Gameday Guide: South Carolina vs Troy
Oct. 01, 2021
What you need to know about the Week 5 matchup:
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE SOUTH CAROLINA GAME ON?
Who: Troy Trojans (2-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) at South Carolina (2-2, 0-2 SEC)
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium (77,559) in Columbia, S.C.
TV: SEC Network
On-air announce crew: Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analyst; Alyssa Lang, sideline
Radio: 107.5 FM in the Columbia area (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analyst; Jamar Nesbit, sideline) … See all the radio affiliates around South Carolina here.
Satellite radio: Sirius 132/XM 19
Series history: USC leads 3-0. The Gamecocks last played the Trojans in 2010, winning 69-24.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR COLUMBIA, SC
Saturday’s weather will be partly cloudy and warm, with a high of 85 degrees, then low 80s toward the end of the game.
SOUTH CAROLINA VS TROY GAME PREDICTION
ESPN’s Football Power Index gives South Carolina a 71.4% chance of winning against the Trojans.
POINT SPREAD FOR TROY VS USC GAMECOCKS
South Carolina opened as a 9-point favorite over Troy, then the line shifted to the Gamecocks by a touchdown. It was down to 6.5 points as of Friday morning. ESPN Chalk’s David Purdum said the Gamecocks have been dropping in bettors’ power ratings.
“It seems like the money has been on Troy, early money,” Purdum said. “So, the respect for the Gamecocks is fading in the betting market.”
SOUTH CAROLINA FOOTBALL INJURY REPORT
- Wide receiver Xavier Legette returned to practice this week after suffering minor scrapes in a traffic accident, Shane Beamer said. Legette is expected to be available Saturday.
- Defensive back Carlins Platel was limited in Tuesday’s practice, but Beamer said he is hopeful Platel can play against Troy.
- Defensive lineman Rick Sandidge continues to progress from a leg injury that has sidelined him from every game of 2021 thus far. Beamer said he’s “getting closer and closer.”
- Linebacker Sherrod Greene remains out after undergoing surgery on his lower right leg following the Georgia game Sept. 18.
SOUTH CAROLINA PLAYERS TO WATCH
1. Wide receiver Jalen Brooks had his best game as a Gamecock last week against Kentucky, hauling in four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. Brooks, along with fellow wide receiver Josh Vann, are USC’s two most productive pass catchers to date, with Brooks surging in SEC competition.
2. Running back Juju McDowell carried the ball five times last week after having no touches against Georgia. The Gamecocks have struggled to get the run game going for the past two weeks, but the freshman flashed ability as a slot receiver against Kentucky, catching the ball twice for 16 yards. McDowell’s versatility gives USC options as it works to get the offense off the ground.
3. Safety Jaylan Foster has been all over the field for South Carolina through the first four weeks, picking off four interceptions and leading the Gamecocks in total tackles for the season.
THREE TROY FOOTBALL PLAYERS TO WATCH
1. Quarterback Taylor Powell is no stranger to SEC action, having played two seasons at Missouri where he backed up Drew Lock and Kelly Bryant. He’s seen better results since taking the reins at Troy, completing 69% of his passes for 1,008 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions through the Trojans’ first four games.
2. Defensive end Javon Solomon has recorded the most sacks in FBS football this season with 5.5, tied with Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson and Army’s Andre Carter. The 6-foot-2, 246-pound redshirt freshman came down with two of those sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in the Trojans’ loss to Louisiana-Monroe last weekend.
First-year head coach Shane Beamer and the South Carolina Gamecocks (2-2, 0-2 SEC) step away from SEC action this week to host the Troy Trojans (2-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) out of the Sun Belt Conference in a 3:30 pm ET contest on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Williams-Brice Stadium (77,559) in Columbia. The non-conference tilt will be televised on SEC Network.
OVER THE AIRWAVES: Taylor Zazour will call the action for SEC Network. He will be joined in the booth by Matt Stinchcomb. Carolina grad Alyssa Lang will patrol the sidelines. The familiar voices of Carolina Hall of Famers Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Jamar Nesbit on the sidelines.
A LITTLE HISTORY: 2021 marks the 128th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina dating back to 1892. It is the 115th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 616-597-44, a .508 winning pct.
IT JUST MEANS MORE: The 2021 season marks South Carolina's 30th year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned the SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. The Gamecocks are 99-136-1 (.422) all-time in SEC regular-season play.
