Notre Dame at South Carolina - 12/30/22 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the South Carolina Gamecocks will face off in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl this Friday from TIAA Field on ESPN. South Carolina and Notre Dame haven't met since 1984, but the Irish do hold a 3-1 all-time series lead.

Notre Dame closed the season at 8-4 after losing to USC in Los Angeles. The Fighting Irish were one step behind the Trojans throughout the contest, and had their six-game win streak snapped with an 11-point loss. Notre Dame scores 30.7 points per game, while passing for 200.1 yards per game (196th) and rushing for 182.8 ypg (78th). The ND defense allowed 21.7 points per game.

Drew Pyne turned the tide for Notre Dame this season when he was inserted into the lineup, and after tossing three touchdowns against USC, he’ll be transferring to the desert (Arizona State). Tyler Buchner started the regular season opener, and he’s expected to return to the role for this matchup with SC. Buchner has 12 games of experience, and in two starts this season, he threw for 378 passing yards and ran for 62 yards. Notre Dame’s backfield combined for 2,000 yards between Austin Estime, Logan Diggs, and Chris Tyree, with the former leading the group with 825 rushing yards and eleven touchdowns. Dynamic tight end Michael Mayer led the team with 67 catches for 809 receiving yards and nine scores.

South Carolina finished at 8-4 after beating Clemson in the road. After beginning the season 1-2, the Gamecocks somehow closed their season with a pair of orange top ten-ranked wins, beating the Tigers by one point. South Carolina scores 31.7 points per game, while passing for 257.8 yards per game (76th) and rushing for 123.3 ypg (207th). The SC defense allowed 27.5 points per game.

Spencer Rattler’s stint in Columbia looked very cloudy coming into the month of November, but he will now be remembered for two of the biggest wins in school history. The Gamecocks single-handedly derailed Tennessee and Clemson’s CFB Playoff hopes under Rattler’s leadership, and with his pending transfer portal waiver in the air, he can really close out one of the strongest three-game stretches ever on a high note. Marshawn Lloyd finished as the team’s leading rusher despite missing a month of action with 573 yards and nine touchdowns. JMU transfer Antwane Wells Jr. (63/898/6) finished as the team’s leading receiver after big games against the Tigers and Vols.

Notre Dame is 6-6 against the spread this season, with a 5-7 over/under record. South Carolina is 7-5 ATS this season, with a 6-6 O/U record. 

Clemson fans will want to look away from this one for sure, as two schools who’ve caused a lot of pain this Fall will face off. South Carolina is in a great spot to close out one of the more improbable seasons in school history on a strong note due to an advantage at the quarterback position. I’m sure ND will game plan towards Buchner’s needs, but SC will have a motivated Spencer Rattler looking to cement and close out a brief career in Columbia. Spot South Carolina the points here for safety.

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

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