No. 14 South Carolina (6-2) will hit Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday to take on Mississippi State (4-3) in an SEC showdown.
The Gamecocks will do so following a thrilling 27-24 overtime victory over Missouri. South Carolina trailed that game 17-0 entering the fourth quarter before pulling off a stunning comeback against a Tigers team that was ranked fifth in the nation at the time.
This week figures to be a little easier for the Gamecocks.
Mississippi State has won two straight, but those wins have come against Bowling Green and Kentucky. The Bulldogs have played two opponents that were ranked at the time of the game this season (Oklahoma State and LSU) and have lost by a combined score of 80-29.
With two conference losses, South Carolina trails Missouri by a game in the SEC East standings. This is not a game Steve Spurrier's bunch can afford to lose if they want a crack at the SEC Championship.
When: Saturday, Nov. 2 at 12:21 p.m. ET
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
TV: ESPN GamePlan
Spread: South Carolina -13 (Bovada)
Injury info via USA Today
Key Storyline: Will Connor Shaw play?
According to the Associated Press via ESPN, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw is struggling with a virus, and he hasn't been able to practice this week.
This same virus, along with a sprained knee, kept him out of the start of last week's game against Missouri.
Shaw wound up throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Gamecocks' comeback.
Given Shaw's performance last week, I'm going to side with ESPN's David Pollack on Shaw's chances of playing this week:
The Associated Press also passed along that coach Steve Spurrier said Dylan Thompson will get the start at quarterback if Shaw cannot go.
Prediction: South Carolina 24, Mississippi State 10
Mississippi State has a solid defense. It is 38th in the nation in points allowed. However, that defense is given a boost by a ball-control offense. The Bulldogs are 32nd in the nation in rushing yards, and average 4.9 per carry.
South Carolina will be able to slow down that rushing attack. For the season, the Gamecocks are allowing 4.1 yards per rush.
This will provide enough resistance for the Gamecocks to take control of this game early and wear down Mississippi State's defense.
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