Running back Rico Dowdle on facing Alabama, “That’s what we came here to do, play against top competition on the national stage.”
(Tim Huebel/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

Nick Saban and Alabama last visited Williams-Brice Stadium October 9th, 2010. Stephen Garcia and the Gamecocks shocked the college football world that day with a 35-21 victory. The only common thread running from that contest to Saturday’s 3:30 game is that Alabama is still among the sport’s elite programs and rolls into Columbia as a decided favorite.

While most of the current Gamecocks were in elementary or middle school when Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery and Melvin Ingram rode the upset of the Crimson Tide to the SEC East title, transfer running back Tavien Feaster can offer genuine insight into how to best undertake the challenges Alabama presents. Feaster was a part of the Clemson team that dismantled the Tide eight months ago in Santa Clara, California, “They’re going to fly around. Very talented … It’s going to be a fistfight for four quarters. They’re not going to go away and we’re not going to go away.”

And Feaster’s advice for Ryan Hilinski, the freshman quarterback that will be facing one of the nation’s best defenses? “It’s just a football game. Relax. Just be you.”

Running back Tavien Feaster

Running back Rico Dowdle

Defensive back Jaycee Horn

Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw

Linebacker Ernest Jones

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