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  1. South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Gamecocks At Oklahoma State In SEC/Big 12 Challenge Saturday Men's Basketball | 1/25/2019 | From USC Sports Information \ GCF Staff Report Story Links GAME NOTES (PDF) LIVE STATS WATCH TWITTER UPDATES COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina takes a brief break from SEC action on Saturday when it travels to face Oklahoma State in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in Stillwater. Tip time for the contest is set for 2 p.m. ET, with the matchup vs. the Cowboys set to be broadcast on ESPNU with Richard Cross (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (analyst) on the call.STARTING FIVE> South Carolina, winners of six of their last seven contests, hits the road for the 2019 SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, to face Oklahoma State, which is led by former Gamecock standout Mike Boynton Jr. Boynton lettered at Carolina from 2001-04, seeing action in 125 career games in the Garnet and Black.> Senior forward Chris Silva had a career night in leading the Gamecocks to an upset win over No. 16/15 Auburn at Colonial Life Arena earlier this week. The Libreville, Gabon, native scored 32 points, while pulling down 14 rebounds, a career high in both categories. Maybe most impressive, his 11-of-12 mark from the field, and his 10-of-11 performance at the free throw line. According to the SEC Network, Silva is just the second player in any conference in the last 20 seasons to have 30 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks on 90 percent shooting in a game.> Fellow senior guard Hassani Gravett has been stellar in league games. He paces Carolina with 15.0 points per game, while his 2.5 assists per game are also a team best. He's averaging 44.1 percent from the field, and has hit 15-of-33 attempts from beyond the arc - 45.5 percent.> The Gamecocks weren't able to capture a road win in non-conference action, however, Carolina has won two of their first three road games in league play, with victories at Florida and at Vanderbilt. In games played away from home (road and neutral-site contests), the Gamecocks are scoring an average of 73.0 points per game, behind 43.5 percent from the field. Rookie guard A.J. Lawson is averaging 14.6 points per game away from home, and Gravett has hit 15-of-30 attempts from beyond the arc in those contests.> In its seven games since the break for the holidays, South Carolina's offense has been on fire. The Gamecocks are averaging 80.1 points per game, and have hit 45.2 percent from the field. Free throws have been key to several of Carolina's wins during the stretch. At the line, the Gamecocks have hit 74.4 percent of their attempts, behind the performances of Silva (37-42), Gravett (25-28) and sophomore forward Felipe Haase (20-22). The trio has combined to go 82-of-92 (89.1%) from the free throw line during those contests. COACHES VS. CANCER SUITS AND SNEAKERS WEEK> It's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week! Suits and Sneakers Week is a nationwide event that unites coaches across the country to raise funds and awareness about the fight against cancer, and promotes the American Cancer Society as a source of inspiration and hope for those facing cancer. While coaching games this week, Frank Martin and his staff will wear sneakers with their game attire as a visible reminder about the importance of fighting cancer.THROUGH 18 GAMES...> In overall games this season, a trio of Gamecocks are averaging double figures, led by rookie guard A.J. Lawson's 13.2 points per game. Silva (13.0) and Gravett (11.6) are also in double figures on the year.> Behind the shot-blocking strength of senior forward Chris Silva, Carolina has emerged as one of the top shot-blocking teams in the league with 5.1 per contest, which ranks tied for seventh in the SEC.> Gravett continues to post strong numbers on the offensive end. His 41.5 percent (34-82) from 3-point range is a team best, and he has missed just seven attempts at the free throw line, hitting 41-of-48 at the stripe.> Following the three-point win over Auburn on Tuesday, Carolina is 4-1 in games decided by five or less points.> Carolina is 7-1 when scoring 80 or more points this season.> Six active Gamecocks average at least 7.1 points per game, and seven average at least 21 minutes per game.> Four Gamecocks have hit 15 or more 3-pointers this season, led by Gravett's 34, followed by Lawson (27), Campbell (19) and Haase (15)FRANK MARTIN> South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is in his seventh season leading the Gamecocks and 12th season overall as a head coach in 2018-19. Martin, the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year (CollegeInsider.com), led South Carolina to its first Final Four and a school record 26 wins in 2016-17. In his 11 complete seasons as a head coach, Martin has led his teams to at least 21 wins seven times. Martin is a native of Miami, Fla., and a graduate of FIU.> Prior to his time on the sidelines in the college ranks, Martin spent 15 years in high school coaching in Miami, Fla., including the last seven as a head coach. He was part of five state championships as an assistant at Miami Senior High School (1985-93), before earning two titles as the program's head coach (1995-98). Highlighting Martin's stint as the head coach of the program were consecutive 30-win seasons and consecutive Florida 6A State Championships in 1996 and 1997, with his 1997 squad earning a 36-1 overall record and ranking No. 4 in the USA Today Top 25 Poll. He also served as the head coach at North Miami Senior High School (1993-95) and one season at Booker T. Washington High School (1999-2000).> Among active Division I head coaches, South Carolina's Frank Martin holds the seventh-highest (tied with Michigan's John Beilein) NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.667) behind only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina's Roy Williams, Kentucky's John Calipari, Kansas' Bill Self, Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Villanova's Jay Wright.> Martin led team's are 99-96 (.507) all-time in league play.QUICK HITS> South Carolina is in its 111th season of varsity basketball in 2018-19.> Gamecock head coach Frank Martin is joined on the sidelines by assistant coaches Perry Clark (6th season), Bruce Shingler (3rd season) and Chuck Martin (2nd season). Andy Assaley is in his seventh season as the director of operations.> South Carolina is one of 13 DI schools nationally that have two or more former DI coaches serving as an assistant coach. Perry Clark served as the head coach at Tulane, Miami (Fla.) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, while Chuck Martin was the head coach at Marist for five campaigns.> South Carolina advanced to its first Final Four in 2016-17, which included posting its first NCAA Tounament win since the 1973 campaign when it talied a 93-73 win over Marquette in the First Round.> The Gamecocks are 24-14 (.631) in neutral-site contests under the direction of head coach Frank Martin, including a 3-3 mark last season.> Carolina was 15-18 (.454) over the course of the last three seasons in away contests (2015-16, 16-17, 17-18).> Martin is 31-40 (.436) against ranked opponents as a head coach. His teams have four wins over opponents ranked in the top five, and two wins over opponents who are ranked No. 1.> Senior forward Chris Silva was named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team by both the media and coaches; and also named to the Karl Malone Award Watch List, the Naismith Trophy Watch List and the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List. He was also named a Senior CLASS Award Candidate.SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS> The Gamecocks are 10-8 overall this season and 5-1 in SEC action following Tuesday's upset of No. 16/15 Auburn.> In road games this season, Carolina holds a 2-3 record, and is averaging 70.8 points per game.> Sophomore forward Felipe Haase has been key to Carolina's success in league games. He threw the hail mary pass to Silva for the game-winner at Florida, hit a crucial corner 3 to tie the contest with under seven minutes remaining in the come-back win at Vandy, and he hit the game-winning point on a corner 3 vs. Auburn. In league action, he averages 9.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He's also 18-of-20 at the free throw line in league action.> Senior guard Hassani Gravett has hit a trio of 3s in each of Carolina's last three outings. On the year, he has multiple 3s in 11 contests, and he's hit three or more seven times.> In the SEC statistics (overall games), Carolina ranks fifth in turnover margin (+1.9) and sixth in offensive rebounds (11.9). Individually, Lawson is 19th with 13.2 points per game, Silva is 10th with 6.8 rebounds per contest and tied for fourth with 2.2 blocks per game.> Eight different Gamecocks reached the scoring column in Tuesday's victory over Auburn. > The 16.0 forced turnovers per contest by the Gamecock defense ranks 45th nationally.> South Carolina returns seven letterwinners from last season's 17-16 squad, including senior guard Hassani Gravett and senior forward Chris Silva.> Carolina welcomes nine newcomers to its roster this season, including transfers and six freshmen student-athletes. Jair Bolden (transfer/George Washington/guard), redshirt-junior Raymond "Quad" Borup (r-junior/forward), graduate transfer Tre Campbell (transfer/Georgetown/guard), Keyshawn Bryant (freshman/guard), Jermaine Couisnard (freshman/guard), Alanzo Frink (freshman/forward), A.J. Lawson (freshman/guard), T.J. Moss(freshman/guard) and Nathan Nelson (freshman/forward).SCOUTING THE COWBOYS> Oklahoma State is 8-11 overall this season and holds a 2-5 mark in Big 12 games. > At home, OSU is 5-4, while they are just 1-5 on the road and 2-2 in neutral-site games.> Oklahoma State is led by former Gamecock standout Mike Boynton Jr., in his second season.> Junior forward Cameron McGriff paces the team in points (13.5) and rebounds (8.1) per game. > Lindy Waters (12.2) and Thomas Dziagwa (10.1) also average double figures this season.> The Cowboys are scoring just 69.3 points per game, but the OSU defense is allowing opponents to score just 69.8 points per game, and holding teams to 41.0 percent from the field.> Dziagwa is OSU's 3-point threat, as he is averaging 2.9 makes per game from beyond the arc and has hit 42.7 percent of his attempts.COMING UP NEXT South Carolina returns to Columbia next week and readies to host the nation's top-ranked team in No. 1 Tennessee at Colonial Life Arena on Tuesday. Tip time for that contest is set for 6:30 p.m. ET, on the SEC Network with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) on the call.
  2. Gamecocks host LSU on senior night Wednesday Tip time set for 6:30 p.m. ET vs. the Tigers GCF Staff Report Feb. 27, 2018 South Carolina vs. LSU Game Notes / Watch / Live Stats / Clear Bag Policy / Promotions / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Ticket Information GAME INFO Date: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 Tipoff: 6:30 p.m. Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Broadcast: SEC Network Play-By-Play: Roy Philpott Analyst: Brooke Weisbrod Series: Carolina leads 17-15 Tickets: GamecocksOnline.com/1-800-4SC-FANS
  3. Gamecock Open SEC Slate Saturday At Mizzou Carolina Football Looks to Go 2-0 GCF Staff Report September 08, 2017 South Carolina vs Missouri Game Notes / GameTracker / Live Audio / @GamecockFB GAME INFORMATION Opponent: Missouri Date: Sept. 9, 2017 Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, Mo. Stadium: Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium (71,168) Series: SEC opener; Mizzou holds a 4-3 lead in the battle for the Mayor's Cup TV: ESPN2 (Anish Shroff, Mike Golic Jr., Roddy Jones) Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network (Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs, Langston Moore) Satellite Radio: Sirius 138/XM 191 Radio Affiliates Weekly Radio Show Weekly TV Show From USC Sports InformationYOU ARE LOOKING LIVE: The 2017 SEC slate gets underway for South Carolina on Saturday, September 9, when the Gamecocks (1-0, 0-0 SEC) travel to Faurot Field and Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo. for a 7 pm ET (6 pm local) kick against the Missouri Tigers (1-0, 0-0 SEC). TV COVERAGE: The 2017 SEC opener will be televised on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff and Mike Golic Jr. in the booth and Roddy Jones on the sidelines. A HISTORY LESSON: It's been 125 years since the University of South Carolina laced it up for a December 24, 1892 meeting in Charleston against Furman, a 44-0 setback. 2017 marks the 124th season of intercollegiate football at South Carolina. It is the 111th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 593-569-44, a .510 winning percentage. SEC HISTORY: The South Carolina Gamecocks are in their 26th year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their lone SEC Eastern Division title in 2010. The Gamecocks are 85-114-1 (.428) all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 30-26 (.536) in conference action since the start of the 2010 season. GETTING TO 2-0: The Gamecocks are looking to go 2-0 for the first time since the 2012 season. They have been 1-1 after two games in each of the last four campaigns. That 2012 team went on to win its first six games and finished with an 11-2 mark. CAROLINA VS. MIZZOU: The Missouri Tigers hold a slim 4-3 advantage over the South Carolina Gamecocks in the all-time series between these two schools that claim Columbia as its hometown. The first two contests were held at bowl sites, with Missouri posting a 24-14 win in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, and a 38-31 come-from-behind win in the 2005 Independence Bowl in Shreveport. Since Mizzou joined the SEC, the Gamecocks hold a 3-2 series advantage. South Carolina won the first two SEC Eastern Division battles between the two schools, posting a 31-10 win in the Palmetto State in 2012, then pulling out an improbable 27-24 double-overtime victory in Missouri in 2013. In 2014, the Tigers overcame a 13-point deficit in the final seven minutes to squeeze out a 21-20 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium, then won by a 24-10 count in the last meeting at Memorial Stadium. The Gamecocks were 31-21 winners last season in South Carolina. THE LAST TIME THE MET: Rico Dowdle carried 27 times for 149 yards and scored two touchdowns while Jake Bentley completed 22-of-28 passes for 254 yards and two scores in the Gamecocks' 31-21 win over Mizzou at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 5, 2016. The Gamecock defense forced three turnovers, including a pair of interceptions by Rashad Fenton and Chris Moody. Mizzou outgained the Gamecocks, 465-428, but the three turnovers were the difference. THE LAST TIME IN THE SHOW ME-STATE: Missouri broke open a close contest midway through the third quarter and shut out the Gamecocks in the second half en route to a 24-10 win at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo. on October 3, 2015. Both teams started true freshmen quarterbacks in the contest, Lorenzo Nuñez for the Gamecocks and Drew Lock for the Tigers, the first SEC game that featured two true freshmen starting signal-callers. Nuñez went 15-for-24 for 172 yards but threw three picks, while Lock was 21-of-28 for 136 yards. Neither team's offense reached the 300-yard plateau for the game. CAROLINA'S LAST WIN HERE: In one of the more memorable games in recent South Carolina football history, the No. 20/20 Gamecocks rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to shock No. 5/7 Missouri, 27-24 in double-overtime on Oct. 26, 2013 in Columbia, Mo. Mizzou opened up a 17-0 lead before senior quarterback Connor Shaw came off the bench in the third quarter to lead the comeback. Shaw connected on 20-of-29 passes for 201 yards. He hit Nick Jones with a 2-yard scoring pass with 42 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime, then found Bruce Ellington in the endzone on 4th-and-15 to force the game into a second OT. Elliott Fry hit from 40-yards out to put Carolina on top before Andrew Baggett's attempt from 24-yards away caromed off the left upright, ending the contest. MUSCHAMP VS. THE TIGERS: Carolina head coach Will Muschamp is 2-2 in his career against Missouri. Coach Muschamp led Florida to a 14-7 win over Mizzou in Gainesville in 2012, then dropped back-to-back decisions to the Tigers, first by a 36-17 margin in Missouri in 2013, then by a 42-13 count in Florida in 2014, before winning by a 31-21 score last season in his first year with the Gamecocks. RECRUITING THE SHOW-ME STATE: The lone Gamecock from the Show-Me State is redshirt sophomore tight end Kyle Markway, a 6-4, 254-pounder who graduated from St. John Vianney in St. Louis. Markway saw limited action as a true freshman in 2015, but did not play last season while rehabbing a foot injury. MIZZOU TIES: Tight ends coach Pat Washington served on Gary Pinkel's staff at Mizzou from 2013-15. Emma Lock, who plays on the Carolina volleyball team, is a cousin to Mizzou QB Drew Lock. ABOUT LAST WEEK: The Gamecocks got three touchdowns from Deebo Samuel and just enough defense in the second half to hold on for a 35-28 non-conference win over NC State out of the ACC last Saturday afternoon in Charlotte. Samuel took the opening kick 97 yards to paydirt, then scored on touchdown passes of 6 and 39 yards. Rico Dowdle added a pair of scores and Jake Bentley tossed three TD passes in the win. NC State ran nearly twice as many plays (99-50) and rolled up twice as many yards (504-246), but the Gamecock defense got two stops on downs on the Wolfpack's final two possessions to secure the upset win. The Gamecocks improved to 3-0 in season-opening games played in Charlotte. FOR OPENERS: South Carolina improved to 83-37-4 (.685) in 124 season openers. The Gamecocks have won 17 of their last 18 season openers dating back to 2000, with the only loss in that stretch coming to Texas A&M in 2014. OWNING THE TAR HEEL STATE: With the victory on Saturday, the Gamecocks have won 10-straight games against teams from North Carolina. They have defeated East Carolina four times (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016), NC State three times (2008, 2009 and 2017) and North Carolina three times (2007, 2013, 2015) in this century. GOING THE DISTANCE: Deebo Samuel wasted little time getting the Gamecocks on the board when he took the season-opening kickoff 97 yards to paydirt against NC State. It was the first time in school history that the Gamecocks opened the season with a kickoff return for a score and earned Samuel SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. It was Samuel's second-career kickoff return for a score, as he took one to the house from 100-yards out last year against Western Carolina. The Gamecocks have had thee kickoff returns for scores in their last 21 games after not having a kickoff return for a TD between 2002 to 2015. SWEET 16: Sophomore T.J. Brunson made his first start as a Gamecock memorable. The 6-1, 230-pound linebacker from Columbia, S.C. posted a game- and career-high 16 tackles in the win over NC State. Brunson logged just 12 tackles during the entire 2016 season. It was the most tackles in a game for a Gamecock since Antonio Allen logged 16 stops against ECU on Sept. 3, 2011, a game that was also played in Charlotte. SAWYER STRIPS IT: Senior Dante Sawyer totaled seven stops, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a pair of quarterback hurries in the Gamecocks' 35-28 win over NC State, and made two of the game's most critical defensive plays. Early in the second quarter with the game tied at 14, Sawyer forced a fumble at the NC State 28-yard line, setting up a short field, which the Gamecocks converted into a touchdown and a 21-14 lead. With the Gamecocks on top 28-21 in the third quarter, the 6-3, 275-pounder from Suwanee, Ga., got to NC State quarterback Ryan Finley for an 18-yard strip sack, which the Gamecocks recovered, setting up another touchdown two plays later and a two-score lead. Sawyer was one of only four players in the country to log two forced fumbles in the season's first week. 99 PROBLEMS BUT WINNING WASN'T ONE OF THEM: NC State ran 99 plays in the opener, the most against South Carolina since Texas A&M ran 99 plays in the 2014 season opener. After giving up three touchdowns on five possessions in the first half, the Gamecock defense stepped up in the second half, allowing NC State just one score on eight possessions to post the win. SECOND CHANCE: After surrendering 343 yards of offense, including 296 through the air, 19 first downs and 21 points in the first half, the Gamecock defense settled down in the second half in the win over NC State. During the final 30 minutes, the Carolina D allowed 161 yards, including 119 through the air, 10 first downs, and most importantly, just 7 points. All four of the Gamecock sacks came in the second half. OPENING DAY BESTS: Jake Bentley threw for 215 yards and three scores in the season-opener against NC State. It was the 10th-best opening game performance in passing yards by a quarterback in school history. FIRST TIME OUT: South Carolina played six true freshmen and two junior college transfers in its season opener against NC State. Those newcomers who saw action for the first time in Division I football were freshmen Sherrod Greene, OrTre Smith, Shi Smith, Aaron Sterling, Chad Terrell and Jamyest Williams. Junior college transfers Javon Kinlaw and Eldridge Thompson also saw their first D-I action. FOR STARTERS: Sophomore linebacker T.J. Brunson and sophomore defensive end D.J. Wonnum each made his first career start for the Gamecocks in the win over NC State. Brunson responded with a game-high 16 tackles, while Wonnum logged a game-high 3.0 tackles for loss. MY QUARTERBACK IS A BENTLEY: Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley starts the Gamecock offense. The 6-3, 220-pounder completed 17-of-29 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in last week's win over NC State. Bentley, who is 5-3 in eight career starts, has tossed a career-best three TD passes in each of his last two games. He set the school record for bowl games and Birmingham Bowl records for passes completed (32), yards passing (390) and total offense (381) while throwing three TD passes in the final game of the 2016 season against UCF. FAMILY AFFAIR: Quarterback Jake Bentley comes from a football family. His father, Bobby, is the Gamecocks' running backs coach and previously was a highly-successful high school coach at Byrnes (S.C.) High and at Presbyterian College. Jake's step-brother, Chas Dodd (Rutgers), and brother, Shuler Bentley (Old Dominion/Murray State), both have started at quarterback in college. LIMITED EXPERIENCE: Despite getting seven starts last season from Jake Bentley, the Gamecocks entered the 2017 season as having one of the country's least experienced unit of signal-callers. The Carolina quarterbacks combined to appear in just eight career games entering the season, seven by Bentley and one by Michael Scarnecchia. The eight appearances ranked in a tie for ninth with Minnesota for fewest quarterback appearances at the start of the season. Only Texas State (0), Georgia Southern (2), Southern Miss (4), UAB (5), Navy (5), Rice (5), Louisiana Tech (7) and Tulsa (7) enter the season with fewer. Despite his limited play, Bentley was named Co-MVP of the team as selected by his teammates, sharing honors with Deebo Samuel THREE-HEADED MONSTER: The Gamecocks figure to have three running backs take the bulk of the snaps this season, all of whom are underclassmen. Sophomore Rico Dowdle (5-11, 220) is the top returning ground-gainer with 764 yards and six touchdowns scored as a true freshman last fall. Dowdle owns three 100-yard rushing games, including a career-best 226-yard performance against Western Carolina. He became the first true freshman to lead the Gamecocks in rushing since Marcus Lattimore in 2010. Redshirt sophomore A.J. Turner (5-10, 184) logged 497 yards and three scores on 116 carries last season. Included was a career-best 113-yard effort against Texas A&M. Redshirt sophomore Ty'Son Williams (6-0, 215) is eligible this fall after transferring from North Carolina. THE PRODIGAL (TY')SON: After spending the 2015 season at North Carolina, then sitting out last season per NCAA transfer rules, redshirt sophomore running back Ty'Son Williams , from Sumter, S.C., made his Gamecock debut against NC State, catching one pass for 5 yards, but did not get a carry in the contest. THAT WAS THEN: South Carolina was the only school in the country to have freshmen lead the team in both rushing yards (Rico Dowdle) and passing yards (Jake Bentley) during the 2016 season. SAMUEL IS KING: Despite playing in just 10 of the 13 games in 2016, Deebo Samuel proved to be the playmaker the Gamecock offense needs on the field. Samuel led the team with 59 receptions and 783 receiving yards. He ranked third in the SEC in receptions per game (5.9), fourth in receiving yards per game (78.3), third in kickoff return average (26.9) and second in all-purpose yardage per game (132.0). He shined most brightly in the Birmingham Bowl when he tied the school record with 14 catches against USF and set Birmingham Bowl records with 14 receptions and 190 receiving yards. Samuel topped the team with eight touchdowns in 2016, six on the ground, one receiving and one on a kick return. MORE OF THE SAME: Deebo Samuel picked up right where he left off in last week's opener against NC State. He returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a score, his second career kick return for a touchdown, and caught five passes for 83 yards including a pair of scores. He finished the day with 185 all-purpose yards. EDWARDS IS YOUR OPENING ACT: After hauling in eight passes for 101 yards, both career bests, in the season opener last season against Vanderbilt last year, sophomore wide receiver Bryan Edwards opened the 2017 campaign with five receptions for 55 yards against NC State. Edwards had the second-best true freshman season for a Gamecock wide receiver behind only Alshon Jeffery (46 catches, 763 yards) in 2009. The 6-3, 215-pounder from Conway, S.C., has 49 career receptions for 645 yards in his first 13 collegiate games. With 44 receptions for 590 yards, DIAMONDS AREN'T FOREVER: Hayden Hurst played professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization after being selected in the 17th round of the 2012 draft. Now a 6-5, 253-pound junior, the 24-year-old Hurst turned in the school's best single-season receiving numbers for a tight end in 2016. His 48 receptions and 616 receiving yards topped the previous marks of 38 catches, set by Doug Hamrick in 1970, and 576 yards, set by Danny Smith in 1987. The former walk-on also served as the Gamecocks' punt returner against Georgia, becoming the biggest punt returner in Division I football in recent memory. He also was selected a permanent team captain in 2016, becoming the first sophomore to earn that distinction. O-LINE EXPERIENCE: The Gamecocks feature an offensive line that boasts a wealth of experience. Cory Helms (37 starts) and Alan Knott (30 starts) have logged the most starting assignments on the squad. Zack Bailey (19), Malik Young (10), D.J. Park (3) and Donell Stanley (2) also have gained starting experience. