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Chick-fil-A Bowl: Gamecocks Can Kick Off The New Year With a Win

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 13:  Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes against Jonathan Bostic #52 of the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
DJ BatchlerCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2010

As the Gamecocks and Seminoles prepare to do battle on New Year's Eve, many eyes will be watching. Not just because the Chic-Fil-A bowl will be airing nationally, but because many recruits have interest in both schools.

The Gamecocks currently have 18 players on their roster from the state of Florida.

The SEC East will be much improved in 2011, but the Gamecocks will return several of their stars, as well as solid back ups and they have a top 25 recruiting class coming in for 2011.

2010, to this point, has been a great season for the Gamecocks with a few head scratching losses along the way.

To beat Florida State would essentially start 2011 with a win.

2011 can be an even better season than 2010 for the Gamecocks. With one game left to play, there is no time to look ahead. The Seminoles are a very good team, with star players in all the right places.

The 2010 Chic-Fil-A Bowl may be one of the better bowls of the season.

With two great defensive fronts against pretty good offenses, the game shouldn't lack for excitement. The Gamecocks are three point favorites, for entertainment purposes only of course.

To see either team totally dominate would be surprising.

The Gamecocks as always will depend on the usual suspects: Lattimore, Garcia and Jeffery. Tori Gurley, Brian Maddox and Patrick DiMarco will likely also play big roles in the offensive production.

The departing Ladi Ajiboye will anchor a defensive front who will be sack hungry.

The Head Ball Coach faces a familiar foe in a Florida State, but a foe he hasn't seen in quite some time. He will play in a familiar location, the Georgia Dome, one he played in just a few weeks ago in a losing effort against BCS Championship bound Auburn.

The Gamecocks need more than their usual suspects to come out victorious. The time of possession battle may be a huge factor in determining who is the Champion of the Chi-Fil-A bowl. Lattimore will weigh heavily on that outcome, but the Head Ball Coach will need to stick with the run even if it isn't gaining big chunks.

In doing so, it will open up the air game for Stephen Garcia and his targets, and with this being a bowl game, expect to see Connor Shaw make his way into the game at some point as well. Patrick DiMarco will also be looking to extend his games with touchdowns streak to three.

For the Gamecocks seniors who have been a part of one of the best seasons of Gamecock football with their trip to the SEC Championship, you have to know that they want to end it with a championship.

In turn, the underclassmen want to help their departing teammates and build for their future.

With what many consider to be too many bowl games now, the Chic-Fil-A Bowl will be one to watch for sure. Two conference runners up, marquee names, strong units and two teams hungry for a primetime win.

There will be a sea of garnet in the Georgia dome for this game, as both teams fans will be out en mass.

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