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JUNE 27, 2019 | by CHRIS | THESPURSUPSHOW Chris has a great website along with his informative and enjoyable podcast so make sure to visit!!! 2019 Opponent Preview: Should South Carolina Be On “Upset Alert” When The Mountaineers Come To Town? OPPONENT: Appalachian State Mountaineers WHEN: Saturday, November 9th WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium (Columbia, SC) ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: South Carolina leads 8-1 LAST MEETING: The Gamecocks beat App State 35-9 in 1988 2018 RECORD: 11-2 (7-1) Head Coach… Eli Drinkwitz Mountaineer football will be under new leadership in 2019 as former NC State assistant Eli Drinkwitz takes over in Boone. Drinkwitz replaces former HC Scott Satterfield, who bolted for the Louisville job this off-season. Most well known for his offensive knowledge, Drinkwitz looks to make the most of his first head coaching opportunity, taking over an App State program which won 11 games a season ago. Returning Starters… OFFENSE (9) WR Corey Sutton (Jr.) Thomas Hennigan (Jr.) LT Victor Johnson (Sr.) LG Ryan Neuzil (Jr.) C Noah Hannon (Jr.) RG Baer Hunter (Jr.) TE Collin Reed (Sr.) QB Zac Thomas (Jr.) RB Darrynton Evans (Jr.) DEFENSE (6) DE Elijah Diarrassouba (Jr.) OLB Akeem Davis-Gaither (Sr.) LB Jordan Fehr (Sr.) OLB Noel Cook (Sr.) S Desmond Franklin (Sr.) How did they fare in 2018? S Josh Thomas (Sr.) App State was extremely impressive as season ago, going 11-2 capped off by a blowout win over Middle Tennessee State in the New Orleans Bowl. In typical Mountaineers fashion, ASU took Penn State to the wire in week one, going to OT before falling 45-38 in Happy Valley. The only other loss for App came in an upset loss to its bitter rivalry, Georgia Southern, as the Eagles dominated by a final score of 34-14. Still, it was an extremely productive year for a few Mountaineers individuals as well. Seven Mountaineers were named All-Sun Belt, including QB Zac Thomas, who was also named Offensive POTY after throwing for over 2,000 yards and 21 TDs. Best Returning Player… QB Zac Thomas Simply put, Zac Thomas is a baller. As mentioned in the video above, Thomas got his first start since 2015 when he was in high school a year ago, nearly leading ASU to a monumental upset over Penn State in Happy Valley. That game turned out to be a precursor of what was to come, as Thomas completed 62% of his passes while throwing for over 2,000 yards and 21 TDs in the process. He’ll look to have an even better year in 2019, as most of his major weapons return, including standout wide receiver Corey Sutton and running back Darrynton Evans. Overall Outlook… Should South Carolina really be on “upset alert” against App State come early November? This game has been talked about a lot as one the Gamecocks should be careful of, citing ASU’s track record against Power 5 teams as well as their recent success in the Sun Belt. We mentioned the plethora of offensive talent new HC Eli Drinkwitz will have to work with this fall earlier. But what about the defense? App returns six starters from a defense that ranked with nationally in total defense last season and just forth nationally in points allowed per game. The Mountaineers look to be the class of the Sun Belt and should challenge once again for the conference title. Still, the question remains: could App State really come into Columbia and shock South Carolina on their home turf? One thing is for certain: the Mountaineers have the Gamecocks attention. 2019 SEASON PROJECTION: 10-2 (7-1)
JUNE 20, 2019 | by CHRIS | THESPURSUPSHOW 2019 Opponent Preview: Will Muschamp Looks To Stay Perfect Against The Vols OPPONENT: Tennessee Volunteers WHEN: Saturday, October 26th WHERE: Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, TN) ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Tennessee leads 25-10-2 LAST MEETING: South Carolina beat Tennessee 27-24 in Columbia 2018 RECORD: 5-7 (2-6) Head Coach… Jeremy Pruitt Out with the old, in with the new. That’s exactly what Tennessee did last off-season when it decided to fire Butch Jones and bring in highly successful defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Pruitt was solid in year one, picking up two wins over ranked opponents (Auburn and Kentucky) and helping bring stability back to Knoxville. Now, he looks to build on a top-15 recruiting class and embrace the high expectations of Volunteer fans as UT looks