Ladies and gents, tonight marks the beginning of the 2009 season of NCAA college football and no one is more excited than me that it’s an ACC/SEC matchup.
The Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina are coming to North Carolina State’s Carter-Finley Stadium to do battle, and what a battle it will be. These two teams started the last season in a matchup where USC walked away victorious, and State coach Tom O’Brien (bonus points if you know where he coached last) is looking to settle the score.
After the initial loss to USC, State lost another three of their next five games. The ‘Pack pulled it together and ended the season 4-0, sending them to the Papajohns.com bowl in Mobile, Alabama, where they were edged out by Rutgers, 29-23.
The Gamecocks did just the opposite, starting the season 5-2, but ended on a three-game losing streak. Make it four if you count their loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
Sophomore Stephen Garcia will lead the Gamecocks tonight at quarterback, under the direction of head coach Steve Spurrier. Sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson will make the start for the Wolfpack, and let’s hope this season starts better than last (he left the first game with a concussion). Let me just tell y’all, this guy is phenomenal. I had the pleasure of watching him heat up the gridiron on a cold and rainy day at Carter-Finley versus Miami, and it’s no wonder he was the first freshman named to the All-ACC First Team at quarterback.
My pick? My dad went to State, and I’ve bled Wolfpack red for most of my life (too bad they didn’t have a nursing program). That, in addition to the ‘Pack’s improvement over the summer and their home field advantage, leads me to choose N.C. State over USC, 24-21.
Less than an hour ’til kickoff! The game will be on ESPN at 7pm. Oregon and Boise State square up at 10.
More into NFL action? Check tonight’s schedule here (Lord Jesus, please let the Panthers win, and I mean it).
P.S. Tom O’Brien used to coach at Boston College. Your boy will be impressed you know that.