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Junior offensive lineman Zack Bailey should be considered for All-SEC accolades this season. Bailey, the most consistent performer on the offensive line, was named to the 2015 SEC All-Freshman team. The 6-6, 311-pounder from Summerville, S.C., has played in all 26 games over the past three seasons with 19 starts, including the last 16 in a row. He was moved to right tackle in the spring after spending the 2016 campaign at left guard. GETTING IN THE SACK: The Gamecocks logged four sacks, all in the second half, in the season opener against NC State. The squad recorded 21 sacks a year ago, with Darius English recording nine of those. Here are the individual sack numbers: SKAI RETURNS: Skai Moore is back after missing the entire 2016 season following surgery to address a herniated disk in his neck. The 6-2, 221-pound linebacker from Cooper City, Fla., was the Gamecocks' leading tackler in 2015 with 111 stops, tying for third in the SEC with 9.2 tackles per game. He also led the team with 6.5 tackles for loss and with four pass interceptions, tying for fourth in the SEC. Moore became the first Gamecock to reach the century mark in tackles since 2006, while his 111 tackles was the second-highest total recorded by a Carolina player in the last 25 years. He led the team in tackles for a third-consecutive season, becoming the first player to do so since 1992-94. Moore also has 11 career picks, tying for third on the all-time list. He got off to a solid start with eight tackles in the season opener against NC State. CHARLESTON REWARDED: Redshirt sophomore Javon Charleston was rewarded with a scholarship just before the start of fall classes. Charleston, a 6-0, 189-pounder from Gurnee, Ill., is a cousin to former Gamecock great Marcus Lattimore. He came to Carolina as a wide receiver but was moved to safety in the spring. He played in every game in 2016, primarily on special teams. JUST FOR KICKS: The Gamecocks look to replace the school's all-time leading scorer in placekicker Elliott Fry. Fry tallied 359 points over the past four seasons to move past Collin Mackie (1987-90) on the school's all-time scoring list. Two candidates battled it out in fall camp. Redshirt freshman Alexander Woznick came out of the spring as the odds on favorite to win the job, but has been pressed by freshman Parker White. Both are walk-ons. Woznick handled all five of the PATs against NC State flawlessly. Neither was asked to attempt a field goal. Most likely Woznick would try from inside the 30, with White getting the call on longer attempts. White will also handle the kickoff duties. I'M NOT MISSING YOU: Elliott Fry was automatic when it came to extra point attempts. Fry connected on 161-of-162 extra points during his career, with his only miss coming at Georgia in the second game of the 2013 season. Since then, he was accurate on 155 consecutive PATs. THEY'RE ALL NEW: Whether Alexander Woznick or Parker White handles the placekicking job, he will be working with an entirely new unit, as Ben Asbury is the new deep snapper, replacing four-year starter Drew Williams, and backup quarterback Danny Gordon is the holder, replacing Sean Kelly. KICKING IT WITH THE `COCKS: Redshirt sophomore Joseph Charlton, who came to Carolina on a scholarship from A.C. Flora High School in Columbia, won the starting punting duties over redshirt sophomore Michael Almond. Almond got the nod in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl when regular punter Sean Kelly was out with an injury, and punted twice for a 44.0-yard average. Charlton was solid in his debut, punting six times for a 46.7-yard average, with a long of 64. He averaged a net of 40.0-yards per punt. UP NEXT: The Gamecocks look forward to their 2017 home opener, which is set for next Saturday, September 16, when Carolina hosts Kentucky. Game time is set for 7:30 pm and the contest will be televised on SEC Network. The Wildcats have won three-straight in the series, but the Gamecocks still hold a 17-10-1 overall advantage, including an 8-4-1 mark at home. From USC Sports Information
  4. Gamecock Gameday: Gamecocks Hosts UMass On Saturday Kickoff set for Noon on the SEC Network GCF Staff Report Oct. 21, 2016 THE MASSACHUSETTS GAME StatBroadcast / Watch Live / / Listen Live / Game Notes / @Gamecockfb / @Gamecockstats / Clear Bag Policy GAME INFORMATION Date: Saturday, October 23, 2016 Kickoff: Noon p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Stadium: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) Series: First meeting on the gridiron between the two schools. TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, Andre Ware, Cole Cubelic) Radio: Flagship - 107.5 FM "The Game" & the Gamecock IMG Sports Network, Sirius 83/XM 190 Radio Affiliates Weekly Radio Show Weekly TV Show GAME DAY INFORMATION Game Day Information/Policies Game Day Parking Clear Bag Policy COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Gamecocks (2-4, 1-4 SEC) play game three of a five-game homestand when they host the Massachusetts Minutemen (1-6) on Saturday, October 22 at Williams-Brice Stadium. Game time is set for Noon ET with the SEC Network televising the contest. Tom Hart and Andre Ware will be in the booth with Cole Cubelic working the sidelines. A HISTORY LESSON 2016 marks the 123rd season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 110th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 22 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 588-566-44. SEC HISTORY The 2016 season marks South Carolina's 25th year in the SEC. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned the SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. The Gamecocks are 84-112-1 (.429) all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 29-25 (.537) in conference action since the start of the 2010 season. CAROLINA VS. UMASS This is the first gridiron meeting between the Gamecocks of South Carolina and the Minutemen of Massachusetts. WELCOME TO THE BIG TIME UMass became an FBS program in 2012 and spent four seasons in the Mid-American Conference before becoming an Independent this year. They logged 1-11 campaigns in each of their first two seasons at the FBS level in 2012 and `13, before putting together back-to-back 3-9 seasons in 2014 and `15. BAY STATE TIES The Gamecocks feature one player, walk-on long snapper Logan Crane, who hails from Massachusetts. Crane, a redshirt freshman, graduated from Dartmouth High in 2015. WHERE HAVE YOU GONE? Former Gamecock football strength & conditioning coach Joe Connollyserves as the Minutemen's director of sports performance/head football strength and conditioning coach. Connolly worked on Steve Spurrier's staff in Columbia for seven seasons. ENJOYING THE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY UMass makes its first-ever trip to Columbia in 2016, but they'll be back in the Palmetto State next year, as the Minutemen open the 2017 season at Coastal Carolina on September 2. They have played in South Carolina once previously, defeating Furman in the first round of the 1999 I-AA playoffs in Greenville by a 30-23 score in overtime. TIME IN NEW ENGLAND South Carolina rarely faces a team from the northeast corner of the United States. The last time the Gamecocks faced a team from the New England states was a 20-7 loss to UConn in the 2010 Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham. COMMON OPPONENT Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen could provide the most insight into this week's game, as his Bulldogs have faced both the Gamecocks and Minutemen this season. Mississippi State defeated the Gamecocks in Starkville on September 10 by a 27-14 score, then traveled to Foxboro on September 24, and came away with a 47-35 win over UMass. THEY'RE NOT SEC WORTHY South Carolina is 22-3 in its last 25 non-conference games, including a 1-0 mark this season after a 20-15 win over East Carolina on September 17. The Gamecocks had their 18-game non-conference winning streak snapped in the 2014 regular season finale at Clemson, then lost the final two games of the 2015 regular season to non-conference in-state foes The Citadel and Clemson. Prior to the Clemson loss at the end of the 2014 campaign, Carolina's last non-conference loss came to Florida State in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Gamecocks have two more non-conference games scheduled this season, a home game versus Western Carolina on November 19, followed by the annual Palmetto State showdown with the Clemson Tigers on November 26 in Clemson. NOT IN OUR HOUSE South Carolina has won 23 of its last 25 home games against non-conference foes. The Gamecocks had won 22-straight home games against non-conference opponents before dropping the final two games of the 2015 regular season to in-state rivals The Citadel and Clemson. Prior to that, the last home loss to a non-SEC team was to Clemson in the 2007 regular-season finale. THE FORECAST IS FAIR Due to the annual South Carolina State Fair that is in progress across George Rogers Blvd. from Williams-Brice Stadium, Gamecock Club reserved parking in the State Fairgrounds will not be honored for this game. The State Fair will open at 10 am. Fans with a ticket to the football game will be allowed into the Fair for free until noon. There is no Fair re-entry unless your hand is stamped prior to exiting. No football tickets will be honored after the game at the State Fair. Fans are encouraged to arrive as early as possible to help alleviate the heavy traffic congestion that will occur closer to game time. THE LAST TIME Hurricane Matthew forced a scheduling change, as the Gamecocks hosted the Georgia Bulldogs in a rare Sunday afternoon game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 9. The Bulldogs churned out 326 rushing yards on 50 carries in a 28-14 win over the Gamecocks. Quarterback Perry Orth went the distance for South Carolina, completing 26-of-36 passes for 288 yards with an interception, but was sacked five times. Deebo Samuel (4 catches for 90 yards) and Hayden Hurst (six catches for 86 yards) proved to be a solid one-two receiving punch. Sean Kelly had another productive day, averaging 49.4 yards on five punts. YOUTH WILL BE SERVED Seventy-eight of the Gamecocks' 115-man roster, or 67.8 percent, are either freshmen or sophomores. Twelve true freshmen have seen game action this season. 18 NEW STARTERS OVERALL Carolina had seven players make their first career start in the season opener against Vanderbilt, seven more who started for the first time against ECU, three more get the call against Texas A&M and one who made his first start against Georgia. Of the 18 first-time starters, six are true freshmen: Randrecous Davis, Chavis Dawkins, Rico Dowdle, Bryan Edwards, Brandon McIlwain, and Keir Thomas. WE MAY NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAIN South Carolina's defense held Georgia to 29 passing yards, the fewest of any Gamecock opponent this season. In fact, it was the fewest passing yards allowed by the Gamecock defense since The Citadel recorded eight yards passing against Carolina in 2011. The Gamecocks rank second in the SEC and 14th in the country in pass defense, allowing just 173.0 yards per game through the air. CLOSING IN Elliott Fry has scored 319 career points, 11 shy of the school record of 330, held by Collin Mackie (1987-90). Fry is in 18th place on the SEC list of career points scored, seven behind Tennessee's James Wilhoit. Fry needs four more field goals to move into the SEC's career top-10 for field goals made. He has 60 career field goals. Tenth is Georgia's Marshall Morgan with 64. EVERY TIME OUT The Gamecocks have had eight players start each of the first six games of the season, four on offense - Zack Bailey, Cory Helms, Hayden Hurst, and Mason Zandi. and four on defense - Darius English, Chris Lammons, Marquavius Lewis and Taylor Stallworth. HAPPY TO BE HOME The Gamecocks opened the season with three road games in their first four contests, including three SEC road contests, all at night. The Gamecocks are 25-9 in their last 34 home games (.735) and 41-12 (.774) in their last 53 home games, including a school-record 18-game game home winning streak. The school's previous longest home winning streak was 15 games, set from 1978-80. WALK THIS WAY The following regular contributors began their Carolina careeers as walk-ons: Jacob August, Matrick Belton, Javon Charleston, Elliott Fry, Hayden Hurst, Sean Kelly, Steven Montac, Perry Orth, Darius Paulk, Rod Talley and Drew Williams. QUARTERBACK SHUFFLE The Gamecocks have split time at the quarterback position this year. Senior Perry Orth came into the season as the only experienced signal-caller, while Brandon McIlwain, a true freshman, enrolled in January and went through spring drills. Orth made the start in each of the first two contests before giving way to McIlwain for the next three. Orth returned to the starting role in the last game vs. Georgia. FEELING THE ORTHQUAKE Senior signal-caller Perry Orth was the Carolina starting QB when the season began and came up with his second career win in the season-opener at Vanderbilt. After a shaky start, the veteran got things going in the second half, rallying the Gamecocks with 13 points after being blanked through the first 30 minutes. He finished the night 11-for-19 for 152 yards, hitting 6-of-7 passes in the fourth quarter. That performance earned him the start at Mississippi State. He played the entire first half and completed 9-of-17 passes for 83 yards with a pick. After sitting out the next 13 quarters, Orth returned in the fourth quarter against Texas A&M and provided a spark, hitting 11-of-18 passes for 138 yards, earning the start against Georgia. He was 26-for-36 for 288 yards, all season highs, against the Bulldogs, He is 2-9 in his 11 career starts. MAC ATTACK True freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain has appeared in five games, starting three contests. For the season, he is 56-for-106 (52.8 pct.) for 567 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He is 1-2 as a starter, completing 40-of-73 (54.8 pct.) for 406 yards and two scores with one pick. He is also Carolina's third-leading rusher with 98 yards and a pair of scores. FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME When he got the call against East Carolina in week 3, Brandon McIlwain became just the fourth true freshman to start at quarterback for the Gamecocks since they joined the SEC. Steve Taneyhill (1992), Mikal Goodman (1999) and Lorenzo Nuñez (2015) were the others. WHO ARE THESE GUYS? Carolina's wide receivers had limited experience entering the season, combining for just 28 catches and 356 yards, and has been plagued by injuries in 2016. The squad's top three wideouts, Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards and Randrecous Davis, have all missed time with hamstring injuries. Samuel, who finally was healthy against Georgia, caught four passes for 90 yards in that contest, doubling his season reception total. Against Texas A&M, Chavis Dawkins made his first start and caught five passes, while Javon Charleston moved back to receiver after having spent the previous six weeks at safety, and caught his first pass. 78 of the 115 pass receptions have been by freshmen (68 percent). WELCOME ABOARD Bryan Edwards became the sixth true freshman to start in the season opener for the Garnet & Black since the start of the 2009 season. He joinedStephon Gilmore (2009), Marcus Lattimore (2010), Jadeveon Clowney (2011), Bryson Allen-Williams (2014) and Al Harris Jr. (2014). AND NOW WE KNOW WHY True freshman Bryan Edwards showed why he earned the starting nod in his first collegiate game. The 6-3, 210-pounder from Conway, S.C., hauled in eight passes for 101 yards in the win over Vanderbilt, including a long reception of 33 yards. He was the only freshman receiver in the country to log a 100-yard game last week. It was just the eighth 100-yard receiving game in a season opener in Gamecock history and Edwards is the only true freshman on the list: 100-yard Receiving Games In Season Openers 1. 146 Ira Hillary, The Citadel (1984) 2. 140 Jackie Brown, Virginia (1972) 3. 134 Stanley Pritchett, Georgia (1995) 4. 120 Zola Davis, UCF (1997) 5. 113 Nick Jones, Texas A&M (2014) 6. 110 Mike Haggard, Virginia (1972) 7. 106 Alshon Jeffery, Southern Miss (2010) 8. 101 Bryan Edwards, Vanderbilt (2016) IN THE HURST WAY Tight end Hayden Hurst, a 6-5, 250-pound former professional baseball player, has been a consistent go-to guy this season. The 23-year-old sophomore leads the team with 30 catches for 388 yards, with at least five receptions in four games and at least 80 yards in three contests. His best marks are an eight-catch performance at Mississippi State and a 90-yard effort against Texas A&M. He ranks sixth in the league with 5.0 receptions per game and eighth with 64.7 receiving yards per game. Hurst also served as the Gamecocks' punt returner against Georgia, becoming the biggest punt returner in Division I football this season THE QB'S ARE TIGHT WITH THEM With injuries and inexperience hampering the Gamecock wideouts, the tight end trio of Hayden Hurst, K.C. Crosby and Jacob August has become a big part of the offense. In addition to Hurst's team-leading 30 catches for 388 yards, Crosby is tied for third on the team with 15 receptions for 119 yards, and August has added five catches for 52 yards. Of the 115 pass receptions, the tight ends have 51 catches (44 pct.), the wide receivers have 44 (38 pct.) and the running backs have 20 (17 pct.). TURN UP Redshirt freshman A.J. Turner earned the starting nod at running back during fall camp. The 5-10, 195-pounder got off to a strong start, carrying 13 times for 70 yards at Vanderbilt in the season opener. He had his best game against Texas A&M, rushing 10 times for 113 yards, including a 75-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage. He is the Gamecocks' top rusher with 68 carries for 300 yards and two touchdowns, and has added 15 catches for 104 yards and a score. Turner, who is 22nd in the country averaging 26.8 yards per kickoff return, ranks tied for fourth in the nation among freshmen with 112.0 all-purpose yards per game. TURN(ER) OF THE CENTURY Redshirt freshman A.J. Turner carried 10 times for 113 yards against Texas A&M, the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. His previous high was 70 yards at Vanderbilt and he entered the A&M contest with just 157 rushing yards through the season's first four games. It was the Gamecocks' first 100-yard rushing game since Brandon Wilds went for 128 yards against A&M in 2015. HE'S NOT YOUR UNCLE RICO After undergoing surgery for a sports hernia in the offseason, then suffering a groin injury early in fall camp, true freshman Rico Dowdle made his first appearance for the Garnet & Black against Texas A&M. The 5-11, 211-pounder from Asheville, N.C. who now dons No. 23, has been impressive in limited duty, carrying 16 times for 77 yards, a 4.8 yard average. SHARING THE WORKLOAD Redshirt freshman A.J. Turner has taken the bulk of the carries from the running back position, but David Williams has more than twice as many career rushes. 482 of the Gamecocks' 554 rushing yards have been by freshmen (87 percent). Here's the South Carolina running back numbers: 2016 Player -- Rush -- Yards -- TD David Williams -- 23-110-0 A.J. Turner -- 68-300-2 Rico Dowdle -- 16-77-1 Rod Talley -- 1-2-0 Darius Paulk -- 0-0-0 WHERE HAVE ALL THE SENIORS GONE The Gamecocks list just four seniors on the offensive side of the ball in Matrick Belton, Perry Orth, Darius Paulk and Mason Zandi. All four are redshirt seniors. Zandi is the only one of the four to begin his collegiate career at South Carolina and the only one who came to Columbia as a scholarship player. Only Minnesota (3), Old Dominion (4), Florida (4) and Troy (4) have as few seniors on offense as do the Gamecocks. ZANDI STANDS ALONE Redshirt senior Mason Zandi is the only senior on the offensive side of the ball on the 2016 roster that came to South Carolina as a scholarship player. Zandi, a 6-9, 315-pound local product from Chapin, S.C. was named preseason third-team All-SEC by the league's coaches. He is also just one of six players in Gamecock history with the last name starting with "Z" to earn a football letter. The most recent prior to Zandi was Zip Zanders, who lettered in 1986. Mason's father, Ali, is a native of Iran who fled his home country during its 1970s revolution. CORY AT THE HELMS Cory Helms, a 6-4, 310-pound junior from Alpharetta, Ga., is a welcome addition to the offensive line. Helms, who earned Freshman All-America honors in 2013 at Wake Forest, spent two seasons with the Demon Deacons before sitting out 2015 as a transfer. He started the season opener at center, but moved to right guard at Mississippi State and has started every game at that position since. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE Zack Bailey was the only Gamecock named to the 2015 SEC All-Freshman team, as selected by the league's 14 coaches. The 6-6, 315-pound true freshman from Summerville, S.C., played in all 12 games in 2015, making five starts, with three at center and two at left guard. He has started each game this season at left guard and consistently grades out as the offensive line's top performer. KNOW YOUR STARTING CENTER Junior Alan Knott, a preseason Rimington Award candidate, has made 22 career starts, most among the active players on the squad. Skai Mooreactually has the most starts (24), but is taking a redshirt this year while rehabbing an injury. RED ZONE DEFENSE The Gamecock defense ranks third in the SEC and seventh in the nation in red zone defense, allowing points just 68.0 percent of the time. In 25 opportunities, the Carolina defense has allowed just 11 touchdowns and six field goals, while forcing a league-high five turnovers in the red zone. EVERY GAME QUA Defensive lineman Marquavius Lewis has started all 18 games since his arrival on the Columbia campus. He owns the longest current consecutive streak of starts on the squad. TAKING ENGLISH LESSONS Senior defensive end Darius English is putting together his finest campaign. The 6-6, 245-pounder from Powder Springs, Ga., leads the Gamecocks with 6.0 of the squad's 11 sacks, including a career-best 3.0 sacks against Kentucky. That was the most sacks by a Gamecock player since Jadeveon Clowney finished with 4.5 at Clemson on Nov. 24, 2012. English is tied for second in the SEC and ninth in the country in sacks. He needs three more sacks to move into a six-way tie for fifth in school history with 9.0 sacks in a season and into a tie for ninth with 15.0 sacks in a career.
