... WHO: South Alabama (6-4) at South Carolina (5-5)
... WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia
... WHEN: Noon Saturday
... TV: FSN (Bob Rathbun, Tim Couch, Olivia Harlan)
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The State
... RADIO: WNKT-FM 107.5 (Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs, Langston Moore)
... SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius 136/XM 190
... LINE: South Carolina by 24.5 (over-under 56)
... SERIES RECORD: First meeting
... UNIFORM REPORT: The Gamecocks are expected to wear garnet jerseys and garnet pants.
... WEATHER REPORT: After 30s to start the day, expect sunny conditions with a high near 56.
... GAMECOCK WALK: The pre-game team walk takes place through Gamecock Park at approximately 9:50 a.m.
... CELEBRITY STARTER: Major General Bradley Becker from Fort Jackson will be the celebrity starter to lead the "Game-Cocks" cheer.
... MILITARY SALUTE: At halftime, USC will have its annual ceremony to recognize all those who serve in the United States armed forces.
Seniors Rory Anderson, Damiere Byrd, A.J. Cann, Ryland Culbertson, Jordan Diaz, Patrick Fish, Cody Gibson, Sharrod Golightly, Tyler Hull, Nick Jones, Kadetrix Marcus, Connor McLaurin, Sidney Rhodes, Corey Robinson, J.T Surratt, Dylan Thompson and Brison Williams will be recognized before Saturday’s game.
Juniors Mike Davis, Austin Hails, Coleman Harley, Matthew Harvey and Drew Owens are expected to join those seniors in being recognized.
What's at stake
The Gamecocks, coming off a big win at Florida, are looking to reach bowl eligibility for the 11th straight season. A USC victory would extend the Gamecocks’ winning streak against non-conference opponents to 18 straight games.
South Alabama rebounded from back-to-back losses to start November to beat Texas State last week to move to 6-4, becoming bowl-eligible. The Jaguars closed their Sun Belt schedule with five wins in eight tries. The last time South Alabama ventured out of conference, it lost at home to Mississippi State 35-3.
... USC -- OUT: RG Cody Waldrop (right knee), DE Cedrick Cooper (ankle), DT Abu Lamin (car wreck). DOUBTFUL: DE Gerald Dixon (shoulder), RG Mike Matulis (knee). PROBABLE: RB Mike Davis (shoulder), RB Brandon Wilds (leg).
... South Alabama -- QUESTIONABLE: QB Brandon Bridge (ankle), DB Devon Earl (shoulder).
Five key numbers
... 1: Games South Carolina needs to win for bowl eligibility. USC has been bowl-eligible in every one of Steve Spurrier’s nine seasons.
... 17: Seniors (not juniors) set to be recognized Saturday, with 12 of them starters
... 5: Number of South Alabama runners averaging over 5.0 yards per carry
... 5.7: Average yards per rush USC is giving up
... 2: Times the Gamecocks have blocked a punt from 2009 to now
- David Cloninger
South Carolina key notes
... Steve Spurrier has never faced South Alabama. This will be the 67th team he has coached against in his 25-year career.
... At 2,794 yards passing, Dylan Thompson is 412 shy of Todd Ellis' single-season USC record of 3,206.
... Mike Davis is 125 yards shy of a second 1,000-yard rushing season. Only USC legend George Rogers has had more than one 1,000-yard rushing seasons (three).
Scouting South Alabama
The Jaguars' offense hasn't been very good this season, as they put up just 21.3 points and 376.9 yards per game, but the unit found new life last week with a change under center.
In his first-career start taking the place of an injured Brandon Bridge, Hunter Vaughn completed 20-of-28 passes for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while also catching a 28-yard touchdown on a trick play in the victory. Bridge is questionable to return this week, but even if he's healthy the squad will likely stick with Vaughn under center.
Shavarez Smith is the team's leading receiver in terms of catches (39), yards (552) and touchdowns (six). Braedon Bowman emerged as Vaughn's top target last week with four receptions for 81 yards.
The running game is anchored by Kendall Houston (518 yards, TD) and Xavier Johnson (383 yards, TD), now that Jay Jones (393 yards, three TDs) is out for the year with a knee injury.
The main reason South Alabama finds itself bowl-eligible has been the strong play of the defense, which gives up just 23.1 points and 380.2 yards per game.
Terrell Brigham is the team's leading tackler with 83, to go with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Theo Rich has generated a strong pass-rush with 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Montell Garner (46 tackles) is the leader in the secondary with two interceptions and another eight pass breakups.
Projected USC depth chart
WR – JONES (Roland, Byrd)
WR – P. COOPER (Whitehurst)
WR – BRENT (Jeffery, Heard)
LT – ROBINSON (Zandi)
LG – CANN (B. Stadnik)
C – C. STADNIK (Knott)
RG – SPORT (Matulis)
RT – SHELL (Zandi, Park)
TE – ANDERSON (Adams, Gibson)
QB – THOMPSON (Orth or Mitch)
FB – MCLAURIN (Diaz)
TB – DAVIS (Wilds, Da. Williams or Carson)
DE – ALLEN-WILLIAMS (English)
DT – SURRATT (D. Green or Stallworth)
DT – DIXON JR. (Dukes)
DE – JOHNSON (M. Harris)
MLB – MOORE (Roberts, Lewis)
WLB – WALTON (Holloman)
SPUR – GOLIGHTLY (Diggs, Bryant)
CB – LAMMONS (A. Harris)
SS – B. WILLIAMS (Marcus)
FS – GURLEY (Moody, Elder, D. Smith)
CB – MCWILLIAMS (A. Harris)
KO – ARD (Cimaglia)
PK – FRY (Ard)
P – HULL (Fish)
KR – CARSON (P. Cooper)
PR – P. COOPER (Jones)
SSN – CULBERTSON
LSN – DR. WILLIAMS
H – FISH (Hull)