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August 2012 Archives

Gamecock Football Fans All The Way From Scotland

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They planned a trip to the United States, but weren't expecting to end up at a football game. Holly and Barrie live in Whitburn, West Lothian in Scotland. It's an old mining town in between the larger cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow with only about 10,000 people - or 1/8th the number of people in Williams-Brice on any given Saturday.

As they explained in their distinctive Scottish accents, the couple will be in America for about two weeks and have spent time in Nashville and Memphis so far. They met Gamecock fans Joe Wilson and Jess Wilder from the Atlanta area on a shuttle in Nashville Wednesday night and sure enough they were convinced to come to the game.

"They want the American experience," said Wilson. "This is the most American you can get," Wilder chimed in.

IMG_9245.JPGFrom left to right: Holly, Jess, Barrie, and Joe

The Scots were re-united with Joe and Jess on gameday as they made their way around tailgates, where we came across them as well.

They may not have intended to be Gamecock fans, but they did have Garnet and Black in their wardrobe for game day and they blended right in!

And are they Gamecocks now?

"Absolutely," Holly said.


Inside The Chart.pngFriday, August 31


The game - and the season -- began inauspiciously enough. A sudden downpour drenched the field before kickoff.  Marcus Lattimore, back after a 9-month rehabilitation for an ACL tear, fumbled on his first carry.  Connor Shaw, who had thrown one interception in his last 57 pass attempts, chucked a pick on his first pass. 


All that was left was a full moon (and that came later on).


Yet after 60 muggy minutes at Vanderbilt Stadium, the game ended auspiciously, with Carolina getting the tough yards and resolute stops that could serve them well down the road.  The game was far from perfect.  But the Gamecocks will gladly accept that for a perfect record after Week One. 


"Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes" from a characteristically "Vanderbilt-y" 17-13 win over the Commodores:


Latti-more Yards:  When he walked onto the Vanderbilt Stadium turf two-and-a-half hours before kickoff, TV cameras swarmed Marcus Lattimore, bending low to zoom in on his rehabilitated left knee.  Before he even set foot in the locker room, it became clear: people would literally be tracking Lattimore's every step.

Lattimore Vandy '12.jpegThe junior's return from a 9-month absence did not disappoint.  Lattimore shook off that jittery early fumble to finish with 112 rushing yards and two touchdowns, moving him within one of Carolina's all-time touchdowns record.   The Gamecocks needed him, too:  Carolina's 67 passing yards were the lowest total in the Steve Spurrier era. 


Marcus Lattimore scores on a 29-yard TD run in the first quarter.


In the days to come, Lattimore's "burst" will be overanalyzed.  His cutting and foot plants will be broken down with microscopic scrutiny.  Yet Lattimore still showcased the hard, yards-after-contact running that makes him one of the SEC's toughest runners to take down.  And on Thursday, he did something he had only done once in his career:  he led the Gamecocks in rushing (112) and receiving yards (26) in the same game. 


Connor Shaw vs. Vandy '12.jpegIsn't It Fitting:  One of the most crucial blocks of the game came in the fourth quarter, when Connor Shaw ran for 12 yards to the Vanderbilt 1-yard line.  Two plays later, the Gamecocks pounded in the game-winning score.  Who made the block?  Marcus Lattimore - who injured his ACL while blocking for his quarterback against Mississippi State.


Connor Shaw dives for the goal line on Carolina's game-winning drive.


Going "Zac-Wards":  On a night that featured the return of Lattimore, Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy had hoped to steal the spotlight.  The senior from Centreville, Ala., averaged 5.9 yards per carry last year en route to breaking Vanderbilt's single-season rushing record.   


Instead, the Gamecocks' front four swallowed him whole, limiting him to 48 yards on 13 carries.  In three games against Carolina, Stacy has gained 83 yards on 26 attempts - well below his career yards per carry average. 


Zac Stacy Career Rushing Average

vs. South Carolina                                vs. Rest of Opponents

3.2                                                         5.5


SACT:  You've heard of a sack.  We may have to consecrate a new statistic called a "SACT" - "Sack Assisted by Clowney or Taylor."  


