Tide ready for Gamecocks

By Staff
Alabama has moved up to No. 2 in the nation, but hosts a South Carolina team tonight that has already upset one Top 5 team this season as the Crimson Tide celebrates homecoming.
Alabama leads the all-time series 11-2, but the last time these teams met in Tuscaloosa, it was the Gamecocks that walked off the field victorious.
The Crimson Tide defense, which is allowing an average of 218 yards per game, will try to disrupt young South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia.
Garcia has struggled with consistency throughout the season, and with the exception of the Georgia game, hasn't helped the Gamecocks score many points against quality opponents.
Alabama has recorded 16 sacks this season and has intercepted seven passes during the last two games.
If the Gamecock offense cannot find its rhythm, South Carolina will have to rely on its defense to win this game. That could be a tough thing for Gamecock coach Steve Spurrier to ask his team to do.
Alabama is 17th in the nation in total offense with 444.7 yards per game.
Running back Mark Ingram has rushed for 659 yards through six games while Trent Richardson has rushed for 346 yards and four touchdowns on only 61 carries.
If the Gamecocks can slow the rushing attack, quarterback Greg McElroy poses problems for opposing defenses.
Since halftime of the season opener against Virginia Tech, McElroy has completed 88-of-135 passes for 1,139 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions. He has completed passes to 14 different receivers this season, so if the Gamecocks stop the top targets, he can still move the ball down the field.
Alabama coach Nick Saban is 2-0 against South Carolina during his career while South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is 6-4 against the Tide. All of his wins against Alabama came when he was coaching Florida.