. Guess in a few days we will see if the gamecocks can pull off their 4th victory in 7 tries.