South Carolina football is coming off its fourth win of the season and is looking for another at Ole Miss. Here’s what you need to know about the game:
Who does South Carolina play today?
Who: Ole Miss (5-3, 1-3 SEC) vs. South Carolina (4-3, 3-3)
When: Noon Saturday
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Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (64,038)
Series history: The Rebels lead the series 8-7. The Gamecocks have won the past two meetings, including the 16-10 upset of a No. 4 Ole Miss team in 2009 on the night “Sandstorm” debuted.
TV: SEC Network (Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analysis; Kris Budden, 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.
Satellite radio: Sirius 99/XM 192
Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 61. A 20 percent chance of showers before 8 a.m. Around 53 degrees at kickoff, 60 at the end of the game.
South Carolina vs. Ole Miss prediction
Josh Kendall: South Carolina has been slow coming out of the gate, inconsistent in its rushing offense and not consistently explosive in its passing offense. Unless it addresses those issues, a conference win the road will be a tough task. Ole Miss 24, South Carolina 21
Ben Breiner: Expect the Gamecocks to move the ball and put up points, and to give up some plays. It could get wild, but South Carolina might have just enough to squeak this one out. South Carolina 41, Ole Miss 38
What’s at stake
South Carolina likely at least secured bowl eligibility with last week’s Tennessee win. A victory in Oxford would put USC in good position to go for seven regular seasons wins before aiming for upsets of Clemson and Florida.
This game could be a prove-it moment for either the Gamecocks offense or defense. Jake Bentley was efficient but not heavily used against Tennessee and is facing an Ole Miss defense that hasn’t been good. South Carolina’s defense will match with one of the best offenses in the country.
Ole Miss aren’t eligible for a bowl, so the Rebels are looking for any win they can, though some top players might have an eye looking forward to the NFL Draft.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley was better against Tennessee, even if it was only on 16 attempts. He’s facing a team that has given up yards in bunches and has 1,303 yards, 11 scores and eight interceptions.
2. Running back Rico Dowdle lost his spot in the starting lineup and promptly ran for 140 yards against Tennessee. He has 496 and three scores on the season and is set to go against a defense that ranks outside the top 100 nationally in yards per carry allowed.
3. Sophomore defensive back Jamyest Williams is in a spot where he might get tested. He’s been moved around the secondary and will be tasked with covering a member of Ole Miss’ deep stable of strong receivers.
Ole Miss players to watch
1. Aside from Missouri, no team in the SEC goes to the air as much as the Rebels. Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu leads the league in passing yards per game (327.8). Take away an ugly performance against in a 62-7 loss to Alabama on Sept. 15 and Ta’amu, Shea Patterson’s replacement, has produced the following numbers this season: 15 touchdowns, three interceptions, 2,489 yards, 67.5 completion percentage.
2. Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown entered last weekend as the SEC’s leader in receiving yards (805) and catches (60). The 6-foot-1, 230-pound junior is considered one of the top receiver prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft.
3. It’s been a tough season for the Ole Miss defense, but a bright spot comes in end Markel Winters. The senior is seventh in the SEC with four sacks.
South Carolina depth chart
Malik Young - or - Dennis Daley
OR Ty’Son Williams
OR A.J. Turner
Brad Johnson/Bryson Allen-Williams
Greg Hadley contributed to this report