CBS analyst Gary Danielson thinks Alabama will start feeling the pressure of defending as national champions starting today in Williams-Brice Stadium.
“The pressure of being No. 1 and repeating hasn’t even started yet for Alabama,” Danielson said. “As they talk about how they are handling everything, they don’t even know how it’s going to build. I saw it in Florida last year. It’s like what they say about the Masters, that it doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday. Alabama is not even to the back nine on Sunday yet. South Carolina might be the 10th hole. It’s really going to start now. The pressure’s going to start mounting.”
South Carolina hosts the top-ranked Tide Saturday at 3:30 p.m., and Danielson will be in the booth for CBS.
“This is the first time that Steve has an offense at South Carolina that he can try to manage the game,” Danielson said. “Before, he really had to play to a one-dimensional attack. With this team, he can try to be the ‘Creative Steve’ that he was at Florida, where he can keep them off-balance running and passing the ball.”
Will that make a difference? I think so, but only to a point. My guess is the Gamecocks stay close, much like last season, but in a higher-scoring game on both sides. In the end, though, I think Alabama has got too much for South Carolina.
I’m going with Alabama 31-28 in a game that’ll keep Danielson and the nation on edge until late in the fourth quarter.