  5. Gamecock Gameday: Men's Hoops Hosts Allen In Sunday Exhibition GCF Staff Report Nov. 6, 2015 Game time set for 4 p.m. E at Colonial Life Arena COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Today’s exhibition contest vs. Allen marks the first-ever meeting between the two Columbia-based schools. The Yellow Jackets are led by head coach Nelson Jones in his first season, while Carolina is led by fourth-year head coach Frank Martin. (more)
  6. Gamecock Gameday: South Carolina Travels To Tennessee GCF Staff Report Nov. 6, 2015 Kickoff set for 4 p.m. on the SEC Network The South Carolina Gamecocks (3-5, 1-5 SEC) are on the road again this week as they travel to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers (4-4, 2-3 SEC) in an SEC Eastern Division showdown. Game time is set for 4 pm ET from Neyland Stadium (102,455) and the game will be televised on the SEC Network. Tom Hart and André Ware will be in the booth with Laura Rutledge working the sidelines. A HISTORY LESSON: 2015 marks the 122nd season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 109th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 28 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 586-558-44. The Gamecocks were 10 games under .500 through the 2003 season, but are 38 games over .500 since the start of the `04 campaign. (more)
  7. Gamecock Gameday: Football Hosts Kentucky On Saturday with video GCF Staff Report Sept. 11, 2015 Kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network The 2015 SEC slate gets underway when the South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0, 0-0 SEC) host the Kentucky Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 SEC) on Saturday, September 12, at Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) in Columbia. Game time is set for 7:30 pm ET and the contest will be televised by the SEC Network. Brent Musburger has the call with Jesse Palmer providing color commentary and Maria Taylor patrolling the sidelines. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game," with Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and Langston Moore handling the call. ESPN Radio is also on hand with Bill Rosinski and David Norrie in the booth and Joe Schad working the sidelines. A HISTORY LESSON: 2015 marks the 122nd season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 109th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 31 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 584-553-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coachSteve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 40 games over since that time (85-45). SEC, SEC: 2015 marks South Carolina's 24th year of football in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. Carolina was 37-66-1 (.361) in SEC action from 1992-2004, but are 45-36 (.556) in conference play since Coach Spurrier took the reins, including a 22-11 mark over the last five years. (Read on with video)
  8. Gamecock Gameday: Football Hosts Kentucky On Saturday with video GCF Staff Report Sept. 11, 2015 Kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network GAMETRACKER / WATCH LIVE / LISTEN LIVE / GAME NOTES / VIDEO The 2015 SEC slate gets underway when the South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0, 0-0 SEC) host the Kentucky Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 SEC) on Saturday, September 12, at Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) in Columbia. Game time is set for 7:30 pm ET and the contest will be televised by the SEC Network. Brent Musburger has the call with Jesse Palmer providing color commentary and Maria Taylor patrolling the sidelines. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game," with Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and Langston Moore handling the call. ESPN Radio is also on hand with Bill Rosinski and David Norrie in the booth and Joe Schad working the sidelines. A HISTORY LESSON: 2015 marks the 122nd season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 109th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 31 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 584-553-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coachSteve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 40 games over since that time (85-45). SEC, SEC: 2015 marks South Carolina's 24th year of football in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. Carolina was 37-66-1 (.361) in SEC action from 1992-2004, but are 45-36 (.556) in conference play since Coach Spurrier took the reins, including a 22-11 mark over the last five years. CURING KIDS CANCER: When the University of South Carolina takes the field against Kentucky on September 12, their coaches and players will kick off the third annual Curing Kids Cancer awareness campaign. This campaign highlights National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death for children. Gold is the official color for childhood cancer awareness. Gamecock players and coaches will both wear Curing Kids Cancer glow-in-the-dark wristbands while coaches will wear golf whistles and Curing Kids Cancer lanyards. Fans can support their teams by wearing the same stickers, wristbands and whistles, which can be purchased at curingkidscancer.org/blowthewhistle. In honor of the support from the University of South Carolina, Curing Kids Cancer will make a donation to fund pediatric cancer research at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. CAROLINA VS. KENTUCKY: This is the 27th meeting in a series that dates back to 1937 between the Gamecocks and Wildcats. Carolina leads the all-time series 17-8-1, including an 8-3-1 mark in Columbia and a 9-5 advantage in Lexington. South Carolina has its three-game winning streak in the series snapped last year in Lexington, when the Wildcats overcame a 14-point deficit to escape with a 45-38 win. The teams played just three times (1937, 1978 and 1981) before Carolina joined the SEC for the 1992 season. Since then, they have met every year. Since joining the league, the Gamecocks own a 16-7 record against UK, including wins in 13 of the 15 meetings in this century. SPURRIER VS. KENTUCKY: South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier owns a 20-2 all-time record against Kentucky, including an 8-2 mark as head coach at South Carolina. The 20 wins matches his mark against Vanderbilt (20-2) as his most wins against any school. He also has double-digit wins against Georgia (16-6), Tennessee (14-10), LSU (11-4), Auburn (10-9) and South Carolina (10-1). Coach Spurrier's offenses have scored 30+ points in 17 of 22 games against Kentucky, including 10 games of 40+ points. 21-GUN SALUTE: Head coach Steve Spurrier is looking for his 21st career victory against Kentucky. He is currently 20-2 all-time against the Wildcats. No current Division I coach has 21 wins against any one school. THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Kentucky scored 21 points in the final 8:06 of the game to pull out a 45-38 come-from-behind victory over South Carolina in Lexington on October 4, 2014. In a seesaw battle, the Gamecocks opened up a 17-7 lead, fell behind 24-17, then rallied to take a 38-24 lead midway through the fourth period, but could not contain Jojo Kemp, who rushed 17 times for 131 yards and three scores. UK defensive end Alvin Dupree intercepted a pass and returned it six yards for the game-winning score with just 2:29 on the clock. Mike Davis had a big game for the Gamecocks, rushing 23 times for a game-high 183 yards and three scores. Dylan Thompsoncompleted 23-of-37 passes for 218 yards as Carolina rolled up 500 yards of offense, but was picked off three times. THE LAST TIME THEY MET HERE: The 13th-ranked Gamecocks opened up a 27-7 lead over Kentucky heading into the final stanza, but the Wildcats made it interesting with 21 fourth-quarter points before falling by a 35-28 count in Columbia on Oct. 5, 2013. Mike Davis rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Connor Shawadded 312 yards of total offense, including 262 through the air on 17-of-20 passing. Damiere Byrd had one of the top days of his career, catching five passes for 94 yards, including a 62-yard TD catch on the first drive of the game. THE LAST TIME THEY MET HERE: The 13th-ranked Gamecocks opened up a 27-7 lead over Kentucky heading into the final stanza, but the Wildcats made it interesting with 21 fourth-quarter points before falling by a 35-28 count in Columbia on Oct. 5, 2013. Mike Davis rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Connor Shawadded 312 yards of total offense, including 262 through the air on 17-of-20 passing. Damiere Byrd had one of the top days of his career, catching five passes for 94 yards, including a 62-yard TD catch on the first drive of the game. THE LAST TIME OUT: South Carolina opened its 2015 season with a hard-fought 17-13 win over North Carolina in Charlotte on Thursday, September 3. Senior tailback Shon Carson broke a 48-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the season early in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference maker. Junior linebacker Skai Moore picked off a pass in the endzone with just over three minutes to play, his second interception in the endzone of the game, to preserve the victory. The Tar Heels outgained the Gamecocks 440-394, but South Carolina won the turnover battle by plus-3 and held over an 11-minute advantage in time of possession to secure the win. BEATING THE ACC, AGAIN: When South Carolina defeated the Tar Heels last week, it marked the Gamecocks' eighth victory in their last 10 games against ACC opponents, dating back to the start of the 2009 season. Since that time, South Carolina is 5-1 versus Clemson, 2-0 against North Carolina, 1-0 versus NC State and 0-1 against Florida State. RISE UP DEFENSE: The Gamecock defense bent but did not break in the win over North Carolina, shutting out the Tar Heels over the final 30 minutes and holding a team that averaged 33 points a game a year ago to just two field goals over the final three periods. SACK ATTACK IS BACK: The Gamecock defense, led by third-team defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin's 1.5 sacks, recorded four sacks in the win over North Carolina. Both the 1.5 sacks by an individual and the four sacks by the team bettered the season marks of 2014, when the individual game high was 1.0 and the team high was three in the win over South Alabama. The Gamecocks totaled just 14 sacks in all of 2014. SEEING RED: The Gamecock defense was especially strong in the redzone, limiting North Carolina to just one score in their three trips inside the Gamecock 20-yard line. Junior linebacker Skai Moore single-handedly stopped two drives with interceptions in the endzone. TAKING OUR TIME: South Carolina controlled the ball for over 11 minutes more than their blue-clad opponents from north of the border in the season-opening win. The Gamecocks chewed up 35:38 of the clock while running 74 plays and held the fast-paced UNC attack to just 63 plays and 24:22 of the clock. The Gamecocks were able to rush for two first downs in the final 3:29 to put the game away. THE GREAT EQUALIZER: South Carolina forced three UNC turnovers, all interceptions, and did not have a turnover themselves in the 17-13 win. The Gamecocks are 45-4 under Steve Spurrier when winning the turnover battle. MR. AUTOMATIC: Junior placekicker Elliott Fry converted a pair of extra points in the win over UNC, extending his school record to 101 consecutive made PATs. FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME: Five Gamecocks made their first collegiate start in the win over UNC. They included Carlton Heard, Marquavius Lewis, Connor Mitch, Deebo Samuel and Taylor Stallworth. In addition, Kansas transfer Isaiah Johnson made his first start in the Garnet & Black. HERE'S SHONNY: Senior Shon Carson waited patiently for his opportunity, and it finally came early in the fourth quarter when he took his first handoff of the season and raced 48 yards down the near sidelines to paydirt, giving the Gamecocks a 17-13 lead which they would not relinquish. Carson, a 5-8, 206-pounder from Scranton, S.C., finished the game with a team-high 75 yards rushing on just four carries. MOORE FROM SKAI: Junior Skai Moore, shunned from most preseason All-SEC squads despite leading the Gamecocks in tackles in each of the past two seasons, showed why he's an all-league candidate, as he logged a team-high 10 tackles and picked off two passes, both in the end zone, stopping a pair of Tar Heel drives. The 6-2, 218-pounder from Cooper City, Fla.'s final interception and the ninth of his career, came with just over three minutes remaining in the contest and sealed the victory. It was the third time he's logged two interceptions in a game, also in the 2014 Capital One Bowl versus Wisconsin and in 2014 against South Alabama. KELLY'S A HERO: Making his Gamecock debut, Sean Kelly, a junior walk-on, punted five times for a 46.2-yard average, including a 60-yarder and two that were downed inside the 10-yard line, in the Gamecocks' 17-13 win over North Carolina. It was the Gamecocks' first punt of 60 yards or more since 2011 when Joey Scribner-Howard launched a 60-yarder at Mississippi State. The 5-10, 189-pounder from Oakland, Fla., who punted for FAU for two seasons, also ran 17 yards for a first down on a fake punt for South Carolina's initial first down of the season, and made the tackle on the return of a field goal attempt that came up short, that may have kept points off the scoreboard. CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: The Gamecocks will have individual game captains through the first part of the season before electing permanent team captains. UNC: Pharoh Cooper, Gerald Dixon Jr., T.J. Gurley, Brandon Shell GOOD HOME COOKIN': The Gamecocks are 22-3 in their last 25 home games and 38-6 (.864) in their last 44 home games. Carolina had its school-record 18-game home winning streak snapped in the 2014 season opener. The school's previous longest home winning streak was 15 games, set from 1978-80. The only home losses since the start of the 2009 season have come to top-ranked Florida in 2009, to 17th-ranked Arkansas in 2010 and to defending national champion Auburn in 2011 before the 2014 home losses to Texas A&M, Missouri and Tennessee. HOME CROWD ADVANTAGE: The Gamecocks have played in front of 12 sellouts in their last 14 home contests. The Gamecocks ranked 16th in the nation in home attendance in 2014 with an average of 81,381 per game, including a season-high 84,232 against Georgia, the fifth-largest crowd to attend a game in Columbia. Three of 2014's home crowds figured in the top-30 all-time at Williams-Brice Stadium. MITCH IS THE MAN: Redshirt sophomore Connor Mitch was named the starting quarterback a week prior to the start of the season. The 6-3, 211-pounder from Raleigh, N.C. made his first collegiate start against North Carolina. He completed 9-of-22 passes for 122 yards with his first career touchdown pass (a 9-yarder to Pharoh Cooper) and ran 10 times for 44 yards. Just as importantly, he did not commit a turnover. He had played in just two collegiate games prior to this season, both coming in 2014, connecting on 2-of-6 passes for 19 yards. The Wakefield (N.C.) product threw for over 12,000 yards in high school. He beat out junior Perry Orth, redshirt freshman Michael Scarnecchia and true freshman Lorenzo Nunez for the starting berth. BACKFIELD TANDEM: The Gamecocks feature a pair of tailbacks that should get the bulk of the carries this season. Fifth-year senior Brandon Wilds (6-2, 220) and sophomore David Williams (6-1, 222) are both more than capable of providing a solid running attack. Wilds has totaled 1,328 yards on the ground, averaging 4.9 yards per carry with 10 touchdowns. He has logged four 100-yard rushing games in his career (at Tennessee, vs. Florida and vs. The Citadel as a true freshman in 2011 and vs. Tennessee in 2014). Williams has rushed for 298 yards but has averaged 5.4 yards a carry with a pair of scores. He has one 100-yard rushing game in his career (Furman in 2014). 1,000-YARD CAREER RUSHERS: Brandon Wilds is ranked 28th on Carolina's all-time list in career rushing with 1,328 yards. No. (PLAYER YEARS) ATT. -- YARDS - AVG. 1. George Rogers (1977-80) 954-5,204 - 5.5 ------------------------------------------------------------------ 17. Bishop Strickland (1947-50) 381-1,965 - 5.2 18. Duce Staley (1995-96) 345-1,852 - 5.4 18. Andrew Pinnock (1999-02) 422-1,852 - 4.4 20. Rob DeBoer (1990-93) 386-1,810 - 4.7 21. Connor Shaw (2010-13) 452-1,683 - 3.7 22. Spencer Clark (1976-79) 319-1,652 - 5.2 23. Mike Dingle (1988-90) 389-1,634 - 4.2 24. Troy Hambrick (1996-98) 302-1,586 - 5.3 25. Jeff Grantz (1972-75) 405-1,577 - 3.9 26. Alex Hawkins (1956-58) 339-1,490 - 4.4 27. Kenny Miles (2009-12) 315-1,341 - 4.3 28. Brandon Wilds (2011-14) 270-1,328 -- 4.9 PHAROH IS KING: One of the most versatile players in all of college football is junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper. The 5-11, 207-pounder from Havelock, N.C. is the Gamecocks' best bet to earn All-America accolades after a breakout season a year ago. His preseason accolades are many, but most notably, he earned three spots on the SEC Coaches' first-team all-conference squad, as a wide receiver, an all-purpose back and a return specialist. He is a preseason candidate for the Maxwell, Hornung and Biletnikoff awards. SOUTH CAROLINA PHAROH: Pharoh Cooper had a special season in 2014. He set the school record for receiving yards in a game with 233 against Tennessee and logged the third-highest single-season receiving yards total in school history with 1,136, a mark topped by only Alshon Jeffery and Sidney Rice. AMONG THE BEST: With 75 career receptions, Pharoh Cooper has moved into the top-25 in South Carolina history for career receptions. No. PLAYER (YEARS) REC. 1. Kenny McKinley (2005-08) 207 ------------------------------------------------------------------ 14. Philip Logan (1974-77) 105 15. Ace Sanders (2010-12) 99 16. Harold Green (1986-89) 94 17. Brian Scott (1998-01) 93 17. Nick Jones (2011-14) 93 19. Troy Williamson (2002-04) 91 20. Jim Mitchell (1969-71) 90 21. Ira Hillary (1981-84) 90 22. Toby Cates (1991-94) 89 23. Danny Smith (1984-87) 78 24. Eddie Miller (1988-91) 76 25. Monty Means (1992-95) 75 25. Pharoh Cooper (2013-14) 75 REACHING PAYDIRT: With a TD reception in the season opener, Pharoh Cooper is just two touchdown catches of moving into South Carolina's top-10 for receiving touchdowns. RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS 1. Sidney Rice (2005-06) 23 Alshon Jeffery (2009-11) 23 3. Robert Brooks (1988-91) 19 Jermale Kelly (1997-00) 19 Kenny McKinley (2005-08) 19 6. Sterling Sharpe (1983-87) 17 Zola Davis (1995-98) 17 8. Bruce Ellington (2011-13) 16 9. Philip Logan (1974-77) 15 10. Toby Cates (1991-94) 13 Monty Means (1992-95) 13 Troy Williamson (2002-04) 13 Ace Sanders (2010-12) 13 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Pharoh Cooper (2013-15) 11 BETTER THAN AVERAGE: Now that he has reached the minimum number of receptions to qualify, Pharoh Cooper has vaulted into Carolina's top-10 in career yards per reception, ranking seventh with a 16.5-yard average. YARDS PER RECEPTION (Min. 75 receptions) 1. Philip Logan (1974-77) 19.6 2. Eddie Miller (1988-91) 19.3 Troy Williamson (2002-04) 19.3 4. Ira Hillary (1981-84) 17.4 5. Danny Smith (1984-87) 17.1 6. Alshon Jeffery (2009-11) 16.6 7.Pharoh Cooper (2013-15) 16.5 8. Jim Mitchell (1969-71) 16.4 7. Brian Scott (1998-01) 16.2 10. Toby Cates (1991-94) 16.1 TRIPLE CROWN THREAT: Pharoh Cooper is not just a great pass catcher, but can also run and throw. He has averaged 8.3 yards per carry in his career, rushing 51 times for 422 yards with three touchdowns, and has completed 8-of-13 passes for 101 yards with three scores. He also returns punts for the Gamecocks with a career long of 36 yards. STATISTICAL ODDITY: Pharoh Cooper was the only player in the Division I football to be his team's top returning passer and receiver and is the only Division I player to be his team's top returning passer and punt returner. IN THE OPENER: Pharoh Cooper seemed to do nearly everyt
