Week 3 Win Probability: South Carolina
Using ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index) as a guide, South Carolina has a 37.7 percent chance to beat Georgia on Saturday.
DEFENSE IS THE ISSUE AND GURLEY DOESN’T HELP
This game’s opening line has moved 10.5 points since the Gamecocks opened as the early favorite this summer. The media and coaches’ preseason pick to win the Eastern Division, South Carolina’s season surprisingly hangs in the balance in early September after a stunning Week 1 loss to Texas A&M snapped the Gamecocks’ 18-game home winning streak and eviscerated the ‘eye-test’ by poll voters.
South Carolina (1-1) has fallen 15 spots to No. 24 since that night and is in danger of falling out of the Top 25 for the first time in 53 games dating back to the 2010 opener against Southern Miss. Georgia (1-0) hasn’t played since Aug. 30 when the Bulldogs ran over Clemson in Athens, 45-21. Fueled by Heisman candidate Todd Gurley, the Bulldogs’ strength on the ground is one of the primary reasons Mark Richt’s team is favored by a touchdown Saturday afternoon.
Gurley tallied 293 all-purpose yards in the season opener and he’s facing the SEC’s worst defense this season, a unit giving up 566.5 yards per game. There’s no sugar coating needed — South Carolina hasn’t tackled well and often appears lost in coverage. The Gamecocks’ win probability would be higher if they would have proven the first two weeks that the team’s defensive issues are correctable. That hasn’t been the case.
With a loud crowd and stellar product on the field, Williams-Brice Stadium has been a challenging environment for ranked teams over the last several years, especially Georgia who hasn’t won in Columbia since 2008. Home field advantage is South Carolina’s best shot at pulling the upset along with a solid performance at the line of scrimmage against Gurley.