South Carolina, obviously, has plenty of things yet to prove this season.
The bad news is I’m not sure how many of them the Gamecocks can prove this week. The reason I say that is because I don’t think Auburn is playing very good football right now. The Tigers have some athletes, but they are inexperienced. They have a puncher’s chance because of Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb in the backfield, but I don’t think they have much more than that.
In fact, let’s go ahead and get the pick out of the way. I think South Carolina wins Saturday’s game 30-20. So there’s the good news.
I think the Gamecocks still will be undefeated when the day is done. If you’re going to have an unproven team, it might as well be an undefeated and unproven team right?
Here are the two things that South Carolina needs to prove Saturday as much as it can:
1. That Stephen Garcia can snap out of it.
As usual, Garcia’s teammates believe he can and that’s more than half the battle. The quarterback’s grandfather died this week, and there’s no way to predict how it might affect his play. It might not make any difference; it could be a rallying point, or it could leave him distracted. I predict Garcia will react well, especially against an Auburn defense that is really struggling.
2. That it can defend the pass.
The Gamecocks demolished a Vanderbilt offense that was very limited in what it could do. The Tigers aren’t tearing anything up on offense this year, but they can do lots of stuff. If South Carolina’s defense can handle it, it will be another big step forward.