South Carolina Gamecocks

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 10:  Brandon Mcilwain #11 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs the ball during a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi.  The Bulldogs defeated the Gamecocks 27-14.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

South Carolina turns QB show over to freshmen


So long for having a veteran option to rely on at South Carolina. The Gamecocks’ are moving forward giving a pair of freshmen the chance to lead the offense for the remainder of the season. Jake Bentley and Brandon McIlwain will continue to take first-team reps with the offense

“I just feel like right now, just from an ability standpoint, those two guys give us the best opportunity,” South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said during his Sunday teleconference, according to The Post and Courier. “And they’re just going to keep getting better. Both of them do things equally well, and we’ll continue to rep that way.”

Bentley made his season debut over the weekend, completing 17 of 26 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns against UMass. McIlwain has appeared in six games this season, completing 56-of-106 passes for 567 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. At 3-4, the Gamecocks can still make a run to a postseason bowl berth, but having a quarterback capable of lighting a spark on offense is essential. Bentley did that against UMAss, but games against Tennessee, Florida and Clemson in the second half of the season will prove to be more difficult.

Regardless, this means we may have seen the last of Perry Orth at quarterback for the Gamecocks. Orth will step aside as South Carolina’s leading passer with 661 passing yards and a completion percentage of 63.3 without a touchdown and two interceptions. The senior, a former walk-on, will remain influential on the sideline, however.

“Perry’s been great in terms of supporting our guys and talking to them on the sideline,” Muschamp said. “He’s been a great teammate, he’s a great young man, and he’s a guy who certainly is a valuable member of our organization, and a guy I’ve got the utmost respect for.”

Strong rushing attack propels Georgia to narrow SEC East win over South Carolina

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 9:  Running back Nick Chubb #27 of the Georgia Bulldogs is congratulated by teammates offensive lineman Tyler Catalina #72 and offensive guard Greg Pyke #73 after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter on October 9, 2016 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages)
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NFL fans tuning into get a glimpse of the exceedingly rare sight of college football on a Sunday afternoon were treated to plenty of highlights from some future pro running backs but didn’t see much of an aerial attack as Georgia escaped a pesky South Carolina team 28-14 in an SEC East matchup.

The game, moved a day later than normal as the result of Hurricane Matthew hitting the Carolinas, was mostly reminiscent of the games played along the East Coast yesterday in terms of being a bit of a slog — only this time under sunny skies and near perfect weather in Columbia. Neither team’s passing offense produced anything all that memorable as both quarterbacks struggled to throw the ball for most of the afternoon.

Bulldogs freshman Jacob Eason was just 5-of-17 for a paltry 29 yards but looked great turning around and handing it off to tailbacks Sony Michel (133 yards), Nick Chubb (121 yards, two scores) and Brian Herrien (82 yards).

South Carolina was equally suspect trying to throw the ball most of the afternoon but signal-caller Perry Orth did pick things up in the second half to finish with 288 yards. The Gamecocks just couldn’t run the ball at all however, winding up with just 30 yards on a paltry 1.2 yards a carry.

The biggest play of the day may have come in dramatic fashion after Orth pulled South Carolina within a score and just under two minutes remaining. The team lined up for an onside kick but Terry Godwin had other ideas, snatching the ball out of the air and returning it 43 yards for a touchdown to make the final score look a little more comfortable than it really was.

The result brings Georgia back to .500 in the SEC East and continues to keep their slim hopes of making it to Atlanta for the league title game alive. Kirby Smart’s team will return home to face Vanderbilt between the hedges on short rest this Saturday before turning their attention to rival Florida at the end of the month.

It wasn’t exactly a pretty game between the Bulldogs and  but the rare sight of some college football on Sunday was a nice treat to have amid all the NFL action.

Will Muschamp: Georgia-South Carolina game moved to Sunday

SINGER ISLAND, FL - OCTOBER 06:  Waves crash ashore as Hurricane Matthew approaches the area on October 6, 2016 in Singer Island, Florida.  The hurricane is expected to make landfall sometime this evening or early in the morning as a possible Category 4 storm.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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LSU reportedly offered Florida multiple options to get their game in this weekend, including playing it on Sunday.  The Gators rebuffed that tack, as well as others, leading that game to be “postponed.”

Another SEC game, though, isn’t shying away from encroaching on the NFL’s hallowed day-of-rest grounds.

