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Better Know a 2017 Opponent: USC

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Weird scheduling quirk here, but whatever.

NCAA Football: Birmingham Bowl-South Florida vs South Carolina Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to be honest, I think this is a weird bit of scheduling on the part of UCLA, putting a non-conference game this late in the season, but the schedule I pulled up to write this series says USC is the next team, and that can only be talking about one team:

The University of South Carolina.

LAST YEAR

South Carolina was....not a super entertaining team last year. Not shocking considering Will Muschamp is now their head coach, and I’ve heard enough episodes of the Shutdown Fullcast to know that Will Muschamp does not believe in entertaining football. They only pulled off one real upset last year when they beat Tennessee, but they also managed to get cake walked by a Clemson team that, up to that point, refused to beat anyone by more than 6 points.

The defense was pretty good, at least? And the offense was starting a literal toddler at quarterback, so there’s almost no way they don’t improve *looks at head coach again* ok nevermind that’s still going to be bad.

THE FANS

For some odd reason, South Carolina always insists on being the first game on the first Thursday of the college football season, which means every year I’m forced into watching at least one South Carolina football game, so I’d like to believe I’m an expert when it comes to South Carolina fan traditions. As far as I can tell, they love playing Sandstorm before kickoffs, and then slowly realizing their team is average over the course of the game.

Of course, since we aren’t regular opponents, I went and did a deep dive to find out some more about South Carolina fans. Here are some things I found:

The Gamecocks took advantage of their upset win over Duke in this past NCAA tournament to engage in the national pasttime of roasting Duke.

I also found the saddest bit of trash talk between Vanderbilt and South Carolina fans before the start of last season.

Some fans celebrated their return to the NCAA tournament by......raising the Confederate flag.....

Well that last one ain’t great. Maybe try to do better, Gamecocks?

PS: I appreciate how willingly you all accepted the fact that you could yell “Go Cocks!” at each other. That’s a true sign of progression.

THE COACHES

As stated above, Will Muschamp hates fun. Or rather, he has a rather warped view of the topic. This isn’t, like, a scientific fact; I’m just saying that because the man had access to a treasure trove of talent while at Florida and refused to put together an offense that could drive the ball with any consistency. Kennedy Polamalu was impressed with Muschamp’s level of ineptness on that side of the ball.

That said, he also has one of the all-time best/worst yelling faces. Check this out:

I mean, look at this dude. He looks like his parents just took away his Hot Wheels and told him he wouldn’t be getting them back for an hour.

THE PLAYERS

Jake Bentley, the true freshman quarterback who took over midway through the season last year, is really young. Like “Should actually be preparing for his high school senior prom” young. And that’s not a joke - that’s a real thing.

I did make sure to check and yes Jadeveon Clowney is no longer in school here. Which is good because he could have done this against us and boy howdy I don’t want to see Bolu Olorunfunmi die on the field:

FEARLESS PREDICTION

This game actually doesn’t happen, and we play a team pretending to be the real USC instead.

A ton of people read this article and don’t get the joke.