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 COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF "2019" GAMECOCK FOOTBALL

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  1. South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Virginia Cavaliers South Carolina football is looking to finish off the 2018 season with an eighth win in the Belk Bowl against Virginia. Here’s what you need to know about the game: What time do the Gamecocks play? Who: Virginia (7-5) vs. South Carolina (7-5) When: Noon Saturday Where: Bank of America Stadium (75,412) Series history: South Carolina leads 21-12-1. USC won the last meeting 31-7, upsetting the No. 15 Cavaliers in 2003 TV: ABC (Adam Amin, play-by-play; Anthony Becht, analysis; Rocky Boiman, sideline) Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here. National: ESPN Radio (Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analysis; Kris Budden, sideline) Satellite radio: Sirius 94, XM 210 Line: Gamecocks by 5 Weather: Mostly sunny, light north northwest wind. High near 63. Temperature around 59 at kickoff, 61 through the game. Chance of rain below 10 percent. What’s at stake The Gamecocks are looking to reach eight wins for the second year in a row. Through the bowl week, Will Muschamp has reiterated the simple mantra from his Virginia counterpart: “eight is better than seven.” Virginia is looking to cap Bronco Mendenhall’s second season with a win. At Virginia, his team went from two wins to six last year and now sit at seven this season. South Carolina will have a chance to show its offense is more than just Deebo Samuel. The Gamecocks are without the top play-maker and facing a stingy pass defense. The teams, by the numbers .ms-elegant-main { border: 2.25pt double black; background-color: white; } .ms-elegant-tl { font-family: small-caps; font-weight: normal; color: black; border-left-style: none; border-right: .75pt solid black; border-top-style: none; border-bottom: .75pt solid black; background-color: white; } .ms-elegant-left { font-weight: normal; color: black; border-left-style: none; border-right: .75pt solid black; border-top-style: none; border-bottom: .75pt solid black; background-color: white; } .ms-elegant-top { font-family: small-caps; font-weight: normal; color: black; border-left-style: none; border-right: .75pt solid black; border-top-style: none; border-bottom: .75pt solid black; background-color: white; } .ms-elegant-even { font-weight: normal; color: black; border-left-style: none; border-right: .75pt solid black; border-top-style: none; border-bottom: .75pt solid black; background-color: white; } USC UVA Points/Game 32.6 28.5 Opp. Points/Game 27.2 21.8 Yds. Rushing/Game 162.8 170.6 Opp. Yds Rush/Game 194.5 157.1 Yds. Pass/Game 277.4 211.9 Opp. Yds. Pass/Game 230.8 180.1 Avg. Yds./Game 440.2 382.5 Opp. Total Yds/Game 425.2 337.2 South Carolina players to watch 1. South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley will have to face a good pass defense without dynamic top target Deebo Samuel. Bentley blossomed across the second half of this season, posting 2,953 yards on the year with 27 scores and 12 interceptions. 2. With Samuel out, much more falls on Shi Smith. Bryan Edwards steps up as a No. 1 player, but he’s done that before. Smith will have to help full Samuel’s speed element and what he did on jet sweeps. Smith has 39 catches for 597 yards and four touchdowns. 3. Linebacker Sherrod Greene has been up and down in his first season as a starter. He’ll be key in helping corral quarterback Bryce Perkins, a 1,000-yard rusher and solid passer in his own right. For the season, Greene has 67 tackles, one interception and once forced fumble. Virginia players to watch 1. Virginia’s seven wins are its most since 2011 and a big reason why is Perkins. The former Arizona State Sun Devil transferred to UVa from junior college last January and has been the the dual-threat QB Mendenhall desired. Perkins has already set a school record with 3,314 yards of offense. 2. Perkins’ favorite target is Olamide Zaccheaus. The All-ACC selection is Virginia’s all-time leader in receptions. He’s got 81 grabs for 958 yards and six scores this season, making the speedy 5-foot-8 Zaccheaus one to watch against USC’s depleted secondary. 3. The best NFL prospect in this game might be on the Virginia side. Cornerback Bryce Hall is projected as a first round pick, according to CBS Sports. The physical 6-1, 200-pounder leads the nation with 20 pass breakups. South Carolina depth chart OFFENSE WR - Josh Vann (Chad Terrell) WR - Bryan Edwards (Chavis Dawkins) WR - Shi Smith (Randrecous Davis) OT - Dylan Wonnum (Eric Douglas) OG - Donell Stanley (Blake Camper) C - Hank Manos (Chandler Farrell) OG - Sadarius Hutcherson (Jordan Rhodes) OT - Dennis Daley (Malik Young) QB - Jake Bentley (Michael Scarnecchia, Dakereon Joyner) RB - Rico Dowdle OR Ty’Son Williams OR Mon Denson TE - Jacob August (Kyle Markway) TE - K.C. Crosby (Kiel Pollard) Defense DE - Bryson Allen-Williams (Brad Johnson) DT - Keir Thomas (Rick Sandidge OR Josh Belk) DT - Kobe Smith (J.J. Enagbare) DE - Shameik Blackshear (J.J. Enagbarer) WLB - Sherrod Greene (Ernest Jones) MLB - T.J. Brunson (Damani Staley) SLB - Rosendo Louis (Ernest Jones) CB - Israel Mukuamu (Jaycee Horn) S - Steven Montac (Jaylin Dickerson) S - R.J. Roderick (Jonathan Gipson) CB - Rashad Fenton (AJ Turner) Nickel - Jaycee Horn (Steven Montac) PK - Parker White (Alexander Woznick) KO - Alexander Woznick (Parker White) P - Joseph Charlton (Michael Almond) LS - Ben Asbury (Matthew Smith) KOR - A.J. Turner PR - Bryan Edwards H - Danny Gordon (Michael Almond)
