USC and UNC are hardly unfamiliar with one another. The Duke’s Mayo Bowl meeting will be the 59th time the two flagship institutions have met in football. North Carolina leads the all-time series by a 35-19-4 margin, including a 3-1 mark when playing at a neutral site. However, the Gamecocks have won three of the last four and six of the last eight contests against the Tarheels.
On Wednesday, both head coaches sat down with the media for a lengthy recap of the season and to look ahead to the matchup on December 30th in Charlotte. UNC head coach Mack Brown was first and proudly announced that starting quarterback Sam Howell will participate in the game. Howell threw for over 2,800 yards this season with 23 TDs and 9 interceptions. Brown also touched on his relationship with Shane Beamer stating that, “I’m a Shane (Beamer) fan and I want him to do well. When guys like him do well it’s good for college football.”
Meantime, Beamer surprised the panel with some news regarding running back ZaQuandre White, who announced on Tuesday that he was declaring for the NFL draft and would begin preparations “immediately”, according to his twitter page. However, Coach Beamer says, “it’s not definite that he (White) is out for the bowl game. I have had multiple conversations with ZaQuandre since the day after the Clemson game. I would not say it’s 100% that ZaQuandre’s not playing in the bowl game.”
The Tarheels are about a touchdown favorite for the contest on ESPN television.