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College Football Analysis: Can South Carolina Win Without Marcus Lattimore?

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South Carolina has had a very tumultuous two weeks.

First they dumped Stephen Garcia and then this past week they lost their stud RB Marcus Lattimore to a season ending knee injury. What is an awful break for Lattimore quickly turns to the question of how will South Carolina react to this huge loss.

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Lattimore had accounted for 59% of the Gamecocks rushing yardage so far this year (with their QBs accounting for 20.7% and DE Melvin Ingram accounting for 4.9%). The second leading rusher from the RB position for the Gamecocks is freshman Brandon Wilds who has rushed for just 75 yards this year. To say the outlook for the Gamecocks is bleak would be putting it lightly.

Right now South Carolina is 6-1 and 4-1 in the SEC and still controls it's own destiny.

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If there is good news, it is that South Carolina has a bye week this week so they can work on life without Lattimore without having to worry about playing an actual football game this weekend.

Let's take a look at their remaining schedule and project out the season for the Gamecocks:

GameOutlook10/29 @ TennesseeEven11/5 @ ArkansasProbable Loss11/12 vs FloridaEven11/19 vs CitadelWin11/26 vs ClemsonProbable Loss

Season Prediction: 8-4 (5-3)

Best Case Scenario: 10-2 (6-2)

Worst Case Scenario: 7-5 (4-4)

I think South Carolina is in for a rough finish of the season. I think the Tennessee/Florida games are toss ups right now with the QB issues that those two teams have. I also think South Carolina will split those games.

If the Gamecocks can beat Tennessee it would be a huge confidence booster and could help them steal the Florida game two weeks after that. I see them losing to Arkansas and Clemson and beating the Citadel which leaves me at a projection of 8-4 for them. It seems low as they would have to lose 4 out of their last 6 for this to happen but they just lost the Heart & Soul of their team. They were struggling mightily offensively recently (with the exception of Kentucky but I'm not sure they still play in the SEC) as they failed to reach 300 yards of total offense against Auburn or Mississippi State.

I'd say the outlook is bleak for the Gamecocks for the remainder of the season.