One of the top matchups for this upcoming week 6 of the 2010 college football season will be this Saturday (3:30 pm ET) when the defending National Champion and number 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide roll into South Carolina to take on the number 20 ranked Gamecocks in an SEC clash. Alabama, fresh off a 31-6 thrashing of SEC rival Florida down in Tuscaloosa last week, brings a sparkling 5-0 record into the contest against South Carolina, who is 3-1 coming off a tough 35-27 loss to Auburn on the road two weeks ago. Two national championship-winning head coaches square off in this game with Nick Saban leading Alabama, and Steve Spurrier as the head coach at South Carolina.
Alabama is of course loaded on offense, with senior quarterback Greg McElroy leading a crew that includes running backs Mark Ingram (7.9 YPC) and Trent Richardson (7.4 YPC), and receiver Julio Jones. Ingram, who got his Heisman campaign rolling last season by running for 246 yards (3rd best in school history) against South Carolina in last season’s 20-6 Tide victory, is rolling coming into this game with 335 yards and 6 touchdowns in only 3 games this season. Richardson has added 419 yards and four touchdowns on the season. Quarterback Stephen Garcia will start for South Carolina after being pulled in the 4th quarter of the loss at Auburn after fumbling for the second time in the game. He has thrown for 643 yards and a 69.1 completion percentage on the season, but has 3 fumbles and will need to protect the ball better against Alabama.
South Carolina gave up 334 rushing yards against Auburn in their loss, which was the fourth most rushing yards allowed since 1996 for the Gamecocks. Coming into the game they had one of the best run defenses in the nation, and they will need to rediscover that form to pull off the upset against Alabama.
South Carolina is seeking their first victory against Alabama since 2004, and Spurrier has lost both of his two games against the Tide as head coach of the Gamecocks. South Carolina has not beaten a team ranked in the top three since defeating number 3 North Carolina in 1981. The Crimson Tide come into the game 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall, and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games. South Carolina is 5-2 ATS when playing a team with a winning record. The under is 10-3-1 in Alabama’s last 14 conference games, and the under is 5-2 in South Carolina’s last 7 conference games.
Alabama vs South Carolina Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Alabama Crimson Tide -7
@ South Carolina Gamecocks +7
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Alabama vs. South Carolina Prediction for Week 6 Saturday Afternoon Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – The Tide will keep roiling here, South Carolina’s rugged run defense may be able to slow down the Tide running back somewhat, but no team in college football is capable of shutting down Ingram and Richardson completely. The pair ran roughshod over a tough Florida defense last week, and they will do so again this week. South Carolina has had two weeks to prepare for the game, so expect the defense and Spurrier’s offense to have some tricks in store for Saban and company, but it will not matter in the end. Alabama should win this won going away, just as they have done all season long.
PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – Alabama -7
Over/Under Prediction – Take the under here, Spurrier’s offense is capable of putting some points up and will almost surely unveil some new wrinkles after the two week lay-off, but Garcia is a mistake-prone QB and that does not bode well here. Alabama’s offense may be unstoppable this year, and expect them to hang AT LEAST 30 points on the Gamecocks, and the over has hit in 3 out of 4 USC games this year, so they have been involved in some shootouts, but this looks like a decidedly one-sided affair.
PREDICTION – Under 48