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North Carolina vs. South Carolina: Game Preview With TV Schedule

South Carolina

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

In the first game to be played of the 2013 season, the South Carolina Gamecocks feel like they have a lot to prove. Coming off an impressive 11-2 season, the Gamecocks and head coach Steve Spurrier have big plans in 2013 and that would be winning an SEC title and a national championship.

South Carolina faces off against inter-conference foe, the North Carolina Tar Heels, in a border battle. The Tar heels finished 8-4 last season, but were restricted from postseason play, ending the year on a sour note. With one of the best offenses in the nation, they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013.

South Carolina finished 82nd in the nation last year in total offense and with a new starting quarterback system in place with Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson both taking snaps, they will definitely improve on offense. Returning most of the offensive line helps, too, especially with a new running back.

North Carolina knew just how to rack up big points last season with underrated Bryn Renner at quarterback. The guy passed for 3,300 yards and 28 touchdowns last season and was barely talked about. Losing top running back Giovani Bernard will be a tough blow to the potent offense, but don’t expect that to slow them down.

The South Carolina defensive unit, led by none other than Jadeveon Clowney, is one of the best in college football. However, they are returning just five starters from the nationally 11th ranked squad in 2012. North Carolina’s squad is a bit less proven. They averaged 390 yards allowed and 25.7 points per game last season — both of which were significantly worse than the Gamecocks’ numbers. However, they are returning seven starters.

North Carolina will be traveling to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, Aug. 29. The game will be aired on ESPN.

PREDICTION: North Carolina 28, South Carolina 41

Related: SEC Week One Preview

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at muldown5@gmail.com.

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Phantom Offsides Penalty Costs North Carolina

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All season long, we’ve been hearing about how bad the officiating has been in the NFL. On Saturday night, we saw how much damage bad calls can do in college football as well.

During the ACC title game, the North Carolina Tar Heels were making one final push to steal the crown from the Clemson Tigers. After scoring a quick touchdown in the waning minutes of the game, the Tar Heels lined up for an onside kick — and recovered it after a few Tigers mishandled the ball. However, a flag came flying in for an offsides penalty. The only problem was that no Tar Heel was offsides.

Just look for yourself:

Am I missing something, or were there zero Tar Heels offsides on that play?

The closest player was still about two yards from the line. Obviously a recovery wouldn’t have guaranteed a North Carolina touchdown, but it certainly kept them from getting the opportunity they earned.

The Tigers recovered the next onside kick, and ran out the clock, securing the ACC crown and a spot in the 2015 College Football Playoff.

The ACC title came down to a phantom offsides call that cost North Carolina big.

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