Drew Lock is widely considered the best quarterback in the SEC. That just isn’t true. The best QB in the SEC resides in the other Columbia. In fact, Jake Bentley is the best QB in the SEC. Besides Will Grier (WVU) and Ryan Finley (NC State), Bentley might be the best QB in the nation. SC head coach Will Muschamp has a pedigree for underachieving offenses. This is the year that he flips that narrative right around.
South Carolina checked in at 25th in terms of scoring defense after allowing 20.7 points per game. The Gamecocks bring as good a linebacking corps as you’ll find in the SEC. They’ll be stingy in the run game. Aaron Sterling and D.J. Wonnum are on the smaller side for defensive ends but they can get after the QB. Incoming freshman Rick Sandidge will be a force for years to come on the defensive line.
The back end of the defense has playmakers. While they’re short on length, they bring enough size to help against the run. If you can stop the run in college football, you’re usually in a good position to win.
Deebo might be the most electrifying player in college football when he’s healthy. He makes an impact not only from his wide receiver position but as a returner as well. If he’s healthy all year, it’s an added dimension to the SC offense. Jake Bentley can certainly move the ball around. Samuel will have his hands on the football as much as possible while he’s on the field.
South Carolina returns 98% of its rush yards, 80% of its receiving yards and all of 100% of its passing yards. The offense is loaded.
The Dawgs are the only team better than South Carolina in the SEC East. On September 8th, Georgia makes a trip to Columbia. On paper, Goergia is flat-out better. South Carolina has an early chance to take advantage of a Georgia secondary that will be looking for playmakers. Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel could have a special day against the Dawgs who have to replace a ton of pieces on defense. I’ve got South Carolina penciled in for the win.
South Carolina is in prime position to win the SEC East. The pieces are there on offense and defense. A win over Georgia has them in prime position to make it to the SEC title game. Their crossover games are against Texas A&M and Ole Miss. These are winnable games for the Cocks. Clemson will likely be a loss but aside from the Tigers, Carolina gets a very favorable schedule. Georgia at home being your toughest game has to leave you feeling very good if you’re a South Carolina fan.