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By PST Contributor: Des Boodram

August 15th, 2016

Who is brave enough to go out on a limb and make a prediction on how the Gamecocks will do this season.  Who can intelligently assess Will Muschamp’s coaching ability and whether or not he can bring the funk to Columbia, South Carolina.

Initial reaction to the Muschamp hiring was as expected.  He’s a big SEC name with SEC experience, except for the fact that experience can be attached to a program that went through a huge digression while he was at Florida.  So we’ve already seen Muschamp on the big stage and it wasn’t good, but South Carolina fan maintains that Columbia is different than Gainesville, and Muschamp will flourish with less pressure.

He’s a big name coach, so Gamecock nation, or at least a portion of Gamecock Nation thinks that Muschamp will make them competitive again… perhaps competitive enough to beat their upstate rivals in Clemson.

Following in the Foot Steps of the Old Ball Coach

Is the pressure really going to be less though?  We’re talking about South Carolina football and the University geographically represents half the state… a state that has no major professional sports and a school that has a decent football history AND can’t beat their rival… a rival that played in the National Championship game last season.  Seems like a good amount of pressure, so there’s no harm in taking a closer look at what the Gamecocks are working with.

Pharoh Cooper, USC’s best offensive player last season left early and who can blame them, so recognizing offensive player on this year’s team will be difficult.  Take your pick at QB – South Carolina has five listed,  but it appears as though Brandon Mcllwain had the best spring.  Don’t sleep on Lorenzo Nunez who has the best wheels of the bunch and a decent arm.

When you have 5 QB’s – Do you really have 1?

Five QBs is not a great, though nothing is better than having an intense QB competition, but five muddies the waters so much and leaves room for second-guessing.  Until the Gamecocks get this situation resolved, this team will struggle offensively.  Tailback David Williams, has had a long two seasons with the Gamecocks but will finally get a starters workload with no real competition.  Expect him to be one of the best RBs in the SEC if healthy.

This defense was bad last season, and that is not a millennial term that means they were good.  A lot of teams scored a lot of points against them, making them the worst team defensively in the SEC.  To make matters worse their best defender, senior Skai Moore is already out for the season.

The team’s leading tackler for the last three years has a neck injury, but should be back next year.  In the secondary Rashad Fenton, is the only player to keep an eye on which is not a good sign.   Perhaps there is a diamond in the rough that will uncover themselves and help this program out on the defensive side of the ball.

It’ll be hard for this team to no finish dead last in the SEC East, though anything can happen.  It’s going to be a long season for Gamecock nation, so they will have to buckle down and be patient is Muschamp, as there will be better days ahead.

The South Carolina Gamecocks are a +3.5 point Road Underdog in week 1 vs. Vanderbilt, get all of your College Football odds in the PST Daily lines section.