  2. South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Virginia Cavaliers December 18, 2018 Gamecocks Back At Home To Host No. 5 Virginia Wednesday December 18, 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina is set to play its first home game this month on Wednesday when it hosts No. 5/3 Virginia at Colonial Life Arena. The matchup between the former ACC foes will tip at 7 p.m. ET and be broadcast on the SEC Network with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) on the call. STARTING FIVE > South Carolina is back in action on Wednesday following a 10-day break for final exams on campus in Columbia. The Gamecocks look to break a two-game losing streak, with both of those losses coming on the road. > Carolina is set to face it'ssecond-consecutive top-five opponent when Virginia visits Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday. The meeting between the former ACC foes will be the first since a 74-67 Gamecock win in Charlottesvile on Marh 13, 2002, in the Postseason NIT. > Last time out, senior forward Chris Silva was dominant in an 18-point, 12-rebound performance at No. 5/5 Michigan. Silva was 7-of-13 from the field, including a 3-pointer, to go along with two assists and a block. It was his third double-double of the season. Over the course of the last three games (Coastal Carolina, at Wyoming and Michigan), Silva is averaging 12.7 points and a team best 8.3 rebounds per contest. > Part of South Carolina's success on the offensive end of the court this season has come from the balanced attack. At Michigan, every Gamecock that saw court time connected on a made basket, with all 10 players in action contributing to the 78-point total. > Senior guard Hassani Gravett has flourished in his role off the ball this season, as he paces the Gamecocks from beyond the arc, hitting 47.2 percent (17-36) from range. Gravett was 3-of-3 from beyond the arc at Michigan, and has hit seven of his last 11 attempts (63.6%) over the course of the last three games. THROUGH THE FIRST NINE GAMES... > Carolina is yet to win consecutive games, having traded wins and losses through the first seven games of the season, before most recently suffering back-to-back losses on the road ... Rookie guard A.J. Lawson has hit double-figures in seven of Carolina's nine games and paces the team with 14.3 points per game ... Senior forward Chris Silva is fresh off his third double-double of the season (18th career) and is also providing double digits at 11.1 points per game, while his 6.7 rebounds are a team high ... Eight different Gamecocks are scoring at least six points per game, and nine average 18 minutes per game or more ... In wins this season, the Gamecocks hold a +9.5 margin on the glass, but in losses, opponents are +4.8. NUMBERS TO KNOW 3-of-3 - Senior guard Hassani Gravett hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the Dec. 8 matchup at Michigan. On the year, he is averaging 47.2 percent (17-of-36) from beyond the arc, which is among SEC leaders. 13 - Rookie forward Keyshawn Bryant scored all 13 of his points against the Wolverines in the second half, including a top-play contending dunk. Bryant is averaging 8.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game entering Wednesday's matchup against the Cavaliers. 78 - Carolina's 78 points scored at Michigan marked the most by a Wolverine opponent this season. 20 - Maik Kotsar (7), Chris Silva (7) and Keyshawn Bryant (6) combined for 20 of Carolina's 32 made baskets at Michigan on Dec. 8. 20+ - Eight different Gamecocks average at least 20 minutes per game thus far in 2018-19, led by Lawson's 27.9 minutes per outing. COMING UP NEXT Intrastate rival Clemson travels to Columbia later this week for a 2 p.m. afternoon matchup at Colonial Life Arena on Saturday. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN2 with Mike Morgan (pxp) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call. Carolina looks for its first win against Clemson since December 2015. SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS > The Gamecocks are finally back in the friendly confines of Colonial Life Arena, set to play their first game on their home court this month on Wednesday vs. Virginia. > Carolina will host a pair of ACC opponents this week in Virginia and then Clemson on Saturday. > Carolina looks to shake a two-game losing streak on Wednesday, having suffered road losses at Wyoming (Dec. 5) and at No. 5/5 Michigan (Dec. 8) during a lengthy two-game road swing. > In home games this season, Carolina is averaging 41.4 percent from the field, however, opponents aren't far behind at 40.1 percent. > Also in home games, Lawson is averaging 15.0 points per game, while Gravett adds 12.8 per contest. Gravett has been Carolina's most consistent 3-point shooter at home as well, hitting 52.2 percent of his attempts. > South Carolina returns sevenletterwinners from last season's 17-16 squad, including senior guard Hassani Gravett and senior forward Chris Silva. > Carolina welcomes eight newcomers to its roster this season, including a pair of transfers and