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Gamecocks Start Season With Must Win Against North Carolina Tar Heels

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/26/2013 6:53:50 PM

The South Carolina Gamecocks begin the season ranked as the sixth team in the country and that is because of the immense talent they have returning for the 2013 season. Not only is the consensus number one prospect Jadeveon Clowney back on the defensive side of the ball for the Gamecocks but so is senior quarterback Connor Shaw. The Gamecocks are looking to finish the year atop the SEC but they will need to win this game against the North Carolina Tar Heels to start the season off if they have hopes of playing in a big time bowl game later in the year.

What To Watch For From The South Carolina Gamecocks

Sports gamblers should be aware of the basic makeup of the Gamecocks’ roster. Under center will be Shaw who has started two years at quarterback for the team and has always had a high completion percentage and low interception numbers. The team will be moving on from the Marcus Lattimore era which mean sophomore running back Mike Davis will get the majority of carries this year with Shaw scrambling for yards as well. The Gamecocks also have two of their top three receivers from last year returning which rounds this out as one of the better and more reliable offenses in the SEC and the defense should be held down by the playmaker Clowney who is eyeing double-digit sack numbers again this year.

What To Watch For From The North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels finished with a respectable 8-4 season last year yet they have not received the attention they deserve from sports books as a legitimate betting option. The Tar Heels did lose Giovani Bernard, their do-it-all running back, however, they do return their senior quarterback, which is possibly more important than losing Bernard to the NFL. Bryn Renner has flown under the radar the past two season’s but his numbers should speak for themselves and with over 3,000 passing yards in each of his last two season’s we should see a pass heavy Tar Heels offense against the Gamecocks. The Tar Heels put up 40 points per game last season meaning it will be interesting how one of the toughest defenses in the SEC handles such a powerful offense.

Outlook

Both offenses could be pass heavy in this first game of the season as both have reliable quarterbacks under center and unproven starting running backs in the backfield. The Gamecocks are one of the best teams in the nation which cannot be overlooked and with one of the best pass rushers in the nation on their roster going up against a team which likes to pass Clowney will likely make a difference in this game. The Tar Heels are a legitimate sports betting option this season, however, they should still be expected to lose to the sixth ranked Gamecocks in their first game of the year.

Pick: Gamecocks

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