South Carolina Football: 5 Reasons the Gamecocks Will Win the SEC

Matt Zvolanek@MattZvolanekCorrespondent IIAugust 24, 2011

South Carolina Football: 5 Reasons the Gamecocks Will Win the SEC

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    Last season South Carolina burst onto the scene, beating Florida, Alabama and Georgia. They won the SEC East and made it to the SEC Championship Game.

    The Gamecocks ended up getting blown out by Auburn and lost to Florida State in their bowl game. Despite this, South Carolina had one hell of a season.

    This year looks to be even better, which is why South Carolina is going to win the SEC.

Marcus Lattimore

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    Marcus Lattimore exploded onto the scene last year as a freshman.

    This year he looks to improve on his 2010 campaign, which included 249 rushing attempts for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns. 

    Look for SC to ride Lattimore to victory, especially if the whole Garcia situation isn't ironed out. 

    Lattimore could be looking at some hardware at the end of the season, including a trip to New York.

Alshon Jeffery

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    With a dynamic wide receiver like Jeffery to throw to, Garcia (or whoever is under center) should always have a target. 

    Last year Jeffery recorded 88 receptions for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns. This year looks to be even better. 

    As a consistent downfield threat, Jeffery will cause defenses many headaches, leaving them guessing if the ball's going to him or Lattimore.

Down Times for SEC East Rivals

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    South Carolina took advantage of teams being down last year. Look for the same to happen this year. 

    With Florida going through a coaching change, Tennessee still trying to recover from Lane Kiffin and Georgia struggling, the Gamecocks are sitting pretty in the East. 

    Florida should have a better team than last year, but it won't show in their record. Tennessee should be better, but not good enough to beat SC. And Georgia is trying to deal with the loss of its stud receiver, A.J. Green. 

    Who else would challenge South Carolina for the East? Vanderbilt? Kentucky? (It's a joke!)


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    South Carolina took huge steps forward last year, beating No. 1 Alabama and Florida at the Swamp. 

    There were a few bumps in the road that could cause a team to lose momentum (i.e., a blowout in the SEC Championship and loss to FSU in a bowl). However, South Carolina will use those defeats as motivation in the 2011 campaign. 

    The Gamecocks don't draw Bama or LSU, but do have to go on the road to Mississippi State and Arkansas, though the Razorbacks look less dangerous with Kniles Davis out. They also must go to East rivals, Tennessee and Georgia and face a Cam Newton-less Auburn.

    Despite all this, South Carolina will dig deep, remember what they did last year and improve on it.

New Recruits

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    The Gamecocks have some new talent coming into Columbia. 

    South Carolina signed the 15th-best class in the nation, according to ESPN. 

    They also signed the No. 1 recruit and highly-touted Jadeveon Clowney. 

    With all the new talent coming in and 13 starters returning, the Gamecocks look to be in just the place to not only win the SEC, but also to continue their streak of BCS titles.