Storylines: Alabama vs. South Carolina

The Gamecocks will face a monumental challenge on Saturday as they go toe to toe with the #1 team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama will come into Williams-Brice Stadium with a daunting regular season win streak dating back to the 2007 season. USC will look to put together a complete game and upset the Tide in a nationally televised contest.

GameDay, CBS bringing excitement to town

It is no secret now that College GameDay will be broadcasting live on Saturday in USC's historic Horshoe. In addition to Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and crew, CBS will bring their coverage to Williams-Brice for a national SEC Game of the week broadcast.

Steve Spurrier admitted earlier in the week that the team is very excited about the atmosphere, even if they know the Tide is the reason for the deluge of coverage in Columbia this weekend.

"Alabama's the team that draws the crowds, the TVs and everything else and they certainly deserve it. (They) haven't lost a game since 2008, sometime in there. So they're a good team and it'll be a big challenge for us."

Spurrier's take as an opponent on a GameDay weekend

In 2001, Steve Spurrier brought his Florida Gators into Williams-Brice for a huge matchup, with ESPN cameras also broadcasting GameDay that morning. Also, Spurrier witnessed a "blackout" by the Carolina faithful.

After Florida muffed an early punt, South Carolina was able to jump out to an early lead, but was absolutely dominated from there on out in a 54-17 defeat. Spurrier's Gators went on to beat Maryland in the Orange Bowl in what would be his final game as Florida head coach.

After experiencing things on the other side, Spurrier said it will be a great atmosphere put on by USC, both before and during the game, but the teams play would determine the outcome over intangible factors.

"Well it was an excellent atmosphere. It didn't affect our team (though). But we've been a lot better at home here lately than on the road, and hopefully maybe that will give us a little bit better chance this week also. But that was one of our best teams at Florida, the 2001 game. I think we scored 54 here that night. But that was an exceptional team and (quarterback) Rex Grossman was really, really good that year. But that was two different teams, a long time ago. So this is a completely different situation. Our fans, they're good, they're loud, they love football here just as much as anywhere else in the country, and hopefully we're going to be in the game and give them something to yell about this Saturday."

Garcia looks to bring "A game" versus Alabama

For three quarters on the Plains of Auburn two weekends ago, Stephen Garcia may have been one of the best quarterbacks in America. Garcia completed 14-20 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns through the end of the third quarter against the Tigers, and looked to be gearing up for more before two turnovers helped derail his efforts to win the game.

Connor Shaw came into the game, but also suffered from the turnover bug as two late interceptions eventually proved to be too much to beat Auburn on the road.

Since that time, much debate has swirled over the quarterback position at South Carolina, as fans have publicly wondered whether the Gamecocks would be better sticking with Garcia against Alabama or perhaps experimenting with Shaw to a greater degree. However, Coach Spurrier has said that he plans to go with experience against the tough Crimson Tide defense.

"We're going to give Stephen (Garcia) every opportunity to be our quarterback. He's played pretty well except for his fumbles and we emphasized as much as we possibly could to hold onto the ball and when's he's about to get tackled to get down and protect the ball. Hopefully he can start doing that, he hasn't done it in three years here yet, but we've emphasized it and we'll see if he has a chance to cure that fault of his. But other than that he's done pretty well and we've got a lot of good players. Our line needs to play well, our offensive line needs to not get pushed around and we need to hold our own in there against Alabama and that will certainly give us a better chance."

Finding the run a key to beating the Tide

After rushing for just 38 yards against Auburn, Carolina will once again look to get freshman Marcus Lattimore rolling in a key SEC game. Lattimore showed up big in the Gamecocks only home SEC game this year, gashing Georgia for 187 yards in leading USC to a 2-0 start.

It won't be easy against Alabama, as they bring in the number three rushing defense in the conference, giving up just 101 yards a contest.

USC will look to Lattimore once again as a big key to staying in the game with Alabama, but Spurrier said that it will be a Carolina offense that achieves balance that will be able to compete and win against the Tide.

"It's pretty important anytime you play to have a strong running game, especially this week or any week," said Spurrier. "But we also understand that sometimes you can't just run up and down the field, that you'd better be pretty good at throwing the ball unless you can dominate the line of scrimmage, which doesn't happen very often. So we always shoot for balance. Hopefully (we) can take care of the ball. But we gotta take our chances. We can't run three up the middle against Alabama. Nobody's done that against those guys. So we got to mix it up, but we still have to run. We know that."

Gamecock offense trying to break through

While a young Alabama defense was a hot topic coming into this season and even several games in, that defense asserted itself in a big way in their 31-6 domination of Florida.

In fact, for all of the talk about the defense suffering due to youth and inexperience this year, they currently rank first in all of FBS football giving up just nine points per game.

The South Carolina offense will certainly have its work cut out for it against this tough defense, but will look for any way they can to get into the end zone.

South Carolina will of course look to run the ball with Marcus Lattimore, but may also look to exploit Alabama's young defensive backs through the air.

However, Spurrier said because of how fundamentally sounds and well coached the Alabama defense is, it will be extremely difficult to put points on the board against them.

"One thing I think they do extremely well, and I was telling our receivers the other day watching tape, they run with you," said Spurrier. "They don't play behind and break on the ball. A lot of their coverages, they just stick right with you and start running. Their DBs do a good job of really playing to the receivers. That's one thing Nick coaches extremely well."

Alshon looking for big afternoon in Columbia

Alshon Jeffery certainly did not disappoint against the Auburn Tigers, having one of the biggest nights of his career while catching eight balls for 192 yards and two touchdowns. While things certainly won't get easier against the Tide, Jeffery will no doubt be looking to continue his strong play.

But whether or not Alabama will try to do different things to slow down the dynamic Jeffery is another question.

"Yeah it'll be interesting to see if they just play against us like they do everybody else, which, actually, most teams do" said Spurrier. "They may run some kind of man-to-man with a safety over the top of Alshon. We did see that late in the game at Auburn, a little different scheme just for him. But other than that, most teams usually play their scheme of defense and go from there. But I got a feeling they'll know where Alshon is most every play. We have thrown more of our downfield passes toward him. It could be important to get the other guys involved if we can a little bit more."

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