South Carolina Gamecocks Open At North Carolina State Wolfpack


The 2009 major college football (BCS) season officially gets underway tonight when the University of South Carolina Gamecocks travel to Raleigh to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack.  That game will be the first nationally televised tilt of the season, viewable on ESPN at 7 p.m. If you’re a night owl or live on the west coast, then the 10:15 contest between #16 Oregon and #14 Boise State will certainly be of interest to you and it, too, will be broadcast by ESPN. Oh, don’t forget that #19 Utah opens its season at home against Utah State at 9 p.m. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Repeat of Last Season?

One team has a legendary coach, the other a star QB. Im going with the home team tonight!

One team has a legendary coach, the other a star QB. I'm going with the home team tonight!

Last year’s match between the Wolfpack at Gamecocks was all South Carolina, as the Cocks slammed NC State 34-0. Though getting off to a terrible start for the season, the Wolfpack eventually recovered, earning a bid to the Bowl where they lost to Rutgers. South Carolina, meanwhile, went to the Outback Bowl where they lost to Iowa.

This year’s match up is expected to be everything last year’s meeting wasn’t – a contest. South Carolina returns a team on part with last year’s crew while NC State is fielding a team that is expected to be every bit as good as the Cocks. Besides Carolina bragging rights, the two schools are representing the SEC and ACC respectively, with the former conference clearly the class of the NCAA.

Nate Irving Sidelined

Though the game is considered to be a toss up, the big question is this – how will the Pack fare without the services of their star linebacker, Nate Irving? Irving was involved in a one-car crash earlier this summer, puncturing his lung, injuring his shoulder and breaking a leg. Those injuries, incurred when he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car, will cause the talented Irving to miss the entire season. In 2008, Irving led the team with four interceptions while he was frequent leader in tackles.

NC State Coach Tom O’Brien may also have a bit of a quarterback controversy on his hands.  Russell Wilson will likely get the bulk of the playing time but in a radio interview this past week, but O’Brien says that Daniel Imhoff will get some time too. Likely, O’Brien is wanting to keep his backup quarterback sharp in the event Wilson is injured. Wilson was, by the way, a first team ACC quarterback last year which was his freshmen season and is expected to be one of the top QBs in the country this year. QB controversy? Nah!

Steve Spurrier on the Hot Seat?

Coach Spurrier leads the Gamecocks once again with rumors of him being on the hot seat surfacing from time to time. With a 28-22 record at USC and a stratospheric salary to boot, some fans are disappointed that Spurrier has yet to deliver in Columbia what he gave to the Florida Gators in 1996 – a national championship. My thinking is that this is the typical thinking of the most avid fans who know that competing well in the SEC, beating Clemson and winning a bowl game are attainable goals. Besides, who else can recruit as well as Spurrier for the Cocks? I rest my case.

Stephen Garcia will be taking the snaps tonight, a quarterback who clearly isn’t on the same level as Randall Wilson. However, star linebacker Eric Norwood decided against leaving the program early for the NFL, among five offensive starters and six defensive starters returning. If Garcia shows consistency, then the Gamecocks will do well this year. If not, then calls for Spurrier’s sacking will ring even louder come January.

Prediction – Randall Wilson will throw with precision and make some key runs in leading the Pack to an opening game victory over the Cocks, 31 to 21.

Adv. — If you are shopping for a college scholarship please keep this little saying in mind: If they request money from you in order to get money, they are likely operating a scam.  Instead, start your scholarship search at our college planning center, your no obligation resource center!

Featured: Wikipedia file photo


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