2020 Football Preview – SEC – Gamecocks
Looking for 2020 South Carolina Gamecocks predictions? Will Muschamp’s job security needs upgrade following last year’s 4-8 finish. After replacing SEC institution Steve Spurrier in 2016 South Carolina’s sideline leader earned two bowl appearances, but stands 29-25 in expectation-laden Columbia.
A tense recent schedule and current offensive rebuild, though, likely extend Muschamp’s lifeline through at least 2021.
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2020-21 College Football Preview – South Carolina Gamecocks
Head Coach: Will Muschamp
2019 Record: 4-8
South Carolina Odds to win the 2020 FBS Championship: 500/1
South Carolina Win Total Odds: 5.5
South Carolina SEC Odds: 100/1
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Broken last winter by FBS’ fourth-toughest slate, the Gamecocks gain some 2020 breathing room. But not much. This season sophomore QB Ryan Hilinski chases redemption under new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
Following Jake Bentley’s early 2019 injury, and subsequent Utah transfer, Hilinski found the spotlight grating. A four-star recruit, and his classes’ second rated pro-style QB, newcomer Hilinski froze under SEC lights. The 6’3 Orange, CA native registered -55 ground yards and completed just 58.1 percent vs. national powers as SC ranked #104 offensively.
Unable to gain prime yards, South Carolina demoted former offensive play caller Bryan McClendon to receivers coach. Bobo assumes the latter’s former duties.
Muschamp’s UGA teammate, Bobo helped begin Georgia’s current 23-year postseason streak. Using sharp football instincts, the 46-year-old overachieved during his senior QB campaign before molding several NFL signal callers alongside Mark Richt.
Now with three head coaching bowl appearances on his resume, Mike Bobo is vital to Hilinski’s progression and the Gamecock’s success. Though, grad transfer Colin Hill follows his CSU mentor should issues arise with SC’s projected starting QB.
Capping an overhaul offseason, several new positional coaches are featured among Muschamp’s staff. How this group performs will largely dictate the gut-checked program’s on-field product.
South Carolina returns 11 starters from last season. Key departures include NFL locks WR Bryan Edwards and DL Javon Kinlaw. Seven offensive and four defensive regulars depart USC’s fray.
A solid #18 ranked recruiting class, led by top-50 overall signee RB MarShawn Lloyd will replace missing talent -notably USC’s top three rushers from 2019.
2020 South Carolina Gamecocks Predictions: Team Strengths: Offensive Line, Running Back
Needing receiver emergence, veteran offensive lineman give Bobo, Hilinski and regarded frosh RB Lloyd operation space. While no returning or incoming wideout stands apart from a crowded field, still expect options to surface.
Further, the no. 5 rated tailback prospect, Lloyd should become USC’s workhorse as Bobo envisions a balanced power run game.
This strategy places emphasis on stiff blocking. Also, looking to add more play-action sets, Hilinski’s tackles will loom large among what should be a conservative, developing Gamecock offense.
2020 South Carolina Gamecocks Predictions: Team Weaknesses: Receivers, Defense
It isn’t fair to rate Hilinski from his deer-in-headlight rookie outing. Like any raw play caller, the touted freshman had ups and downs. Though this inconsistency came vs. an exceptionally tough schedule.
To his credit, Hilinski added 11 touchdowns against five picks while navigating Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Clemson. South Carolina’s projected leader gained 324 passing yards vs. UA before finding less inflated results.
Experienced, and guided by the nation’s top offensive coordinator, the onus lie on Hilinski to produce.
During a trying winter, Spurrier lost four main scoring threats. Backs Tayien Feaster, Rico Dowdle and Mon Denson exhausted eligibility. Meanwhile, star receiver Edwards joined a senior-led group in bidding SC farewell.
WR Shi Smith returns 43 receptions as Josh Vann’s 19 grabs headline limited downfield threats for South Carolina.
Defensively, seven starters return for a group which allowed 22.4 ppg last season. Continuing a theme, SC saw its top three defensive linemen depart. With a steady secondary and line-backing corps, the front tackle issue must be addressed to keep massive conference offensive lines from creating gaps.
2020 South Carolina Gamecocks Schedule
- Sept. 5 Coastal Carolina
- Sept. 12 East Carolina
- Sept. 19 Missouri
- Sept. 26 at Kentucky
- Oct. 3 at Florida
- Oct. 10 Tennessee
- Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
- Oct. 24 Texas A&M
- Oct. 31 at Vanderbilt
- Nov. 7 Georgia
- Nov. 14 at LSU
- Nov. 21 Wofford
- Nov. 28 at Clemson
South Carolina Gamecocks Prediction: 5th in the SEC East & a 4-8 record (Bet Now at any of our Reviewed Online Sportsbooks!)
Expect another tough campaign as South Carolina drops contests vs. elites LSU, Clemson, Florida and Georgia. This schedule, which features road games opposite UF, Clemson and LSU, should test Hilinski’s maturation.
Meanwhile, near-guaranteed wins over East Carolina, Vanderbilt and Wofford should combine with a successful home duel vs. Missouri to give USC a 4-8 record this year. Of course, Kentucky and Tennessee upsets could occur, though, this Gamecocks squad again looks ill fit for another challenging SEC run.
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