Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Let's Kick It Off With Some Fun n Gun

College Football will kickoff in less than 24 hours. It has been a long wait for this season, which is one of the most anticipated in a long time due to the fact that there are no clear-cut favorites for anything-national titles or even conference titles.

South Carolina @ Miss St. 8:00ET ESPN
Line: SC -6.5 O/U:40.5

For the second year in a row, South Carolina will apart of the first game of the season. Steve Spurrier's second go-around in Columbia has the Gamecock faithful even more excited than last year it seems. Let's take a look at what to expect in their game @ Mississippi St.

When South Carolina has the ball:
Fans want Spurrier to go for the home run on the first play of the game (and every play thereafter), but Spurrier is actually a very patient, disciplined playcaller. QB Blake Mitchell will likely be given the green light much more this season because of his familiarity with the offensive system. The Gamecocks will likely use the run and pass equally because three of the top four rushers and receivers return from last season. Mississipppi St returns nine starters on defense, including nine of the top 12 tacklers from a year ago. However, with South Carolina's speed advantage at the skill positions expect them to be able to put up some points versus the Bulldogs. Advantage: South Carolina

When Miss St has the ball:
Even though eight starters return from a year ago, the main weapon by far last season (Jerious Norwood) is gone. I look for the Bulldogs to pass the ball against a South Carolina secondary who lost their two best players from last season early. Miss St may have some success running the ball behind three returning o-line starters, but I expect the South Carolina run defense to improve upon their 85th ranking of a year ago. Advantage: South Carolina

Special Teams:
Neither team has much of an advantage in this category. The Gamecocks lost both kickers from last season. Advantage: Even

Coaching:
Spurrier showed last season he can still coach at a very high level in the SEC with wins over Florida and Tennesse with close losses to Georgia. Croom is now in his third year in the SEC, but is still looking for a break out year. Advantage: South Carolina

Intangibles:
Starkville has not been very kind to Spurrier over the years and you can be sure the Bulldog faithful will be fired up. Advantage: Miss St

Points of Note:
Miss St under Croom (3rd year):
9-11 ATS, 4-4 Home Dog, 7-9 vs SEC,8-12 Home Dog (last 7 years)

South Carolina under Spurrier (2nd year):
6-5-1 ATS, 0-0 Away Fav, 5-2-1 vs SEC,4-4 Away Fav (last 7 years)

Prediction: South Carolina 24 Miss St 14

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