David Paschall: Gamecocks continuing the gauntlet

David Paschall: Gamecocks continuing the gauntlet

October 11th, 2012 by David Paschall in Sports - Columns

This could be South Carolina's best team ever, and the Gamecocks have quite the stage to state their case.

A week after routing No. 5 Georgia 35-7 in Columbia, the Gamecocks travel to No. 9 LSU this Saturday and to No. 4 Florida next week.

"It's difficult, but we knew what it was in advance," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday. "It's not like we had a big win and somebody said, 'OK, here is where you have to go this week.' You can look a head a little bit.

"At the beginning of the season, we knew this four-game stretch with Georgia, LSU, Florida and Tennessee was going to make or break our season, so we're going to try our best to get ready to play them all."

The Gamecocks will tote a school-record 10-game winning streak to LSU, which happens to own a school-record 21 consecutive victories at Tiger Stadium. The last home loss for the Tigers occurred against No. 1 Florida in 2009.

LSU is 16-2-1 lifetime against South Carolina, but the Tigers have been struggling offensively and are hurting after last week's 14-6 loss at Florida.

"They recognize that nobody is going to get this corrected but us," Tigers coach Les Miles said. "Their practice habits have been very good, and I think they are responding well. We've had a loss or two here, and we will know how to respond."

Pasquali's Pix:

Auburn at Ole Miss: Gene Chizik last week became the first SEC coach ever to lose to another SEC coach who's $40 million in debt. Rebels 24, Tigers 17.

UTC at Furman: After last week's open date, the Mocs are still on track for their first undefeated October since 1997. Mocs 26, Paladins 24.

Alabama at Missouri: Tigers backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser could become the toast of college football, or maybe not. Crimson Tide 38, Tigers 9.

Florida at Vanderbilt: The Gators have outscored their opponents 41-0 in the fourth quarter. Gators 20, Commodores 10.

Stanford at Notre Dame: It's good to know the Irish will continue playing USC and Stanford once they link with the Cavaliers, Demon Deacons and other traditional juggernauts. Irish 31, Cardinal 24.

South Carolina at LSU: A lot of future coin at defensive end with Jadeveon Clowney, Devin Taylor, Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. A couple of great names, too. Gamecocks 16, Tigers 13.

Tennessee at Mississippi State: MSU coach Dan Mullen has a 7-3 record versus SEC East teams entering his first encounter against the Volunteers. Bullies 24, Vols 22.

Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech: This is easily shaping up as the best rescheduled game of the season. Aggies 35, Bulldogs 24.

Last week:

Winners......................15

Grohs.........................10

Pasquali is now 114-36 overall (76.0 percent) this season.

OTHER PICKS

Arkansas 40, Kentucky 17

Virginia Tech 28, Duke 21

Miami 27, North Carolina 25

Virginia 19, Maryland 16

FSU 39, Boston College 14

W. Virginia 30, Texas Tech 17

Ohio State 45, Indiana 18

Kansas St. 35, Iowa St. 20

USC 33, Washington 26

Louisville 26, Pittsburgh 21

BYU 28, Oregon State 19

Oklahoma 24, Texas 19

Rutgers 24, Syracuse 21

Cincinnati 49, Fordham 6

Michigan 42, Illinois 13

Boise St. 31, Fresno St. 22

Fla. International 22, MTSU 21