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1984 Season Game Week Flashback


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A national (ABC-TV) television audience and a Williams-Brice Stadium record crowd of 75,000 was treated to Carolina's finest performance of the year in a 38-26 triumph over Florida State, which came into the Gamecocks' ninth game of the season 6-1-1 and ranked nationally .

Quarterback Allen Mitchell (11) hands off to Thomas Dendy (31) as Quinton Lewis (9) and Del Wilkes (62) lead the way. (below)

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After falling behind 7-0, Carolina tied it on Dendy's 57-yard run and before the Seminoles were to cross the goal line again, Carolina ran up a 38-7 lead, intercepting a school record of seven passes — four of them by Bryant Gilliard — to improve their record to 9-0 and vault to the second spot in the national polls.

Running back Thomas Dendy (31) completes his 57-yard run for a touchdown against Florida State. (below)

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Raynard Brown set a school record by returning the second half kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, Dendy scored a second time, and Allen Mitchell threw two TD passes, one each to Danny Smith and Bill Bradshaw. Scott Hagler added a field goal.

Raynard Brown (30) catches the ball prior to his infamous 99-yard return for a TD. (below)

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During USC's nationally-televised game with Florida State some Carolina fans show their spirit while showing off the national coverage. (below)

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James Sumpter (47) stops a Florida State running back on fourth-and-short. (below)

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Defensive tackle Fitzgerald Davis (53) makes a tackle against the Seminoles. (below)

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Eighteen scouts representing nine bowl games watched from the press box as the Gamecocks became the most sought after team for post-season play.

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This thread brings back numerous emotions.  I played on my high school team, we were a preseason pick to be one of the top teams in 3A in the upstate, if not the state.  Unfortunately we were run over by a Paul Vogel lead Eastside team, in the first game of the year, as they went on to win the 4A state championship.  We would officially bow out of the playoff picture with our annual defeat to Pickens High at the end of the season.

1984 was a transitional season in my life that was supplemented my professional advance in the military.  I graduated from Army Aviation Flight School in Aug and was riding a life high culminated when I attended the Pittsburg game.  It was a glorious victory on a crystal clear, cold Saturday afternoon.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I watched the FSU game as I packed my bag to leave the next week headed to Fulda Germany on the adventure of my life.  These weeks of my life were the best memories I have of early adulthood in my civilian life.

I have many problems with our team, but 1984 locked me in for life as a Gamecock fan……and I’ll always be!

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9 minutes ago, Denny Crane said:

This thread brings back numerous emotions.  I played on my high school team, we were a preseason pick to be one of the top teams in 3A in the upstate, if not the state.  Unfortunately we were run over by a Paul Vogel lead Eastside team, in the first game of the year, as they went on to win the 4A state championship.  We would officially bow out of the playoff picture with our annual defeat to Pickens High at the end of the season.

1984 was a transitional season in my life that was supplemented my professional advance in the military.  I graduated from Army Aviation Flight School in Aug and was riding a life high culminated when I attended the Pittsburg game.  It was a glorious victory on a crystal clear, cold Saturday afternoon.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I watched the FSU game as I packed my bag to leave the next week headed to Fulda Germany on the adventure of my life.  These weeks of my life were the best memories I have of early adulthood in my civilian life.

I have many problems with our team, but 1984 locked me in for life as a Gamecock fan……and I’ll always be!

What did you pilot? 

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1984 IROC Z28

CHEVROLET-Camaro-IROC-Z28-1862_13.jpeg

'84 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z

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'84 Vette

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1984 Mitsubishi Starion

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I remember the local Mitsubishi dealer sponsoring a promotion that involved paying to drive a Starion through a pylon course on one of the campus parking lots back in the day to generate interest in the car.

We tend to take the cars with outrageous horsepower for granted these days, but back then the Camaros and Mustangs were barely over the 200 HP mark.  Only 305s in the Z-28s and Trans Ams, with optional 350s in the IROC and GTA models.  Only the Vette had a 350 standard IIRC.  The Mustang GT was late to the muscle car revival, but had the slightly more powerful 5.0 Liter engine.

