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In a sense, South Carolina saved its season last week after a fourth quarter double overtime comeback win at Missouri. In fact, they did. A loss would have put the Gamecocks with three losses and out of the SEC East and BCS picture. With four games left, neither of those things are out of reach. They'll be -12 point home favorites over Mississippi State in this one at 5 dimes sportsbook.
The Bulldogs are coming off two straight wins - their first streak of the season - but that's not going to mean a whole lot here. They get South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama over the next three weeks. Mississippi State can stay with the mediocre teams like its last win over Kentucky, but against the upper echelon of teams like Auburn and LSU, they are simply out matched.
Quarterback Dak Prescott leads this team on the ground with 490 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. That's probably the only positive for this offense. Prescott isn't overly accurate (57 percent completion) and only has five passing TDs this year. LaDarius Perkins is the top running back with one touchdown and hasn't surpassed 83 yards in a game yet. This type of offense will have trouble against South Carolina with guys like Jadeveon Clowney on the edges. The Bulldogs will likely rush to wherever Clowney is not on the field and the Gamecocks can pounce on that.
Granted, the South Carolina defense hasn't really lived up to its potential this year, so it'd be wise to step back before blindly taking them in this game. Don't forget they only beat Kentucky by a touchdown earlier this year and already lost to Tennessee.
Connor Shaw should be ready for this game, although he was still dealing with an illness midweek. Shaw was the only reason the Gamecocks beat Missouri. He came in and dominated the second half, throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns. As long as he starts here, it should be a good result for them. Dylan Thompson struggled for much of the game last week. Running back Mike Davis also had trouble against Missouri and couldn't get anything going with just 2.7 yards per carry, his worst average by far for the year. It should be smoother sailing against this Bulldogs front line that gave up 160 rushing yards to Kentucky.
If the South Carolina defense can contain Prescott early, it's going to be tough for Mississippi State to stay close. This isn't a team built to make comebacks.
The last time they played was back in 2011 when the Gamecocks managed a 14-12 win on the road.
The Bulldogs are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Gamecocks have not covered in five straight games played on grass and are only 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win. Mississippi State is 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings between these teams.
The public is backing South Carolina in this one to the tune of 77% according to the betting trends at sportsbook.com.
South Carolina hasn't been able to put anyone away all year other than Arkansas. While South Carolina has played a schedule that has been a tad more difficult, when you look at these two teams yards per point numbers, they are just about dead even. We think there's some room within this number here for a Miss State cover. Miss State +12
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