  9. Gamecock Gameday: Football Travels To Vanderbilt From USC Sports Information Sept. 19, 2014 Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network South Carolina Notes COLUMBIA, S.C. - The No. 14/16 South Carolina Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC) and Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2, 0-1 SEC) meet in an SEC Eastern Division showdown at Vanderbilt Stadium (40,350) in Nashville on Saturday, September 20. The 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 local) game will be televised nationally on the SEC Network with Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer in the booth and Maria Taylor on the sidelines. Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Langston Moore on the sidelines. WKNT in Columbia (107.5 The Game) is the flagship station for Gamecock Athletics. GAME INFORMATION Date: Saturday, September 20 Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET Location: Nashville, Tenn. Stadium: Vanderbilt Stadium (40,350) Series: South Carolina leads 19-4 TV: SEC Network RADIO Flagship - 107.5 FM "The Game" & the IMG Network A South Carolina win over Vanderbilt would... Be Steve Spurrier's 202nd win as an SEC head coach, passing Georgia legend Vince Dooley for sole possession of second on the all-time list. He currently has 201 career victories as an SEC head coach, 122 at Florida and 79 at South Carolina. Only Paul "Bear" Bryant (292) has won more as an SEC head coach. Be its sixth-straight over the Commodores. The Gamecocks have won five straight, 12 of the last 14 and 19 of the previous 23 meetings with Vanderbilt. Improve head coach Steve Spurrier's record over Vanderbilt to 20-2. His 19 wins against Vanderbilt trails only his 20 career victories over Kentucky in wins over any opponent. A LITTLE HISTORY: 2014 marks the 121st season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 108th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 578-548-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 39 games over since that time. SEC HISTORY: 2014 marks South Carolina's 23rd year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. Carolina was 37-66-1 (.361) in SEC action from 1992-2004, but is 42-32 (.567) in conference play since Coach Spurrier took the reins, including a 19-7 mark over the last four years. CAROLINA VS. VANDERBILT: This is the 24th all-time meeting between South Carolina and Vanderbilt, with the Gamecocks holding a 19-4 advantage, including a 10-2 record when the games have been played in Nashville and a 9-2 mark when the teams have met in Columbia. In the previous 23 outings, Vanderbilt has tallied more than 17 points just four times (24 in 2003, an all-time high 28 in 2005, 24 in 2008 and 25 in 2013). The Gamecocks won last year's meeting in Columbia by a 35-25 count and won by a 17-13 score in 2012 on their last trip to Nashville. The Gamecocks have won five straight in the series and 12 of the last 14. In those last five wins, Carolina has surrendered just 58 total points. Vandy's four wins have come in back-to-back fashion on two occasions - first in 1998 and `99, then again in 2007 and `08. Those four wins have been by a combined total of 22 points. The teams met just once (1961) before they became SEC Eastern Division rivals beginning in 1992, and have met every year since. Of the Division I FBS opponents against whom the Gamecocks have at least 10 all-time meetings, Carolina has its best winning percentage against Vanderbilt at .826. SPURRIER VS. VANDERBILT: South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier owns a 19-2 all-time record against Vanderbilt, including a 7-2 mark as head coach at South Carolina. He was a perfect 10-0 against the Commodores while head coach at Florida from 1990-2001, and bested Vanderbilt twice in 1987 and 1988 while head coach at Duke. The only team Coach Spurrier has defeated more often than Vanderbilt in his career is Kentucky (20-1). THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Behind senior quarterback Connor Shaw's 368 yards of total offense, South Carolina held on to defeat Vanderbilt 35-25 on Sept. 14, 2013 at Williams-Brice Stadium. Shaw threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns on 21-for-29 passing while also leading the Gamecocks in rushing with 84 yards on 19 carries. Junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington hauled in eight catches for 111 yards and a score, while sophomore running back Mike Davis added 144 all-purpose yards (77 rushing, 67 receiving) in the victory. The Gamecocks opened up a 35-10 lead entering the final period, but Vandy made it interesting with a pair of quick touchdowns early in the 4th quarter. Jimmy Legree picked off a pass at the goal line with just under nine minutes remaining and Carolina put together a 17-play drive that consumed nearly eight minutes to basically run out the clock and preserve the victory. THE LAST TIME IN NASHVILLE: The Gamecocks opened the 2012 season with a hard-fought 17-13 win at SEC Eastern Division rival Vanderbilt on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. The Gamecocks survived two turnovers on their first three plays from scrimmage and took a 10-0 advantage early in the second quarter. The Commodores rallied back to take a 13-10 lead heading into the final stanza. Carolina was able to put together a nine-play, 66-yard drive that culminated in a Marcus Lattimore one-yard plunge to go on top 17-13 early in the fourth quarter, and held on for the win. The Gamecock defense limited Vandy to just 17 yards in the final period. Lattimore led the Carolina offense with 110 yards rushing and two scores, earning SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors, while quarterback Connor Shaw carried 14 times for 92 yards as the Gamecocks rolled up 205 yards on the ground. Senior linebacker Shaq Wilson tied for the team lead with eight tackles and also logged a key interception. Carolina recorded five sacks that night. ROAD WARRIORS: This is Carolina's first road game of the 2014 campaign. The Gamecocks are 12-5 in their last 17 true road contests. Four of the five road losses in that stretch came to nationally-ranked opponents: at No. 8 Arkansas in 2011, at No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida in 2012 and at No. 11 Georgia in 2013, before losing to unranked Tennessee in 2013. THE LAST TIME OUT: No. 24/23 South Carolina surprised No. 6/6 Georgia by a 38-35 score last Saturday in Columbia. Dylan Thompson completed 21-of-30 passes for 271 yards and three TDs. Brandon Wilds (93) and Mike Davis (66) combined for 159 rushing yards. The Gamecocks put together four touchdown drives of exactly 75 yards. Skai Moore led the Carolina defense with 10 tackles. The Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead late in the contest after gaining a turnover, but the Carolina defense stiffened after facing a first-and-goal at the four, holding the Dawgs scoreless and preserving the victory. LONG DRIVE CONTEST: The Gamecocks have put together 17 scoring drives this season, culminating in 12 touchdowns and five field goals. Ten of the 17 drives have been 75 yards or longer. Only two drives have started on the opponents' half of the field. FIRST START: Five Gamecocks have made their first career starts this season. Three players, all on defense, made their first career start in the season opener against Texas A&M. Getting the nod for the first time were linebackers Jonathan Walton and Bryson Allen-Williams and cornerback Al Harris Jr. Center Alan Knott and safety Chris Moody both made their first start against East Carolina. STEPPING UP: Fifth-year senior Dylan Thompson is the starting signal-caller for the Gamecocks in 2014. Thompson has waited patiently for his turn behind Connor Shaw, the winningest quarterback in school history. The 6-3, 218-pounder from Boiling Springs, who proposed marriage to his girlfriend at midfield in August, is 5-1 as a starter in his career. He has thrown for over 300 yards in three of his six career starts, and has thrown at least three touchdowns in four of those starts. He also threw the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of the 2013 Outback Bowl win over Michigan. In the 2104 season opener against Texas A&M, Thompson connected on 20-of-40 passes for a career-high 366 yards, the ninth-highest single-game mark in school history, and a career-high four touchdowns. He was more efficient against East Carolina, connecting on 25-of-38 for 266 yards. He was 21-for-30 with three TDs against Georgia. After three weeks, he ranks fourth in the SEC averaging 301.0 yards passing per game and is fifth with 304.0 yards of total offense per game. He has thrown eight touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 61.1 percent of his passes. For his career, he has completed 57.1 percent of his passes (186-for-326) for 2,730 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight INTs. A SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP: Fifth-year seniors quarterback Dylan Thompson and offensive guard A.J. Cann have developed a special bond. Not only are they great friends and roommates, but they also spent a week over the summer together in Israel, where they were able to teach some of the locals about football. The once in a lifetime experience was one they will both remember forever. BE LIKE MIKE: Junior tailback Mike Davis has earned preseason All-America recognition. The 5-9, 223-pounder from Atlanta, Ga., logged the fourth-most single-season rushing yards in school history last season when he rambled for 1,183 yards with 11 touchdowns. He was limited to six carries for 15 yards in the opener against Texas A&M before leaving with bruised ribs, but bounced back with an 18-carry, 101-yard, 2 TD effort against East Carolina. He had 16 carries for 66 yards against Georgia. For the season, he has rushed 41 times for 182 yards. In his third season at Carolina, he ranks 22nd in school history with 1,640 rushing yards and owns eight 100-yard rushing games. Davis is the younger brother of former Clemson standout James Davis. GO THE DISTANCE: Mike Davis logged four rushes of 50 yards or more in his first two seasons. He had a 50-yarder against UAB in 2012. His 75-yard burst against North Carolina in the 2013 season opener and his first career start was the longest by a Gamecock since Bobby Wallace went for 88 against Middle Tennessee in 2006. He matched that with another 75-yard sprint at Georgia. Of the 14 runs in school history of 75 yards or longer, Davis is the only one to do it twice. His fourth-career 50-yard jaunt came at UCF, a 53-yard TD run. Only Derek Watson has more runs of 50-plus yards at Carolina. AGAIN AND AGAIN: Only 11 players in South Carolina history have eight or more games of 100-yard rushing in their career. That list now includes Mike Davis: Player 100 Yd Games George Rogers 27 Brandon Bennett 11 Harold Green 11 Marcus Lattimore 11 Steve Wadiak 10 Duce Staley 9 Derek Watson 9 Thomas Dendy 8 Jay Lynn Hodgin 8 Clarence Williams 8 Mike Davis 8 RUNNING WILDS: Although Mike Davis has received the lion's share of the publicity, he is not the only capable runner in the Gamecock backfield. Junior Brandon Wilds (6-2, 230) actually leads the squad in rushing after three games with 187 yards on 37 attempts, an average of 5.1 yards per carry. For his career, he has 894 yards and seven touchdowns on 187 rushes. As a true freshman in 2011, he started the year as the fifth-team tailback, but as injuries mounted, he climbed the depth chart and posted three 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 137 against Tennessee. He had a 2014 season-high 93 yards rushing in the win over Georgia NOTHING CATCHY ABOUT THIS: The Gamecocks feature four wide receivers that receive the bulk of the action: Junior Shaq Roland (6-1, 176), a former "Mr. Football" in the state of South Carolina (following in the footsteps of Stephon Gilmore, Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney), is the most gifted of the receiving corps. He came on strong at the end of his sophomore season, posting a career-high 112 receiving yards on six catches in the 2014 Capital One Bowl win over Wisconsin. He had a career-high seven catches for 94 yards against ECU. He is second on the squad with a dozen catches for 143 yards and one score. Senior Nick "Governor Nicky" Jones (5-7, 168), has been consistent and sometimes overlooked throughout his Carolina career. He just has a knack for getting open and catching the ball. He logged the first 100-yard receiving game of his career against Texas A&M, catching five passes for a career-best 113 yards and two touchdowns, including a 69-yard TD reception. He leads the team and ranks among the SEC's top-10 in both receptions per game (4.7-T8th) and receiving yards per game (81.3-6th) after three contests. Senior Damiere Byrd (5-9, 170) is the fastest Gamecock and one of the fastest players in the SEC. He has eight career receptions of 40 yards or more, including a 46-yard TD catch against Texas A&M, is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and was a captain on the Gamecocks' track & field squad. Sophomore Pharoh Cooper (5-11, 201) was an All-SEC Freshman selection last season as both an all-purpose back and return specialist. He had three catches in the season opener against Texas A&M, matching his career total, and topped that with five receptions against ECU. He has also seen some action at the "Wildcat" position. STELLAR TIGHT ENDS: The Gamecocks are blessed with a pair of standout tight ends. Senior Rory "Busta" Anderson (6-5, 227) is an All-SEC candidate. Anderson has averaged 17.3 yards per catch with nine touchdowns in his career. He suffered a torn triceps muscle late in spring drills but worked his way back and caught three passes for 52 yards in the opener against Texas A&M. He had a big day against Georgia with five catches for 67 yards and a score. Junior Jerell Adams (6-6, 242) has averaged 16.6 yards per catch and had three scores in his first two campaigns. He had two catches for 40 yards against A&M. Senior Cody Gibson (6-7, 278) made the conversion to tight end this fall after spending his career at tackle. Drew Owens could also see action at tight end. THREE OF THE BEST: The Gamecocks feature what many believe may be the best offensive line in school history, led by three veterans. Senior left guard A.J. Cann (6-4, 311) is the anchor. He has made 41 career starts, the most on the squad, and has been named to five preseason first-team All-America squads. Senior left tackle Corey Robinson (6-8, 344) has made 25 starts and was a second-team preseason All-SEC pick by both the media and coaches. He was the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Georgia. Redshirt junior right tackle Brandon Shell (6-6, 333) has made 26 career starts and was a preseason third-team All-SEC selection by the league's 14 coaches. CANN DO: Senior left guard A.J. Cann made his 41st career start against Georgia. He is one of only 11 players in school history to make 40 or more starts for the Garnet & Black. LIFE WITHOUT CLOWNEY: Senior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt (6-2, 310) is the leader of the defensive line. He is the only returning starter along the front four, as Carolina replaced Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton, the first two of whom earned All-America honors. Surratt and Gerald Dixon are the Gamecocks' active leaders in career sack with 2.0. In fact, the entire current roster has combined for just 15.0 sacks, well short of Clowney's career total of 24.0. The Gamecocks had 2.0 sacks against Georgia after notching just one in the first two games combined. THE SKAI'S THE LIMIT: The best linebacker in the SEC that no one has heard about may be sophomore Skai Moore. The 6-2, 213-pounder from Cooper City, Fla. led the Gamecocks in both tackles (56) and interceptions (4) as a true freshman in 2013, despite starting just four games. He logged six tackles, all solo stops, in the season opener against Texas A&M, including the Gamecocks' lone sack, and has led the team in tackles in each of the last two games with seven stops against East Carolina and a career-best 10 vs. Georgia. LEADER IN THE SECONDARY: Senior Brison Williams is the unquestioned leader in the secondary. The 5-11, 208-pound senior from Warner Robins, Ga., has played both safety positions during his Gamecock career, but has moved over to corner to start the 2014 campaign. He has started 27 times in his career. He is tied for fourth on the team with a dozen tackles, all solo stops. THE FRISCO KID: Elliott Fry walked on to the Gamecock squad last summer and earned the starting placekicking chores. The Frisco, Texas product went 15-for-18 in field goal attempts and was successful on 54-of-55 extra point attempts for a team-leading 99 points, earning Freshman All-SEC accolades. His 99 points were the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. He missed his only field goal attempt in the opener against A&M, but that came from 54 yards out. He rebounded against East Carolina, going 4-for-4 in field goals, matching his career-best performance, and accounting for 15 points while earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He hit again from 32-yards out against Georgia, giving him a streak of five in a row. He is tied for sixth in the SEC in points scored by kicking, averaging 9.0 points per game. HULL OF A PUNTER: Senior Tyler Hull handles the punting chores for Carolina for a third-straight season. He averaged 39.4 yards as a sophomore and 37.8 yards as a junior. He is off to a better start this season, punting seven times for a 44.1-yard average, which ranks fifth in the SEC. UP NEXT: Carolina will return home next week to host the Missouri Tigers in the annual Parent's Weekend game. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. The teams have evenly split the four games played previously. Missouri won a pair of bowl games, the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 2005 Independence Bowl. The Gamecocks have won each of the two meetings as SEC Eastern Division rivals, 31-10 in South Carolina in 2012 and a memorable 27-24 double-overtime win in Missouri last season.
