Week 1 of the 2023 college football season features a contest between North Carolina and South Carolina, a classic border rivalry that pits the Southeastern Conference against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
You know how the youth these days are so into defense, with all the tackling and hitting and preventing the other side from scoring a ton of points? That’s just not a big deal in the Tar Heel State.
True, that was the 2022 squad (no defense exists in North Carolina at the time), but they had no pass rush, surrendered the most yards in the ACC per game, and were pummeled for 271 yards a game through the air. This team ought to be superior, but it must demonstrate its superiority first.
To be honest, North Carolina’s secondary struggles were due in part to the fact that opponents blasted the ball to keep up with the tempo, in part to a lack of pass rush, and in part to the fact that the Tar Heels ranked dead last in the ACC in both total and scoring defense. This is where South Carolina’s passing game and Spencer Rattler come into play.
The Gamecocks need to be much more reliable on offense because several key contributors to last year’s successful attack have graduated. Additionally, the offensive line needs to provide quarterback No. 7 with more time to fire the cannon and make downfield throws. But when everything aligned to ruin the College Football Playoff hopes of Tennessee and Clemson, it was useless.
South Carolina’s offense may have been effective at times, but the Gamecocks committed 27 turnovers, and even a few of those could be enough for North Carolina’s retooled defense to do a lot of bending without breaking. As long as the defense doesn’t play horribly, quarterback Drake Maye and the offense should be able to roll against a Gamecocks defense that needs to show it can get after the quarterback.
Maye doesn’t require much to produce, so it’s up to the line to protect him from being popped like he was all season. The receiving corps will be deadly, the defense should be marginally better, and a shootout is right in North Carolina’s wheelhouse if South Carolina decides to make it one.
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North Carolina Tar Heels vs South Carolina Gamecocks Game Information
- Date: 09/02/2023
- Time: 07:30 PM ET
- Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
- How to Watch North Carolina vs South Carolina : ABC
- Live Stream: fubo.tv