South Carolina is coming off a bounce-back win against Charleston Southern, but this week’s opponent is a whole different beast. The Gamecocks are home and against Alabama, the teams’ first meeting since USC’s legendary 2010 upset. What you need to know:
What time do the Gamecocks play?
Who: Alabama (2-0) at South Carolina (1-1)
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, play-by-play; Gary Danielson, analysis; Jamie Erdahl, sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Jamar Nesbit, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here.
Satellite radio: Sirius 137/XM 191 and 383
Stream: CBSSports.com SEC Live
Line: Alabama by 25.5
Gamecock Walk: Approx. 1:10 p.m.
Series history: Alabama leads the all-time series 12-3. The Gamecocks have won three of the past five meetings, those wins coming in 2001, 2004 and 2010. The last meeting was the 35-21 upset of the No. 1 Crimson Tide. USC lost the first 12 meetings between 1937 and 2000, with the Gamecocks scoring 50 total points.
Weather: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 89. Northeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
If South Carolina could win the game, it would make the season and probably be an important marker in the Will Muschamp era. Even if the Gamecocks can fight and stay in, it would be a strong indicator for the rest of the season.
Freshman QB Ryan Hilinski’s debut a week ago was stellar to say the least. Against a different kind of opponent, the team needs to keep him upright and in good condition. He probably can’t hurt his standing because it’s ‘Bama, but if he shows something against that defense, it will say a lot about his potential.
Alabama is just rolling along, dominating folks and trying to stay near the top of the sport. A dominant win maintains, a closer one ends with questions.
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 Ryan Hilinski looked good in his first game, but this will be a different beast. He completed 80 percent of his passes a week ago and had three total touchdowns, but this is a chance to show how high his ceiling might be.
2. Wide receiver Shi Smith hasn’t yet been truly explosive with a modest 68 yards on seven catches. He has the ability to be a big-play option and South Carolina will need to win some one-on-ones in the secondary to have a chance.
3. Sophomore corner Jaycee Horn is going to be covering someone good. Maybe it’s star Jerry Jeudy, maybe it’s someone else, but the second-year player is going to have to deliver stellar play to help slow the Tua Tagovailoa-led attack.
Alabama players to watch
1. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa may have lost a little luster to Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence in last season’s national championship game, but he’s still a brutally efficient passer and electrifying talent. A strong candidate to go No. 1 in the 2020 NFL draft, Tagovailoa already has seven touchdowns and 563 yards in two games (six quarters) of play this season.
2. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, like Tagovailoa, is one of the top talents in the country at his position, a consensus All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner. He led the SEC with 14 touchdown grabs last season and already has four this season, along with a pair of 100-yard games. He is also a likely first-round pick.
3. Defensive lineman Raekwon Davis came into his season year as an AP preseason All-American and, you guessed it, a likely first-round pick come draft time. At 6-foot-7, 312 pounds, he can blow up the middle of an offensive line, and the Gamecocks will have their hands full trying to stop him from creating pressure on Hilinski.