The Daily Gamecock

Gamecocks' SEC hopes rest with Ole Miss

Football team could know fate before Clemson game

Earlier this week, students got an email reminding us to request tickets for the remaining home games against Coastal Carolina and Clemson. In that same email, students were offered a chance to apply for discounted SEC Championship game tickets.

South Carolina has not clinched the SEC East yet. However, student ticketing must have looked at Missouri’s remaining schedule and saw how difficult it is. The Tigers play at No. 24 Ole Miss this weekend and finish out the regular season at home against No. 12 Texas A&M. Missouri only has to lose one of the games for the Gamecocks to punch their tickets to Atlanta.

With that said, you will know if South Carolina will play in Atlanta sooner than you may think. Ole Miss will top Missouri this weekend, and the Tigers will upset the Aggies in their final game. In this scenario, South Carolina will be East champs shortly after their game against Coastal Carolina at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

You may be wondering what the heck I’m thinking. I know my prediction is opposite from the majority of opinions out there but here is why it will play out that way.

Ole Miss has played well this season, particularly at home. The Rebels are 7-3 on the season and their three losses have been to Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M, all teams currently ranked in the top 15. The Alabama and Auburn games were on the road and the loss to A&M at home came on a last-second field goal.

Rebel signal caller Bo Wallace is a dual-threat quarterback who has completed nearly 65 percent of his passes and thrown for more than 2,600 yards while also rushing for four touchdowns. Remember a certain dual-threat quarterback who torched the Tigers when he entered the game in the second half?

In addition, tailback Jeff Scott is averaging almost eight yards per carry. If that’s not enough, Ole Miss has four tailbacks who are averaging at least five yards per carry and have at least 50 touches.
Finally, Missouri quarterback James Franklin is expected to return against the Rebels. While this should boost the Tigers, Franklin hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 12, so he’ll be a little rusty.

Now here is why Missouri will knock off Texas A&M at home: Have you seen the Aggie defense this season? They have more holes than a strainer. A&M is 88th in the country in points against, just under 31 points per game. Even worse, the Aggies are giving up more than 38 points per game in their six conference games.

Not good news against a Missouri team with a potent offense and a nasty attitude after a 30-point loss to the Aggies last season. This game is a rivalry from when both teams were in the Big-12 and the Tigers would love nothing more than to show A&M that they belong in the SEC as well.

So pay attention this weekend, because if Missouri does happen to take care of Ole Miss, they will represent the East in Atlanta.


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