While many have found it trendy to pick UNC to upset the Gamecocks, I absolutely believe there is zero percent chance that happens.
We love openers
South Carolina has been known to show up in season openers, especially when it’s in Charlotte. The last time the Gamecocks opened up in Charlotte was 2017, when South Carolina beat NC State 35-28 in a game that a lot of people thought NC State would win.
More of the same for Heels
UNC is coming off of a terrible 2-9 season that led them to hire Mack Brown as their head coach. A lot of people think that he’s enough to turn the program into ACC contenders in one year.
Brown already coached UNC from 1988 to 1997. Yes, he did drastically improve the program, but that was over time. In his first two seasons at UNC, they went 1-10 each year.
This combined with the fact that Brown hasn’t coached for four years leads me to believe that UNC won’t be spectacular in the season opener.
Lack of experience
Last year’s UNC team was not good on either side of the ball, but everyone seems to think that bringing in quarterback Sam Howell will make the team immediately turn around.
Howell was the number three dual threat quarterback in the 2019 class, but it takes time for a player to develop, except in very few cases like Trevor Lawrence last year.
Last year, UNC was 82nd in total offense and 72nd in total defense. They brought in a decent class, which was ranked 32nd overall, but I only see two guys on there who could potentially make an early impact and that’s Howell and four-star linebacker Eugene Asante.
I don’t think UNC has enough to turn around in one game and beat South Carolina.
Turn the page to a solid 2019 squad
As for the Gamecocks, everyone is focusing on where they left off, which was an unmotivated loss to Virginia in the Belk Bowl. South Carolina clearly didn’t want to be there, and the amount of injuries didn’t help.
The problem is that a lot of people see this as foreshadowing for the 2019 season. Yes, South Carolina has probably the hardest schedule in the country, but I can’t see them losing to UNC.
Everyone thinks that South Carolina will struggle offensively because they lost Deebo Samuel and Jake Bentley is inconsistent. However, Bentley has thrown for seven touchdowns and only one interception in the two season openers he’s played in.
You could also add in his two touchdown and no interception performance in his first ever game he played. South Carolina also returns Bryan Edwards, who will be one of the best receivers in the SEC.
They also bring back younger talents like Shi Smith and OrTre Smith as well as Josh Vann. South Carolina also brings back a healthy defense which will be led by defensive lineman DJ Wonnum.
The secondary will also be stacked with guys like Jaycee Horn, who made the Freshman All-SEC team last year, as well as guys like Israel Mukuamu, RJ Roderick and Southern California transfer Jamel Cook.
Obviously anything can happen, but if I were to bet on this game, I would bet South Carolina to cover the spread which currently stands at -7.5.
Muschamp will have a gauntlet of a season to get through, but UNC is a game that South Carolina should win, and they need to win if they want to make a bowl game this season.