Duck Commander Independence Bowl Preview

This year's Duck Commander Independence Bowl is a swan song for both team's starting running backs.
This year’s Duck Commander Independence Bowl is a swan song for both team’s starting running backs.

By: Da`Vince “Dino’ Wright


Game Info
Miami Hurricanes vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Saturday – December 27 – 2:30 pm
Independence Stadium – Shreveport

University of Miami
The Hurricanes expect to run the ball with ferocity, boasting arguably the best running back in school history—and that’s saying something. Duke Johnson is only a junior, but he has dazzled with 1,520 yards and 13 total touchdowns on the year.

The Hurricane’s defense, despite being ranked 14th nationally (327.6 yards allowed), has had its share of struggles this season in holding teams in the red zone, sometimes deficient tackling, often playing opponents too far off the ball to dominate and in getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Thus, UM Coach Al Golden was asked after Wednesday’s practice how he can prevent his players from being caught up in the pressure of a back-and-forth shootout. Junior running back Duke Johnson, who already disclosed that he will announce on Sunday whether he is turning pro, said he has already made his decision. He added that he might announce that decision during a news conference at UM.

South Carolina Gamecocks
At 69, Steve Spurrier will lead the South Carolina Gamecocks against the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl, readily admitting, in so many words, that nobody wants to be 6-6 entering this game.

South Carolina’s defense is ranked 91st nationally, allowing 433.6 yards per game. The Gamecocks (6-6) are also 91st in scoring defense (31.2 points per game allowed) and 101st in red-zone defense. The senior Gamecocks running back hasn’t put up Johnson-like numbers with just 927 yards and 10 total touchdowns, but his importance has been unquestionable in South Carolina’s offense. Dylan Thompson and the passing game has been inconsistent, but Davis’ impact shines through in almost every game.

“Yeah, it’s officially my last game,’’ said the 5-9, 223-pound tailback, who rushed for 927 yards and nine touchdowns this season and has 2,385 career yards. “Of course, I always want to go out with a bang. I want to tell my team that I love them and that I’ve enjoyed this long ride.’’

Prediction: Marred by allegations from both high profiled running backs. This will be a high octane offensive game. Watch both running backs pile up the yards on two weak defenses. Miami will win by two touchdowns. 28-14 over the Gamecocks!