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South Carolina Gamecocks Betting Tips – Spurrier Won’t Be Able To Pull Out 11 Wins In 2012

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/10/2012 7:23:07 PM

Online betting sharps had to be surprised at South Carolina coming away with the best year in the history of the program after the offense was inconsistent and had problems with injuries and suspensions. The defense will need to play as well as they did last year, but they won’t be able to carry South Carolina to another 11-win season.

Head Coach: Steve Spurrier (8th year)
Offensive Coordinator: Steve Spurrier
Defensive Coordinator: Lorenzo Ward
Stadium: Williams-Grice Stadium, Columbia, SC
Capacity: 80,250
National Championships: 0

Offense

The Gamecocks’ offense was all over the place in 2011 as Stephen Garcia was suspended for the fifth time and ultimately let go, turning the reins over to Connor Shaw. South Carolina then lost running back Marcus Lattimore to a torn ACL in the seventh game of the season. The Gamecocks were 25th in the nation in rushing with Lattimore, but Shaw did his best to keep the running game going after he went down by finishing second to the sophomore running back in rushing. Receiver Alshon Jeffrey set a slew of school records at the position for the Gamecocks and he’ll be a big hole to replace out wide, although there are a number of potential players who can step up, notably Ace Sanders and Bruce Ellington.

The biggest question for the Gamecocks to answer this season comes up front, where they have three starters returning for a group that was one of the worst in the SEC. It is always intriguing when an offensive line can block for the run, but they struggle with the pass and that is what happened to the Gamecocks and this group will have to be much better because South Carolina’s offense has to be more balanced. They also have to protect Lattimore, who may be a little shaky on his knee to start the season.

Grade: C

Defense

South Carolina’s defense trailed only Alabama and LSU in terms of total defense, and the Gamecocks had the second-best pass defense in the country. The secondary was phenomenal and with safeties DeVonte Holloman and D.J. Swearinger coming back, they should be in good shape again, although the cornerback position is lacking. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the Freshman of the Year in the SEC and figures to only get better with more reps; he wasn’t an official starter last season. They have three seniors starting at linebacker, which is never a bad thing to have and this unit should be the deepest on the defense.

But college football betting players also know what coaching changes and mean to a team and the Gamecocks lost coordinator Ellis Johnson to the head job at Southern Miss, and even though they’re promoting Lorenzo Ward from within, he is used to only focusing on the secondary. Now as the new coordinator, Ward has to oversee the entire group and although he did that for the Capitol One Bowl, when South Carolina smacked Nebraska, that was one game and Ward will soon learn that it is much more different to oversee an entire defense. It could be tough for the defense to be as good as they were in 2011.

Grade: A-

Special Teams

Ellington (60th) and Sanders (68th) are back to anchor the kickoff and punt return teams, respectively, but they may have to take on more responsibility in the passing game, so Spurrier could look to other players to keep them fresh. But more importantly, he has to replace punter Joey Scribner-Howard and kicker Jay Wooten and this could be an area that really hurts South Carolina this season.

Grade: D+

Prediction

NCAA football betting odds have South Carolina at +1000 to come out on top in the SEC and +3500 for the BCS title, but they could have their hands full this season as the schedule is a little tougher than last year. October will make or break their chances as home games against Georgia and Tennessee bookend visits to LSU and Florida, and then after a bye, Arkansas visits Columbia.

After what they did last year, the Gamecocks may have to scale back their expectations as the offensive line has a lot to prove and someone (or two or three players) has to replace Jeffrey at receiver. The defense should be able to hold it down, but not as strong as last year. Beware of South Carolina’s sports betting odds in 2012.

2012 Schedule

August 30th – at Vanderbilt (7:00 PM ET)
September 8th – vs. East Carolina (TBD)
September 15th – vs. UAB (TBD)
September 22nd – vs. Missouri (TBD)
September 29th – at Kentucky (TBD)
October 6th – vs. Georgia (TBD)
October 13th – at LSU (TBD)
October 20th – at Florida (TBD)
October 27th – vs. Tennessee (TBD)
November 10th – vs. Arkansas (TBD)
November 17th – vs. Wofford (TBD)
November 24th – at Clemson (TBD)

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