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