The 2014 bowl season continues into its second weekend with a Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm ET) game featuring the Miami Hurricanes (6-6) of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the South Carolina Gamecocks (6-6) of SEC in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl from Independence Stadium in Shreveport, LA. The Hurricanes limp into this game after dropping their last 3 regular season games to: Florida St. (30-26), Virginia (30-13) and Pittsburgh (35-23). South Carolina dropped their regular season finale to in-state rival Clemson 35-17 in Death Valley.
Miami is ranked 57th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 29.9 points per game and 30th among FBS teams in total offense with 450.8 yards per contest. The Hurricanes rank 42nd nationally in points allowed with 24.3 per game and 14th in total defense 327.6 YPG allowed.
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South Carolina is ranked 35th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 33.3 PPG scored and 46th among FBS teams in total offense with 431 YPG. The Gamecocks rank 91st nationally in points allowed with 31.2 per game and 91st in total defense 433.6 YPG allowed.
Miami vs. South Carolina Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Miami Hurricanes -3.5
@ South Carolina Gamecocks +3.5
Over 61 (-110)
Under 61 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Miami vs South Carolina Pick
The Hurricanes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 bowl games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games and 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games overall. The Gamecocks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against ACC teams, 2-6 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an outright loss. The Under is 5-1 in the Hurricanes’ last 6 neutral site games, 4-1 in Hurricanes last 5 games against SEC teams and 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. The Under is 4-0 in the Gamecocks’ last 4 non-conference games, 13-3 in their last 16 games against SEC teams and 4-0 in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
This game will feature two teams that struggled down the stretch as Miami had their previously mentioned end of season swoon, and South Carolina has dropped 5 of its last 8 games. The Hurricanes have not fared well in recent bowl games, having not won one since 2006 an 0-4 record. That includes a 36-9 beat down at the hands of Louisville in last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl.The Gamecocks have won 3 straight bowl games, all against current Big-10 members Nebraska, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Neither team has put it all together this season, Miami has struggled to generate consistent offense with freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya (2,962 yards passing, 25 TDs, 11 INTs) under center and despite the presence of running back Duke Johnson who ran for 1,520 yards and averaged 7 yards per carry. The Gamecocks allowed 52, 21, 45, 42, 45 and 35 points in their six losses this season; and defense has been their weakness all season long. Sophomore wide receiver Pharoh Cooper is South Carolina’s main offensive threat, entering this game with 60 receptions for 966 yards and 8 TDs.
This game has the feel of game that could go either way, neither team has lived up to expectations or performed on a consistent basis, which is why they are both 6-6 straight up. Both have dreadful records ATS with Miami 5-7 and South Carolina 4-8. This game is likely be one-sided and with neither team sticking out and the trend pointing strongly to the Under, that is the play here. Take the Under in this game.