In lower than two weeks, Williams-Brice Stadium can be full of followers for South Carolina soccer’s season opener in opposition to Georgia State.
South Carolina enters the 2022 season with loads of questions, from Shane Beamer’s second-season potential to new beginning quarterback Spencer Rattler. Listed here are three daring predictions for the Gamecocks this fall.
Spencer Rattler is a Heisman finalist
Spencer Rattler’s preseason Heisman Trophy hype did not come to fruition in 2021 after a disappointing begin led to his benching at Oklahoma. The redshirt junior quarterback got here to South Carolina on the lookout for a recent begin, and he’ll get it by bringing his Heisman journey full circle.
In 2020, his first season because the Sooners’ starter, Rattler threw for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns. He led the workforce to a Massive 12 Championship and a win over Florida within the Cotton Bowl. South Carolina possible will not contend for an SEC championship this season, however Rattler can single-handedly elevate the Gamecocks to a respectable risk in opposition to groups like Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Rattler will not beat out a participant like Bryce Younger for the award, but when he can management the turnovers that misplaced him the beginning job and recapture the promise he confirmed at Oklahoma, he’ll be greater than deserving of finalist honors.
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Gamecocks upset an SEC East opponent
Most predictions have already got wins penciled in for South Carolina in opposition to Vanderbilt and Missouri, however the higher half of the SEC East is as robust as it has been in years. That features the Gamecocks, and so they’ll shock at the least one of many convention’s high squads.
A win in opposition to Georgia in Week 3 may be a bit too daring, however Kentucky on Oct. 8 is a strong alternative. The Wildcats will come off a tricky matchup with Ole Miss, whereas the Gamecocks will possible have secured a straightforward win over South Carolina State the earlier week. Keep watch over mid-November as effectively when USC faces Florida and Tennessee back-to-back. The Vols particularly can be an attention-grabbing matchup in Columbia amid each groups’ aggressive end-of-season schedules.
Pickens and Strachan mix for 15+ sacks
Zacch Pickens delay an NFL profession to spend one other yr at South Carolina, and he’ll profit from it. Jordan Strachan, a fifth-year senior, can be poised for a breakout season in his second yr with the Gamecocks after transferring from Georgia State.
Kingsley Enagbare, who led the workforce with 4.5 sacks in 2021, is now a rookie for the Inexperienced Bay Packers, and Pickens ought to step proper into his sneakers after ending final yr simply behind him with 4 sacks. Strachan added three in his first season at South Carolina and is an apparent option to tackle a much bigger position on the defensive entrance beside Pickens. With a yr of expertise enjoying collectively below their belts, each linemen will wreak havoc on opposing offensive traces to greater than double their mixed sacks.