six freshmen student-athletes. Jair Bolden (transfer/George Washington/guard), graduate transfer Tre Campbell (transfer/Georgetown/guard), Keyshawn Bryant (freshman/guard), Jermaine Couisnard (freshman/guard),Alanzo Frink (freshman/forward), A.J. Lawson (freshman/guard), T.J. Moss (freshman/guard) and Nathan Nelson (freshman/forward) join the Garnet and Black this fall. SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS > Virginia is ranked No. 5 in this week's AP poll and third in the coaches poll. > UVA is led by head coach Tony Bennett in his 10th season in Charlottesville. > The Cavaliers have played just one away game this season, posting a 76-71 win at Maryland on Nov. 28. > Three are in double-figures on the year for UVA, led by De'Andre Hunter's 15.6 points per game. Ty Jerome (13.7) and Kyle Guy (13.4) are also in double figures. The trio has combined for 54 of UVA's 75 made 3-point baskets this season. > Hunter has hit double-figures in every game this season with the exception of scoring nine in his most recent outing vs. VCU. He earned Battle 4 Atlantis MVP honors and ACC Player of the Week accolades after averaging 19.3 points and 7.7 rebounds inthe tournament. > Other notable UVA wins this season include matchups against Dayton, Wisconsinand VCU. > Junior guard Braxton Key is a transfer from Alabama. He has five starts on the year and is averaging 6.0 points per game. > Virginia is ranked second nationally this season, committing just 8.3 turnovers per contest, while UVA leads the nation with a 1.81 assist to turnover ratio. The Cavaliers are also second in the nation in holding opponents to just 51.2 points per game and UVA hold's a +21.6 scoring margin entering Wednesday's contest.
  3. South Carolina junior defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw out for the Belk Bowl? December 06, 2018 Another South Carolina star looks like he will be missing the bowl game. South Carolina junior defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw responded to a fan on Twitter who said, “Heal up big guy. (Stinks) we wont have you for the bowl,” with “I appreciate it.” The Gamecocks (7-5) will take on Virginia (7-5) on Dec. 29 in the Belk Bowl in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Kinlaw, 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, had a procedure to repair a hip injury that has bothered him for much of the season, TheBigSpur.com reported. A USC spokesman would not confirm or deny that report, stating that all announcements on player updates would come from head coach Will Muschamp. Kinlaw had 38 tackles, including a team-high 4 1/2 sacks, during the regular season. He had been the only starting defensive lineman who made it through the entire season without missing a game due to injury. Kinlaw announced via Twitter earlier this week that he planned to return to the Gamecocks for his senior season. Senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel announced earlier this week that he will not play in the Belk Bowl so that he can concentrate on preparing for the NFL Draft.
  4. After the initial bowl line was posted, money comes in heavy on Gamecocks side December 03, 2018 The South Carolina football team opened on Sunday as a modest 3 1/2 point favorite against Virginia in the Belk Bowl. That changed quickly. Within two hours, the line was bet up from 3 1/2 to 6 according to the VegasInsider line tracker. If it holds, it would be the second-most USC has been favored by against an SEC opponent (the highest was 10 against Tennessee and the Gamecocks won by three). South Carolina was a touchdown underdog against Michigan last season, and pulled off the Outback Bowl upset. USC has won four of its past five bowl game. For the year, Will Muschamp’s squad is 7-5 overall and 7-5 against the spread. They had a run of four consecutive covers snapped by only beating 30-point underdog Akron 28-3. Virginia went 8-4 ATS. The Cavs covered seven of the first eight games, but failed to in three of the last four.
  5. Been a while since the last time these two faced off on the Grid Iron How they fared in 2018 South Carolina finished the season with a 7-5 overall record (4-4 SEC) and tied for third in the SEC East Division. This is their third-straight bowl appearance. The Gamecocks have won five of their last six bowl games. Virginia finished the season with a 7-5 overall record (4-4 ACC). They finished tied for third in the ACC Coastal Division. The two should match up pretty evenly. Who do you think will come out on top?
  6. Will Muschamp Press Conference With Video– 12/2/18 – Belk Bowl Announcement South Carolina vs. Virginia – 12/29/18 – Charlotte, N.C. Opening Statement WATCH VIDEO “We’re really excited about going to the Belk Bowl, our first trip here at the University of South Carolina. (We’re) certainly familiar with the Bank of America Stadium, one of the finest venues in the National Football League. (We) opened up last year against NC State in a great football game with them, and we open up the 2019 season with the University of North Carolina. One of our best alumni bases is there in Charlotte. We do a lot of recruiting in that area and the state of North Carolina. We’ve been able to attract some really good football players here to South Carolina in our short time. [MORE]
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