No. 12 South Carolina vs. East Carolina at Charlotte, N.C., 7
p.m. Saturday (FSN)
Line: South Carolina by 20 1/2.
Series Record: South Carolina leads 10-5.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
South Carolina hopes to begin a historic season against the Pirates. The Gamecocks are the defending Southeastern Conference
Eastern Division champions and want to advance to their second
consecutive league title game. South Carolina received its highest
preseason ranking ever this summer. East Carolina is looking to
bounce back from a 6-7 year in coach Ruffin McNeil's first season.
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore vs. East Carolina defense.
Lattimore became the Gamecocks first 1,000-yard rusher in 10 years
and set a school record with 19 touchdowns last season. He had a
102 yards and three TDs in the first half last November in South
Carolina's 69-24 victory over Troy in its last matchup with a team
outside a BCS conference. East Carolina gave up more than 226 yards rushing a game, last in Conference USA a year ago.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
East Carolina: QB Dominique Davis. The junior accounted for
4,108 yards last season, the seventh best total in the Football
South Carolina: DE Jadeveon Clowney. Sure, he's a freshman. But
the country's No. 1 college prospect last winter has impressed
throughout camp heading into his debut.
FACTS & FIGURES
South Carolina has won its past 11 season openers, including six
with coach Steve Spurrier. ... Spurrier has never coached against
East Carolina. ... Pirates inside receivers coach Donnie Kirkpatrick has a daughter, Molly, who's part of South Carolina's spirit squad and will be cheering against her father's team on the sidelines of Bank of America Stadium. ... The teams haven't played since East Carolina's 21-3 victory over Lou Holtz' Gamecocks in 1999. That year, Hurricane Floyd caused the Tar River to spill its banks and flood the Pirates campus, forcing them to remain in Columbia for the next week.