South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers: Game Preview
South Carolina tunes up for its season-ending game against Clemson by taking on FCS-member Coastal Carolina of the Big South Conference.
The Chanticleers have piled up the points this season, but their defense is suspect, which should translate into a long afternoon for Coastal.
The Gamecocks could rest a number of front-line players, including quarterback Connor Shaw and tailback Mike Davis.
Shaw will likely start, but Dylan Thompson may finish. Shon Carson gets the start ahead of Davis, who is unlikely to be used except in an emergency.
What: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (10-1) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2)
When: 1 p.m. ET
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.
Watch: Pay Per View
Series History: First meeting.
Keys to Victory for South Carolina
As long as the Gamecocks aren't late for kickoff, they should be fine against Coastal Carolina.
Things will be simplified for South Carolina if it can avoid turnovers, penalties and mistakes in the kicking game.
South Carolina has had back-to-back games with no turnovers and will be looking for a third straight.
Take care of business without anyone getting hurt, and the Gamecocks should be happy at the end of the day.
Keys to Victory for Coastal Carolina
Everything under the sun, moon and stars will have to go Coastal Carolina's way for the Chanticleers to knock off the Gamecocks.
Coastal Carolina's offense has been prolific this season, scoring 50 or more points in six games. That's not realistic against South Carolina's defense, but if the Chanticleers can move the football and finish drives with points, that's a start.
Defensively, Coastal looks like it's going to have its hands full, but forcing turnovers can be a great equalizer.
Finally, special teams play can play a big role, especially in field position.
Players to Watch for South Carolina
With South Carolina possibly resting players like quarterback Connor Shaw and tailback Mike Davis, it will be incumbent on other players to step up.
Tailback Shon Carson and backup quarterback Dylan Thompson will be given their chance to shine against Coastal Carolina.
Also, don't be surprised if South Carolina's wide receivers, particularly Bruce Ellington and Shaq Roland, respond in a big way.
How much defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will play is subject to question, but he will be tough for the Chanticleers to block.
Players to Watch for Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina tailback Lorenzo Taliaferro has rushed for 1,466 yards and 23 touchdowns on 220 carries.
Quarterback Alex Ross has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 2,282 yards and 17 touchdowns with six interceptions.
His top target is wide receiver Matt Hazel. Hazel leads the team with 49 receptions for 734 yards and six touchdowns.
Middle linebacker Quinn Backus leads the team in tackles with 108.
What They're Saying
It rates as a classic tuneup situation when South Carolina takes on Coastal Carolina on Saturday, with Clemson looming next week.
However, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says the Gamecocks will have to play solid football to beat the Chanticleers, as reported by the school's official website.
Simply put, South Carolina should handle Coastal Carolina with few problems.
Don't be surprised if the Chanticleers find a way to put some points on the board, but South Carolina's superior talent and depth should prove to be the difference.
Look for South Carolina to rest a lot of starters. That may keep the score from getting too far out of hand.
South Carolina 52, Coastal Carolina 24.