College Football Preview: North Carolina vs. (6) South Carolina
8 Replies | 908 ViewsOn 08/22/2013 07:44 PM in NCAA Football
The Gamecocks start the season firmly entrenched in the top ten in the college football rankings with aspirations of competing for a shot at the National Championship. It all starts with the game against the pesky Tar Heels.
North Carolina vs. South Carolina Odds: The point spread for this game opened up with the Gamecocks sitting at a (-10) point favorite and the total set at 56.5. With the money coming in on South Carolina that number has started to get higher and higher and can now be found at (-11.5) at several top ranked sportsbooks.
South Carolina enters this season with high hopes as they have posted back-to-back 11-2 seasons for the first time in school history. Although super star running back Marcus Lattimore left for the National Football league, the Gamecocks still have a very talented running unit led by tailback Mike Davis. It may not matter who is running the rock because they boast a huge offensive line that averages 314 pounds. While the line is great at opening rushing lanes, they need to improve on pass protection. Returning quarterback Connor Shaw will be on the move running for his football life if the O-line continues to struggle as they have over the last two seasons when they allowed 68 sacks. This could be a vulnerability that the Tar Heels will look to exploit in the opening game.
Head Coach Larry Fedora has set a winning foundation in North Carolina and the future looks bright. If they are able to pull off the incredible upset in week one, they will jump into the national spotlight. This team returns six starters on offense and seven starters from a stout defense that captured the ACC Coastal division regular season championship.
That defense is led by a senior stable of talented players to include Tre Boston (FS), Kareem Martin (DE), Jabari Price (CB), Terry Shankle (Ram) and Tim Jackson (DT). The defense will be out for blood as they blitz and send the house after Shaw in hopes of disturbing the Gamecocks offense. If the North Carolina offense can avoid Clowney this game could be very interesting.
It is attention-grabbing to note that the Tar Heels are 4-0 against the spread (ATS) in the last four Thursday games, but just 1-5 ATS in the last six road games. The Gamecocks are 7-2 ATS in the last nine home games and 7-3 ATS in the last ten games played on Thursday.
This should be a very entertaining game and will be a great way to kick off the 2013 college football season!