Here’s everything you need to know about Furman at South Carolina:

When: Today
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.
Game Time: Noon, ET
TV: SEC Network
Current Line: South Carolina (-38.5)

Game Buzz: The Gamecocks were supposed to be using the Paladins as a tuneup game before next week’s pivotal road trip to Auburn. Only, it didn’t happen that way. Coming off a bye week with a disappointing record of 3-3, unranked South Carolina’s just trying to snap a two-game skid before assuming the role of double-digit underdogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Steve Spurrier said this week that he feels his team has great senior leadership and that ‘we could still finish with a good season.’ We’ll see about that.



Players to watch:

  • QB Dylan Thompson
  • QB Connor Mitch
  • WR Pharoh Cooper
  • RB Mike Davis
  • LB Skai Moore
  • DB Brison Williams

Keys for South Carolina:

  • Force turnovers. The Gamecocks only have five takeaways this season, an SEC-low.
  • Feed the running backs. Mike Davis likely won’t play more than a half, but fans may finally see an extended glimpse of David Williams, a talented ballcarrier who has fallen to third on the depth chart behind Davis and Brandon Wilds.
  • Get Connor Mitch reps under center. South Carolina’s quarterback of the future hasn’t played a single snap this season, but it’s time for the redshirt freshman. A highly-decorated signee out of Raleigh, N.C., Mitch is pocket passer with an above-average arm. Fifth-senior Dylan Thompson’s obviously earned the right to start in his final campaign, but this is the type of game Mitch could play a quarter or two and really get acclimated to college competition at game speeds.

Team buzz: The fact that we’re not talking about the Gamecocks this week or at the midseason point is a bit strange considering South Carolina was the preseason Eastern Division favorite. Issues on defense have led to three losses, the last two coming against SEC teams despite two-touchdown leads in the final quarter. The Gamecocks will need to win at least three of their final six to reach another bowl game under the Head Ball Coach.

FURMAN (2-4)

Players to watch:

  • RB Hank McCloud
  • QB Dillon Woodruff
  • DL Gary Wilkins
  • LB Cory Magwood
  • DB Trey Robinson

Keys for Furman:

  • Turn Gary Wilkins loose up front: The Gamecocks have struggled against athletic pass rushers this season and while Wilkins isn’t Mizzou’s Shane Ray, he could pose a threat. Wilkins was named the SoCon’s Defensive Player of the Month for September posting 35 tackles (nine for losses) and 4.5 sacks.
  • Play mistake-free football: To keep it competitive today in Columbia, the Paladins can’t give the Gamecocks points, especially against one the nation’s worst defenses in the FBS ranks. An early turnover — or two — could make things go south in a hurry.