Athlon Sports projects Gamecocks’ 2022 SEC East finish
Athlon Sports released its SEC predictions for East and West divisions for the 2022 college football season today.
Athlon predicted the Gamecocks will place fifth in the SEC East. Carolina surpassed expectations last season as first-year head coach Shane Beamer led the gamecocks to a 7-6 season. The garnet and black look to improve on last year’s winning season as they acquired several transfers that could lead them to an impressive season, such as quarterback Spencer Rattler arriving from Oklahoma and receivers Corey Rucker from Arkansas State, as well as Antwane Wells from James Madison.
The main concern that placed the Gamecocks in the fifth slot is the line of scrimmage on the offensive and defensive side of the football. The offensive line struggled last season as Carolina running backs averaged less than four yards a carry last season, ranking 93rd in overall rushing offense.
South Carolina looks to rebuild the defense as the defensive line allowed 175 rushing yards a game and lost several key pieces of their defense, including All-SEC lineman Kingsley Enagbare and All-SEC safety Jaylen Foster.
The Gamecocks difficulty of schedule also contributed to their projection placement. Carolina has a tough stretch of games as they face off Georgia, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Clemson in annual Palmetto bowl rivalry.
Familiar teams remained at the top of the projection. Georgia is predicted to win the SEC East, while Alabama is projected to take the SEC West. These programs are heavy favorites as these teams faced off in last year’s CFP National Championship as Georgia defeated the Crimson Tide 33-18.