Week 3: Alabama

Here’s some amazing facts about the South Carolina - Alabama series:

  • Since joining the SEC in ‘92, South Carolina has winning records against 2 teams from the SEC-West: Mississippi State (9 - 7) and Alabama (4 - 3). If Alabama didn’t get caught cheating about every 10 years that record would be 3-5, however (‘93 win forfeited, ‘05 win vacated).

  • The last win on the record books in Columbia for Alabama (taking into account the forfeited/vacated wins) is way back in 1946.

  • South Carolina is the last team from the SEC-East to beat Alabama and the only one with an active winning streak.

I expect all three of those facts to become invalid tomorrow. The 2010 team that ate Alabama’s lunch had 2 future pro-bowlers on the roster (Gilmore and Ingram) and were only something like 7 or 7.5-point underdogs. The line on this game is Alabama by 25.5 points, and for very good reasons. The Gamecocks just don’t have enough juice on offense to score much against Saban’s defense, which will confuse an inexperienced QB and Offensive Line. I expect Hilinski to throw at least 2 interceptions in the game. We can’t tackle well enough in the secondary to stop Alabama’s receivers, so it won’t matter much that Alabama’s running game has been somewhat worse than usual so far this season. A successful outing for the Gamecocks means showing some fight and keeping the game competitive, while getting to Sunday without any major injuries.

Prediction: South Carolina 20 - Alabama 48. Mrs. Teriyaki Chicken is more bullish on the Gamecock offense and has it as 35 - 42.