to get back to being a challenger in the SEC East. Returning Starters… OFFENSE (8) WR Marquez Callaway (Sr.) WR Josh Palmer (Jr.) WR Jauan Jennings (Sr.) LG Jahmir Johnson (Jr.) TE Dominick Wood-Anderson (Sr.) QB Jarrett Guarantano (Jr.) RB Ty Chandler (Jr.) DEFENSE (7) OLB Darrell Taylor (Sr.) ILB Daniel Bituli (Sr.) ILB Darrin Kirkland Jr. (Sr.) CB Bryce Thompson (So.) CB Baylen Buchanan (Sr.) CB Alontae Taylor (So.) S Nigel Warrior (Sr.) How did they fare in 2018? It was a rough start on Rocky Top a season ago, as the Vols were crushed by West Virginia 40-14 in Charlotte to open the season. Tennessee’s biggest win of the year came in an upset at Auburn, beating the Tigers 30-24. However, the Vols lost four of their last six games, finishing 5-7 and missing out on bowl eligibility in Pruitt’s first season. The game in Columbia, SC came down to the wire, as South Carolina stormed back to steal a win over UT by a final score of 27-24. Best Returning Player… Ty Chandler A true “do it all” type player for the Vols. Chandler led Tennessee in rushing touchdowns (4) and tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns (3) a season ago and will be the focal point of the UT offense yet again. Chandler has shown great explosiveness out of the backfield and “game breaking” ability in the biggest moments as well. While there are other playmakers on this Tennessee offense, none are quite as important to the Vols success in 2019 as #8. Overall Outlook… Is Tennessee primed for a surprise season in 2019? Many experts believe so, picking the Vols to win as many as 8+ games in 2019 and push the SEC East’s elite. Additions of new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and wide receivers coach Tee Martin have Vols fans optimistic about the future of its offensive production. Defensively, UT will have to replace all of its production up front from a season ago, losing 150 tackles, nine sacks and 15.5 TFL from last years group. This fall will mark the 37th meeting between South Carolina and Tennessee, with the Gamecocks winning the last three in a row. The biggest question is this: can Rocky Top finally end its woes against USC head coach Will Muschamp? The Vols have never beaten Muschamp, going 0-7 during his stints at both Florida and now Carolina. While there’s no doubt the Vols will be improved in 2019, this won’t be the year UT fans get the answer they’re hoping for. 2019 SEASON PROJECTION: 7-5 (3-5)
College football top 25 rankings With spring practice in the books, let's take a look at Dennis Dodd's adjusted top 25 April 29, 2019, |www.cbssports.com Is this on its way to being the best offseason ever for Clemson? The Tigers completed a productive spring. Dabo Swinney signed the largest contract in college football history. The NFL Draft spread the Clemson brand all over the league. The Tigers landed the No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2020. Can it get better? You bet. The Tigers end the spring like they ended last season -- on top of the college football world and these top 25 rankings. This run of excellence may just be getting started for Swinney, who is 18 years younger than Nick Saban.The spring did little to narrow the gap between the nation's top two teams. Within that, Clemson may have widened the gap on everyone else. Sure, Alabama isn't going anywhere, but is it possible that Clemson is just getting started? RK TEAMS CHG RCRD 1 Clemson Swinney's salary could buy Bulgaria. Trevor Lawrence is good enough to play in the NFL. Another round of game changers is about to populate the defensive line. It's the best time ever to be a Tiger. -- 15-0 2 Alabama The only sign of offseason weakness has been Saban's new hip. Even then, the football program's official website sent out a tweet showing Saban working (standing up) the day after surgery. Message: Saban and the Tide aren't going anywhere. -- 14-1 3 Georgia How do you wish to think of these Dawgs -- the team that had Bama down by two touchdowns in the SEC Championship Game or the team that was worn down by Texas in the Sugar Bowl? -- 11-3 4 Oklahoma Quarterback U welcomes Jalen Hurts, who showed flashes of improvement in the little time he played as a Bama backup. The defense has to get better under Alex Grinch ... doesn't it? -- 12-2 5 LSU Ed Orgeron seemingly has everything in place to make a run at the SEC West. No Devin White, but quarterback Joe Burrow has his top five receivers back. -- 10-3 6 Ohio State