On his radio show Thursday night, Will Muschamp revealed that the Georgia-South Carolina game originally scheduled for Saturday will instead be played Sunday.  The particulars of exactly when are still to be worked out, although the where is firm — in Columbia, as originally scheduled.

It’s definitely going forward,” Muschamp said. “The game time has not been decided. We’re working with the University of Georgia, the Southeastern Conference and the SEC Network for a kick time.”

Because of the potential impact of Hurricane Matthew on her state, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has already informed the university that state resources, including troopers, would not be at the athletic department’s disposal if the game was played this weekend.  Contingency plans, though, involving other local law enforcement resources, including two county sheriff’s departments and the campus police department, are already in place.

This would be the second FBS game moved to Sunday because of Matthew.  Earlier Thursday, FAU announced that its game against Charlotte, scheduled for a 3:30 kickoff Saturday, has been tentatively rescheduled for Sunday at noon.

UPDATED 9:29 p.m. ET: It’s been confirmed by all parties involved that the Georgia-South Carolina game will be played Sunday in Columbia at 2:30 p.m. ET.  The contest will be televised on the SEC Network.

Georgia-South Carolina game to be played in Columbia, but when remains unclear

CARIBBEAN SEA - OCTOBER 3: In this NOAA handout image, taken by the GOES satellite at 1620 UTC shows Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean Sea heading towards Jamacia, Haiti and Cuba on October 3, 2016. Matthew is a strong Category 4 hurricane, in the central Caribbean Sea and is poised to deliver a potentially catastrophic strike on Haiti.  (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
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As was the case with the LSU-Florida game, the Georgia-South Carolina game will be played in its originally scheduled location.  Precisely when, though, remains to be seen.

In the latest status update, USC confirmed that the game, scheduled for a 7:15 p.m. ET kickoff Saturday, will be played at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia as previously planned.  A final decision on the time, and perhaps even the date, is expected to be made at some point Thursday.

“The University of South Carolina and its athletics department are continuing to monitor the movements of Hurricane Matthew as it relates to the scheduled football game with the University of Georgia,” a portion of the school’s release read. “We are in communication with the National Weather Service, state and local authorities and the SEC regarding potential weather issues.”

The school added that “[t]he safety of everyone affected by the storm and the minimization of the impact on emergency personnel are the most important factors in making the decision.”

The governor of the state, Nikki Haley, has already made the university aware that state support, including troopers, will not be made available for the game.

“What we have informed USC is we will not be able to give any state support for that game,” Haley said according to The State. “I can’t take troopers off the road to go put them at a football game.”

Contingency plans involving other local law enforcement resources, including two county sheriff’s departments and the campus police department, are already in place.

“There won’t be any lack of security at the game whenever it’s held,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott stated.

There’s been talk that, because of Matthew, the game could be moved to Sunday or, possibly, Monday.  USC is on a bye next weekend, although UGA will play Vanderbilt.


S. Carolina governor ‘can’t imagine’ UGA-USC game being played as scheduled because of hurricane

Wind blows coconut trees during the passage of Hurricane Matthew in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Hurricane Matthew roared into the southwestern coast of Haiti on Tuesday, threatening a largely rural corner of the impoverished country with devastating storm conditions as it headed north toward Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
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Just a short time ago we noted how a handful of schools along with their conferences are monitoring Hurricane Matthew and its potential impact on Week 6 games, although all were cautiously optimistic that the games would go of as planned.  At least one high-ranking officials in one of the states involved, however, has her doubts.

At a press conference Tuesday, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley declared a state of emergency ahead of the hurricane’s expected impact on her state later on this week.  While acknowledging that the decision will ultimately be made by the school and the SEC, Haley stated that she “can’t imagine” the Georgia-South Carolina game being played as scheduled Saturday night.

“It’s a complete decision based on the schools,” Haley said according to The State. “As of now I can’t imagine that happening but certainly we’re going to continue to watch this. I would love nothing more than to see this take a right-hand turn and go out to sea. As it looks right now, we’re looking at Friday afternoon into Saturday being pretty brutal.

In a statement, the athletic department said that “[w]e are in communication with the National Weather Service” and that “[o]nce forecasts call for action, we will use all means necessary to inform the public.”

If the game is delayed, it’s unclear when or even if it would be made up.  South Carolina has a bye in Week 7, but Georgia’s isn’t until the following Saturday.  According to UGA athletic director Greg McGarity via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Georgia, South Carolina and the SEC office had yet to have discussions about contingency plans for the game.”