Gamecocks-Huskies: South Carolina Faces UConn in 2010 Papa John's Bowl

Lee W.Correspondent IDecember 17, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 28:  Stephen Garcia #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates a second half touchdown with his temmates against the Clemson Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It has been a happy holiday season for Steve Spurrier and the Carolina Gamecocks thus far after a 34-17 demolition of Dabo Swinney's Clemson University Tigers.

The feared defense of South Carolina knocked C.J. Spiller from Heisman candidacy when he was held to 18 yards on the ground and 19 through the air.

Stephon Gilmore was spectacular in the "Wild Cocky" formation in a scoring drive. Wild Gamecock fans including myself were rocking to Sandstorm in what Carolinian eyes had not seen but three times in 30 years; a domination of Clemson.

After the wildness we have endured, we still must prepare for the Papa John's Bowl, a five-hour distance from Williams-Brice's Gamecock territory.

Normal bowl preparations have been asked by the Head Ball Coach, although spectacular Coach Wolford will be leaving for his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio to lead the Penguins in FCS play.

Graduate assistant Andy Boyd will serve as the O-line coach. The preparations will be the same. Offensive lineman Terrence Campbell is doubtful to play in 2010 due to a neck injury this season.

As of right now, South Carolina has sold around 10,000 of its ticket allotment. UConn, the opponent, has sold 3,500 tickets. Bowl officials expect about 15,000 total Gamecocks and 55,000 in total at Legion Field.


Scouting the Huskies

UConn is a team based on running the football. Jordan Todman and Andre Dixon are the go-to players on the offensive side of the ball, but do not depend on the run like last year's squad.

The Huskies will miss star LB Greg Lloyd on defense. Stephen Garcia’s air attack and tall wideouts Tori Gurley and Alshon Jeffery will test the Huskies' secondary.


Key Matchups

Huskies Secondary vs. Stephen Garcia

Garcia's run-offense could give the depleted Huskies' secondary a huge problem if it gets rolling. However, if Randy Edsall's team can find a way to stop it, look for a possible low output by the Gamecocks.


Gamecock O-line vs. Huskies D-line

The battle in the pits will feature a USC offensive line that helped produce 223 yards of rushing in its domination of Clemson. Still, the line ranks last in the SEC in allowed sacks. It will be fun to see Carolina's offensive line clash with the Huskies defensive line.


Gamecock Defensive Front/Secondary vs. Huskies Offensive Production

Can the South Carolina defensive front contain the Huskies' running game? The   Gamecocks have All-American linebacker Eric Norwood along with players like DE Clifton Geathers.

The Huskies have a strong big East style running attack, but the Gamecocks have plenty of speedy SEC studs. As of late, the Frazier to Easley connection has kept the Huskies rolling. The Gamecock secondary has some potential breakout players.


Gamecock Return Coverage vs. Huskies Return Specialist Jordan Todman

The Gamecocks have allowed three kickoff  return touchdowns this season. Will Todman take one home?


Game Prediction: South Carolina 27, UConn, 24