Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks will have an opportunity to make a statement to Nick Saban’s Alabama team and the nation this weekend when The Crimson Tide visits William-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.
The game is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30.
South Carolina is ranked #19 in the country and poses a threat to #1 Alabama, but The Crimson Tide features probably the best running back duo in football-Trent Richardson and last year’s Heisman winner Mark Ingram.
Ingram was injured to start the season, but Alabama didn’t lose a step because sophomore Trent Richardson was able to pick up the slack and be a powerful force on the ground. Now that Ingram has come back, it gives Nick Saban more firepower.
Last year, Ingram’s 246 yard performance at Tuscaloosa again st South Carolina opened the door for him winning the Heisman, and it will be interesting what will happen this time around.
Ingram reminisced about last year’s big performance against South Carolina.
“I didn’t expect for it to be that many yards,” Ingram said. “It was crazy. It was really surprising. When I first heard the number, I had to turn and double-check.”
Last year, the 5’11, 225 pound Richardson only ran the ball five times in a 20-6 win over the Gamecocks.
For South Carolina, can their run defense limit Richardson and Ingram?
South Carolina had a fourth quarter lead at Auburn, but dual-threat quarterback Cam Newton led a spirited comeback and the Gamecocks lost, 35-27.
Gamecocks’ defensive tackles Ladi Ajiboye and Travian Robertson will have to be more stout up front and stop Richardson and Ingram from taking inside runs to the outside. Additionally South Carolina’s linebackers must be able to get off their blocks faster and be ready to make the tackle.
If South Carolina’s defense can limit the big impact running plays, then South Carolina increase their chances of winning the game.
However, Alabama has a pretty good defense as well to say the least.
On offense, South Carolina has their own freshman sensation at running back, Marcus Lattimore.
In his first SEC game against Georgia, the freshman ran the football 37 times for 182 yards and had both Gamecocks touchdowns in a 17-6 win. So this gives an indication he was ready to make an impact.
However, facing top-ranked Alabama is a much bigger challenge.
For the season, Lattimore has 366 rushing yards with six rushing touchdowns. Against Auburn, he was limited to 14 carries for only 33 yards.