South Carolina vs. Michigan Bowl Game Picks for Outback Bowl 1/1

Last Updated: December 31st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Outback Bowl 2013The X’s and O’s of the Outback Bowl predictions aren’t shared by many expert handicappers, but here at Bankroll Sports, we are giving up all of our insight and telling you all of the keys to the game for the South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Michigan Wolverines. The Outback Bowl picks are some of the hardest to make this year of all of the bowl games, so don’t miss out on all of our South Carolina vs. Michigan predictions!

2013 Outback Bowl: South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Michigan Wolverines
2013 Outback Bowl Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
2013 Outback Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 1:00 p.m. (ET)
2013 Outback Bowl On TV: ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: Someone has to figure out how to get a hat on Jadeveon Clowney
Short of LB Manti Te’o for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, there probably isn’t a defensive player in the land that is more feared than DE Jadeveon Clowney is for the Gamecocks. If you didn’t believe in him in the first 11 games of his freshman campaign, you had to become a believer after he picked up 4.5 sacks against QB Tajh Boyd and the Clemson Tigers. That was a game in which Clowney absolutely single handedly put away one of the best offenses in the country without really all that much help or all that much need for help. Michigan has had problems shutting down some of the best defensive ends that it has seen this year, and the offensive line is going to be under tons of pressure in this one. Clowney’s presence is going to open up the ability for some other blitzers or interior linemen to get clean runs at the Wolverines’ quarterbacks as well. Neutralize Clowney, and at least there’s a chance. Don’t do it, and he is going to run roughshod on this offense and have a showcase of a game.

Outback Bowl Odds at BetRevolution Sportsbook
South Carolina Gamecocks -4.5
Michigan Wolverines +4.5
Over/Under 47.5
Click Here to Bet Your Outback Bowl Picks!

Key #2: The OL for the Gamecocks has to pave some holes for the running game
For as great as the South Carolina defense is, the offense ranks 66th or worse in virtually every major offensive category. Some of that is the fact that the SEC schedule has been a nightmare once again this season, but part of that is because the offensive line for the Gamecocks just hasn’t been as good as it usually is. Case in point? Before he was injured, RB Marcus Lattimore averaged just 4.6 yards per carry this year. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry as a sophomore. Take out Lattimore’s production, and the offensive line for the Gamecocks averaged just 3.31 yards per carry. That isn’t going to cut it in this game against the Wolverines, especially knowing that they have excelled at times stopping teams from running the football. It’s not necessarily about what RB Kenny Miles and RB Mike Davis can do, but it is about what the offensive line is able to pave out when push comes to shove.

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Key #3: The Michigan offense has to keep this SC defense guessing
It has just become too predictable over the course of the last few games of the season for the Michigan offense. The team is very likely to run the football with QB Denard Robinson taking the snap, and it is very likely to throw it with QB Devin Gardner doing the honors. Instead, there should be more of lining up these two men all over the field. They did combine to throw for 2,300+ yards this year and averaged over nine yards per pass attempt, but a lot of that was trickery. Robinson rushed for 1,166 yards, though most of those yards came as a scrambler or a Wildcat pivot. Some came at running back, and some too, came as a wide receiver on sweeps. Robinson also caught a couple of passes for 24 yards as well. Gardner isn’t as mobile of a quarterback as Robinson is, but he did have 77 rushing yards and caught 16 passes for 266 yards earlier in the year. Perhaps lining them both up on the outside and letting someone like WR Roy Roundtree or WR Jeremy Gallon taking snaps wouldn’t be a bad idea. The gimmicks aren’t going to work all the time, but they could work some, and that’s what it will take to get a few past this top class SEC defense that is one of the better units in America.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Monday, December 31st, 2012 @ 4:32 pm (EST)
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