  10. Gamecock Gameday: Football Hosts Georgia On Saturday Kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium From USC Sports Information Sept. 12, 2014 South Carolina Notes COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) and Georgia Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 SEC) tangle in an SEC Eastern Division showdown at a sold-out Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia on Saturday, September 13. The 3:30 p.m. ET game will be televised nationally on CBS with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson in the booth and Allie LaForce on the sidelines. The game will also be broadcast nationally by Westwood One Sports with John Sadak and Derek Rackley serving as the announce team. Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Langston Moore on the sidelines. WKNT in Columbia (107.5 The Game) is the flagship station for Gamecock Athletics. GAME INFORMATION Date: Saturday, September 13 Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Stadium: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) Series: Georgia leads 47-17-2 TV: CBS RADIO Flagship - 107.5 FM "The Game" & the IMG Network WELCOME BACK CBS: The Gamecocks are appearing on CBS for the first time since defeating Arkansas on November 10, 2012. South Carolina has appeared on CBS 22 times, posting a 5-17 record in those contests (including a 4-6 mark at home), but has won three of the last four and four of its last seven games when appearing on CBS. The best win in school-history, a 35-21 win over No. 1 Alabama on October 9, 2010, was televised by CBS. A South Carolina win over Georgia would... Be Steve Spurrier's 201st win as an SEC head coach, tying him with Georgia legend Vince Dooley for second on the all-time list. He currently has 200 career victories as an SEC head coach, 122 at Florida and 80 at South Carolina. Only Paul "Bear" Bryant (292) and Dooley (201) have won more as an SEC head coach. Be Steve Spurrier's 16th-career win over the Bulldogs, the most by an opposing head coach against Georgia. Coach Spurrier (15-6) and Auburn's Shug Jordan (15-10) are tied with 15 career wins over UGA. Be the Gamecocks' fourth win in their last five meetings with Georgia. Be the Gamecocks' third-straight home win over Georgia. They defeated the Bulldogs 17-6 in 2010 and by a 35-7 score in 2012. South Carolina has never won three-straight at home over UGA. A LITTLE HISTORY: 2014 marks the 121st season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 108th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 577-548-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 38 games over since that time. SEC HISTORY: 2014 marks South Carolina's 23rd year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. Carolina was 37-66-1 (.361) in SEC action from 1992-2004, but is 42-32 (.568) in conference play since Coach Spurrier took the reins, including a 19-7 mark over the last four years. CAROLINA VS. GEORGIA: This is the 67th all-time meeting between these two bordering flagship state schools. Only Clemson (110) has faced the Gamecocks more often than Georgia. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series over South Carolina by a 47-17-2 margin. Georgia holds a 19-9-2 advantage in games played in Columbia, a 27-8 lead in games played in Athens, and won the only game played at a neutral site. Since becoming SEC Eastern Division rivals in 1992, UGA owns a 14-8 advantage in the series. BETTER OF LATE: The Gamecocks have won three of the past four meetings with Georgia, posting a 17-6 win in Columbia in 2010, holding on in a 45-42 shootout in Athens in 2011 and running up a 35-7 decision in Columbia in 2013, before falling in Athens last season by a 41-30 count. The Gamecocks three-game winning streak from 2010-12 was their first of that length in the series that dates back to 1894. SPURRIER VS. GEORGIA: South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier owns a 15-6 record against Georgia. He was 11-1 while head coach at Florida, with his lone loss coming in the 1997 season. He is 4-5 in nine tries while in charge of the Gamecock program. His squads have scored 30 or more points in 13 of 21 contests against the Bulldogs and have won by an average score of 30-19. GEORGIA ON MY MIND: With a win, Steve Spurrier would have more wins against Georgia than any other coach in history. He is currently tied with Auburn's Shug Jordan with 15 career wins over the Bulldogs. SPURRIER VS. RICHT: Steve Spurrier has faced Georgia's Mark Richt 10 times as a head coach, with each coach winning five of those contests. He won the 2001 meeting in his last season as head coach at Florida, and is 4-5 since taking over the Carolina program. Richt was an assistant coach at Florida State from 1987-2000, during which time Coach Spurrier went 5-8-1 vs. the Seminoles. RECRUITING THE PEACH STATE: The Peach State is well-represented on the Gamecocks' roster, as 27 players claim Georgia as their home state. That represents 25 percent of the 109-man roster. THE LAST TIME THEY MET: No. 11 Georgia outlasted No. 6 South Carolina by a 41-30 score on September 7, 2013 in Athens, Ga. The offensive shootout featured 990 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs built a 17-7 lead, but Carolina came back to tie the score at 17. The teams went into intermission deadlocked at 24. After Georgia scored 10 third-quarter points, Carolina rallied back to cut the deficit to 34-30, but Aaron Murray eluded a sack and found Justin Scott-Wesley alone down the sidelines for an 85-yard score, to provide the winning margin. Georgia ran out the final 8:28 of the clock on 13 plays to snap a three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks. In a game that featured two of the SEC's top running backs, South Carolina's Mike Davis carried 16 times for 149 yards, outgaining Georgia's Todd Gurley (30 for 132). THE LAST TIME IN COLUMBIA: South Carolina posted its biggest win in the series with Georgia by rolling up a 35-7 triumph in Columbia on October 6, 2012. The largest crowd to witness a game at Williams-Brice Stadium (85,199) saw the Gamecocks burst out the gates with 21 first-quarter points and never look back. The sixth-ranked Gamecocks rolled up 392 yards of offense and held No. 5 Georgia to just 224 yards. Connor Shaw completed 6-of-10 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns while Marcus Lattimore carried 24 times for 109 yards and a score. The Carolina defense held Aaron Murray to just 11-of-31 passing for 109 yards and an interception. The standout Bulldog running tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall was held in check as well, as they gained just 39 and 37 yards rushing, respectively. CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: The Gamecock defense has had Georgia's number in recent years when the game has been played at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Bulldogs have not scored more than 20 points in any of their last nine trips to Columbia and have been held to two scores or less in each of their last three trips to WBS. WHEN THEY'RE BOTH RANKED: This week's game marks the 10th time the two teams have met when they've both been nationally-ranked teams. South Carolina owns a 5-4 advantage in those contests including a perfect 4-0 mark when the game has been played in Columbia: 1959 in Columbia: #16 SC 30, #13 UGA 14 1980 in Athens: #4 UGA 13, #14 SC 10 1983 in Athens: #16 UGA 31, #14 SC 13 1988 in Columbia: #14 SC 23, #6 UGA 10 2001 in Athens: #21 SC 14, #25 UGA 9 2003 in Athens: #8 UGA 31, #25 SC 7 2010 in Columbia: #24 SC 17, #22 UGA 6 2012 in Columbia: #6 SC 35, #5 UGA 7 2013 in Athens: #11 UGA 41, #6 SC 30 RUNNING HARD, MAKING YARDS: The Gamecocks have been able to mount a solid rushing attack against Georgia in recent years. In each of the past four meetings, South Carolina has produced a 100-yard rusher against the Bulldogs, and that player has also been the game's top rusher: Year - SC - Att. Yds. - UGA - Att. - Yards 2010 (Lattimore, 37 -182); ( Ealey 19 - 75) 2011 (Lattimore, 27- 176); (Crowell, 16 - 118) 2012 (Lattimore, 24 - 110); ( Malcome, 5 - 45) 2013 (Davis, 16 -149); (Gurley, 30 - 132) THE STREAK LIVES ON: The Gamecocks are tied for the fifth-longest current streak of being ranked in the A.P.'s Top-25. Carolina and Stanford have been ranked for 67-consecutive polls, trailing only Alabama, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma. Carolina's streak started with the second week of the 2010 season and is the longest streak in school history. GOOD HOME COOKIN': The Gamecocks had their school-record 18-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation, snapped in the season opener. The school's previous longest home winning streak was 15 games, set from 1978-80. The Gamecocks are 19-1 in their last 20 games at Williams-Brice Stadium and 35-4 (.897) in their last 39 home games. The only home losses since the start of the 2009 season came to top-ranked Florida in 2009, to 17th-ranked Arkansas in 2010 and to defending national champion Auburn in 2011 before the 2014 loss to Texas A&M. THE LAST TIME OUT: South Carolina bounced back from a season-opening loss to defeat East Carolina, 33-23 last Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium. Dylan Thompson completed 25-of-38 passes for 266 yards, while Mike Davis rushed for 101 yards, his eighth career 100-yard rushing game. Carolina consumed 36:19 of the clock, including an 18-play, 86-yard fourth-quarter drive that used up 10:33 of the period. The defense limited the high-octane Pirate attack to just seven second-half points. Elliott Fry was successful on all four of his field goal attempts. The win was Steve Spurrier's 200th as an SEC head coach and his 50th win at Williams-Brice Stadium with the Gamecocks. LONG DRIVE CONTEST: The Gamecocks put together an 18-play, 86-yard drive that consumed 10:33 of the fourth quarter to secure the win over ECU. It was the second-longest scoring drive by time and matched the second-longest scoring drive by plays in the Spurrier Era at Carolina. BLOCK THAT KICK: Gerald Dixon Jr. blocked an ECU field goal attempt in the second quarter. It was the first blocked field goal for the Gamecocks since Stephon Gilmore accomplished the feat against Tennessee on October 29, 2011. FIRST START: Five Gamecocks have made their first career starts this season. Three players, all on defense, made their first career start in the season opener against Texas A&M. Getting the nod for the first time were linebackers Jonathan Walton and Bryson Allen-Williams and cornerback Al Harris Jr. Center Alan Knott and safety Chris Moody both made their first start against East Carolina. STEPPING UP: Fifth-year senior Dylan Thompson takes over as the starting signal-caller for the Gamecocks in 2014. Thompson has waited patiently for his turn behind Connor Shaw, the winningest quarterback in school history. The 6-3, 218-pounder from Boiling Springs, who proposed marriage to his girlfriend at midfield in August, is 4-1 as a starter in his career. He has thrown for over 300 yards in three of his five starts, and has thrown at least three touchdowns in three of his five starts. He also threw the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of the 2013 Outback Bowl win over Michigan. In the 2104 season opener against Texas A&M, Thompson connected on 20-of-40 passes for a career-high 366 yards, the ninth-highest single-game mark in school history, and a career-high four touchdowns. He was more efficient against East Carolina, connecting on 25-of-38 for 266 yards. After two weeks, he ranks third in the SEC with 316.0 yards passing per game and is third with 321.0 yards per game of total offense. For his career, he has completed 55.7 percent of his passes (165-for-296) for 2,459 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. A SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP: Fifth-year seniors quarterback Dylan Thompson and offensive guard A.J. Cann have developed a special bond. Not only are they great friends and roommates, but they also spent a week over the summer together in Israel, where they were able to teach some of the locals about football. The once in a lifetime experience was one they will both remember forever. BE LIKE MIKE: Junior tailback Mike Davis has earned preseason All-America recognition. The 5-9, 223-pounder from Atlanta, Ga., logged the fourth-most single-season rushing yards in school history last season when he rambled for 1,183 yards with 11 touchdowns. He was limited to six carries for 15 yards in the opener against Texas A&M before leaving with bruised ribs, but bounced back with an 18-carry, 101-yard, 2 TD effort against East Carolina. In his third season at Carolina, he ranks 25th in school history with 1,574 rushing yards and owns eight 100-yard rushing games. Of the 41 players in school history with 1,000 or more career rushing yards, Davis's yards per carry average of 5.6 trails only Carl Brazell's average of 5.7. Davis is the younger brother of former Clemson standout James Davis. GO THE DISTANCE: Mike Davis logged four rushes of 50 yards or more in his first two seasons. He had a 50-yarder against UAB in 2012. His 75-yard burst against North Carolina in the 2013 season opener and his first career start was the longest by a Gamecock since Bobby Wallace went for 88 against Middle Tennessee in 2006. He matched that with another 75-yard sprint at Georgia. Of the 14 runs in school history of 75 yards or longer, Davis is the only one to do it twice. His fourth-career 50-yard jaunt came at UCF, a 53-yard TD run. Only Derek Watson has more runs of 50-plus yards at Carolina. Here's the list of those with three or more: AGAIN AND AGAIN: Only 11 players in South Carolina history have eight or more games of 100-yard rushing in their career. That list now includes Mike Davis: Player 100 Yd Games George Rogers 27 Brandon Bennett 11 Harold Green 11 Marcus Lattimore 11 Steve Wadiak 10 Duce Staley 9 Derek Watson 9 Thomas Dendy 8 Jay Lynn Hodgin 8 Clarence Williams 8 Mike Davis 8 HE IS NOT ALONE: Although Mike Davis has received the lion's share of the publicity, he is not the only capable runner in the Gamecock backfield. Junior Brandon Wilds (6-2, 230) has 801 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 173 career carries. Wilds has started each of the first two games this season. As a true freshman in 2011, he started the year as the fifth-team tailback, but as injuries mounted, he climbed the depth chart and posted three 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 137 against Tennessee. Junior Shon Carson (5-8, 201), who has also dabbled a little in baseball during his Carolina career, possesses a burst, as witnessed by his 58-yard carry against Florida last season. He has served as the kick returner this season and produced a long return of 38 yards against ECU. Redshirt freshman David Williams (6-1, 222) has the size and speed to be the long-term answer at tailback. He recorded his first collegiate carry against ECU. NOTHING CATCHY ABOUT THIS: The Gamecocks feature four wide receivers that receive the bulk of the action: Junior Shaq Roland (6-1, 176), a former "Mr. Football" in the state of South Carolina (following in the footsteps of Stephon Gilmore, Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney), is the most gifted of the bunch. He came on strong at the end of his sophomore season, posting a career-high 112 receiving yards on six catches in the 2014 Capital One Bowl win over Wisconsin. He had a career-high seven catches for 94 yards against ECU. Senior Nick "Governor Nicky" Jones (5-7, 168), has been consistent and sometimes overlooked throughout his Carolina career. He just has a knack for getting open and catching the ball. He logged the first 100-yard receiving of his career against Texas A&M, catching five passes for a career-best 113 yards and two touchdowns, including a 69-yard TD reception. He ranks among the SEC's top-10 in both receptions per game (5.0) and receiving yards per game (78.5) after two contests. Senior Damiere Byrd (5-9, 170) is the fastest Gamecock and one of the fastest players in the SEC. He has eight career receptions of 40 yards or more, including a 46-yard TD catch against Texas A&M, is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and was a captain on the Gamecocks' track & field squad. Sophomore Pharoh Cooper (5-11, 201) was an All-SEC Freshman selection last season as both an all-purpose back and return specialist. He had three catches in the season opener against Texas A&M, matching his career total, and topped that with five receptions against ECU. He has also seen some action at the "Wildcat" position. STELLAR TIGHT ENDS: The Gamecocks are blessed with a pair of standout tight ends. Senior Rory "Busta" Anderson (6-5, 227) is an All-SEC candidate. Anderson has averaged 17.8 yards per catch with eight touchdowns in his career. He suffered a torn triceps muscle late in spring drills but worked his way back and caught three passes for 52 yards in the opener against Texas A&M. Junior Jerell Adams (6-6, 242) has averaged 16.6 yards per catch and had three scores in his first two campaigns. He had two catches for 40 yards against A&M. Senior Cody Gibson (6-7, 278) made the conversion to tight end this fall after spending his career at tackle. Drew Owens could also see action at tight end. THREE OF THE BEST: The Gamecocks feature what many believe may be the best offensive line in school history, led by three veterans. Senior left guard A.J. Cann (6-4, 311) is the anchor. He has made 40 career starts, the most on the squad, and has been named to five preseason first-team All-America squads. Senior left tackle Corey Robinson (6-8, 344) has made 24 starts and was a second-team preseason All-SEC pick by both the media and coaches. Redshirt junior right tackle Brandon Shell (6-6, 333) has made 25 career starts and was a preseason third-team All-SEC selection by the league's 14 coaches. 40 FOR CANN: Senior left guard A.J. Cann made his 40th career start against East Carolina. He is just the 11th player in school history to make 40 or more starts for the Garnet & Black. LIFE WITHOUT CLOWNEY: Senior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt (6-2, 310) becomes the leader the defensive line. He is the only returning starter along the front four, as Carolina looks to replace Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton, the first two of whom earned All-America honors. Surratt is the Gamecocks' active leader in career sack with 2.0. In fact, the entire current roster has combined for just 13.0 sacks, just over half of Clowney's career total of 24.0. The Gamecocks have just one sack through the season's first two games. Here are the current players' sack numbers: SHARING THE WEALTH: The Gamecocks distributed their tackles fairly evenly last season, with nine players recording between 39 and 56 tackles. Six of the top eight tacklers are back, led by Skai Moore (56) and Kaiwan Lewis (54). That trend seems to be continuing this season, as six players have recorded between nine and 13 tackles. Skai Moore (13) and T.J. Gurley (12) lead the way. THE SKAI'S THE LIMIT: The best linebacker in the SEC that no one has heard about may be sophomore Skai Moore. The 6-2, 213-pounder from Cooper City, Fla. led the Gamecocks in both tackles (56) and interceptions (4) as a true freshman in 2013, despite starting just four games. He logged six tackles, all solo stops, in the season opener against Texas A&M, including the Gamecocks' lone sack, and had a team-leading seven stops in last week's win over East Carolina. LEADER IN THE SECONDARY: Senior Brison Williams is the unquestioned leader in the secondary. The 5-11, 208-pound senior from Warner Robins, Ga., has played both safety positions during his Gamecock career, but has moved over to corner to start the 2014 campaign. He has started 26 times in his career. PICK THIS: The Gamecocks intercepted 18 passes a season ago, led by linebacker Skai Moore's four INT's, and notched their first two picks of the year last week against East Carolina, with Sharrod Golightly and T.J. Gurley each getting into the action. Here are the returning players' interception numbers: THE FRISCO KID: Elliott Fry walked on to the Gamecock squad last summer and earned the starting placekicking chores. The Frisco, Texas product went 15-for-18 in field goal attempts and was successful on 54-of-55 extra point attempts for a team-leading 99 points, earning Freshman All-SEC accolades. His 99 points were the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. He missed his only field goal attempt in the opener against A&M, but that came from 54 yards out. He rebounded against East Carolina, going 4-for-4 in field goals, matching his career-best performance, and accounting for 15 points. HULL OF A PUNTER: Senior Tyler Hull handles the punting chores for Carolina for a third-straight season. He has averaged 39.0 yards on 105 punts throughout his career. He is off to a better start this season, punting four times for a 44.0-yard average in the opener against Texas A&M and booming a 53-yarder in his only opportunity versus East Carolina. He currently ranks third in the SEC in punting average at 45.8 yards per punt. UP NEXT: Carolina will be on the road for the first time in 2014 next week when they travel to Nashville, Tenn. to face the Vanderbilt Commodores in another SEC Eastern Division matchup. The Gamecocks have won 19 of the 23 previous meetings with Vandy and own a 10-2 record when the game has been played in Nashville. South Carolina has won each of the last five meetings in the series, while head coach Steve Spurrier is 19-2 all-time against the `Dores.
