Weekend of November 30, 2013
South Carolina's typical plan is to take a break from the tough SEC schedule by playing a cupcake the week before Clemson. After seeing this year's SEC schedule, South Carolina decided to take a different approach by scheduling decent a tough non-conference schedule to offset the weak SEC slate. They were worried after games against the bottom five SEC teams, they might be a tad rusty. So, they decided to schedule a decent 1-AA team before Clemson comes to class the place up.
But seriously, South Carolina's non-conference schedule should be commended. Clemson, Coastal, & UCF all have a single loss each while UNC has rebounded to win to four games in a row. To put it in perspective, UNC's four straight wins are equal to the season win total for five of South Carolina's eight SEC mates.
But all that said, Coastal Carolina could easily be considered the third best athletic program in the state with NCAA Tournament appearances in baseball and basketball and a solid football squad. Unfortunately, football is the one sport where the difference between the "haves" and "have nots" is quite large and not easily overcome.
I see three things happening this weekend:
- South Carolina comes out flat as they look ahead to Saturday night's Missouri game and next week's thumb party
- Coastal to come out fired up and have some early success, maybe even an early lead
- South Carolina's focus and depth to kick in around 1:30 to take away any potential drama
In the end, Coastal gets a fat paycheck, South Carolina gets some work in, and South Carolina fans do what they do best: pull for other SEC teams.
South Carolina 52
Coastal Carolina 17
Coastal Carolina 17
Carolina rarely blows anyone out anymore for whatever reason. There have been some very tight games against the “sure win” teams on the schedule in recent years, but at least we haven’t been losing those games like we used to.
Enter a brash and loud-talking buch of high scorers from near the Grand Strand and we’re probably looking at more of the same. Convinced that USC is not taking them seriously (although we are), and doing everything it can to locate bulletin-board material, the Chanticleers will flock into Columbia and caused some very nervous hineys most of the day.
Coastal is clearly going to score some points and they clearly are going to give them up as well. The Gamecocks will survive another one of those uncomfortable afternoons we have come to expect in these games, and hopefully we’ll avoid any major injuries before the Tiggers and their ACC officials come to Columbia.
South Carolina 35
In what is my favorite game designation of the year, the Citadel comes to Clemson for Military Appreciation Day. From the pre-game pageantry to the flyover to the ceremonies to seeing veterans young and old recognized, Military Appreciation Day leaves nary a dry eye in the joint. On top of that, it is Senior Day for Tajh Boyd and fellow mates Hot Rod, Spencer Shuey, and Cat Man. You can most likely include Sammy Watkins and Vic Beasley in the group playing their last home game.
Because of all the pomp around the game, Clemson could very well come out tight as they try to force some excitement. But I think Tajh leads treats this game like he has every other game, which in turns feeds down to the others.
Clemson jumps out to a big lead as Boyd & Watkins only play the first half. Once the backups come in, Clemson continues to score a few points, but the deficit becomes more of a working margin as the Citadel finds the endzone once or twice.
Ultimately, a good time is had by all. The vets are honored, the seniors are celebrated, and young Clemson fans add another special memory.
El Cid 14
El Cid 14
The Holy City Growlers will be pawing into the upstate on Saturday, and they will be prepared and ready to put up a fight. The Crazy one and his trademarked sweatshirt know that thanks to a putrid schedule they are still being propped up for an unearned BCS at-large bid, so style points matter.
El Cid will keep it tight for a bit, but look for Third-person Tajh to exploit the athleticism gap to pull away in the second half. His favorite doped-up speedster should have a few big plays and the final score will be large enough to keep the orange sheeple in a good mood.
The ACC officials are there as a final fig leaf to cover up any mistakes that occur, just as they will be in tow in Columbia after Turkey Day.
The Citadel 13
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