Tonight, state bragging rights will be on the line as two teams with a lot to prove square off in Charlotte. North Carolina has an experienced quarterback while South Carolina will look to prove that having two new coordinators will not hamper a team full of promise.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Mitch only has six career passes, so South Carolina will rely heavily on their running game to generate offense. They’ll look to two dynamic runners in Brandon Wilds and David Williams to relieve pressure on their inexperienced QB. Brandon Wilds has 1,277 career rushing yards and 13 touchdowns and teaming with Williams hope to run all over the competition. Since Mike Davis entered the NFL draft, Williams will have to shoulder some of the load to have this team fill his role on this team. This could be a huge threat for the UNC. Last year the Tar Heels were not up to par on defense but that might change this year with the addition of new coaches on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive line certainly has great athleticism and it is very crucial that they show that on the field this evening.
Similarly, the Tar Heels have strong running backs and receivers with ample amount of experience that is only improving each year. Senior WR Quinshad Davis and juniors Ryan Switzer, and Bug Howard have contributed immensely to this team. Davis had a great season last year with 41 receptions for 470 yards and six touchdowns and is coming off an injury that shouldn’t hold him back. Howard hasn’t put up exceptional numbers but he has been consistent throughout the season. Switzer is not only a punt returner but he is a captivating WR. Marquise Williams and Switzer made a great duo last year and the numbers that Switzer put up last year proved it (61 receptions for 757 yards and 4 touchdowns). The Gamecocks are in a similar position as the Tar Heels defensively. Starters have been moved around this year on this defensive line, and there are a lot of new faces this year.
Overall, both teams have areas where they can significantly improve on and they have areas where they are looking to explode. Both teams are prepared to make their mark tonight. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.