SPARTANBURG, SC -- The annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is set to will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C., and the game boasts many stars on both the North Carolina and South Carolina teams. The North Carolina team has two superstar running backs led by Todd Gurley who many feel is a four-star talent. If Gurley and company get to the second level, there will be trouble for South Carolina which is why the defensive line is so key here in shutting down the run. Here's our breakdown:
Todd Gurley is a big back with excellent speed, but he has been banged up during practice so it will be interesting to see how successful he is. Gurley has excellent feet, is very good in space and has a terrific stiff-arm. He also runs with power despite being upright at times and he can be a threat out of the backfield as well. Jela Duncan compliments him well because he's lower to the ground, is more effective in traffic and is an excellent one-cut runner with good vision. It's a terrific 1-2 punch that will be tough to handle for the South Carolina defensive line if both are healthy.
The South Carolina defensive line is led by Gimel President who is the most athletic of the bunch, gets a good push inside and can run things down to the perimeter. David DeLeon is undersized but plays with good leverage and is good at shooting the gap while Wesley Scott has been a force off the edge, especially in pass-rush situations and stout against the run. However, this group isn't very big and could struggle bringing down the big back in Gurley and the sneaky, powerful Duncan who are both good at gaining yardage after contact.