For the fifth time this season, the Gamecocks will be under the lights of Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday. This time they will take on the No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs.
South Carolina is coming off a loss to the Missouri Tigers. Although it was the Gamecocks' fourth loss in a row, the defense allowed significantly less points than the week before, and offensive changes appeared to move the team in the right direction.
Freshman quarterback Luke Doty started the second half and led South Carolina to score 10 points. Doty threw for 130 yards and had 59 rushing yards.
The Gamecocks could be without several members of their receiving core this weekend. Senior wide receiver Shi Smith is going through concussion protocol, and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Dakereon Joyner sat out on Saturday due to injury and could be sidelined again this weekend.
In his Sunday teleconference, South Carolina interim head coach Mike Bobo said sophomore wide receiver Xavier Legette will be out for the remainder of the season. This leaves wide receivers Jalen Brooks and Josh Vann to take control and lead the receiving core.
This Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs will be relying on their explosive pass game. Wide receivers George Pickens and Jermaine Burton combined for 284 yards and three touchdowns in Georgia's game against Mississippi State on Saturday.
"We’ve got wideouts who can make plays, and when all those guys are healthy and in tune, we’ve got really good pass protection," Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said in a postgame press conference.
With several members of South Carolina's secondary opting out to prepare for the NFL draft or for personal reasons, some younger players will have to step up. Sophomore defensive backs Jammie Robinson and John Dixon already saw increased action against Missouri.
While Georgia had a few issues at the quarterback position to start the season, redshirt sophomore JT Daniels appears to be the front runner to start Saturday's game. In the Bulldogs' game against Mississippi State on Nov. 21, Daniels threw for 401 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
"We've known he throws a nice deep ball," Smart said. "I thought his accuracy was really good, and he even showed some quickness and some mobility in there when we missed some guys."
Barring any setbacks, the Gamecocks should expect to see Daniels in the starting lineup for the Bulldogs again this week.
As far as South Carolina's quarterback situation goes, Bobo said he's "got a plan," but he hasn't met with the quarterbacks yet.
If Doty gets the start against Georgia, the team will be more prepared than Missouri was. Doty's snaps last week give the Bulldogs more film to analyze.
"Our most explosive player on the field in the second half was Luke Doty and that was his ability to create, you know, when they were playing man coverage and rush five," Bobo said. "[Missouri] didn’t have a spy for him, and I’m sure they did not have a game plan for him. I’m sure we’ll see a little bit, something different if he were to play much against Georgia. They’ll have a plan for him."
The Gamecocks are set to kick off against the Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network.