By Charles Jay
North Carolina Hopes to Be a Little Stingier Against South Carolina
Both the North Carolina Tar Heels and South Carolina Gamecocks had their difficulties last season in slowing down opponents. So in the opening game of the season, it may come down to who is the better “pitcher” than the better “catcher” as these geographic rivals meet up at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, kicking off at 6 PM ET on Thursday. One of the things BetAnySports customers know is that after this game kicks off, they can wager on the game, as it is in progress, with dynamic college football betting odds through Live Betting Extra.
North Carolina vs South Carolina – College Football Betting Preview
In the college football betting odds at BetAnySports on this game, South Carolina is the road favorite:
- South Carolina Gamecocks -2.5 (-120)
- North Carolina Tar Heels +2.5 (+100)
- Over 64 points -110
- Under 64 points -110
The Heels were 6-7 last season after losing 40-21 to Rutgers in the Quick Lane Bowl. That was the ninth time they had allowed 34 points or more. During consecutive weeks, they permitted 120 points to East Carolina and Clemson. That is the kind of thing that is unacceptable, and they have taken some steps to rectify that as they enter the season. It was a good “get” for head coach Larry Fedora to be able to bring Gene Chizik on board as the new defensive coordinator. Chizik, as many people know, won a national championship with Cam Newton at Auburn.
South Carolina finished their 2014 regular season 6-6, like North Carolina, but then they won the Independence Bowl against Miami to creep over the .500 mark. They lost quarterback Dylan Thompson to graduation, so they are forced to go with less experience at that critical spot, with sophomore Connor Mitch the likely starter. Of course, Steve Spurrier is the man in charge in Columbia, and he has had a way of being a bit impatient with his quarterbacks, so Mitch will need to mature in a hurry.
In 2012, the Gamecocks’ stop unit, led by the monster Jadeveon Clowney, held opponents to 3.1 yards per carry and registered 43 sacks. What a difference a couple of years make! Last year they allowed a bloated 5.4 yards per rush attempt and could only sack the quarterback 14 times. Clearly they are not going anywhere if they duplicate those numbers, especially against North Carolina signal-caller Marquise Williams, who can do it all (including 788 rushing yards). Fortunately for them, they are returning eight starters from last season’s unit.
So what can the Tar Heels do on defense? This is the big question on the part of BetAnySports patrons, especially for a team that surrendered slightly below 500 yards a contest. No doubt Chizik is going to address their ineptitude in the red zone, where they allowed opponents to score touchdowns 72% of the time. The secondary will have its hands full with wide receiver Pharoh Cooper (1136 yards in ’14), although Mitch, or whoever else may see action behind center, is going to be hard-pressed to find a dangerous #2 outlet, due to personnel departures.
UNC brings back ten starters on offense, and one area of focus this year is to get more out of the rushing game. Williams cannot be a one-man show. He has plenty of receivers back, and he can buy some time. This USC defensive front may get frustrated chasing him around.
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