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Inside Enemy Territory: North Carolina

Let’s see how Other Carolina is feeling about this.

Nice Jordan shirts, but do they realize they’re at a football game?
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Another football season is upon us, and we here at GABA are therefore back to dumpster diving in other team’s message boards so you don’t have to. It’s more fun than it probably should be to see what opposing fans are chatting about during game week, although sometimes these ventures come at the cost of some sanity. That’s why we’re here to help.

This week, our travels take us to Inside Carolina’s Tar Pit, the free board on an otherwise premium site for fans of the North Carolina Tar Heels. Contrary to what many might assume of a basketball-oriented fan base, there was actually quite a bit of material to mine here, so kudos to them for at least that much.

Let’s get to it.

We’ll be missing our best DB and also a starting LB for one half. They’ll pick on the replacements. It will make a difference.

Good to know! (The poster is referring to linebacker Dominique Ross and cornerback Patrice Rene, who are suspended for the first half due to a post-game brawl in UNC’s season-ending loss to N.C. State last year.)

Muschamp has an advantage built through recruiting and depth. At this point SC is ahead because of that and a pretty good Senior qb. Give Mack a couple of years and that evens out quickly but for now SC 33 UNC 21.

This seems fair. Playing UNC in 2023 is going to be a lot different than playing them on Saturday, but that’s then and this is now.

The last time we were 9 point dogs to USC, we whomped them 31-9. Oh wait, that was the real USC.

As you’d expect, they’re a regular bunch of funny guys over there.

I honestly don’t think SoCar is as good as everyone thinks they are and we are far better than people think we are. Of course that’s just my opinion.

I don’t agree that “everyone” thinks South Carolina is that good (certainly not the prognosticators, who have tabbed the Gamecocks to finish anywhere from fourth to sixth in the SEC East), but I do agree that UNC isn’t as awful as 2018’s record would indicate. They had a pretty demoralizing run of injuries, and lost multiple games in the fourth quarter last season. They’ve got some talent, it’s just hard to feel confident about much when you’re trotting out a true freshman quarterback under a new coach.

Speaking of...

Three of our starting o-line have one combined career start between them, and we have a true freshman starting. Our offense struggles mightily. The defense performs well in the first half, but fades. 27-9, ‘cocks.

I’d take it.

I hope unc wins too. I think 6-6 season is very possible. I just happen to think SC is very good. I think they are the best team we play besides Clemson.

Okay, so THIS guy thinks South Carolina is that good. Appreciate it!

24-21 Heels win, Bateman’s D shows up and makes a statement. Our RBs play big taking much of the pressure off of Howell allowing him to settle in a manage the game. Howell hits some big passes and the good guys walk out of BOA stadium with the win.

I’m not as worried about North Carolina’s backfield as, say, D’Andre Swift and company, but USC definitely needs a better rushing defense to have success in this game and beyond. With a healthy and experienced defensive line (and frankly, nowhere to go but up), I do expect to see some improvement.

This has classic “Heels throw interception in end zone as time runs out to lose in devastating fashion” written all over it. But. Hope springs eternal. I’ll say 31-27 good guys.

This could have been written by a Gamecock fan, so maybe there’s some common ground here after all.

Uva beat them 28 to nothing so.... There is that

Too bad bowl games have absolutely no bearing on the subsequent season. (And by that I mean, thank GOD they have no bearing on the subsequent season.)

On Jake Bentley:

If he plays like he did against Clemson, then he will be formidable. He’s kind of a hot and cold QB, and we don’t know which one will show up this weekend.

Hard to argue here. I hope we get Good Jake not just for this game, but ideally for the season. We’ll need him.

We need explosive plays. We won’t win if we have to sustain a bunch of long drives. Need to stay healthy. We have some players on first team. Can’t afford to be Miami/Florida stupid. We don’t have a lot of room for self inflicted errors. Force some turnovers. Best shot is with the secondary here. Do all that and win it with special teams. 31-27 Heels.

I love this post for the inclusion of “Florida/Miami stupid,” which is absolutely a thing (and was even before that game last week).

In summary, most UNC fans seem to be bracing themselves for a loss, while others are crossing their fingers and thinking a win is plausible with some timely turnovers. All in all, nothing too crazy was posted, which is actually kind of disappointing. Three days ‘till kickoff!