The South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium.
USC is in search of its first home conference game of the season after a disappointing yet promising 24-14 loss to the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs in Athens last week.
Here’s everything you need to know about the MSU game, including how to watch, important storylines, betting odds and more:
What channel is the South Carolina game on?
Who: South Carolina (1-2, 0-1 SEC) vs. Mississippi State (2-1, 0-1)
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
TV: SEC Network
On-air announce crew: Tom Hart (play-by-play), Jordan Rogers (analyst), Cole Cubelic (sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM in the Columbia area (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analyst; Chet Tucker, sideline) … See all the radio affiliates around South Carolina here.
Satellite radio: Siruis/XM channel 109 or 190
Series history: South Carolina leads the all-time series 9-7, including a 5-3 record in Columbia.
Injury report, top storylines for the game
Injury report: The Gamecocks will be without offensive lineman Cason Henry and receiver Antwane Wells (left foot) against the Bulldogs. ... Wide receiver Ahmarean Brown (hamstring), and defensive ends Jatius Geer and Tyreek Johnson will be available Saturday, Beamer said Thursday after labeling them as “questionable” earlier in the week. Brown, Geer (undisclosed) and Johnson (undisclosed) worked in practice Thursday, Beamer said.
A must-win for the Gamecocks: South Carolina is 1-2 after three weeks of the 2023 season. With No. 23 Tennessee, No. 25 Florida and in-state rival Clemson left on the schedule, this Mississippi State game at home under the lights feels like one USC cannot lose.
South Carolina favored vs. FBS opponent: The Gamecocks have not been favored to win either of their first two games against FBS opponents this season. MSU will also be USC’s first unranked FBS foe (UNC was ranked No. 21 for the opener, and UGA was ranked No. 1). It’s the closest thing to a coin-toss game South Carolina has seen this year.
Offsetting weaknesses: South Carolina, in part because of its tough start to the schedule, is last in the SEC in total defense. Mississippi State is last in total offense. USC quarterback Spencer Rattler has played tremendously through the first three contests as the run game has struggled. MSU has implemented a new offensive system that’s bigger on running the ball than its air-raid style offense of old. Which team will be able to make greater strides with its weaknesses?
Both teams looking to bounce back: The Gamecocks are fresh off a soul-crushing loss (because they felt like they could and should have won) to the No. 1 team in the country. These Bulldogs come to Columbia looking to wash away the embarrassment of their 41-14 loss to the top-15 LSU Tigers. Whose will to win will win out?
Weather forecast for Columbia
The National Weather Service predicts Saturday to be mostly sunny with a daytime high near 79 degrees and a 20% chance of showers. Saturday night should be partly cloudy with a game temperatures in the low 70s and upper 60s.
ESPN FPI game prediction
ESPN’s Football Power Index gives South Carolina an 59.7% chance to win the game.
Point spread for USC Gamecocks vs Mississippi State
The Gamecocks are 6.5-point favorites against the Bulldogs, according to VegasInsider’s consensus line. The over/under is 48.5 points.
2023 football schedule
Sept. 23: vs. Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Sept. 30: at Tennessee, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Oct. 14: vs. Florida – TBA
Oct. 21: at Missouri – TBA
Oct. 28 – at Texas A&M – TBA
Nov. 4 – Jacksonville State – TBA
Nov. 11 – vs Vanderbilt – TBA
Nov. 18 – vs Kentucky – TBA
Nov. 25 – vs Clemson – TBA
Projected USC depth chart
QB: Spencer Rattler (Luke Doty)
RB: Dakereon Joyner (Juju McDowell —OR— Mario Anderson)
TE: Trey Knox (Nick Elksnis)
TE: Joshua Simon (Connor Cox)
WR: O’Mega Blake (Nyck Harbor)
WR: Ahmarean Brown (Eddie Lewis)
WR: Xavier Legette (Luke Doty)
LT: Tree Babalade (Jaxon Hughes)
LG: Nick Gargiulo (Trai Jones)
RG: Jakai Moore —OR— Trovon Baugh
RT: Sidney Fugar —OR— Tyshawn Wannamaker
OC: Vershon Lee (Grayson Mains)
DE: Tyreek Johnson —OR— Jatius Geer —OR— Drew Tuazama
OLB/Edge: Jordan Strachan —OR— Bryan Thomas Jr. —OR— Desmond Umeozulu
DT: Tonka Hemingway (T.J. Sanders)
DT: Alex Huntley (Nick Barrett)
MLB: Stone Blanton (Grayson “Pup” Howard)
WLB: Debo Williams (Bam Martin-Scott)
NICK: Keenan Nelson Jr. (David Spaulding —OR— Kajuan Banks)
CB: O’Donnell Fortune (Judge Collier)
CB: Marcellas Dial (Emory Floyd)
SS: Nick Emmanwori (King-Demenian Ford)
FS: DQ Smith (Jalon Kilgore)
PK: Mitch Jeter (Alex Herrera)
P: Kai Kroeger (Alex Herrera)
LSN: Hunter Rogers (Cole Rasmussen)
H: Kai Kroeger (William Joyce)
KOR: Xavier Legette (Dakereon Joyner —OR— Juju McDowell)
PR: Ahmarean Brown (Eddie Lewis)