Josh Kendall

Kendall’s pick: Expect USC, Citadel to both put up a lot of points

South Carolina defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin
South Carolina defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin gmelendez@thestate.com

Would it surprise you to learn South Carolina’s defense is ranked higher in the national standings than its offense?

Strange but true. The Gamecocks are 90th in the nation in yards allowed at 425.6 yards per game. That number is not impressive in any way, but it’s better than the 105th ranking of the offense, which averages 350.5 yards per game.

Each unit’s yards per play lines up more closely to the perception of their strength. South Carolina’s offense ranks No. 78 in the country in yards per play at 5.49 and No. 99 in the nation in yards allowed per play at 5.93.

All that is to say that both units on this team shoulder blame for the 3-7 record, and both need to play better or that record will be 3-8 on Sunday.

The Citadel should pose no threat to South Carolina, but the Bulldogs do and a big one. The Citadel’s triple option offense is second in the FCS with 343.7 yards per game. Given the inconsistency in South Carolina’s defense, that’s a pretty terrifying number for Gamecocks fan.

The Bulldogs are going to score Saturday. They’re probably going to score a decent amount.

That means South Carolina’s offense is going to have to score, too. The Bulldogs rank No. 31 in the FCS in total defense, allowing 341.6 yards per game. Expect the Gamecocks to be able to score and to show a few wacky things on offense to give Clemson something to think about next week.

This game will be close in the fourth quarter.

SOUTH CAROLINA 34, THE CITADEL 28

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