University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Established: December 11, 1789
Students: 29,390 (18,579 Undergrad)
2012 Record: 8-4 & NCAA probabtion
Head Coach: Larry Fedora (2nd season at UNC)
All Time Record vs. USC: UNC leads series 32-17-4
Last Meeting: 2007 – USC 21 UNC 15 in Chapel Hill
Football season is finally here and what better way to open the 2013 season than with a good ol' fashion border war. This will mark the 2nd time Larry Fedora has led a team to Williams Brice Stadium to open the season. In 2010, the Gamecocks defeated Fedora’s Southern Miss team 41-13. Granted UNC is a better program than Southern Miss, but let’s just hope the end result is the same.
South Carolina is coming off back to back 11 win seasons and are primed for another successful season. South Carolina will be led by All American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and a defense that held opponents to only 18.2 PPG and 315 yards per game last season. Look for the defensive front four to play a major factor in the North Carolina Game.
On Offense, USC will be led by Senior QB Connor Shaw who completed 68% of his passes for 1,956 yards with 17 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions. Ace Sanders and Marcus Lattimore are gone from last season, but there is a stable of running backs and plenty of young receivers to help Shaw on offense.
North Carolina by the numbers:
Averaged 40.6 points per game on Offense in 2012
6 Returning starters on Offense
QB Bryn Renner – 2012 numbers – 65 completion percentage, 3,356 passing yards 28 touchdowns and 7 Int.
WR Quinshad Davis 2012 season (61 receptions, 776 yards, five TDs)
TE Eric Ebron (40 receptions, 625 yards, four TDs)
7 Returning starters on Defense
Free Safety Tre Boston (86 Tackles, 4 Int in 2012)
LB Tommy Heffernan (73 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks)
DE Kareem Martin (40 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks)
Best Matchup: DE Jadeveon Clowney 6’6” 275 vs. OT James Hurst 6’7” 305
This will be a key matchup to watch as all eyes will be on what Clowney can do against the All ACC left tackle.
What might happen: USC will have a similar game plan as they did last year against Clemson. Keep pressure on the opposing QB, and let USC’s offense run clock. Look for both Wilds and Davis to get plenty of carries. USC’s young receivers will need to step up, look for Roland and Jeffries to get there looks, but in the end it will be Nick Jones and Damiere Byrd with most of the catches.
North Carolina will need to stock points, and Renner is a good QB. UNC will look to move the ball quickly to keep USC’s front four out of the backfield. Vic Hampton and Jimmy Legree will both need to have good games to keep UNC receivers from running down the sidelines all game long.
Prediction Time: USC 31 UNC 21