North Carolina vs South Carolina Prediction - College Football Picks 9/2/23

South Carolina Gamecocks (0-0) vs North Carolina Tar Heels (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 7:30 pm (Bank of America Stadium)

Betting Odds: South Carolina Gamecocks +2.5 -- Over/Under: 63.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The North Carolina Tar Heels will play the South Carolina Gamecocks in a non-conference game on Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. North Carolina comes into this season ranked in the top-25, but South Carolina finished 2022 on a very high note. Who will start the season with a rivalry win?

North Carolina Preview

The North Carolina Tar Heels were 9-5 last year and they went 6-3 in ACC play. North Carolina started the season 9-1, with their only loss coming to Notre Dame. The Tar Heels finished the season by going 0-4, including a 39-10 loss in the ACC Title game and a 28-27 loss to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. The Tar Heels really struggled to close out the season, but will look to replicate the start of the year here. Drake Maye will be back under center for UNC after throwing for 4,321 yards, 38 touchdowns, and seven interceptions last year. Maye should have several weapons to throw to this year, but he did lose Downs and Green from 2022. Including Maye, UNC does return their top two rushers from last year, so the offense should be very solid once again. North Carolina’s defense was not good last year, but they should have a good amount of experience on the unit this season. 

South Carolina Preview

The South Carolina Gamecocks went 8-5 last season and they were 4-4 in the SEC. South Carolina played very well to end the season, defeating Tennessee by a score of 63-38 and Clemson by a score of 31-30. The Gamecocks did lose the Gator Bowl to Notre Dame by a score of 45-38. Spencer Rattler will be the quarterback for the Gamecocks after he threw for 3,026 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions last season. Rattler can be a very exciting player, but he turned the ball over way too much last year. South Carolina did lose some production at wide receiver and their leading rusher is also gone. The Gamecocks offensive line really struggled last season and I think it is going to be a sore spot once again. South Carolina’s defense allowed 30+ points in each of their last three games last season, but I think they will be improved this year. 

South Carolina Gamecocks Team Facts

  • South Carolina has lost each of its last 10 September games as an underdog.
  • South Carolina has failed to cover the spread in five of its last six September games as an underdog.
  • South Carolina has won the first half in each of its last three games against non-conference opponents at neutral venues.
  • Each of South Carolina's last four games against non-conference opponents have gone OVER the total points line.

North Carolina Tar Heels Team Facts

  • North Carolina has lost each of its last four games.
  • North Carolina has failed to cover the spread in eight of its last 10 season openers.
  • North Carolina has lost the first half in each of its last four games against opponents from the Southeastern Conference at neutral venues.
  • Five of North Carolina's last six games in September have gone OVER the total points line.

Matchup/League Facts

  • South Carolina ranked T25th among FBS teams for Q4 win percentage last season (.538).
  • South Carolina ranked T36th among FBS teams for Q1 points per game last season (7.5).
  • North Carolina was one of only 20 FBS teams to win 3+ games when trailing at HT last season.
  • North Carolina ranked 20th among FBS teams for Q2 points per game last season (11.1).

Pick

Both of these teams found success last season and will look to start 2023 off on the right foot in this matchup. This should be a great game with two very exciting quarterbacks facing off. I think we are going to see a higher scoring game here, as the defenses are going to struggle to get off of the field. North Carolina finished 2022 playing pretty poorly and I am interested to see if they can shake that off or if it is going to carry over into this year. I know this is a popular pick, but I am going to take the over here. Both quarterbacks are very good and I think we are going to see plenty of scoring in this one. 

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

Mitch's Take...

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