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The South Carolina Gamecocks enter the 2012 college football season coming off an 11-2 record last year. It is very apparent that since Steve Spurrier took over as head coach, things have really turned around for the program.
The scary thought for their SEC counterparts is that despite losing quite a few starters from last year to the NFL, the 2012 edition of South Carolina could even be better.
The first conference school to get a look at South Carolina on the field is Vanderbilt as they host the Gamecocks on Thursday night on the first night of the 2012 College Football Season.
The biggest name the 9th ranked Gamecocks have to replace is receiver Alshon Jeffery, a second round NFL draft pick. But they do return leading rusher Marcus Lattimore, who many have as a dark horse Heisman winner and a much improved quarterback in Connor Shaw.
As for Vanderbilt, they are no longer a team that opponents can pencil in as a sure win. They fared very well with their tough SEC schedule last year and four of their conference losses were by an average of 4.5 points. Three of those four losses were against Arkansas, Georgia and Florida.
The good news for the Commodores is that they return 17 starters. The most important of these are their leading rusher from last year Zac Stacy and quarterback Jordan Rodgers.
It should come as no surprise that South Carolina will enter their matchup with Vanderbilt as the favorite in BetOnline Sportsbook’s College Football Betting Odds. The Gamecocks will be favored by 7 with the OVER/UNDER in points set at 46.
Thursday night’s matchup between South Carolina and Vanderbilt can be seen live on ESPN at 7:00 pm ET.