As one of the biggest border battles between the Carolinas, the Gamecocks are set for one of their toughest season openers ever against the Tar Heels. With mounting pressure to get the season started right, Coach Spurrier and the Gamecocks will be unleashing everything they have tonight. With weapons like defensive tackle Jadeveon Clowney and their veteran linesmen, they won’t only be protecting USC’s reputation but will be defending South Carolina’s record.
Where to Tune In:
- Who: No. 6 South Carolina vs North Carolina
- When: 6 p.m. Thursday (August 29, 2013)
- Where: Williams-Brice Stadium
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: WNKT-FM 107.5
- Satellite Radio: Sirius/XM 91
- Line: USC by 12.5
What to Watch for:
There’s no doubt the Tar Heels will put up a challenging defense and go head on for a counter-offense, but they have a couple of reasons to be afraid. With Jadeveon Clowney leading a veteran defensive line, they will be pitted against 3 new starters in the Heels’ offensive line — which means the Gamecocks will be licking their chops from the first play. With USC’s impressive last season record of 43 sacks, fans can be confident our D-line will be making QB Bryn Renner uncomfortable. In fact, it’s one of the keys that will lead us to victory.
If we don’t apply pressure early in the game, Renner will have ample opportunity to pass the ball to his 2 favorite receivers: WR Quinshad Davis and TE Eric Ebron. With both of them catching over 40 passes last season and running for more than 600 yards, their experience is a definite threat to our secondary. Our major counter-play is simple: Roll out QB Connor Shaw.
As one of the most underrated players in the SEC, Shaw will have his chance to show why Spurrier believes in him. For any Tar Heels player that thinks they don’t have to worry about Shaw, here are some quick stats:
- Shaw’s starting record is 17-3 (10-0 at home)
- He’s completed 300 of 449 passes (67%) for 3,627 yards and 32 touchdowns
- He led the Gamecocks to a 35-7 romp over Georgia
Who Will Win: the Suspense
In the history of GameDay hosting at the University or South Carolina, the Gamecocks have a split record of 3-3. This year will be the tie-breaker. With this GameDay opener kicking off their season, it’s going to set the tone for future games. So, if you want to see history in the making, make sure you tune in tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Go Cocks!