-- NC State opens as a 3.5 point favorite over South Carolina.
-- What's all this talk about love?
A couple of weeks ago [Spurrier] said he's hopeful the Dixie Chicks song "Ready to Run" is an apt anthem for the 2009 Gamecocks.
That wouldn't be my first choice, but okay.
-- The top 3 quarterbacks looked solid in USC's first scrimmage, combining to throw for over 300 yards and 5 TDs against zero interceptions. Stephen Garcia bounced back from a tough first week of practice to go 11-15 for 165 yards and three TDs.
-- Though their problem probably isn't as severe as ours, the secondary is a concern for South Carolina heading into the season:
However, other than Culliver, Stewart, and, to a much lesser degree, Auguste, none of these players are proven quantities. Gilmore and Holloman are freshmen. Williams is the most experienced of the group but has been inconsistent throughout his career. Whitlock played some receiver last year but has yet to see game time at corner.
And the lack of proven experience among the main guys in the rotation isn't the only problem. Perhaps even more worrying, this is group is razor thin; it's these guys, a few other even more unknown quantities, and after that there's not much of anything. If many guys go down with injuries--and Auguste and Williams are nursing minor injuries already--things could get really ugly. Unfortunately, in the high-speed, hard-hitting world of the secondary, injuries happen all the time.
The Gamecocks' front seven could render that inexperience moot if NC State can't pass protect, but I expect Wilson will get the time he needs. I'm starting to think the opener will be a surprisingly high-scoring affair.
-- South Carolina is being careful with a couple of starters. DT Nathan Pepper and OT Jarriel King both sat out practice recently; King has had problems with an irregular heartbeat, while Pepper got some cautionary rest for a left knee that's been operated on a couple of times.