  11. Gamecock Gameday: Football Opens 2014 Season On Thursday Vs. Texas A&M August 28, 2014 Kickoff set for 6 p.m. on the SEC Network South Carolina Notes COLUMBIA, S.C. - The 2014 South Carolina football season gets underway Thursday, August 28, when the Gamecocks begin SEC action against Texas A&M. It's the first gridiron meeting between the two schools. The 6 p.m. ET game will be televised nationally by the SEC Network with Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer in the booth and Kaylee Hartung and Maria Taylor on the sidelines. Westwood One has the national radio broadcast with John Sadak handling the play-by-play and Chris Doering providing the color commentary. Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Langston Moore on the sidelines. WKNT in Columbia (107.5 The Game) is the flagship station for Gamecock Athletics. GAME INFORMATION Date: Thursday, August 28 Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Stadium: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) Series: First Meeting TV: SEC Network RADIO Flagship - 107.5 FM "The Game" & the IMG Network A LITTLE HISTORY: 2014 marks the 121st season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 108th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 29 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 576-547-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 38 games over since that time SEC HISTORY: The 2014 season marks South Carolina's 23rd year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. Carolina was 37-66-1 (.361) in SEC action from 1992-2004, but are 41-31 (.569) in conference play since Coach Spurrier took the reins, including an 18-6 mark over the last three years. THURSDAY SPECIAL: The Gamecocks are very familiar with Thursday night games. Since head coach Steve Spurrier took over in 2005, Carolina has played 11 Thursday night ESPN contests. Carolina opened its 2005 season on a Thursday with a 24-15 win against UCF. In 2006, the Gamecocks opened at Mississippi State on a Thursday and pitched a 15-0 shutout. They also lost a mid-season Thursday night contest at home to Auburn. In 2007, they defeated eighth-ranked Kentucky on a Thursday by a 38-23 score. In 2008, they played the first two games of the season on Thursdays - defeating NC State 34-0 before falling at Vanderbilt, 24-17. In 2009 they opened the year with a Thursday night 7-3 win at NC State, then knocked off fourth-ranked Ole Miss on a Thursday at home by a 16-10 score. They opened the 2010 season with a convincing 41-13 win over Southern Miss on a Thursday in Columbia. In 2012, the Gamecocks edged Vanderbilt in Nashville by a 17-13 score. Last season, the Gamecocks came out of the box with a 27-10 win over North Carolina. Carolina is 9-2 in Thursday night tilts under Coach Spurrier, including a 6-1 record at home and a 3-1 record on the road. The Gamecocks are 7-0 in season openers on Thursdays under the Head Ball Coach. HOT AUGUST NIGHT: The Gamecocks are opening their season in August for just the ninth time in school history. All nine August games have come in the past 30 years, with five coming since the turn of the century. The Gamecocks are 7-1 in games played in the month of August, including a 5-1 record at home and a 2-0 record on the road. CAROLINA VERSUS THE AGGIES: Carolina and A&M have never met on the gridiron. However, they are new "permanent opponents" and will be playing each year in the foreseeable future. THE LONE STAR: South Carolina features just one player from the Lone Star State, sophomore kicker Elliott Fry. Fry, an SEC All-Freshman selection a year ago, hails from Frisco, Texas, located north of Dallas, about 200 miles from College Station. Linebackers coach Kirk Botkin hails from Baytown, Texas, located east of Houston, about two hours from A&M, while special teams coordinator Joe Robinson lists his hometown as Abilene, about 275 miles from the A&M campus. EARNING THEIR WAY: Two former walk-ons - junior wide receiver Carlton Heard and senior fullback Jordan Diaz - were rewarded with scholarships by Coach Spurrier during the preseason camp for the 2014 school year. OPENING ON A POSITIVE: South Carolina has won 14-straight season openers, dating back to a 10-0 loss at NC State to begin the 1999 season. That streak ties Texas for the fifth-longest season-opening winning streak in the country. MAKING A POINT: USC tied the school record for season openers by tallying 56 points in the 2011 clash against East Carolina in a 56-37 win in Charlotte. Carolina has scored 40 or more points in 12 season openers, including two of the past four seasons (41 vs. Southern Miss in 2010). THREE-PEAT: The Gamecocks have put together three-straight 11-win seasons, the first back-to-back-to-back, double-digit win seasons in school history. They have logged three of their four 10-or more win seasons in the last three years. The only previous 10-win campaign came in 1984. The Gamecocks have won 22 games over the past two seasons, 33 over the past three seasons, and 42 over the past four seasons, all school records. BEATING THE BEST: The Gamecocks defeated six teams that won its 2013/14 postseason bowl game: Clemson (Orange), UCF (Fiesta), Missouri (Cotton), North Carolina (Belk), Mississippi State (Liberty) and Vanderbilt (BBVA Compass). South Carolina also posted wins over three teams that finished in the AP Top-10 (Missouri - 5; Clemson - 8; UCF - 10). In addition, Carolina posted wins over five teams that finished in the Top-25 in both the AP and Coaches' polls (Missouri - 5/5; Clemson - 8/7; UCF - 10/12; Wisconsin - 22/21; and Vanderbilt - 24/23). THE RANKINGS PART I: The Gamecocks finished fourth in the final Associated Press and USA TODAY/Coaches polls. It marked the highest finish in school history, surpassing the No. 8/7 rankings from the 2012 campaign. THE RANKINGS PART II: The Gamecocks open the 2014 campaign ranked ninth in both the A.P. and Coaches' polls. The Gamecocks are slated to play five teams that open the season in the top 25 including Auburn (6), Georgia (12), Clemson (16), Texas A&M (21) and Missouri (24). This marks the first time in school history that the Gamecocks have been ranked in the AP preseason top 25 (or top 12) in four straight seasons. Only five schools - Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, South Carolina and LSU - have been in preseason AP Top 12 each of last four years. TOP-10 PROGRAM: The Gamecocks have put together three-straight Top-10 finishes, the first three in school history, finishing ninth in 2011, eighth in 2012 and fourth in 2013 according to the Associated Press. They finished eighth, seventh and fourth in each subsequent year in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll. South Carolina, Alabama and Oregon are the only Division I schools to finish in the AP Top-10 in each of the past three seasons. The Gamecocks have finished among the nation's Top 25 for four-straight seasons, another "first" in school history. Here are South Carolina's all-time final AP Top-25 rankings: YEAR (FINAL AP): 1958 (13); 1984 (11); 1987 (15); 2000 (19); 2001 (13); 2010 (22); 2011 (9); 2012 (8); 2013 (4). THE STREAK CONTINUES: The Gamecocks are tied for the fifth-longest current streak of being ranked in the Associated Press's Top-25. Carolina and Stanford have been ranked for 65-consecutive polls, trailing only Alabama, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma. Carolina's streak started with the second week of the 2010 season and is the longest consecutive streak in school history. GOOD HOME COOKIN': The Gamecocks are putting a school record 18-game home winning streak on the line. The previous high was 15 games, set from 1978-80. The Gamecocks' 18-game home winning streak is the longest current streak in the nation. Northern Illinois has won 26-straight games in its home stadium, but the NCAA considers its loss to Iowa at Chicago's Soldier Field in the 2012 season opener as a "home" loss and credits them with a current 11-game home winning streak. Stanford (16), Ohio State (15) and Fresno State (13) have the next longest streaks. The Gamecocks are also 34-3 (.919) in their last 37 home games. The only home losses since the start of the 2009 season came to top-ranked Florida in 2009, to 17th-ranked Arkansas in 2010 and to defending national champion Auburn in 2011. PERFECT AT HOME: Carolina has gone a perfect 7-0 at home in each of the past two seasons. 2012 marked the first time they ran the table at home since joining the SEC. The last time they had gone undefeated at home prior to 2012 was in 1987. They have been undefeated and untied at home 11 times in school history. ROAD WARRIORS: The Gamecocks are 12-5 in their last 17 true road contests. Four of the five road losses in that stretch came to nationally-ranked opponents: at No. 8 Arkansas in 2011, at No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida in 2012 and at No. 11 Georgia in 2013, before losing to unranked Tennessee in 2013. NON-CONFERENCE WINS: South Carolina has won 15-straight games against non-conference opponents. Its last non-conference loss came to Florida State in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. Since that loss they have defeated East Carolina (twice), Navy, The Citadel, Clemson (three times), Nebraska, UAB, Wofford, Michigan, North Carolina, UCF, Coastal Carolina and Wisconsin. CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: The Gamecocks have been frustrated by defeating the SEC Eastern Division champion in each of the past three years (Georgia in 2011 and 2012; Missouri in 2013) and having a 6-2 conference record in each campaign, yet did not represent the East at the SEC title game in any of those seasons. STARTING ON A ROLL: The Gamecocks won their final six games of the 2013 season, with consecutive victories over Missouri, Mississippi State, Florida, Coastal Carolina, Clemson and Wisconsin. It's the first time in school history that Carolina enters the season on a six-game winning streak. The Gamecocks enter the 2014 season tied with Louisville for the nation's fourth-longest winning streak behind Florida State (16), Michigan State (10) and UCF (9). GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: The Gamecocks said goodbye to 10 lettermen from last year's roster including eight starters. The departing starters include DE Jadeveon Clowney, WR Bruce Ellington, CB Victor Hampton, CB Jimmy Legree, OG Ronald Patrick, DT Kelcy Quarles, QB Connor Shaw and DE Chaz Sutton. IT'S A NUMBERS GAME: The Gamecocks return 78 percent of their rushing yards, 26 percent of their passing yards and 75 percent of their receiving yards from a year ago. In addition, six of the squad's top eight tacklers, return in 2014. THEY'RE BACK: The Gamecocks welcomed 56 returning letterwinners to begin the 2014 fall session. The 56 lettermen consist of 27 offensive players, 23 defensive players and six special teams players. The Gamecocks lost 12 lettermen, including six on offense and six on defense. STAFF INTACT: The Gamecocks return their entire coaching staff from the 2013 campaign. It's the first time in Coach Spurrier's tenure at South Carolina that every member of the staff returned for a second-straight season. GAMECOCKS PICKED TO WIN THE EAST: Media attending the annual SEC Media Days in Birmingham in July picked South Carolina to win the Eastern Division of the SEC in 2014. The Gamecocks claimed the top spot in the East despite having no players listed on the first-team all-conference squad as selected by the media. It's the first time in SEC history that has occurred. Georgia, Florida and Missouri follow the Gamecocks, ahead of Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Alabama edged Auburn for the No. 1 spot in the West, with LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Arkansas rounding out the pack. WAITING HIS TURN: Fifth-year senior Dylan Thompson takes over as the starting signal-caller for the Gamecocks in 2014. Thompson has waited patiently for his turn behind Connor Shaw, the winningest quarterback in school history. The 6-3, 218-pounder from Boiling Springs, who proposed marriage to his girlfriend at midfield in August, is 3-0 as a starter, recording wins against East Carolina and at Clemson in 2012, and at Missouri in 2013. He threw for over 300 yards and for three touchdowns in each of the wins in 2012. He also threw the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of the 2013 Outback Bowl win over Michigan. For his career, he has completed 55.0 percent of his passes for 1,827 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. A SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP: Fifth-year seniors quarterback Dylan Thompson and offensive guard A.J. Cann have developed a special bond. Not only are they great friends and roommates, but they also spent a week over the summer together in Israel, where they were able to teach some of the locals about football. The once in a lifetime experience was one they will both remember forever. BE LIKE MIKE: Junior tailback Mike Davis has earned preseason All-America recognition. The 5-9, 223-pounder from Atlanta, Ga., logged the fourth-most single-season rushing yards in school history last season when he rambled for 1,183 yards with 11 touchdowns. He enters his third season ranked 26th in school history with 1,458 rushing yards and owns seven 100-yard rushing games. Of the 41 players in school history with 1,000 or more career rushing yards, Davis's yards per carry average of 5.718 trails only Carl Brazell's average of 5.729. Davis is the younger brother of former Clemson standout James Davis. GO THE DISTANCE: Mike Davis logged four rushes of 50 yards or more in his first two seasons. He had a 50-yarder against UAB in 2012. His 75-yard burst against North Carolina in the 2013 season opener and his first career start was the longest by a Gamecock since Bobby Wallace went for 88 against Middle Tennessee in 2006. He matched that with another 75-yard sprint at Georgia. Of the 14 runs in school history of 75 yards or longer, Davis is the only one to do it twice. His fourth-career 50-yard jaunt came at UCF, a 53-yard TD run. Only Derek Watson has more runs of 50-plus yards at Carolina. Here's the list of those with three or more: AGAIN AND AGAIN: Only 10 players in South Carolina history have eight or more games of 100-yard rushing in their career. Mike Davis is looking to become the 11th player on that list as he enters with 7 games with 100 or more rushing yards. HE IS NOT ALONE: Although Mike Davis has received the lion's share of the publicity, he is not the only capable runner in the Gamecock backfield. Junior Brandon Wilds (6-2, 222) has 707 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 150 career carries. As a true freshman in 2011, he started the year as the fifth-team tailback, but as injuries mounted, he climbed the depth chart and posted three 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 137 against Tennessee. Junior Shon Carson (5-8, 201), who has also dabbled a little in baseball during his Carolina career, possesses a burst, as witnessed by his 58-yard carry against Florida last season. Gamecock coaches believe redshirt freshman David Williams (6-1, 214) has the size and speed to be the long-term answer at tailback. NOTHING CATCHY ABOUT THIS: The Gamecocks feature four wide receivers that are expected to receive the bulk of the throws this season. Junior Shaq Roland (6-1, 176), a former "Mr. Football" in the state of South Carolina, is the most gifted of the bunch. He came on strong at the end of his sophomore season, posting a career-high 112 receiving yards on six catches in the 2014 Capital One Bowl win over Wisconsin. Senior Nick "Governor Nicky" Jones (5-7, 168), has been consistent and sometimes overlooked throughout his Carolina career. He just has a knack for getting open. Senior Damiere Byrd (5-9, 170) is the fastest Gamecock and one of the fastest players in the SEC. He has seven career receptions of 40 yards or more, is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and was a captain on the Gamecocks' track & field squad. Sophomore Pharoh Cooper (5-11, 201) was an All-SEC Freshman selection last season as both an all-purpose back and return specialist. He is a player the Carolina coaches love to see with the ball in his hands. STELLAR TIGHT ENDS: The Gamecocks are blessed with a pair of standout tight ends. Senior Rory "Busta" Anderson (6-5, 227) is an All-SEC candidate. Anderson has averaged 17.8 yards per catch with eight touchdowns in his career. He suffered a torn triceps muscle late in spring drills and has been working to get healthy. Junior Jerell Adams (6-6, 242) has averaged 16.3 yards per catch and has three scores in his first two campaigns. Senior Cody Gibson (6-7, 278) made the conversion to tight end this fall after spending his career at tackle. Drew Owens and Brendan Nosovitch could also see action at tight end. 90 IS THE NEW 78: Fifth-year senior Cody Gibson made the transition this fall from offensive tackle, where he worked during his first four seasons at South Carolina, to tight end. He changed his number to 90 from 78. He is expected to see action primarily in two-tight end sets. IMPRESSIVE O-LINE: The Gamecocks feature what many believe may be the best offensive line in school history. Senior left guard A.J. Cann (6-4, 311) is the anchor. He has made 38 career starts, the most on the squad, and has been named to five preseason first-team All-America squads. Senior left tackle Corey Robinson (6-8, 344) has made 22 starts and was a second-team preseason All-SEC pick by both the media and coaches. Junior right tackle Brandon Shell (6-6, 333) has made 23 career starts and was a preseason third-team All-SEC selection by the league's 14 coaches. Center Clayton Stadnik (7 starts) and right guard Cody Waldrop (6 starts) both gained experience last season as redshirt freshmen. The quintet has combined for 96 career starts. MISSING MIKE: Fourth-year junior offensive lineman Mike Matulis has been sidelined with a left knee injury, suffered in a preseason scrimmage. Matulis was penciled in to be the starter at right guard. The 6-5, 307-pounder has made 10 starts in his Gamecock career, all at a tackle position. BROTHERLY LOVE: The Gamecocks have two sets of brothers on the squad. Redshirt sophomore offensive linemen Brock and Clayton Stadnik are twins. On the defensive line, Gerald Dixon and Gerald Dixon Jr. are half-brothers. They share the same father, Gerald Dixon Sr., who played at Carolina in the early `90s. LIFE WITHOUT CLOWNEY: Senior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt (6-2, 310) becomes the leader the defensive line. He is the only returning starter along the front four, as Carolina looks to replace Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton, the first two of whom earned All-America honors. Surratt is the Gamecocks' active leader in career sack with 2.0. In fact, the entire current roster has combined for just 12.0 sacks, half of Clowney's career total of 24.0. Here are the returning players' sack numbers: DEEP LINEBACKING CORPS: What was perceived as the weak link of the defense a year ago is now the strength. The Gamecocks return all of their linebackers and Spurs, and defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward says he feels comfortable rotating as many as nine players at those positions. THE SKAI'S THE LIMIT: The best linebacker in the SEC that no one has heard about may be sophomore Skai Moore. The 6-2, 213-pounder from Cooper City, Fla. led the Gamecocks in both tackles (56) and interceptions (4) as a true freshman in 2013, despite starting just four games. SHARING THE WEALTH: The Gamecocks distributed their tackles fairly evenly last season, with nine players recording between 39 and 56 tackles. Six of the top eight tacklers return, led by Skai Moore (56) and Kaiwan Lewis (54). Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has been impressed by several true freshmen on the defensive side of the ball. Al Harris Jr., whose father Al Harris was an NFL Pro Bowl cornerback, is slated to be a starter at one cornerback position. Wesley Green and Chris Lammons did not arrive on campus until August, but project to see playing time at corner as well this season after the Gamecocks lost both starting corners from a year ago, Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree. Despite the entire stable of linebackers returning in tact, Bryson Allen-Williams figures to see significant action this season as well, especially when Carolina lines up in a 3-4 defense. LEADER IN THE SECONDARY: Senior Brison Williams is the unquestioned leader in the secondary. The 5-11, 208-pound senior from Warner Robins, Ga., has played both safety positions during his Gamecock career, but will slide over to corner to start the 2014 campaign. He has started 24 times over the past three seasons. PICK THIS: The Gamecocks intercepted 18 passes a season ago, led by linebacker Skai Moore's four INT's. Here are the returning players' interception numbers: THE FRISCO KID: Elliott Fry walked on to the Gamecock squad last summer and earned the starting placekicking chores. The Frisco, Texas product went 15-for-18 in field goal attempts and was successful on 54-of-55 extra point attempts for a team-leading 99 points, earned Freshman All-SEC accolades. His 99 points were the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. HULL OF A PUNTER: Senior Tyler Hull will handle the punting chores for Carolina for a third-straight season. He has averaged 38.7 yards on 100 punts throughout his career. THEY PAY TO SEE THE GAMECOCKS PLAY: The Gamecock fans turned out in record number in 2013, as every game was considered a sellout. Carolina ranked 14th in the nation in average home attendance in 2013, averaging 82,401 in the 80,250-seat Williams-Brice Stadium, 102.7 percent of capacity. TOTING THE SHEEPSKIN: Nine Gamecocks will have earned their degree by the time the 2014 season commences, including A.J. Cann, Ryland Culbertson, Patrick Fish, Cody Gibson, Sharrod Golightly, Nick Jones, Connor McLaurin, Sidney Rhodes and Dylan Thompson. WHO'S NEXT? The Gamecocks have had a first-team All-America selection in each of the last five seasons. Eric Norwood (2009) got things started, followed by Alshon Jeffery (2010), Melvin Ingram (2011), Jadeveon Clowney (2012 and 2013) and Kelcy Quarles (2013). SILVER ANNIVERSARY: Head coach Steve Spurrier is in his 25th season as a college head coach. He has won 219 games in that time, the fourth-highest win total among Division I coaches in their first 25 years. With a successful 2014 campaign, he could move up to second on the list, behind only Nebraska's Tom Osborne. Here is that impressive list of 200 or more wins over the first 25 seasons as a head coach: UP NEXT: Carolina hosts East Carolina in the middle game of a three-game season-opening homestand on Saturday, September 6. The Gamecocks lead the all-time series over the Pirates, 12-5. Under Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks are 2-0 against ECU, winning by a 56-37 count in the 2011 season opener in Charlotte, and by a 48-10 score in 2012. ECU's last win in the series came by a 21-3 score in 1999.
  12. Gamecock Gameday: Football Hosts Clemson On Saturday From USC Sports Information Nov. 29, 2013 Kickoff at 7 p.m ET on ESPN2 South Carolina Notes COLUMBIA, S.C. - The No. 10/9 South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2, 6-2 SEC) wrap up the 2013 regular season slate with the annual Palmetto State Showdown against the No. 6/4 Clemson Tigers (10-1, 7-1 ACC) on Saturday, November 30. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at a sold out Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) in Columbia. ESPN2 has the national broadcast with Mark Jones and Brock Huard working in the booth and Jessica Mendoza on the sidelines. Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Langston Moore on the sidelines. WKNT in Columbia (107.5 The Game) is the flagship station for Gamecock Athletics. GAME INFORMATION Date: Saturday, November 30 Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Stadium: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) Series: Clemson leads 65-41-4 TV: ESPN2 RADIO Flagship - 107.5 FM "The Game" & the IMG Network A LITTLE HISTORY: 2013 marks the 120th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 107th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 27 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 574-547-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 36 games over since. SEC HISTORY: The 2013 season marks South Carolina's 22nd year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. The Gamecocks are 78-97-1 all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 23-9 since 2010 in conference action. SENIOR SALUTE: The Gamecocks list just five seniors on their roster. The quintet of Jimmy Legree, Ronald Patrick, Connor Shaw, Chaz Sutton and David Wilkins will be playing in their final game at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday against the Tigers. That is the fewest number of seniors in Division I FBS football in 2013. LEAVING EARLY?: Three juniors, Jadeveon Clowney, Victor Hampton and Kelcy Quarles are considering taking part in the "Senior Day" ceremonies. All three are exploring their options of either returning for their senior year or entering the 2014 NFL Draft. 40 IN 4: Although small in numbers, this year's senior class will go out as the winningest class in school history. Only 11 Division I-A schools have recorded 40 or more wins over the past four seasons, including South Carolina. Here are those squads and their win totals: 1. Alabama (46) T2. Oregon (45) T2. Northern Illinois (45) T4. Boise State (42) T4. Florida State (42) T4. LSU (42) T4. Stanford (42) T8. Ohio State (41) T8. Oklahoma (41) T8. Oklahoma State (41) 11. South Carolina (40) CAROLINA VS. CLEMSON: This is the 111th meeting between these two Palmetto State schools in a series that dates back to 1896. The teams have met every year since 1909, making the Carolina-Clemson series the second-longest running consecutively played rivalry in college football at 105 straight meetings, behind only Minnesota vs. Wisconsin (107). The Tigers hold a 65-41-4 advantage, including a 49-31-3 cushion when playing in Columbia. However, the Gamecocks have won the last four and five of the last seven meetings. Carolina has won the last two times the teams have met at Williams-Brice Stadium. The teams annually play for the state championship, the Hardee's Trophy and, more importantly, bragging rights for the following year. ONE FOR THE THUMB: The Gamecocks have won each of the last four meetings in the series, matching the stretch from 1951-54 as the longest Carolina winning streak in the history of this rivalry. The Gamecocks have won each of the last four games by double-digits and a combined score of 124-54. ALWAYS A WINNER: Carolina seniors Jimmy Legree and Chaz Sutton have participated in each of the last three games against Clemson and are trying to finish their careers with a perfect 4-0 mark against the Tigers. If they are successful, they will join nine seniors from last season: Reginald Bowens, Justice Cunningham, DeVonte Holloman, T.J. Johnson, Kenny Miles, D.L. Moore, Quin Smith, D.J. Swearinger and Devin Taylor as the only Gamecocks who participated in four wins against Clemson. Johnson remains the only player in Carolina history who has started in four varsity wins over the Tigers. BEST MATCHUP IN HISTORY: Using the Associated Press rankings, this marks the best game in the history of this rivalry, as South Carolina enters the game ranked 10th and Clemson is the sixth in the nation according to the A.P., edging the 1987 contest (CU-8; SC-12) for that distinction. This is the third-straight year that both teams enter the game ranked and just the sixth time overall. It is also the eighth time in the last nine years that at least one of the teams enters the game ranked among the nation's Top-25. The Gamecocks have prevailed in four of the previous five contests when both teams were ranked, including last season's 27-17 win in Clemson. The higher-ranked team entering the game has lost three of the previous five matchups when both teams were ranked. Here are the results when both teams were ranked by the A.P. entering the contest: 1979 - (No. 19) SC 13, (No. 9) CU 9 1987 - (No. 12) SC 20, (No. 8) CU 7 2000 - (No. 25) CU 16, (No. 16) SC 14 2011 - (No. 14) SC 34, (No. 18) CU 13 2012 - (No. 13) SC 27, (No. 12) CU 17 2013 - (No. 10) SC vs. (No. 6) CU ??? THESE TEAMS ARE GOOD...AGAIN: Clemson (10-1) and Carolina (9-2) enter this year's contest with identical records of a year ago. The combined 19 wins this year and last are the most ever in the series, one win more than in 2011 when both teams came in with 9-2 marks. Prior to 2011, the high was 16 combined wins, accomplished four times. THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Head coach Steve Spurrier became the winningest coach in Carolina history as the Gamecocks posted a 27-17 win at Clemson on November 24, 2012. Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson went the distance, completing 23-of-41 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns, while defensive end Jadeveon Clowney set stadium and school records with 4.5 sacks to lead the Gamecocks. The Carolina offense rolled up 444 total yards, while the defense limited the high-octane Tiger attack to 328 yards. Ace Sanders caught six passes for a career-high 119 yards, while Bruce Ellington hauled in seven passes for 72 yards and two scores. Clemson held a 14-10 advantage heading into intermission, but the Gamecocks outscored the Tigers, 17-3, in the second half. After rolling up 163 yards on 21 snaps in the first quarter alone, Clemson was limited to 91 yards on just 19 plays throughout the entire second half. THE LAST TIME IN COLUMBIA: The No. 14/13 Gamecocks got a career-high 107 yards rushing and three TD passes from Connor Shaw in a convincing 34-13 win over No. 18/17 Clemson on November 26, 2011. Shaw completed 14-of-20 passes for 210 yards. The Gamecock defense held the Tigers to 153 yards of offense and tallied five sacks. Carolina allowed just three points and 72 yards in the second half. THE DEFENSE RESTS: A key factor in the four-game winning streak over Clemson has been the play of the Carolina defense which has logged 16 sacks, including 11 in the last two years. Here's a look at what the Clemson offense was averaging entering the game and how they fared against the Carolina defense: Year CU PPG VS SC CU YPG VS SC 2009 - 33.1 (avg. points) 17 vs. SC; 370.7 (avg. yards) 260 vs. SC 2010 - 25.4 (avg. points) 7 vs. SC; 345.7 (avg. yards) 251 vs. SC 2011 - 33.8 (avg. points) 13 vs. SC; 459.3 (avg. yards) 153 vs. SC 2012 - 44.6 (avg. points) 17 vs. SC; 535.6 (avg. yards) 328 vs. SC SPURRIER VS. CLEMSON: Steve Spurrier is 6-5 in 11 contests against Clemson. He was 1-2 as the head coach at Duke University, and is 5-3 in eight meetings with the Tigers as the Gamecocks' head coach. He is 2-2 against Clemson in Williams-Brice Stadium. SPURRIER VS. SWINNEY: Steve Spurrier is 4-1 against Clemson's Dabo Swinney. The Tigers posted a win when the two coaches squared off for the first time in 2008, but Spurrier has won the last four times, outscoring Clemson by a combined score of 124-54. WINNING NINE IS FINE: South Carolina has posted a nine-win season for the fourth-straight year. Prior to the current stretch, they had only won nine games twice in school history. 9-plus win seasons 1892-2009: 2 1984 (10), 2001 (9). 9-plus win seasons 2010-2013: 4 2010 (9), 2011 (11), 2012 (11); 2013 (9). GOOD HOME COOKIN': The Gamecocks have established a school record by winning their last 17 games at Williams-Brice Stadium. They are also 33-3 (.917 winning percentage) in their last 36 home games. The only home losses since 2009 came to top-ranked Florida in 2009, to 17th-ranked Arkansas in 2010 and to defending national champion Auburn in 2011. The Gamecocks' 17-game home winning streak is the longest in the nation, two more than Ohio State and Stanford. Northern Illinois has won 25-straight games in its home stadium, but the NCAA considers its loss to Iowa at Chicago's Soldier Field in the 2012 season opener as a "home" loss and credits them with a 10-game home winning streak. TOP HOME STREAKS: The Gamecocks have won 17-straight home games, the longest streak in school history, surpassing the mark of 15 set from 1978-80. STREAKING OUTSIDE THE SEC: The Gamecocks have taken care of business in recent years against non-conference opponents. A few of the current streaks: South Carolina has won 13-straight games against non-conference opponents. It's last non-conference loss came to Florida State in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. South Carolina has won 19-straight regular-season games against non-conference opponents. The last regular-season non-conference loss came at Clemson in the 2008 regular-season finale. South Carolina has won 17-straight home games against non-conference opponents. It's last home loss to a non-conference team was to Clemson in the 2007 regular-season finale. South Carolina has won three straight and six of its last seven games against ACC opponents. PERFECT AT HOME: Carolina is 6-0 at home in 2013 and is looking to go 7-0 for the second-straight year. 2012 marked the first time they ran the table at home since joining the SEC. The last time they had gone undefeated at home prior to 2012 was in 1987. They have been undefeated and untied at home 10 times. IT'S NEVER EASY: The Gamecocks have faced one of the top non-conference slates in the country this season. Their four non-conference foes of Clemson (10-1), UCF (9-1), Coastal Carolina (10-2) and North Carolina (6-5) have a combined record of 35-9, a .795 winning percentage. BIGGER THINGS AHEAD?: Carolina posted a 6-2 SEC mark for the third-straight season, something that had never been accomplished before 2011. With a win earlier this season over Missouri, the Gamecocks hold the tie-breaker over the SEC Eastern Division-leading Tigers. If Missouri loses at home versus Texas A&M, South Carolina would represent the East in the SEC Championship for the second time in four years. This year's game will be played in Atlanta on December 7 at 4 p.m. If Mizzou wins, it would mark the third-consecutive year that Carolina would have defeated the Eastern Division champion. The winner of the "Iron Bowl" between top-ranked Alabama and Auburn will represent the West in the SEC Championship game. INDIVIDUAL HONORS: Several Gamecocks were in the hunt for postseason individual national honors. Quarterback Connor Shaw is one of 10 finalists for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and was one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award. Running back Mike Davis is one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award. THE LAST TIME OUT: The No. 12/11 Gamecocks stepped out of conference last week and hosted instate FCS opponent Coastal Carolina, co-champions of the Big South Conference. The Gamecocks dominated from start to finish in rolling up a 70-10 victory. Carolina scored 28 first-quarter points and led 42-7 at the intermission. The cushion allowed Coach Spurrier to clear his bench, with five quarterbacks completing passes to 11 different receivers and 11 players carried the pigskin. The Gamecocks did all of the damage without the services of four starters - Mike Davis, Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Brison Williams - all who were sidelined with injuries. REWRITING THE RECORD BOOK: The Gamecocks offense posted several notable marks in the win over Coastal Carolina: The 70 points scored were the fifth-most in school history and the most in the Steve Spurrier Era. The previous high under Spurrier was 69 against Troy in 2010. The 28 first-quarter points was the most since scoring 28 in the first 15 minutes against Troy in 2010. The last time Carolina had scored 28 points in any quarter was the third quarter against East Carolina in 2011. The 639 yards of total offense matched the total posted against Kentucky in 2011 for the most in the Spurrier Era and was just 17 yards off the school record of 656 versus Vanderbilt in 2001. The 352 yards rushing were the most under Coach Spurrier, eclipsing the previous high of 288 versus Kentucky in 2011. The team matched its high mark of 32 first downs under Coach Spurrier, previously accomplished against Kentucky in 2011 and at Arkansas earlier this season. BEST OFFENSE IN HISTORY?: South Carolina is averaging 465.8 yards per game of total offense, including 211.2 on the ground and 254.6 through the air. They are on pace to shatter the school record for average yards of total offense. The school record for total offense in a season is 5,499 set in 2010. This year's squad has 5,124 with at least two games to play. CHARTING THE DRIVES: Through six games, Carolina had been one of the best teams in the country in logging the fewest 3-and-outs, recording just seven in their first 60 drives. For the season, Carolina has been held to 3-and-out 25 times in 124 drives, 20.2 percent of the time. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks have scored on 62-of-124 drives, 50.0 percent, with 48 touchdowns. BETTER THAN AVERAGE: The Carolina defense has held nine of its 11 opponents below their season scoring average, with six held double-digits below that average. Only Georgia and Kentucky have scored more against the Gamecocks than their season average. Overall, South Carolina is holding its opponents to 10 points less a game than they are accustomed to scoring. The Gamecocks are fourth in the SEC and 20th in the country in scoring defense at 20.3 points per game. PROTECT THIS BALL: The Gamecocks have taken care of the ball of late, winning the turnover battle by a 9-0 margin over the last three games. Carolina has committed just four turnovers in its six home games, with three of those four coming against Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks are plus-5 in turnovers this season. YES THEY CALL IT A STREAK: The Gamecocks are tied for the fifth-longest current streak of being ranked in the Associated Press's Top 25. Carolina and Stanford have been ranked for 61-consecutive weeks, trailing only Alabama, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma. Carolina's streak started with the second week of the 2010 season and is the longest consecutive streak in school history. THE GOLDEN AGE OF GAMECOCK FOOTBALL: The Gamecocks put together back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2011 and 2012, the first back-to-back double-digit win seasons in school history. The only previous 10-win campaign came in 1984. The Gamecocks won 22 games from 2011-12; 31 from 2010-12, and 38 from 2009-12, all school records. This year's senior class has surpassed last year's senior class for the most wins in a four-year period in school history with 40. THE HEAD BALL COACH: Steve Spurrier is in his ninth season directing the Gamecock football program. He has logged a 75-39 mark (.658) in Columbia. The Head Ball Coach is Carolina's winningest coach with 75 victories and is second in games coached with 114, behind Rex Enright (140). Coach Spurrier owns a 217-79-2 mark (.732) in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach, with previous stops at Duke and Florida. ATOP THE LIST: Steve Spurrier became the all-time winningest coach at Carolina in the 2012 the regular-season finale at Clemson, surpassing Rex Enright (64) for the most coaching wins in school history. He is also the winningest coach at Florida with 122 victories. The legendary Bear Bryant (60 at Kentucky and 232 at Alabama) is the only other coach to own the most wins at two SEC schools. TOPS IN HIS FIELD: Steve Spurrier became the 71st head college football coach (all divisions) and the 22nd in Division I history to record 200 wins when he accomplished that feat against UAB in 2012. He ranks third among active Division I coaches with 217 wins. In addition, the HBC has 47 wins as a head coach at the professional level, giving him 264 career wins. NEW TERRITORY: The Gamecocks have been bowl-eligible in each of Coach Spurrier's now nine campaigns. No other coach has taken Carolina to more than three bowl games. Coach Spurrier is 3-4 in bowl games at Carolina, including back-to-back bowl wins over Nebraska (Capital One Bowl) and Michigan (Outback Bowl) in the last two seasons. He is the only Gamecock coach to post three bowl victories. LEADER OF THE PACK: Senior quarterback Connor Shaw is 25-5 as a starter, including a 16-0 mark at home. With 5,610 yards passing and 1,542 yards rushing, he became not only the first 4,000-1,000 yard player in school history, but the first 5,000-1,000. He is the school's all-time leader in completion percentage at 65.1 percent, is second with 52 touchdown passes, and is fourth in total offense with 7,152 yards. Shaw was named one of 16 semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and is one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. PASSING TOUCHDOWNS 1. Steve Taneyhill (1992-95) - 62 2. Connor Shaw (2010-13) - 52 3. Todd Ellis (1986-89) - 49 4. Stephen Garcia (2008-10) - 47 TOTAL OFFENSE 1. Todd Ellis (1986-89) - 9,351 2. Stephen Garcia (2008-11) - 8,374 3. Steve Taneyhill (1992-95) - 8,164 4. Connor Shaw (2010-13) - 7,152 5. Blake Mitchell (2004-07) - 5,873 THROWING STRIKES: When the Gamecocks pitch it around, there's been no one who has been more accurate in school history than Connor Shaw. Shaw is hitting 65.1 percent of his career pass attempts. He had gone a career-best and school record 177 pass attempts without an interception before getting picked at Tennessee. He has now gone 275 passes with just the one INT. This season he ranks fourth in the SEC and 13th in the country in pass efficiency with a mark of 160.8, tossing 20 touchdowns with one interception while completing 61.8 percent of his passes. JUST WIN BABY: Connor Shaw is the winningest quarterback in Carolina history with 25 victories as a starter, passing Todd Ellis on the all-time list. Only five Carolina quarterbacks have recorded 20 or more wins as a starter. Shaw easily has the best winning percentage of those QB's with an 83.3 percent success rate. THROWN' IN THE WIND: Junior Dylan Thompson, a 6-3, 218-pounder from Boiling Springs, S.C., has proven to be a solid backup for Shaw. Thompson is 3-0 as a starter in his career. His two starts in 2012 came against East Carolina and at Clemson and he responded by throwing for over 300 yards with three touchdowns in both of those contests. In addition, he was 7-of-10 for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the bowl win over Michigan, including the game-winning 32-yard pass to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds remaining in the contest. In 2013, Thompson has made one start, getting the nod at Missouri. He went 15-for-27 for 222 yards with one INT in that contest. He also saw significant action at UCF, going 15-for-32 for 261 yards with one pick. For the season, he is 52-of-89 (58.4 percent) for 783 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions. BE LIKE MIKE: Sophomore running back Mike Davis has put together seven 100-yard rushing games this season, earning a midseason addition to the Maxwell Award watch list, and spots on Phil Steele's midseason first-team All-SEC and third-team All-America squads. He is also a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award. The Lithonia, Ga. product is the SEC's leading rusher, averaging 111.2 yards per contest, is third in all-purpose yardage at 144.4 yards per game, and is tied for ninth in scoring at 6.0 points per game. Davis ranks 16th in the nation in rushing and 17th in all-purpose yards. He has scored a touchdown in seven games this season with 10 TDs total. He became the 41st player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard plateau for his career. With 1,387 career yards, he is currently in 26th place on the all-time list. Alex Hawkins is 25th with 1,490 yards. A GRAND SEASON: Mike Davis surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the win over Mississippi State. He has 1,112 yards through 11 games but did not play against Coastal. It's just the 10th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history and he is the eighth player to accomplish the feat (George Rogers did it three times). THE CENTURY CLUB: The Gamecocks have nine 100-yard rushing games this season, seven from Mike Davis and one each from Shon Carson and Jamari Smith, more than doubling their total from a season ago when they got three from Marcus Lattimore and one from Kenny Miles. The Gamecocks have five players on the roster with 100-yard rushing games under their belt, with Davis (7), Carson (1) and Smith (1) joining Brandon Wilds (3) and Connor Shaw (1). Both Wilds and Shaw turned in their 100-yard efforts in 2011. 100 OR BUST: Mike Davis has logged seven 100-yard rushing games this season. Only 10 other Gamecocks have logged as many as seven 100-yard rushing games in a career. Here is the list of the most single-season 100-yard rushing games in school history: GO THE DISTANCE: Mike Davis has logged four rushes of 50 yards or more in his first two seasons. He had a 50-yarder against UAB last season. His 75-yard burst against North Carolina in the 2013 season opener and his first career start was the longest by a Gamecock since Bobby Wallace went for 88 against Middle Tennessee in 2006, and tied for the 12th-longest run in school history. He matched that with another 75-yard burst at Georgia, playing for the first time as a collegian in his home state. Of the 14 runs in school history of 75 yards or longer, Davis is the only one to do it twice. His fourth-career 50-yard jaunt came at UCF, a 53-yard TD run. Only Derek Watson has more runs of 50-plus yards at Carolina. MAKING A POINT: Mike Davis has logged a touchdown in seven games this season, recording 10 TDs overall. That moves him into the top-10 single-season marks in school history: SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING TOUCHDOWN LEADERS 1. Marcus Lattimore (2010) - 17 2. Harold Green (1987) - 15 3. George Rogers (1980) - 14 T4. Jeff Grantz (1975) - 12 T4. Andrew Pinnock (2001) - 12 T6. Derek Watson (2000) - 11 T6. Marcus Lattimore (2012) - 11 T8. Marcus Lattimore (2011) - 10 T8. Mike Davis (2013) - 10 CARSON CITY: The Gamecocks got a big lift from little-used tailback Shon Carson in the win over Florida. Carson, a 5-8, 219-pound sophomore from Scranton, S.C., rushed 13 times for a career-high 102 yards against the Gators, including a key 58-yard burst from the Carolina 5-yard line in the fourth quarter, that led the game-winning field goal. Carson entered the game with just 114 rushing yards through the season's first nine contests. It was his first career 100-yard game. He made his first career start against Coastal Carolina and responded with 38 yards on 11 carries. RETURN OF WILDS: Sophomore tailback Brandon Wilds returned to the playing field against Coastal. Wilds had been sidelined since dislocating his left elbow in the win at Central Florida. When the elbow healed, a hamstring flared up over the last couple of weeks. Wilds carried seven times for 62 yards and two scores against the Chants. For the season he has rushed 37 times for 202 yards, an average of 5.5 yards per rush with three touchdowns. The Blythewood, S.C. product has three 100-yard rushing games in his career. MR. SMITH COMES TO COLUMBIA: True freshman Jamari Smith, who is fourth on the depth chart, made his first impact for the Garnet & Black in the win over Coastal Carolina. The Jacksonville, Fla. product entered the game with just four carries for five yards on the season, but rushed 10 times for 103 yards and a score against CCU, including a 52-yard burst. ON THE RECEIVING END: The Gamecocks have spread the wealth in the passing game this season with 18 different players getting receptions and four different players leading the team in receiving. The Gamecocks list no seniors on the three-deep at the three wide receiver positions. Bruce Ellington is the top receiver. He logged 40 receptions for 600 yards and seven touchdowns last season, including two scores against Clemson. After a slow start this year, he broke loose against Vanderbilt, catching eight passes for 111 yards, both then-career highs. He topped that with a 10-catch, 136-yard, 2-touchdown effort at Missouri. For the season, he has a team-high 39 catches for a team-leading 584 yards with six touchdowns, including two against both Arkansas and Missouri. Ellington went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for his career in the win at UCF. With 14 touchdown receptions he is ninth on Carolina's all-time list. With four more catches he will become the 14th player in school history with 100 career receptions. Damiere Byrd, the fastest player on the squad, has come on strong after a slow start. After logging just three catches for 34 yards in the first three contests, he has 27 receptions for 515 yards in the last eight games. He caught a career-high five passes for 74 yards at UCF, then logged another five-catch game against Kentucky, this time for 98 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown reception. He added a 45-yard scoring pass at Arkansas. At Tennessee, he had four catches for a career-high 121 yards, including a 76-yard TD. He has 30 catches on the season for 549 yards with four touchdowns. Shaq Roland, the 2011 "Mr. Football" recipient in the state of South Carolina, caught four passes for 72 yards and a score against Coastal last week. He averages 18.9 yards per catch with four touchdowns. Three of his last seven receptions have been scores. Nick Jones is not the biggest guy on the roster or have the most raw talent. All he does is catch passes. The 5-7, 174-pounder from Moore, S.C. had his best game as a Gamecock, catching six passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the loss at Georgia, all career highs. His previous highs were four receptions (4 times) and 78 receiving yards. For the season, he has 24 catches for 256 yards and five scores. He had just one career touchdown coming into the season. HANGIN' WITH MR. COOPER: Pharoh Cooper has seen more action as the season has progressed, logging time at wide receiver, as the kickoff and punt returner and taking the direct snap in the "wildcat" formation. Cooper has caught three passes for 54 yards and a score, has rushed 14 times for 175 yards including a 71-yard scoring burst against Coastal, and has completed his only pass. He also has averaged 21.5 yards on 11 kick returns and 4.4 yards on nine punt returns. SCORING WITH BRUCE: Junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington has logged six touchdown receptions this season and has 14 in his career. That moves him into sole possession of ninth place in school history. CAREER RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS T1. Sidney Rice (2005-06) - 23 T1. Alshon Jeffery (2009-11) - 23 T3. Robert Brooks (1988-91) - 19 T3. Jermale Kelly (1997-00) - 19 T3. Kenny McKinley (2005-08) - 19 T6. Sterling Sharpe (1983-87) - 17 T6. Zola Davis (1995-98) - 17 8. Philip Logan (1974-77) - 15 9. Bruce Ellington (2011-13) - 14 10. Four Players Tied - 13 MORE BYRD DROPPINGS: Junior wide receiver Damiere Byrd earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District 4 Team as a wide receiver for the second-consecutive year. To be nominated, student-athletes must have a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average. He majors in sport and entertainment management. STELLAR TIGHT ENDS: The Gamecocks are blessed with a pair of standout tight ends. Junior Rory "Busta" Anderson is an All-SEC candidate. He came into the season with eight touchdown receptions among his 22 career catches but has not reached paydirt yet this season despite 17 receptions. Sophomore Jerell Adams averaged over 22 yards a catch on just four receptions last season, and has a 17.0-yard average this year. The two combined for six catches and 86 receiving yards in the win at Missouri. With the 6-5, 242-pound Anderson and the 6-6, 237-pound Adams, both can present a matchup advantage. THE O-LINE: The Gamecocks boast a veteran offensive line with four returning starters. Junior left guard A.J. Cann is the most experienced of the group with 36 career starts, the most on the squad, and is an All-SEC candidate. He was a midseason first-team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele. Senior right guard Ronald Patrick started all 13 games last season and has started 23 of the last 24 games, missing the Tennessee contest with a high ankle sprain. Junior left tackle Corey Robinson started nine of the final 10 games a season ago, while right tackle Brandon Shell was a Freshman All-American while making 10 starts in 2012. The two tackles have started every game this season. A pair of redshirt freshmen, Cody Waldrop and Clayton Stadnik have split time at center. Waldrop started the opener, but suffered a foot sprain in the win over North Carolina. He was replaced by Stadnik, who started the next two games before Waldrop returned to face UCF. Waldrop continued to be plagued by injuries, so Stadnik started the next five games before Waldrop returned to the starting lineup against Florida. Clayton's twin brother, Brock, is also a member of the Carolina offensive line, and was the more highly-recruited of the two. The two played side-by-side at the collegiate level for the first time in the win at Arkansas. AS GOOD AS IT GETS: The 2013 Gamecocks feature one of the game's top players in junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney, who is regarded by most as the top defensive player in the country and a likely top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was just the second Gamecock to earn unanimous All-America honors in 2012, joining George Rogers from his Heisman Trophy season in 1980. Clowney was named the Hendricks Award winner as the nation's top defensive end, and the All-America Player of the Year, presented by AT&T as selected by the fans on ESPN.com. He finished sixth in the Heisman race and was a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award and the Bednarik Award after being named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches. Clowney was named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: Coming off his trip to L.A. to receive the ESPY Award for the top play of the year, Jadeveon Clowney continues to cause havoc for quarterbacks around the southeast. As a sophomore, Clowney set school records last season for sacks in a game (4.5 at Clemson), sacks in a season (13.0) and tackles for loss in a season (23.5). The 6-6, 274-pounder was on everyone's preseason All-America list. With 2.0 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss this season, he continues to move up the all-time Carolina charts in those categories. In addition, he has a school-record nine career forced fumbles. Here is where the junior ranks on Carolina's all-time lists: CAREER TACKLES FOR LOSS 1. Eric Norwood (2006-09) - 54.5 2. Jadeveon Clowney (2011-13) - 44.0 3. Devin Taylor (2009-12) - 35.5 4. Andrew Provence (1980-82) - 35.0 5. Frank Wright (1981-84) - 32.0 CAREER SACKS 1. Eric Norwood (2006-09) - 29.0 2. Andrew Provence (1980-82) - 26.0 3. John Abraham (1996-99) - 23.5 4. Jadeveon Clowney (2011-13) - 23.0 5. Melvin Ingram (2007-11) - 21.5 CAREER FORCED FUMBLES 1. Jadeveon Clowney (2011-13) - 9 2. John Abraham (1996-99) - 8 T3. Ricky Hagood (1980-83) - 7 T3. Stacy Evans (1993-94) - 7 T3. Cliff Matthews (2007-10) - 7 FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: Junior Kelcy Quarles, an All-SEC candidate, is reaping the benefits of the attention Clowney draws. Quarles leads the team and is tied for fourth in the SEC in sacks (7.0) and leads the team and is sixth in the SEC in tackles for loss (11.0), surpassing his 2012 totals of 3.5 sacks and 8.0 TFLs. Fifth-year senior Chaz Sutton, who has spent the past two years backing up Clowney and Devin Taylor, is third on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss and has 18.0 in his career. BEHIND ENEMY LINES: The Gamecocks have tallied 74 tackles for loss, an average of 6.7 tackles for loss per game, fourth in the SEC and 31st in the country, including a season-high 14 in the loss at Tennessee. 