South Carolina (7-5) vs Houston (10-3)
Line: SC -5.5, 56
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The Gamecocks had a wonderful end to their season with their first victory over Clemson since 2001, yet South Carolina is probably a little frustrated that win did not translate into a better bowl game. Houston won Conference USA winning six in a row in the process. They feature one of best QBs you have never heard of: four year starter Kevin Kolb. The Cougars are also 5-1 ATS in their last 6.
Season Recap South Carolina:
Big Wins: @Clem 31-28
Big Losses: vUGA 0-18
Record vs Bowl Teams: 2-5
Season Recap Houston:
Big Wins: vOklSt 34-25
Big Losses: None
Record vs Bowl Teams: 4-2
Keys for South Carolina Cover:
Gamecocks will need to play with pride and enthusiasm and realize they are playing a conference champion. South Carolina will need the offensive balance they displayed in their last outing (especially on the winning drive). Spurrier's club is not great at running or throwing, but they are good enough to keep teams on their toes.
Keys for Houston Cover:
Put the game on Kevin Kolb's shoulders. The Senior has started all four years for the Cougars and is finally getting his shot at the big time. Kolb threw 27TDs to just 3INTs this year.
The Gamecocks jumped out to a huge lead vs Missouri in last year's Independence Bowl before the Tigers rallied in the second half to defeat South Carolina. The Cougars three losses this season came by a combined 8 points. I think Houston will give South Carolina a scare, but will fall short.
South Carolina Wins, Houston Covers (3 star), Under (4 star)