Published: Sun, December 30, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Belk Bowl prediction: Perkins, Virginia to upset SC

Belk Bowl prediction: Perkins, Virginia to upset SC

SC has been solid in Bowls as of late, as the Gamecocks have won 5 of their last 6 Bowls game, including a 26-19 victory over the Michigan Wolverines in last year's Outback Bowl. But the highlight reel went dark after that as the Cavaliers mustered just 175 yards of offense while Navy romped for 471 rushing yards en route to a 49-7 victory. Florida and MI will get things started at noon before SC and Virginia face off and then Arkansas State will take on Nevada to close out the action before the playoff games.

Virginia is one of the better stories in college football this season. Outside of their game at NC State, Virginia was competitive in every game this season and as I think this one is going to be close at the end, I'm taking the Cavaliers and the points. Jordan Ellis ran for 106 yards and a touchdown, helping Virginia hold the ball for more than 42 minutes. Perkins had 15 carries for 81 yards.

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Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley went 17 of 39 for 218 yards.

Olamide Zaccheaus had 12 receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns. Bentley has nine completions of 50-plus yards in last six games. Leading the way for the Owls backfield has been the trio of Rico Dowdie (10.6 att/g; 57.6 yds/g; 4 TD), Mon Denson (10.4 att/g; 52.1 yds/g; 2 TD), and Ty'Son Williams (9.4 att/g; 45.57 yds/g; 4 TD). Vann won't be the starting outside receiver with Shi Smith sliding outside, but Vann is expected to see more than his typical 2-3 targets per game. K.C. Crosby had three receptions for 48 yards. "We got (junior wide receiver) Bryan (Edwards) and (freshman wide receiver) Josh (Vann) doing it". Two of Perkins touchdowns were to Joe Reed. South Carolina's offense has been notably more productive than that this season as the Gamecocks have averaged 440.8 yards and 32.6 points per game. In his four seasons at Virginia, the 5-foot-8 Zaccheaus has 239 catches for 2,668 yards and 19 touchdowns.

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The Cavaliers led 14-0 at halftime.

UVA jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Bryce Perkins connected with Olamide Zaccheaus on a six-yard toss.

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Defensively, South Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 27.2 ppg on 425.3 total yards per game (230.8 passing yds/g; 194.5 rushing yds/g).

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