1. DR. FEELGOOD
The Gamecocks are wounded, having lost two games in excruciating fashion, and this offers a wonderful chance to feel better about themselves. They’re not overlooking Furman, but this should be a game where they comfortably win and everybody gets to play. They need confidence going into next week, and this is the only, and best, chance.
2. RUNAWAY TRAIN
David Williams said on Wednesday that 75 percent of the team’s plays the rest of the year may be runs. Frankly, that would be the best move – it gives the ball to the most talented players, it runs the clock, it has worked and it keeps the Gamecocks’ defense off the field. Mike Davis, Brandon Wilds (if he’s healthy), Williams and Shon Carson should all get their touches Saturday.
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3. THE OTHER GUY
The burning question of “Who plays quarterback IF ” could be answered Saturday. If all goes well – or perhaps not – Connor Mitch and/or Perry Orth could be in the game. Steve Spurrier said one may be thrown in just for the heck of it, no matter what the score is.
4. PURPLE HAZE
The Paladins have taken their lumps the past two games, giving up 35 and 37 points, but still have an overall defense that has only given up 20.3 points per game. Linebacker Gary Wilkins is the main man, with 35 tackles, nine for loss, 4.5 sacks, one interception, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
5. TAKE AWAY
The Gamecocks’ defense has had trouble with everything, so it’s not surprising it can hardly ever get its hands on a loose ball or errantly throw pass. Furman has fumbled seven times, losing five, and tossed four interceptions. That ringing sound is opportunity.