'84 Dodge Shelby Charger

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  • 2 weeks later...

Visions of a national championship suffered a severe setback in Game 10 at Annapolis, MD, when the Navy Midshipmen put it to the Gamecocks with a 38-21 upset. Carolina drove 80 yards for a second quarter touchdown and a 7-7 tie, but then fell behind 38-7, before scoring two late touchdowns, the second an 81-yard bomb from Mike Hold to Eric Poole.

The loss dropped Carolina seven spots to ninth in both wire service polls going into the regular season finale at Clemson, where the Gamecocks had not won since 1970.

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The view of the Navy upset from the other side from an article written last month as Navy was facing #2 Cincinnati, Joe Morrison's alma mater.

"The Navy football program is no stranger to games against highly-ranked opposition. Over the last 50 years, the Mids have made frequent appearances on the schedules of Notre Dame, Michigan, Pitt, Penn State, and Syracuse, among others. Tomorrow's game against #2 Cincinnati will be the latest in a long history.

However, while playing games against top-10 teams isn't unusual for Navy, playing them in Annapolis is. Traditionally, Navy has moved its highest-profile matchups to Baltimore. When the Mids and the Bearcats meet in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, it will be only the ninth time a top-10 team has visited the building since it opened in 1959. Most recently, Navy toppled sixth-ranked Houston, 46-40, in 2016. The last time a team ranked as high as Cincinnati came to town, the Mids walked away with a colossal 38-21 win over #2 South Carolina on Senior Day in 1984.

By 1984, Navy's spiral into the abyss was already well underway. George Welsh had left for Virginia after the 1981 season. The Mids put together a 6-5 campaign in their first year under Gary Tranquill, but fell to 3-8 in 1983. Nevertheless, there was still some optimism for a return to glory heading into the 1984 season. The previous season had ended with a 42-13 mauling of Army in Pasadena. Napoleon McCallum was emerging as a legitimate star, and sophomore Bill Byrne showed great promise at quarterback. With a thrilling 33-30 win over North Carolina to start the campaign, the optimism seemed justified. Sadly, it all fell apart the following week against Virginia when McCallum suffered a season-ending injury. Byrne would go down as well against Notre Dame later in the year, and the Mids limped into their home finale with a disappointing 3-5-1 record and seemingly little hope against the #2 team in the nation.

South Carolina, on the other hand, was in the middle of the best season in school history. Joe Morrison led the Gamecocks to a 9-0 record with wins over Georgia, Notre Dame, and Florida State. Their split-back veer offense was averaging 35 points per game. Orange Bowl officials were in attendance at the game, giddy at the thought of matching up #2 South Carolina with #1 Nebraska. A national championship was within reach.

Unfortunately for South Carolina, Navy had one last great performance left in them. What followed was the most incredible win by a service academy in the modern age.

What was so remarkable about that game wasn't just that Navy dominated, but that they dominated despite playing a game that was far from perfect. The offense turned the ball over three times and gave South Carolina the ball in Navy territory on each of their first two possessions. Yet the Gamecocks came away with no points off of those turnovers thanks almost entirely to Eric Rutherford, who blocked a field goal attempt on Carolina's first possession, then had a third-down sack on their second possession to set up fourth and long, forcing the Gamecocks to punt. By the game's end, Rutherford had 11 tackles, four sacks, one forced fumble, one blocked field goal, and one halftime interview filled with enough swagger to make the hair on your chest grow half an inch. He barely missed out on a fifth sack when the quarterback was able to stumble forward for half a yard, and the pressure brought by Rutherford and others led to one of Mike Hold's two interceptions."

 

https://navy.rivals.com/news/looking-back-navy-38-2-south-carolina-21

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Navy's upset win against us made the New York Times in 1984.

Quote

Afterward, Orange Bowl officials visited the South Carolina dressing room, but did not extend the invitation. ''They said we're not out of the picture,'' Sid Wilson, South Carolina's assistant athletic director, said. ''They said they have to go back and think it over.''

''We know we'll go to a bowl, but we're not sure which one.''