CAROLINA VS. TROY: This is the fourth meeting between the Gamecocks and Trojans in a series that dates back to 2004. Carolina leads the all-time series 3-0, with all three games being contested in Columbia. The teams met in 2004, 2005 and 2010, with Carolina winning by scores of 17-7, 45-20 and 69-24, respectively.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Marcus Lattimore had three touchdowns and 102 yards rushing by halftime to lead the 17th-ranked Gamecocks to a 69-24 victory over Troy on Nov. 20, 2010, its biggest point total under Steve Spurrier and the most it has scored in 15 years. Lattimore and the Gamecocks ended any doubts early as he scored on runs of 17-, eight- and five-yards for a 21-0 lead less than seven minutes into the contest. Troy had five turnovers, all which led to touchdowns. Stephen Garcia threw two touchdowns and ran for a third. The defense chipped in with safety D.J. Swearinger and defensive end Chaz Sutton both returning interceptions for touchdowns.
POINTS GALORE: The scoreboard operator was busy when the Gamecocks and Trojans met on Nov. 20, 2010. The 69 points scored by Carolina ranks as the seventh-highest mark in school history, while the 93 combined points is tied for the fourth-highest scoring game in Gamecock history.
MOST POINTS COMBINED
1. 104 at Mississippi State (65-39), Oct. 14, 1995
2. 101 at Ole Miss (42-59), Nov. 14, 2020
3. 98 vs East Carolina (42-56), Oct. 8, 1994
4. 93 vs Troy (69-24), Nov. 20, 2010
93 vs East Carolina (56-37), Sept. 3, 2011
5. 92 at Ole Miss (48-44), Nov. 3, 2018
6. 91 vs NC State (35-56), Nov. 3, 1973
91 vs Kent State (77-14), Oct. 7, 1995
91 at Clemson (35-56), Nov. 24, 2018
10. 89 vs Welsh Neck (89-0), Oct. 6, 1903
89 vs Louisiana Tech (68-21), Sept. 16, 1995
CAROLINA MOST POINTS SCORED
1. 89 vs Welsh Neck (89-0), Oct. 6, 1903
2. 80 vs Charleston M.C. (80-0), Nov. 28, 1902
3. 77 vs Kent State (77-14), Oct. 7, 1995
4. 73 vs Wichita State (73-0), Sept. 13, 1980
5. 72 vs Chas. Southern (72-10), Sept. 7, 2019
6. 70 vs Coastal Carolina (70-10), Nov. 23, 2013
7. 69 vs Troy (69-24), Nov. 20, 2010
8. 68 vs Charleston (68-0), Oct. 26, 1912
68 vs Cumberland (68-0), Nov. 6, 1915
68 vs Louisiana Tech (68-21), Sept. 16, 1995
FUN IN THE SUN BELT: The Gamecocks own a 16-2 all-time record against teams that currently comprise the Sun Belt Conference, with all 18 contests held in Columbia. The Gamecocks are 8-2 against Appalachian State (most recently 2019), 3-0 vs. Troy (2004, '05, '10), 2-0 against Coastal Carolina (2013, '18) and Louisiana-Lafayette (2003, '07), and 1-0 vs. South Alabama (2014). The Gamecocks are currently scheduled to host Sun Belt foes Georgia State in the 2022 season-opener and Appalachian State in 2027, and will travel to Boone to face the Mountaineers in 2025.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: The Gamecocks are 34-11 in their last 45 non-conference games, with six of the 11 losses coming against Clemson. Carolina is 2-0 in non-conference action so far in 2021 with wins over both Eastern Illinois (46-0) and East Carolina (20-17). Their final non-conference game of the regular season is set for Nov. 27 when they host the Clemson Tigers.
THE POWER OF FIVE: Since the turn of the century, the Gamecocks have a 48-4 mark against teams not currently in a Power-5 conference. The only four losses in that stretch came to UConn in the 2010 Papajohns.com Bowl, to The Citadel in 2015, to South Florida in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl and to Appalachian State in 2019. It should be noted that UConn was in the Big East, which was a BCS automatic qualifier during the 2009 season.
SWEET HOME ALABAMA: The Gamecock roster features four players who hail from the state of Alabama. Those who list the Yellowhammer State as home include Sam Reynolds (Alabaster), Jon-Darius Morgan (Birmingham), La'Dareyen Craig (Mobile) and Eric Shaw (Reeltown).
