Run and Shoot: Border Rivalry Revived

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Border Rivalry Revived

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As North Carolina and South Carolina renew a border rivalry that had laid dormant for 16 years one of the large questions that looms is just how significant a home-field advantage the Tar Heels will hold. UNC (2-4) will need every edge possible if it hopes to spring an upset on the seventh-ranked Gamecocks (5-1) but it remains to be seen how friendly the Kenan Stadium crowd will be today.

A walk through the numerous mobs of maroon in Chapel Hill today indicates that a significant number of Gamecock fans will be getting rowdy and might even make things difficult on the home team. What it will guarantee, however, is one of the better atmospheres Kenan has ever witnessed with rumors of a record crowd swirling.

On the field, the home team faces a daunting task against the battle-tested and well-rested Gamecocks. The key to the game could be how well quarterback T.J. Yates handles the superb pass defense of USC. The Gamecocks, who had a few extra days to prepare after defeating Kentucky on Oct. 4, boast one of the best passing defenses in the nation, allowing just 126.5 yards per game. They will be without ballhawking corner Carlos Thomas who sprained his neck in practice earlier in the week.

Even without the services of Thomas, the Gamecocks will look to pressure Yates who has for the most part shown excellent composure despite being a reshirt freshman. If Yates succumbs to the pressure, it could be a long day for the boys in blue. If he doesn't, it could be a long, painful ride back to Columbia for all those maroon-clad fans patrolling Chapel Hill.

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