Michigan vs. South Carolina Bowl Game Pick: January 1st 2013
Michigan vs. South Carolina
Bowl Game Pick: South Carolina -5.5 (January 1st 2013)
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This Big Ten vs. the SEC match up is an interesting one and checks in at #5 on my Top Bowls To Watch countdown. It happens on New Years day and will be going on at the same time as the other Big Ten vs. SEC match up between Georgia and Nebraska where we also have a premium college pick on. For Michigan it is their chance at redemption after getting dominated and embarrassed to open the season against an SEC team that is now playing in the National Championship. South Carolina meanwhile had a relatively easy non-conference schedule, but did beat ACC Clemson to close out the year in impressive fashion. Let’s take a closer look at each team’s strategy.
South Carolina’s Scheme
The Gamecocks were 36th in rushing play percentage even though Steve Spurrier would prefer to throw the ball. They lost Marcus Lattimore to a dramatic injury half way through the year, but continued to run the ball anyway. They got a unique QB in Connor Shaw that can throw and run the ball, but this team is built on their defense. You can’t really knock the Gamecocks this year their only losses were on the road against LSU and Florida.
Their defense is balanced and can stop any team in the red zone, on third down and dominates against the pass and the rush. Though they don’t face many teams that pass in the SEC this team showed how dominant they can be against a team that has weapons like Clemson to close out the year. Jadeveon Clowney, only a sophomore leads the way with 13 sacks and it will be interesting to see how Michigan schemes their offense.
Well it is no secret that this team prefers to keep the ball on the ground ranked 19th in rushing play %. That’s is because they too do not have a QB that can throw the ball. They’ll go up against South Carolina team that is 6th allowing just 2.9 yards per carry on the season and only two teams averaged more than 3.42 yards per carry on them and that was Clemson and LSU. Michigan will have a hard time doing the same in this game with inexperienced Devin Gardner behind center.
Gardner took over for an injured Denard Robinson and remained the starter to close the year. He’ll get the start but do not sleep on the Wolverines to pull out some trickery to get points against a stout defense that also can stop any sort of passing game with their #2 sack % rank. Be sure to purchase Freddy Will’s premium bowl picks on January 1st 2013.
Take South Carolina -5.5 1.65* FREE PLAY
I’m on the Gamecocks. I’m confident the SEC style of defense will allow South Carolina to get the win. The biggest difference will be turnover margin and that is the reason I see South Carolina winning big. They won 3 games to close out the season already knowing they were going bowling and to me that says a lot about the mental make up of this team that defeated a very similar Nebraska team in their bowl game last year 30-13. I think Connor Shaw will have a big day running and throwing leading to an easy victory.