23 different players have contributed to the TFLs, led by Kelcy Quarles (11.0), Jadeveon Clowney (8.5), Chaz Sutton (6.5) and Sharrod Golightly (6.0). SACK MASTERS: The Gamecocks led the SEC and finished fifth in the country with 43 sacks a year ago. This season, Carolina has 19 sacks, an average of 1.7 per game. YOUNG `BACKERS: The Gamecocks graduated five seniors who manned the linebacker and Spur positions a year ago and have a host of youngsters to fill in those slots this season. True freshman Skai Moore has taken over the starting duties at the Will linebacker slot and leads the team with 48 tackles. Marcquis Roberts, who also plays the Will position, has 42. Mike linebackers Kaiwan Lewis (39) and T.J. Holloman (41) also rank among the team's top eight tacklers. SHARING THE WEALTH: The Gamecocks have used the team approach in stopping their opponents this season. Eight players, Skai Moore (48), Jimmy Legree (43), Marcquis Roberts (42), Sharrod Golightly (42), T.J. Holloman (41), Victor Hampton (41), Brison Williams (40) and Kaiwan Lewis (39) have between 39 and 48 tackles this season. An additional four players have 30 or more stops. SECONDARY IN NATURE: South Carolina returned three starters in the secondary in junior cornerback Victor Hampton, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree and junior safety Brison Williams. Hampton is considered the shutdown corner and was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week against Mississippi State, while Legree has played both corner and safety during his career. Legree has six picks in his career, one more than Hampton. The Gamecocks intercepted three passes against Mississippi State after logging just six picks through the first eight contests. Legree's late INT sealed the win over Florida. They added two more against Coastal Carolina. THE FRISCO KID: True freshman Elliott Fry walked on to the Gamecock squad this summer and earned the starting placekicking chores. The Frisco, Texas product is 14-for-17 in field goal attempts and has hit eight of his last nine attempts after making his first five attempts of the season. He connected on 2-of-3 at Missouri, hitting from 20-yards out in the fourth quarter then nailing the eventual game-winner in the second overtime from 40-yards away, earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He was successful on both of his kicks against Mississippi State, including a then-season-long 44-yarder. His career-high four field goals against Florida, including a career-long 45-yarder, proved to be the difference in the game and earned him SEC Freshman of the Week accolades. He is seventh in the SEC in scoring and fourth among kickers, averaging 8.0 points per game. He became the first true freshman placekicker to kick in the Gamecocks' season opener since Courtney Leavitt in 1996. WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Elliott Fry is quickly moving up the charts at South Carolina: SINGLE-SEASON PATs MADE 1. Spencer Lanning (2010) - 51 2. Jay Wooten (2011) - 50 3. Adam Yates (2012) - 49 4. Elliott Fry (2013) - 46 5. Scott Hagler (1984) - 45 POINTS SCORED 1. Marcus Lattimore (2010) - 114 2. Collin Mackie (1987) - 113 3. Spencer Lanning (2010) - 102 4. Harold Green (1987) - 96 5. Ryan Succop (2008) - 90 6. Elliott Fry (2013) - 88 HULL OF A PUNTER: Junior Tyler Hull is in his second season as the Gamecocks' punter. The 6-2, 206-pounder from Mount Airy, N.C. spent his first season at Guilford College before transferring to South Carolina just prior to the start of the 2012 campaign. Last season, he averaged 39.4 yards per punt. This year he is averaging 38.2 yards per punt with nine of his 38 punts inside the 20 and a long of 55 yards. He punted eight times at Tennessee and eight times versus Mississippi State after logging just 16 punts through the first six games. GAMECOCKS IN THE SEC: The Gamecocks are in their 22nd season of SEC play in 2013. They have played 176 SEC regular-season contests since joining the league. They have just a .446 all-time winning percentage in SEC play, but have a 23-9 mark (.719) since the 2010 season. AN SEC SIX-PACK: The Gamecocks went 6-2 in the SEC for the third-straight season. They had never logged six SEC wins in a season prior to 2011. They finished the 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2010 seasons with 5-3 SEC marks. Carolina posted at least a .500 conference mark for the 11th time in 22 seasons and have put together four-straight .500-or-better SEC records for the first time in history. BEATING THE EAST: The Gamecocks went 4-2 against SEC Eastern Division foes this season and are 18-4 over the past four seasons. They had never won more than four games in the division prior to Coach Spurrier's arrival, but have done it five times since 2005: ROAD WARRIORS: The Gamecocks are 12-5 in their last 17 true road contests. Four of the five road losses in that stretch came to nationally-ranked opponents: at No. 8 Arkansas in 2011, at No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida in 2012 and at No. 11 Georgia in 2013, before losing to unranked Tennessee earlier this season. Those are the only five losses for Connor Shaw as the starting QB. COMEBACK OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: The Gamecocks rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter on the road to the No. 5 team in the country to pull out a 27-24 double-overtime win against Missouri earlier this season. That victory has to be considered as one of the greatest come-from-behind wins in school history. It was the largest comeback by the Gamecocks at any point of a game since rallying from a 17-point second-quarter deficit vs. East Carolina on Sept. 3, 2011. Connor Shaw (offense), Kelcy Quarles (defensive line) and Elliott Fry (special teams) all earned SEC Player-of-the-Week honors for their efforts. KEEPING THE FANS HAPPY: The Gamecocks have taken care of business against their top rivals in recent seasons. Since 2010, they are an impressive 12-3 against SEC Eastern Division rivals Georgia (3-1), Florida (3-1) and Tennessee (3-1) and against in-state rival Clemson (3-0). In fact, Carolina has won the Palmetto State Championship four years in a row, the longest winning streak over the Tigers since 1951-54. FIRST TIMERS: 22 Gamecocks have made their first career starts this season. Eight made their first career start in the season-opening win over North Carolina, including four on offense (TB Mike Davis, TE Drew Owens, WR Shaq Roland and OC Cody Waldrop) and four on defense (Spur Sharrod Golightly, LB Kaiwan Lewis, SS Kadetrix Marcus and LB Marcquis Roberts). OC Clayton Stadnik and CB Ahmad Christian both made their first career starts at Georgia. Mason Zandi, who has spent the majority of his young career at tackle, made a start at tight end against Vanderbilt. Fullback Connor McLaurin, defensive end Darius English and linebacker T.J. Holloman all made their first start against Kentucky. Cornerback Rico McWilliams and safety Chaz Elder both made their first starts at Arkansas. Offensive guard Will Sport and wide receiver Pharoh Cooper made their first starts at Tennessee. Safety Chaz Elder made his first start against Mississippi State. Tailback Shon Carson, defensive tackle Phillip Dukes and defensive end Gerald Dixon all got the nod for their first start against Coastal Carolina. EVERY TIME OUT: Seven players have started every game this year, three on offense and four on defense: Junior offensive guard A.J. Cann, junior spur Sharrod Golightly, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree, junior offensive tackle Corey Robinson, sophomore offensive tackle Brandon Shell, junior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt and senior defensive end Chaz Sutton. THEY PAY TO SEE THE GAMECOCKS PLAY: The winning on the field has translated into fans in the stands. Every game this season has been declared a sell out. The last time Carolina sold out seven games in a season was in 1980. Buoyed by 51,967 season tickets, the Gamecocks rank 14th in the nation in average attendance at 82,105, which would establish a new school record. The single-game high this year was 83,853 for the Florida contest, ranking 10th on the all-time list, in the 80,250-seat Williams-Brice Stadium. Carolina ranks eighth in the NCAA averaging 102.48 percent of seating capacity. The stadium record for one game was set last season against Georgia when 85,199 packed WBS to see a Carolina 35-7 win over the Bulldogs.
  13. Gamecock Gameday: Football Hosts Coastal Carolina On Saturday From USC Sports Information 11/22/13 Kickoff set for 1 p.m. on PPV South Carolina Notes COLUMBIA, S.C. - The No. 12/11 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 SEC) host FCS instate foe Coastal Carolina (10-1, 4-1 Big South) on Saturday, November 23 at Williams-Brice Stadium. This is the first time the two schools have met on the gridiron. Game time is set for 1 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on a pay-for-view basis throughout the Palmetto State and nationally on ESPN3 with the Carolina Radio Network providing the announcing crew (please note ESPN3 is blacked out in the state of South Carolina). Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Langston Moore on the sidelines. WKNT in Columbia (107.5 The Game) is the flagship station for Gamecock Athletics.. GAME INFORMATION Date: Saturday, November 23 Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Stadium: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) Series: First meeting TV: Institutional PPV & ESPN3 (ESPN3 is blacked out in state of South Carolina) RADIO Flagship - 107.5 FM "The Game" & the IMG Network; National Radio - Touchdown Radio A LITTLE HISTORY: 2013 marks the 120th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 107th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 26 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 573-547-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 35 games over since. SEC HISTORY: The 2013 season marks South Carolina's 22nd year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. The Gamecocks are 78-97-1 all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 23-9 since 2010 in conference action. GAMECOCKS VS. CHANTS: This is this first time the Gamecocks and Chanticleers have ever met on the gridiron. The teams are scheduled to meet again in 2016 in Columbia, as Coastal Carolina works its way into the in-state FCS rotation on the Gamecocks' schedule. SPURRIER VS. COASTAL: Head coach Steve Spurrier has never faced Coastal Carolina. This will be the 64th different school he has faced as a head coach. It is his 298th career game as a college head coach. IN-STATE FCS FOES: Since the regular season was expanded to 12 games in 2006, the Gamecocks have hosted an in-state FCS opponent every year. They are 7-0 in those contests, defeating Wofford (2006, 2008, 2012), South Carolina State (2007, 2009), Furman (2010) and The Citadel (2011). Furman (2014) and The Citadel (2015) are on the Gamecocks' schedule over the next two years with Coastal Carolina slated to return to Columbia in 2016. BASKIN-ROBBINS WOULD BE PROUD: The Gamecocks have won 31-consecutive games against teams outside the BCS automatic qualifying conferences dating back to a 1999 loss to East Carolina. STREAKING OUTSIDE THE SEC: The Gamecocks have taken care of business in recent years against non-conference opponents. A few of the current winning streaks: South Carolina has won 12-straight games against non-conference opponents. It's last non-conference loss came to Florida State in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. South Carolina has won 18-straight regular-season games against non-conference opponents. The last regular-season non-conference loss came at Clemson in the 2008 regular-season finale. South Carolina has won 16-straight home games against non-conference opponents. It's last home loss to a non-conference team was to Clemson in the 2007 regular-season finale. BOWL ELIGIBLE: South Carolina is 8-2 on the season and is bowl-eligible for the 10th-straight year. It's the third-straight season that the Gamecocks have opened with eight wins in their first 10 games. Both the 2011 and `12 teams won their final three contests (including the bowl game) to finish 11-2. GOOD HOME COOKIN': The Gamecocks have established a new school record by winning their last 16 games at Williams-Brice Stadium. They are also 32-3 (.914 winning percentage) in their last 35 home games. The only home losses since 2009 came to top-ranked Florida in 2009, to 17th-ranked Arkansas in 2010 and to defending national champion Auburn in 2011. The Gamecocks' 16-game home winning streak is the longest in the nation, two more than Ohio State and Stanford. Northern Illinois has won 25-straight games in its home stadium, but the NCAA considers its loss to Iowa at Chicago's Soldier Field in the 2012 season opener as a "home" loss and credits them with a 10-game home winning streak. TOP HOME STREAKS: The Gamecocks have won 16-straight home games, the longest streak in school history, surpassing the mark of 15 set from 1978-80. PERFECT AT HOME: The Gamecocks are 5-0 at home this season. They went 7-0 at home in 2012. It marked the first time they ran the table at home since joining the SEC. The last time they had gone undefeated at home prior to 2012 was in 1987. They have been undefeated and untied at home 10 times. STILL IN THE HUNT: Carolina posted a 6-2 SEC mark for the third-straight season, something that had never been accomplished before 2011. With a win earlier this season over Missouri, the Gamecocks hold the tie-breaker over the SEC Eastern Division-leading Tigers. If Missouri loses either at Ole Miss or at home versus Texas A&M, South Carolina would represent the East in the SEC Championship for the second time in four years. This year's game will be played in Atlanta on December 7 at 4 p.m. If Mizzou wins out, it would mark the third-consecutive year that Carolina would have defeated the Eastern Division champion. The winner of the "Iron Bowl" between top-ranked Alabama and Auburn will represent the West in the SEC Championship game. INDIVIDUAL HONORS: Several Gamecocks are still in the hunt for postseason individual national honors. Quarterback Connor Shaw is one of 10 finalists for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and is one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award. Running back Mike Davis is one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award. THE LAST TIME OUT: The No. 11/12 Gamecocks rallied from a 14-6 halftime deficit to defeat the Florida Gators, 19-14, on Saturday, November 16, at Williams-Brice Stadium in front of a home season-high 83,853 fans. Elliott Fry booted a career-high four field goals and little-used tailback Shon Carson rushed for 102 yards on 13 carries, including a key fourth-quarter 58-yard burst that led to the game-winning points. Bruce Ellington scored Carolina's only TD on a 32-yard pass from Connor Shaw in the third quarter. The Gamecock defense pitched a shutout in the second half, holding the Gators to 130 total yards over the final two periods. FOUR FOR THE MONEY: True freshman walk-on placekicker Elliott Fry came up big for the Gamecocks in the win over Florida. The Frisco, Texas product converted four-of-five field goal attempts, including a career-long 45-yarder, as he tallied 13 of the Gamecocks' 19 points on the night. Fry is now 14-of-17 on the season, hitting on 82.4 percent of his field goal attempts. CARSON CITY: The Gamecocks got a big lift from little-used tailback Shon Carson in the win over Florida. Carson, a 5-8, 219-pound sophomore from Scranton, S.C., rushed 13 times for a career-high 102 yards against the Gators, including a key 58-yard burst from the Carolina 5-yard line in the fourth quarter, that led the game-winning field goal. Carson entered the game with just 114 rushing yards through the season's first nine contests. It was his first career 100-yard game. BEST OFFENSE IN HISTORY?: Carolina is averaging 448.5 yards per game of total offense, including 197.1 on the ground and 251.4 through the air. They are on pace to shatter the school record for average yards of total offense. CHARTING THE DRIVES: Through six games, Carolina had been one of the best teams in the country in logging the fewest 3-and-outs, recording just seven in their first 60 drives. For the season, Carolina has been held to 3-and-out 24 times in 112 drives, 21.4 percent of the time. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks have scored on 52-of-112 drives, 46.4 percent, with 38 TDs. BETTER THAN AVERAGE: The Carolina defense has held eight of its 10 opponents below their season scoring average, with five held double-digits below that average. Only Georgia and Kentucky have scored more against the Gamecocks than their season average. Overall, Carolina is holding its opponents to eight points less a game than they are accustomed to scoring. THE GOLDEN AGE OF GAMECOCK FOOTBALL: The Gamecocks have put together back-to-back 11-win seasons, the first back-to-back double-digit win seasons in school history. The only previous 10-win campaign came in 1984. Entering the 2013 campaign, the Gamecocks had won 22 games over the past two seasons, 31 over the past three seasons, and 38 over the past four seasons, all school records. This year's senior class has surpassed last year's senior class for the most wins in a four-year period in school history with 39 victories. WINNING NINE IS FINE: A win over Coastal Carolina would give the Gamecocks a nine-win season for the fourth-straight year. Prior to the current stretch, they had only won nine games twice in school history. THE HEAD BALL COACH: Steve Spurrier is in his ninth season directing the Gamecock football program. He has logged a 74-39 mark (.655) in Columbia. The Head Ball Coach is Carolina's winningest coach with 74 victories and is second in games coached with 113, behind Rex Enright (140). Coach Spurrier owns a 216-79-2 mark (.731) in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach, with previous stops at Duke and Florida. ATOP THE LIST: Steve Spurrier became the all-time winningest coach at Carolina in the 2012 the regular-season finale at Clemson, surpassing Rex Enright (64) for the most coaching wins in school history. He is also the winningest coach at Florida with 122 victories. The legendary Bear Bryant (60 at Kentucky and 232 at Alabama) is the only other coach to own the most wins at two SEC schools. YES THEY CALL IT A STREAK: The Gamecocks are tied for the fifth-longest current streak of being ranked in the Associated Press's Top 25. Carolina and Stanford have been ranked for 60-consecutive weeks, trailing only Alabama, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma. Carolina's streak started with the second week of the 2010 season and is the longest consecutive streak in school history. LEADER OF THE PACK: Senior quarterback Connor Shaw is 24-5 as a starter, including a 15-0 mark at home. With 5,495 yards passing and 1,503 yards rushing, he became not only the first 4,000-1,000 yard player in school history, but the first 5,000-1,000. He is the school's all-time leader in completion percentage at 65.0 percent, is second with 51 touchdown passes, and is fourth in total offense with 6,998 yards. Shaw has been named one of 16 semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and is one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. JUST WIN BABY: Connor Shaw became just the fifth quarterback at Carolina to record 20 or more wins as a starter. With the win over Florida, he has tied Todd Ellis's school record of 24 career wins as the starting quarterback. Shaw easily has the best winning percentage of the QB's with 20 or more wins with an 82.8 percent success rate. BE LIKE MIKE: Sophomore running back Mike Davis has put together seven 100-yard rushing games this season, earning a midseason addition to the Maxwell Award watch list, and spots on Phil Steele's midseason first-team All-SEC and third-team All-America squads. He became the 41st player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard plateau for his career. The Lithonia, Ga. product is the SEC's leading rusher, averaging 111.2 yards per contest, is third in all-purpose yardage at 144.4 yards per game, and is tied for ninth in scoring at 6.0 points per game. Davis ranks 17th in the nation in both rushing and all-purpose yards. He has scored a touchdown in seven of 10 games this season with 10 TDs total. STELLAR TIGHT ENDS: The Gamecocks are blessed with a pair of standout tight ends. Junior Rory "Busta" Anderson is an All-SEC candidate. He came into the season with eight touchdown receptions among his 22 career catches. Sophomore Jerell Adams averaged over 22 yards a catch on just four receptions last season, and has maintained that average this season. The two combined for six catches and 86 receiving yards in the win at Missouri. SHARING THE WEALTH: The Gamecocks have used the team approach in stopping their opponents this season. Four players, Skai Moore (44), Jimmy Legree (41), Sharrod Golightly (41) and Brison Williams (40) have 40 tackles or more. An additional seven players have 30 or more stops. FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: Junior Kelcy Quarles, an All-SEC candidate, is reaping the benefits of the attention Clowney draws. Quarles leads the team and is fourth in the SEC in sacks (7.0) and leads the team and is third in the SEC in tackles for loss (11.0), surpassing his 2012 totals of 3.5 sacks and 8.0 TFLs. Fifth-year senior Chaz Sutton, who has spent the past two years backing up Clowney and Devin Taylor, logged 5.0 sacks last season. He is third on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss this season and has 18.0 in his career. BEHIND ENEMY LINES: The Gamecocks have tallied 71 tackles for loss, an average of 7.1 tackles for loss per game, second in the SEC and 21st in the country, including a season-high 14 in the loss at Tennessee. 21 different players have contributed to the TFLs, led by Kelcy Quarles (11.0), Jadeveon Clowney (8.5), Chaz Sutton (6.5), Sharrod Golightly (6.0) and Jimmy Legree (5.5). THE FRISCO KID: True freshman Elliott Fry walked on to the Gamecock squad this summer and earned the starting placekicking chores. The Frisco, Texas product is 14-for-17 in field goal attempts and has hit eight of his last nine attempts after making his first five attempts of the season. He connected on 2-of-3 at Missouri, hitting from 20-yards out in the fourth quarter then nailing the eventual game-winner in the second overtime from 40-yards away, earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He was successful on both of his kicks against Mississippi State, including a then-season-long 44-yarder. His career-high four field goals against Florida, including a career-long 45-yarder, proved to be the difference in the game. He is sixth in the SEC in scoring among kickers, averaging 7.8 points per game. He became the first true freshman placekicker to kick in the Gamecocks' season opener since Courtney Leavitt in 1996. WHAT'S NEXT: The regular season will conclude with the annual Palmetto State Showdown with the Clemson Tigers (9-1) on Saturday, November 30, at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks will be looking to make it a school-record five-straight wins over their rivals from the ACC.

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