Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
South Carolina vs Virginia
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 29, 2018
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina


1. South Carolina and Virginia meet for the first time since 2003 — and for the first time in a bowl game — when the two teams face off at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, Va., on Dec. 29. The Gamecocks finished in a tie for fourth in the very tough SEC East and are coming off a 28-3 win over Akron in its season finale on Dec. 1. The Cavaliers tied for third in the ACC Coastal division but limp into their bowl game as losers of three of four, with their only win in that stretch against Liberty.

2. The Gamecocks will be missing some key pieces, including arguably their top player in receiver Deebo Samuel. The 6-foot, 200-pound receiver put up 123.2 all-purpose yards per game in 2018 and scored 13 touchdowns overall, numbers that got him named to the 2018 Associated Press first-team All-SEC unit as an all-purpose player and to the second team at wide receiver. South Carolina will also be without two starting defenders, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and senior cornerback Keisean Nixon, as both will miss the game due to injuries.

3. A lot of Virginia’s 2018 success can be attributed to quarterback Bryce Perkins, who was named the 2018 recipient of the Dudley Award, given to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s top Division I football player. Perkins, a junior college transfer, was electric in his first season with the Cavaliers, piling up 3,314 all-purpose yards while accounting for 31 touchdowns. He is a legitimate dual-threat quarterback, throwing for 2,472 yards on 203-of-318 passing and running for 842 yards and nine touchdowns on 197 carries.

TV: Noon ET, ABC. LINE: South Carolina -5.5

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (7-5, 4-4 SEC): The Gamecocks had five losses on the season and all of them came at the hands of ranked opponents: No. 2 Clemson, No. 6 Georgia, No. 10 Florida, No. 15 Kentucky, and No. 20 Texas A&M. Oppositely, three of their four wins were by four points or less (Missouri 37-35, Tennessee 27-24, and Ole Miss 48-44). South Carolina is 2-0 under coach Will Muschamp in bowl games, including last year’s 26-19 win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl.

ABOUT VIRGINIA (7-5, 4-4 ACC): The Cavaliers had some easy games on their schedule early in the season and converted them into wins, but struggled down the stretch with conference losses to Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. It was a milestone year for the program which is going in the right direction under coach Bronco Mendenhall, getting its first winning season since 2011 and returning to a bowl game for the second year in a row. Last season, Virginia lost 49-7 to Navy in the Military Bowl in a game where the Cavaliers returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown but then gave up 49 unanswered points.

PREDICTION: South Carolina 31, Virginia 21
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
South Carolina 7-5 W1 32.6 27.2 5-2 2-3 6-5 0-0 4-4
Virginia 7-5 L2 28.5 21.8 6-1 1-4 6-4 0-0 4-4
Last Meeting
South Carolina Virginia
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/6/03 UVA 7 SOCAR 31 423 261 162 170 116 54
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Carolina D. Pinkins 37.5 162 1 1
Virginia A. Martinez 50.0 54 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Carolina D. Turman 18 123 6.8 1
Virginia A. Pearman 17 91 5.4 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Carolina T. Williamson 2 102 51.0 1
Virginia H. Miller 3 17 5.7 0
Touchdowns Player TD
South Carolina D. Pinkins 1
Virginia A. Pearman 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Carolina J. Bentley 63.9 2953 27 12
Virginia B. Perkins 63.8 2472 22 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Carolina R. Dowdle 117 638 5.5 4
Virginia J. Ellis 189 920 4.9 9
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Carolina D. Samuel 62 882 14.2 11
Virginia O. Zaccheaus 82 973 11.9 6
Touchdowns Player TD
South Carolina D. Samuel 12
Virginia J. Ellis 9
Quickchart Matchup
South Carolina South Carolina Off vs  Virginia Virginia Def
South Carolina 440.8 yards
Virginia 337.2 yards
South Carolina 4.6 yards/rush
Virginia 4.5 yards/rush
South Carolina 8.2 yards/attempt
Virginia 6.5 yards/attempt
Virginia Virginia Off vs  South Carolina South Carolina Def
Virginia 382.2 yards
South Carolina 429.8 yards
Virginia 4.5 yards/rush
South Carolina 4.6 yards/rush
Virginia 7.8 yards/attempt
South Carolina 7.1 yards/attempt