South Carolina fans had already bought more than 6,000 tickets for the Orange Bowl.

https://www.nytimes.com/1984/11/18/sports/carolina-stunned-by-navy.html

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The stunning loss to Navy dropped Carolina seven spots to ninth in both wire service polls going into the regular season finale at Clemson, where the Gamecocks had not won since 1970.

Clemson dominated play most of the record first half, taking a 21-3 lead, before Carolina drove 83 yards in seven plays just before intermission. On fourth and nine from the Clemson 10, Scott Hagler missed a 27-yard field goal, but Clemson was penalized to the five for running into the kicker. The Gamecock coaching staff decided to go for the touchdown and Quinton Lewis burst into the end zone to cut the halftime deficit to 21-10.

Gamecock QB Mike Hold (7) scrambles against the Clemson defense. (below)

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The "Fire Ant" defense shut the Tigers out in the second half and put points on the scoreboard in the form of a safety when Tony Guyton and Willie Mclntee sacked Tiger quarterback Mike Eppley in the end zone. That made the score 21-12, and a Hagler field goal made it 21-15 with Carolina regaining possession at its own 16 yard line with 3:07 left in the game.

The "Fire Ants" attack again as a Clemson running back is stacked up by Glenn Woodley (94), Frank Wright (90), and Willie Mclntee (88). (below)

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Another sack for the "Fire Ants." Freshman linebacker Carl Hill (85) sacks Clemson quarterback for a loss during USC's upset of the Tigers in the Valley. (below)

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Hill was named Freshman All-American by Football News.

Defensive tackle Fitzgerald Davis (53) runs down a Clemson running back. (below)

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Davis had his best game of the season against Clemson.

Mike Hold directed an 84-yard, eight-play drive for the tying touchdown. only pass completion was a 36 yarder to Chris Wade for a crucial first down. Quinton Lewis ran for 16, Dendy for 18, and Hold twice to the Clemson two where a face mask violation put the ball at the Tiger one. Hold kept for the touchdown with 54 seconds remaining.

Running back Thomas Dendy (31) finds open field as he breaks a long run against Clemson. (below)

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Scott Hagler, going for a school record of 43rd consecutive PATs to break the tie, appeared to have missed, but Clemson had 12 players on the field.  Given a second try, Hagler was true and the Gamecocks held off a desperation Clemson barrage of passes for a 22-21 win. 

Quinton Lewis (9) celebrates in the end zone after Mike Hold scores the game-winning touchdown against Clemson. (below)

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Immediately after the game, the Gamecocks accepted a bid to the Dec. 28 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, where the opponent would be Oklahoma State.

The 1984 season contained many superlatives.  The exciting veer offense behind a senior line anchored by All-American Del Wilkes, featured 14 different players with rushing attempts, a two-quarterback system, 11 different pass receivers, and 15 different players who contributed to a school record of 357 points on 47 touchdowns, 43 kicked PATs, three two-point conversions and eight field goals.

The swarming "Fire Ant" defense was paced by All-American linebacker James Seawright, and strong safety Bryant Gilliard, all with more than 100 tackles. Gilliard, who was also mentioned in All-American balloting, had a record-tying eight interceptions for the season.

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Found this online interview with Mike Hold given a few years ago.  He was probably not referring to the 1984 Clemson game, but still funny just the same.

"G&C: What was the funniest thing you ever heard Coach Morrison say?

Hold: Coach Morrison was a man of few words, so that’s a tough question. Looking back this was funny now, not then. Right before half against Clemson we were driving and needing six points, not a field goal. I don’t remember the exact down and distance but it was inside the five and we had to score. We ran a trap play and there was a penalty. Time was called and I went to the sideline.

Coach Morrison to my knowledge never called a play, but OC Coach Sadler couldn’t seem to come up with a call. Coach Morrison asked what he was going to run and coach asked what he thought. Coach Morrison asked what we ran the play before and coach Sadler told him. Coach Morrison’s response was priceless with his southern drawl, ”Well hell, run it again.” We did and scored. You really had to be there!"

https://garnetandcocky.com/2018/03/18/qa-former-gamecock-qb-mike-hold/

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