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2018 Belk Bowl Pick

College Football

2018 Belk Bowl: Teams, Facts, and Pick

The Belkiest bowl of them all.

Before we get into the 2018 Belk Bowl, those not from a certain region of the country may ask: What’s a Belk?

It’s basically a southern Kohl’s. Yet, unlike Kohl’s, these guys have a bowl game. South Carolina and Virginia will be the contenders in this SEC vs. ACC game. Which one will it be?

Previous Bowls Picked: Cure | New Mexico | Las Vegas | Camellia | New Orleans | Boca Raton | Frisco | Gasparilla | Bahamas | Idaho Potato | Birmingham | Armed Forces | Dollar General | Hawaii | First Responder | Quick Lane | Cheez-It | Independence | Pinstripe | Texas | Music City | Camping World | Alamo

2018 Belk Bowl: This Year’s Bowl Info

Saturday, December 29, 2018, 12:00pm ET (9:00am PT)
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Broadcast on ABC
$4,505,556 payout (Link: College Football Poll)
South Carolina is a 5.5-point favorite

2018 Belk Bowl: South Carolina Gamecocks

7-5 (4-4 SEC); 4th place in SEC East
Best Win: Missouri
Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 37th, Total Offense 35th, Rushing Offense 72nd, 3rd Downs 29th, Time of Possession 128th, Turnover Margin 92nd, Sacks Allowed 30th, Red Zone 110th
Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 65th, Total Defense 89th, Rushing Defense 94th, Opponent 3rd Downs 39th, Sacks Per Game 76th, TFL Per Game 57th, Interceptions 110th, Opponent Red Zone 58th
Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking 11th, Punts Per Game 116th

2018 Belk Bowl: Virginia Cavaliers

7-5 (4-4 ACC); 4th in ACC Coastal
Best Win: Miami
Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 67th, Total Offense 84th, Rushing Offense 62nd, 3rd Downs 13th, Time of Possession 31st, Turnover Margin 58th, Sacks Allowed 84th, Red Zone 128th
Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 28th, Total Defense 23rd, Rushing Defense 54th, Opponent 3rd Downs 93rd, Sacks Per Game 83rd, TFL Per Game 109th, Interceptions 17th, Opponent Red Zone 98th
Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking 73rd, Punts Per Game 107th

2018 Belk Bowl: Head-to-Head

This is an old-time Southern Conference matchup. Then, from the 1950s through the 1970s, this used to be a common game as both were in the Atlantic Coast Conference together.

As such, these two teams have played 35 prior games, with South Carolina leading the all-time series, 21-13-1. Their most recent game was in 2003, a 31-7 Gamecocks win. (Link: Winsipedia)

2018 Belk Bowl: Pick

Two teams from the South lock horns in this North Carolina game.  In South Carolina’s case, expectations are always going to be for something good.  7-5 so far might not be that kind of season, but they have a chance to make it win number eight.  As for Virginia, the Cavaliers put together a season out of nowhere, getting ranked at one point but eventually settling back into 7-5 themselves.  Their last football game action this season was choking away the Commonwealth Cup.  One would imagine that has sat wrongly with them like bad fish tacos.

The Virginia strength is defense — again, the Virginia Tech game notwithstanding.  They started to fall down towards the end of ACC play, which is a concern for any Hoos fan hoping for a victory.  At least on the other side of the ball, Bryce Perkins has done a stand-up job at quarterback.  Unfortunately, not so stand-up as it seems, as he’s gotten sacked more than the FBS average.  What makes him dangerous, however, is his mobility.  Perkins has had four games of over 100 net rushing yards.  He is the single-most important offensive player on Virginia.

What may make this game interesting is that South Carolina does not defend the run well.  South Carolina is going to be helped by Jake Bentley and their offense which has shown periods of being able to put up points in a hurry.  This is a team that managed 600 yards of offense against Clemson; a handful were in garbage time, but even 400 or 500 would be impressive.

Virginia is good at extending drives and keeping their offense on the field, which is why I think they make it close.  They are not great at doing much with those drives at times, which may prove costly against the Gamecock offense.

Pick: South Carolina

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