East Carolina Pirates vs. No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks
Saturday, 9/3/11, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: South Carolina -19.5
Current Betting Line: South Carolina -20.5
Opening Total: 58.5
Current Total: 63
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
East Carolina opens up its season season under head coach Ruffin McNeil in a non-conference matchup at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte against the No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks. The main switch in-between seasons will be a change from a 4-3 to 3-4 defensive alignment, as the unit was scorched during the 2010 season. “I’m looking forward to the challenge for the defense,” commented McNeil. “I like our preparation.” Since joining the Conference USA in 1997, the program has tallied a 39-54 road record, including a 2-5 mark in 2010. East Carolina is 13-13 ATS in its last two campaigns.
The Pirates have lost 10 of 15 meetings with the Gamecocks, including dropping five of the last seven matchups. McNeill has tallied a 2-0-1 record against South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, picking up that mark as a graduate assistant with Clemson. It’s hard to imagine an East Carolina victory in this contest due to the school coming in with a 5-21 record against current members of the Southeastern Conference. One thing is for certain, the team will score points, as quarterback Dominique Davis is back under center.
South Carolina has won 11 consecutive season-opening games and is 77-36-4 all-time in such contests. The Gamecocks have an outstanding chance of continuing that success due to Spurriers remarkable 20-1 record when opening a season. “We’re a pretty good team, but not a great team,” Spurrier stated during the offseason. “We lost our last two games. Wee have opportunity to be good.” The conference media seems to believe that will be the case, picking them to win the Eastern Division. South Carolina is 6-8 ATS as a favorite over the last two years.
The Gamecocks have tallied a 15-0 record against schools outside of BCS conferences under their current front man, as he’s actually 41-0 all-time in such contests. South Carolina has enjoyed unprecedented success recently in tallying three-straight seven-plus win seasons for the first time in program history. Talent is found everywhere on the field, including All-American candidates Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore on the offensive end. Quarterback Stephen Garcia is also expected to be back under center, but he’ll be splitting time with sophomore Connor Shaw. The fifth-year senior has stated 30 games in his career in Columbia and has thrown for 5,753 yards over that span.
Bettors will likely back the Gamecocks due to their 6-2 ATS mark in non-conference action, while the Pirates are 2-10 ATS in the same situation.
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