Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (0-0) at South Carolina Gamecocks (0-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 1, 2018, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: South Carolina Gamecocks -29.5 -- Over/Under: 57
|TV Channel||Stream College Football all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
We have some opening week college football action as the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and the South Carolina Gamecocks kick off their respective 2018 FBS regular season schedules.
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will look to bounce back from a frustrating 2017 campaign that saw Coastal finish with a 3-9 overall record, including 2-6 in Sun Belt play with five losses coming by eight points or less. The Chanticleers return all five starters on their offensive line, but are in somewhat of a rebuild after losing their top quarterback and running back in Tyler Keane and Osharmar Abercrombie. Kilton Anderson will take over the starting QB job, but has to be more effective after throwing for 743 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 picks while completing just 45% of his passes. Malcolm Williams led the Chanticleers receiving corps last season with 43 catches for 793 yards and 7 touchdowns, and will lead again this year with five starting receivers returning. Defensively, the Chanticleers bring back less than half of their starting defense from last season, which many would say was average at best. The pass rush logged just 15 sacks, but the rush defense made up for the ineptitude in the pass rush. Only time will tell if Coastal Carolina can prove that they’re able to hang with the big boys after their recent transition from the FCS.
The South Carolina Gamecocks will be looking to build on a pretty good 2017 campaign that saw South Carolina finish 9-4, including 5-3 in SEC play, which was good enough for an invite to the Outback Bowl, a game the saw the Gamecocks take down Michigan by a final score of 26-19. Jake Bentley will be back at quarterback for South Carolina for the 3rd consecutive season after throwing for just under 2,800 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season which was part of the reason why the Gamecocks boasted the 3rd-worst offense in the SEC. However, while South Carolina lost tight end Hayden Hurst to the NFL, the Gamecocks bring back their top receiver in Bryan Edwards who led South Carolina with 64 catches for 793 yards and 5 touchdowns last season and Debby Samuel Jr. who has a ton of potential that could come out after missing the majority of the 2017 season with a broken leg. The Gamecocks racked up just 122 rushing yards per game this season, but South Carolina brings back one of the deepest running back groups in all of college football, including leading rusherw A.J. Turner who recorded a team-high 648 rushing yards with 3 scores last season. Defensively, South Carolina had their highs and lows, like highs of an SEC-high 28 takeaways and lows like losing leading tackler Skai Moore while trying to improve on a pass rush that logged just 26 sacks as a team last season.
Coastal Carolina is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on grass while the over is 6-0 in their last 6 games in September and 6-1 in their last 7 road games. South Carolina is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against the Sun Belt and 5-2-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games in September.
Coastal Carolina might be a fun team to watch in the Sun Belt this season, but I need to see how the Chanticleers fare without their top running back and quarterback from last season. They have all the potential to be a good team and a much better team that last season, but again, need to see it before I can believe it. South Carolina returns a bunch of their key pieces from last season and is just the more talented and deeper team here, so while it’s a ton of points to lay, I just don’t see Coastal Carolina keeping up with the Gamecocks here so I’ll lay the points with South Carolina.