Gamecocks v. A&M to be Closer than Experts Think

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Looking at the Vegas odds hovering around 10 points for the opening game of the season between the Gamecocks and Aggies is interesting.  Rarely, do you find two ranked teams playing each other in the first game of the season with such a large point spread. 

Certainly, factoring into the point spread is the game being played at Williams-Brice which has quickly become one of the most raucous stadiums in the nation with the Gamecocks success under Spurrier.  Also, factoring into the point spread is the Aggies having to replace Johnny Football and concerns over what the offense will look like without the dynamic playmaker. 

However, at the same time the Gamecocks lost two huge pieces of their team from last season in Connor Shaw and Jadaveon Clowney.  Thompson looks ready to step into the role at starting QB but Shaw was a special leader and without Clowney defenses wont have to gameplan around one defensive player. 

On paper the Gamecocks certainly appear to be the more talented team and their offensive line should be able to control the Aggies defensive line opening up big holes for Mike Davis.  At the same time Texas A&M may have the best offensive line in the SEC and has depth and experience at running back and mismatch nightmare Ricky Seals-Jones and electic playmaker Speedy Noil at WR. 

This will be a big time test for the Gamecocks and should be closer than many think.  The pressure is on the Gameocks, they have the playoff expectations, they are expected to win.  How the Gamecocks handle it will be an early storyline of the 2014 season.

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