David Cloninger

Cloninger’s pick: Another step in finding out how good USC really is

David Cloninger says the Gamecocks’ running game will keep the Wildcats’ defense on the field late.
David Cloninger says the Gamecocks’ running game will keep the Wildcats’ defense on the field late. tdominick@thestate.com

The season was never going to be decided after the North Carolina game. No team outside of Ohio State was going to be judged after one game (by the way, the Buckeyes are GOOD).

South Carolina will really know what kind of team it has after the fifth or sixth game. Saturday, the second, is simply another step in that process.

How do the Gamecocks improve from last week? How do they defend the home turf? Do Connor Mitch, the receivers, the defensive backs stay healthy and repair what went wrong against the Tar Heels? How will Kentucky, which looked great on offense and awful on defense against Louisiana-Lafayette, challenge the Gamecocks?

This is no revenge scenario. A win Saturday won’t take away the crushing loss at Commonwealth last year. It will keep USC pointed toward making a trying season a success.

The Gamecocks’ running game will keep the Wildcats’ defense on the field late, and if one back can stay fresh (i.e. Shon Carson last week), there’s the big play. A drop-back passer that doesn’t have to get rid of the ball right away (like Marquise Williams) plays right into a defense that collected four sacks last week.

The Fightin’ Stoopses won’t back down, but they will fall. The Gamecocks, with a coach that loves to beat Georgia more than any other opponent, will head between the hedges with an unblemished record.

3-0 on tap?

SOUTH CAROLINA 24, KENTUCKY 21

GoGamecocks' Josh Kendall and David Cloninger preview and predict South Carolina's Saturday game against Kentucky.

 

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