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: South Carolina Athletics is recognizing Mental Health Awareness Week, Sept. 29-Oct. 6. Several events are planned throughout the week to raise awareness of mental illness, fight discrimination and provide support. Gamecock Football will wear a special helmet decal supporting Hilinski's Hope.
ABOUT LAST WEEK: South Carolina won the turnover battle 3-0, but were held to just 12 first downs and 216 yards of offense, as the Kentucky Wildcats (4-0, 2-0 SEC) remained undefeated with a 16-10 win over the Gamecocks at a sold-out Williams-Brice Stadium last Saturday night. The game turned into a defensive slugfest, but Kentucky, behind the 26-carry, 144-yard rushing performance from Chris Rodriguez Jr., was able to do just enough to escape with the win. Luke Doty, making his first start of the season, completed 17-of-25 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Gamecocks, who were held to just 58 yards rushing.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN, BANG: Parker White drilled a 54-yard field late in the game against Kentucky. It was the longest of White's career, surpassing his previous long of 50 yards, set against Appalachian State in 2019. The 54-yard field goal matched the fourth-longest in school history.
LONGEST FIELD GOALS
1. 58 Mark Fleetwood Georgia 09/25/82
2. 55 Ryan Succop Vanderbilt 10/21/06
55 Elliott Fry Vanderbilt 09/01/16
4. 54 Scott Hagler Clemson 11/23/85
54 Ryan Succop Arkansas 11/08/08
54 Parker White Kentucky 09/25/21
7. 53 Mark Fleetwood NC State 10/29/83
8. 52 Tommy Bell NC State 09/25/71
52 Scott Hagler NC State 11/02/85
52 Collin Mackie East Carolina 09/17/88
52 Elliott Fry UCF 09/26/15
FOSTER JUBILEE: Sixth-year senior safety Jaylan Foster intercepted a pass against Kentucky for his fourth interception of the season and third in the last two games. Foster is tied with Oregon's Verone McKinley III for the NCAA lead with four interceptions. The Gamecocks have not had an individual intercept more than four passes in a season since Ko Simpson logged six picks in 2004.
FORCING TURNOVERS: The Gamecock defense has been opportunistic in forcing turnovers. They won the turnover battle 3-0 against Kentucky, collecting a pair of fumbles along with an interception. For the season, South Carolina has forced 10 turnovers - seven interceptions and three fumbles, an average of 2.5 turnovers per game. Here are the NCAA leaders in turnovers forced:
No. TEAM FUMBLES INT TOTAL
1. Oregon 4 9 13
2. Boise State 5 7 12
Kent State 3 9 12
Notre Dame 3 9 12
5. Wake Forest 4 7 11
6. South Carolina 3 7 10
Hawaii 6 4 10
Louisiana Tech 7 3 10
New Mexico State 3 7 10
Oregon State 2 8 10
Washington State 6 4 10
PICK PARTY: The Gamecocks intercepted two passes in each of the first three games, including a pair of pick-sixes by Jordan Burch and Damani Staley, and got a seventh interception, the fourth of the season, by Jaylan Foster against Kentucky. The Gamecocks rank in a tie for fifth in the nation in pass interceptions. The seven interceptions through four games is the team's most since they had eight in the first four games of the 2000 campaign. South Carolina recorded eight INTs in 10 games last year. Here are the NCAA team leaders:
No. TEAM INTERCEPTIONS
1. Kent State..................................... 9
Notre Dame................................. 9
4. Oregon State................................ 8
5. South Carolina............................ 7
Georgia ........................................ 7
Boise State................................... 7
New Mexico State....................... 7
Wake Forest................................. 7
STRONG CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: The Carolina defense under new defensive coordinator Clayton White has been a bright spot so far in 2021. The Gamecocks have surrendered 17 or fewer points in three of their four games, including a shutout of Eastern Illinois in the season opener. Overall, the Gamecocks rank 34th in the nation, allowing 18.2 points per game in 2021. Last season, South Carolina gave up an average of 36.0 points per game and held just two of their 10 opponents to 17 points or less. They ranked 105th in the country in scoring defense a year ago when they had three starters (Jaycee Horn, Ernest Jones and Israel Mukuamu) who are now playing in the NFL.