Hitting the third of three tough games in a row, the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide head into Columbia, South Carolina this Saturday to face SEC foe South Carolina and head coach Steve Spurrier.
The 19th ranked Gamecocks will no doubt serve as another stiff test for an Alabama squad that survived Arkansas (24-20) and rolled past Florida (31-6).
“All my life somebody has been looking for an easier way to do everything, but to do this, there is no easy way to do it,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban told Rolltide.com after Wednesday’s practice. “It takes a lot of hard work, it’s very challenging and everybody has to challenge themselves to be their best to be able to do it. They’ve got a very good team, it will be a very difficult place for us play and it will take a lot of poise on our part to be able to compete the way we need to compete every play in the game to do the things we need to do to have success.”
South Carolina (3-1) enters the game fresh-off a bye week following a 35-27 loss at Auburn on Sept. 25. In that loss, the Gamecocks allowed 334 rushing yards to the Tigers, something they will have to fix on Saturday when they meet the likes of 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and sophomore sensation Trent Richardson.
Stopping the run won’t be the only problem for Spurrier, who is one victory away from taking sole possession of second place on the SEC’s all-time win list behind Alabama’s Bear Bryant.
Spurrier hopes the turnover bug does not impact his team this weekend, following a pair of interceptions to kill drives in the fourth quarter against Auburn.
“Our goals this week are to play better and try to improve as a team,” Spurrier commented.
According to Spurrier, Stephen Garcia will get the start at QB against the Tide, ending any quarterback controversy after he was replaced in the final quarter against Auburn. The junior has thrown for 743 yards with five touchdowns and completed 69.1 percent of his passes, but he’s registered all three South Carolina fumbles.
The 2:30 p.m. (CDT) contest at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia will be televised nationally by CBS.
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Written by Dave Thomas