UNC vs South Carolina: Keys to Victory


Here are some keys to victory for the Tar Heels for the UNC vs South Carolina game Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On Thursday Night the 2015 college football season will get underway when the North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks converge on Charlotte to do battle in the Belk College Kickoff Game. Both teams are looking to rebound from disappointing 2014 campaigns, so this matchup is test for both to see how much better they are this year. With being said, here are some keys to victory for the Tar Heels in order to come back to Chapel Hill with a win. 

The Defense

The old saying goes “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” and entering this game, the UNC defense is the weak link. I expect the Heels offensive and special teams to do their part, but when it comes to the D, I’m not sure what to expect.

South Carolina will control the ball and play keep away from that explosive UNC offense if Carolina can’t clog up the SC run game. Stopping the run will also force the Gamecocks to put the game in the hands of sophomore quarterback Connor Mitch. If that should happen, I really like The Tar Heels chances of winning, considering this will be the South Carolina signal caller’s first start. 

Marquise Williams

It’s no secret that I’m anticipating a monster senior season from UNC quarterback Marquise Williams, hopefully that will be the case Thursday night.  If he get’s solid protection and can avoid too many mistakes, there’s no reason why Marquise and Co. shouldn’t put up a good amount of points. I’m well aware that the South Carolina D is not chopped liver, I just think that Williams is a difference maker and he could be a little too much for the Gamecocks to handle. If the senior struggles, UNC will likely struggle, so it safe to say that #12 is a key to the outcome of the one.

Get off to a fast start

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina Tar Heels /

North Carolina Tar Heels

This should be an emphasis going into to every game but it’s even more important when you face a team like South Carolina. The boys from the SEC have been known to have its struggles on the offensive side of the ball, so if UNC can put some points up early it could become a major factor in the outcome of this contest. A couple of quick scores will also get the crowd out of the game and could force the Gamecocks to take some chances, which will give the Tar Heel defense opportunities to make plays.

The alternative is to allow South Carolina to keep it close and turn this into a grind it out affair, which favors them. I’m not saying the Heels can’t win a game that is nip and tuck throughout, however, the likelihood of them winning will increase greatly if they make the Gamecocks play catch-up.

The UNC running game

If North Carolina does have its struggles offensively, it will likely be because they are one-dimensional, and that would be the result of a non-effective ground game. Last season UNC had issues running the ball, making the the offense predictable. Sophomore tailback Elijah Hood will most likely get the first crack at giving the Tar Heels a balanced attack. If he’s able to do that, it will not only put his squad in manageable down and distances but it will also give Marquise Williams the opportunity to hit big plays down the field.

T.J. Logan and a couple of others are also expected to contribute on the ground. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter who is carrying the ball — UNC just needs production from the tailbacks. If this group can get 150 yard plus, expect the boys in Carolina Blue to win this game.