5 Predictions: East Carolina edition

For the second year, over the course of the season, I will be making five predictions for each of the South Carolina football games. Some may be bold, some may be safe, some may be right on target. This week we take a look at the South Carolina's opener in Nashville against Vanderbilt

1. Lattimore goes for 125 and a pair of scores

Last week I predicted Marcus Lattimore would go for 100 yards and a score and he went for 110 and two scores. Perhaps his numbers wouldn't have been quite as high had Kenny Miles not suffered an injury that sidelined him for nearly the entire game. Miles is healthy and will be back and he will certainly get his carries this week, but I think Lattimore will reach the 125-yard mark on fewer carries than last week.

2. Thompson rallies back

Connor Shaw may start and will at least see some playing time, but I also believe Dylan Thompson will get an opportunity at some point in the game to get some crucial experience, possibly even a start. Thompson did not perform well at all last week and really can't get much worse. If given the opportunity I believe Thompson will show why he was named the back-up following the spring over Seth Strickland, Andrew Clifford, and Tanner McEvoy and remained the back-up throughout fall camp.

3. Defense picks three passes

This is going out on a limb similar to last week's prediction that Shaq Roland would impact last week's game. With ECU's high-flying attack the Carolina secondary will have plenty of opportunities to make plays. Rio Johnson had a tendency to float balls to receivers last week and that could cost him against the Gamecocks. Carolina will pick three passes and may return one for a score.

4. Freshman makes a big play

T.J. Gurley almost made the big play at the end of last week's game, getting to Vandy quarterback Jordan Rodgers just as he released the fourth-down pass. One freshman is going to make a big play whether it be a touchdown, long catch, long run, interception, or sack. Roland, Jerell Adams, Gurley, and Brison Williams are among those that can make the big play.

5. Clowney gets a sack

No one was able to get to Dominic Davis in last year's game and few teams do get to the ECU quarterback. Jadeveon Clowney nearly had a pick six in his first game last season after batting a Davis throw up in the air and nearly running it down. This week Clowney will get to Johnson and get his second sack of the season.


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