South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Texas A&M Aggies 8/28/14 Free College Football Pick
Texas A&M Aggies (0-0) at South Carolina Gamecocks (0-0)
College Football: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm (Williams-Brice Stadium)
The Line: South Carolina Gamecocks -11 -- Over/Under: 57 See the Latest Odds
TV: SEC Network
The South Carolina Gamecocks and the Texas A&M Aggies open the 2014 College football season with a Thursday Night monster matchup of SEC teams in Columbia.
The South Carolina Gamecocks finished in second place in the SEC East last season and they handed East champ Missouri their only defeat of the regular season. Connor Shaw is gone at QB, and he will be tough to replace, as Dylan Thompson has played plenty, he was hardly the tough as nails leader Shaw was. Ike Davis is a potential superstar at running back and should carry the load but he was really banged up the second half of last season and if he can go the distance is a question mark in my book. The Gamecocks will need to replace Bruce Ellington at receiver and while talent hasn’ seemed to be an issue at this position, game day productivity has been and it is time for Damiere Byrd or Shaq Roland to stand up though many expect big things out of Pharoh Cooper. The SC offensive line appears to be in good shape replacing just two spots from the team that was a bowl winner a year ago. Defensively South Carolina lost a ton from the D that allowed the second fewest points in the SEC last season. Clowney is gone as is Kelcy Quarles and any way you slice it, that is a ton to replace or even attempt to replace with J.T. Surratt the only returning DL starter. Skai Moore is the best of the bunch at LB but this group all saw plenty of on field action last year. In the secondary Brison Williams is apparently moving to CB and Chaz Elder appears to be one of he starters at safety. Elliot Fry was 15 of 18 on field goals last season but Steve Spurrier is never one to rely too heavily on his kickers.
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The big talk about the Texas A&M Aggies, at least early in the season, will be more about replacing Johnny Manziel than what they are actually putting on the field. Make no mistake about it, while Manziel is impossible to replace, Kevin Sumlin’s team is stacked and loaded with talent and top tier recruits fighting for playing time. Kenny Hill has won the QB battle over 5-star recruit and early enrollee Kyle Allen, at least for now. The Aggies are loaded at running back with Oregon transfer Tra Carson, Trey Williams, and Oklahoma transfer Brandon Williams who was a 5-star recruit as well. Malcolme Kennedy was Texas A&M’s second leading receiver last year behind Mike Evans and Ricky Seals-Jones will need to prove he is more than just a tall target. Cedric Ogbuehi looks to be yet another first round NFL pick at offensive tackle and maybe the best NFL prospect in the SEC but the Aggies return four of five starters on the OL and should be one of the best in the nation. Defensively it will be tough to be much worse than the Aggies were last season and with nine of 11 starters back tis group will at the least be experienced and the DL is eight deep with returning players. A.J. Hilliard transfers over at LB from TCU and Deshazor Everett looks to be possibly the best overall defender in College Station. Punter Drew Kaser led the SEC last season and is one of the best in the country.
South Carolina is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five Thursday games. Texas A&M is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven SEC games, 0-4 against the spread in their last four road games, and 2-9 against the spread in their last 11 Thursday games.
Both of these teams have questions on defense and what looks to be offenses that can move the football and I expect this one to go over though I wouldn’t call it my strongest play of the night. I also have a strong pick on who will cover the point spread and I will post that in the Premium Area as well as on the App.
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