The moment Justin Fields became eligible, the Buckeyes had a chance to repeat as Big Ten champions ... and maybe more. -- 13-1 7 Florida The Gators were one of the most improved teams in the nation (4-7 to 10-3) in Dan Mullen's first season. Emory Jones at quarterback intrigues me ... if he can beat out Feleipe Franks. -- 10-3 8 Texas Is Texas back? When it starts winning championships, which may be this season. Tom Herman has is rolling in Year 3. The defense returns only two starters. -- 10-4 9 Michigan Shea Patterson's final season opens with the return of four offensive line starters. There are massive holes on defense with the loss of Chase Winovich, Rashan Gary and Devin Bush. -- 10-3 10 Oregon The last Pac-12 team to post consecutive top six recruiting classes might have been USC under Pete Carroll. Mario Cristobal is about to do that in 2019-20. -- 9-4 11 Notre Dame For the foreseeable future, the Irish are going to be playoff contenders. Brian Kelly suggested in a Yahoo story he may retire at Notre Dame. For now, the Irish could use more team speed on both sides of the ball. -- 12-1 12 Utah The Utes are the Pac-12 South favorites (maybe more) with key returners at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and cornerback. -- 9-5 13 Wisconsin Call 2018 a hiccup. The Badgers should rebound and win the return of Heisman Trophy-contending tailback Jonathan Taylor. Four starters have to be replaced on the offensive line. This being Wisco, they will. -- 8-5 14 Texas A&M There are others who think this is the Aggies' breakout year. There are too many question marks, plus a brutal schedule (check out November!) to put the Ags in the top 10. Kellen Mond takes on added duties with the loss of single-season rushing leader and all-SEC tailback Trayveon Williams. -- 9-4 15 Washington The Jacob Eason era should pick up where the Jake Browning era ended. The former Georgia quarterback transferred when Jake Fromm began his ascension in 2017. Under Chris Petersen, the Huskies will always be a factor in the Pac-12. -- 10-4 16 UCF Josh Heupel deserves loads of credit for inheriting a winning streak that reached 25 games and managing the program through the gruesome loss of McKenzie Milton. Brandon Wimbush should be a nice replacement as Knights are the Group of Five New Year's Six favorite for third consecutive year. -- 12-1 17 Nebraska How do the Cornhuskers show up in the top 25 after a 4-8 season? Nebraska responded nicely under Scott Frost after an 0-6 start. Quarterback Adrian Martinez should take a giant leap forward. -- 4-8 18 Iowa State The Cyclones lose RB David Montgomery and WR Hakeem Butler, but QB Brock Purdy is set to become a breakout star. Matt Campbell's coaching ability will keep the Clones hovering around the top 25 all season. -- 8-5 19 Army West Point The Black Knights have double-digit wins in back-to-back seasons (21 total). That has never happened at Army. Coach Jeff Monken could write his ticket at a lot of places. He's sticking around to show us that academy football can be top 25 worthy. -- 11-2 20 Penn State The loss of Tommy Stevens to the dreaded transfer portal has to hurt. Stevens was in the running for quarterback job vacated by Trace McSorley. The Nittany Lions have to go to Michigan State and Ohio State. -- 9-4 21 Washington State Gardner Minshew and his mustache are gone. Eastern Washington transfer Gabe Gubrud will be the latest quarterback to become a star under Mike Leach. The Cougars will continue to play quality defense under Tracy Claeys. -- 11-2 22 Auburn Gus Malzahn is back to calling plays, which means the buck stops with him offensively. The Tigers backslid to a 8-5 record in the first season of Gus' seven-year, $49 million contract. Auburn will run the ball with authority while breaking in a new quarterback. -- 8-5 23 Minnesota P.J. Fleck is making real progress in Year 2 with the Gophers. He at least gets the Big Ten culture. Right tackle Daniel Faalee may be the biggest player in college football at 6-foot-9, 400 pounds. -- 7-6 24 Northwestern Clemson QB transfer Hunter Johnson arrives with a chance for the Wildcats to go back-to-back in the Big Ten West. Doubt them at your peril. -- 9-5 25 Iowa Pencil the Hawks in for something like 8-4. They always seem to be hovering around that record each year. In the suddenly formidable Big Ten West, Iowa plays at Nebraska, Wisconsin and Northwestern. Penn State and Michigan are also on the schedule. -- 9-4