Duke's Mayo Bowl: North Carolina at South Carolina 12/30/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The North Carolina Tar Heels will take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Thursday morning. 

The Tar Heels are .500 on the season as they have won 6 games. They are coming off a 34-30 road loss against the NC State Wolfpack. Junior quarterback Sam Howell was 14-of-26 for 147 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss.

This offense is led by quarterback Sam Howell. He has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 2,851 yards. He has 23 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He also has 11 rushing touchdowns.

The Tar Heels are 17th in the FBS, averaging 36.4 points per game and ninth, and also average 479.7 total yards per game. The Tar Heels defense is 101st allowing 31.6 points per game, and 87th allowing 408 yards per game. The North Carolina Tar Heels are struggling defensively this season as they are giving up 31.6 points per game which ranks 101st in the nation. 

The South Carolina Gamecocks are coming off of a shut out loss against their non conference rival in the Clemson Tigers.  They were outgained 364 to 206. Quarterback Zeb Nelson has been a check down passer for this team as he went 11 of 22 passing for 96 yards and 0 touchdowns to 0 interceptions in the blowout loss. He had a QBR of 33.9.

The Gamecocks have had issues at the quarterback position, where they have started three different players this season. Luke Doty remains out with a foot injury. Zeb Nelson will likely get the start in this one as he has completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 608 yards, 6 touchdowns, and one interception. 

The Gamecocks offense has been one of the worst in the country, averaging 321.7 yards per game which is 116th in the nation. They have been better on the defensive side of the football allowing 24.3 points per game.

The Gamecocks are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home and are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. ACC. The Tar Heels are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up loss and are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. They should want to get the win and cover in this one to put a positive finish on a mediocre season. The Gamecocks just don’t have enough offense to keep up in this one, even if Howell does sit for the Draft.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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