SEC Sports Report Picks USC Gamecocks Over Wolfpack In ESPN Opener

Jay HolgateContributor IIISeptember 3, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 02:  Steve Spurrier, former head coach of the University of Florida Gators gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he and other members of the Gators' 1996 National championship team are honored before taking on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 2, 2006 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Original Story Posted on SEC Sports Report


ATLANTA, Ga—First real game of the season, pits the South Carolina Gamecocks against the North Carolina State Wolfpack.  The oddsmakers have State a 4.5 point favorite.   It’s basically a two point close game with State getting three points for the home field advantage.  It’s early in the season but we believe Spurrier will win this one. 

I like the Gamecocks and here’s why:


Coach Spurrier is back—I’ve have seen a transformation in Head Coach Steve Spurrier.  From Mr. Negative back to Mr. Competitive.  Better assistant coaches across the board will move this team up a notch from last season. 

Coach Fitzpatrick made the summer workouts challenging and fun again. 

Coach Wolford has created team chemistry with the offensive line which gives the team a chance.  The defense has young talent.


Garcia returns too—Quarterback Stephen Garcia has had to do a lot to get back in the good graces of the Ol' Ball Coach.  Spurrier said his wife took Garcia to most of his community service which was a big sacrifice for all parties involved.  Garcia has had to work for this moment and I think he will do better.  He is not a 18-year-old freshman anymore.


Gamecocks must return to the headlines—The Gamecocks finished the last two years so poorly, a lot of people flat gave up on Coach Spurrier.  Spurrier hit rock bottom too and decided a number of changes would be a positive for the program.  Don’t pay attention to the spread this early.  The oddsmakers set a number and create a 50/50 split.  Unless you are following this program closely, you would not know the progress.  I follow it closely and I believe USC is much improved.


I’m taking the Gamecocks over State 28-21.


Jay Holgate is an SEC Analyst, freelance writer and editor of SEC Sports Report.  He can be heard on sports radio around the South.  He can be reached at editor (at) SECsportsReport (dot) com

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