Aldrick Fordham.jpegOn two occasions Thursday, the pressure from Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor directly resulted in a teammate recording his first career sack.  In the first quarter -- in what was surely a frightening sight for the opposing offensive lineman -- defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward lined up Clowney and Taylor together on the left side of the line.  They burst off the edge like twin freight trains, causing quarterback Jordan Rodgers to flush into Aldrick Fordham's arms.  


Senior Aldrick Fordham (#57) picked up his first career sack against Vanderbilt - and another "SACT" for Carolina.


A more crucial "SACT" came in the 4th quarter, with Vanderbilt facing a 3rd-and-5 from the Carolina 43 yard-line.  Clowney and Taylor speed-rushed high, forcing Rodgers to step up in a congested pocket.  Sophomore Kelcy Quarles was waiting to bear-hug him, causing a 6-yard loss.

They won't show up in any box score.  But look for plenty more "SACTS" to come.


Pleading the Fourth:  The Commodores went 15-for-20 on fourth downs last year, tying them for 7th nationally in efficiency.  Vanderbilt failed to convert 3 fourth downs on Thursday (1-for-4).


Vanderbilt 4th Downs Not Converted

2011                       vs, South Carolina

5                             3


About That Downpour.,..  It made for an interesting debut for our new sideline reporter Langston Moore, didn't it?


And Finally... Frank Martin knows as well as anyone.  The value of a win trumps the aesthetics of it.  "Get the 'W,' and get out of town before they make you run another play," Martin told me outside Vanderbilt Stadium, still fired up over the Gamecocks' victory.


First games are rarely final drafts.  Carolina has plenty of improvements on its checklist before the Sept. 8 home opener, but it's better to attack those problems with a 1-0 record.  Just ask Vanderbilt. 


Join us next week as we start our chart prep for East Carolina.  Glad you're back for another season of "Inside The Chart" - we are too.   -AD--

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition:
Gamecock football wins 17-13 over Vandy; Connor Shaw powers through injury; cross country opens season with Gamecock Invitational; women's soccer is the first Gamecock team to face Clemson this season; and more!


Cross Country: Gamecock Invitational - 6:30 p.m.
Hilton Field in Fort Jackson

Men's Soccer vs. St. John's - 7 p.m.

Women's Soccer vs. Clemson - 7 p.m.
*First 200 fans receive Beat Clemson t-shirts!

Men's Soccer vs. Northwestern - 1 p.m.


Football. South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt Post-Game Quotes

Football. South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt Post-Game Notes

Football. No. 9 Gamecocks Defeat Vanderbilt, 17-13, To Open 2012 Season

Men's Soccer. Men's Soccer To Host Gamecock Classic This Weekend

Cross Country. Gamecocks Set To Host Gamecock Invitational To Open 2012 Season

W. Soccer. Women's Soccer Hosts Clemson Saturday Night In Rivalry Match
Live Stats
Free Video


Football: Connor Shaw, Gamecocks tough enough (ESPN SEC Blog)

Football: Fans tough out hard win (The State)

Football: Breaking down Marcus Lattimore's return (

Football: Quarterback Shaw rallies Gamecocks in opener (


Fade to Black: South Carolina edges Vanderbilt, 17-13 (Inside Vandy)

Football: Vanderbilt still searching for missing piece (Fox Sports Tennessee)


Chargers intelligence report (
*Melvin Ingram


We can't think of a better way to start off this beautiful weekend either!


Pre-Game Behind the Scenes Photos

Tailgating Photos

Photo Blog: Traveling to Vandy

"What Channel is the Game On?" Vandy Edition

Travel And Gameday Information for Vanderbilt

Photos: New Softball Stadium Progress

First Opportunity To #BeatClemson


Justice Cunningham absorbing a hard hit and hanging on to the ball for a crucial 20-yard gain earned Play of the Game status and a game ball from Coach Spurrier!


In his first game back after suffering a knee injury at Mississippi State last season, Marcus Lattimore rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Lattimore averaged 4.8 yards on 23 carries and led the Gamecocks with three receptions for 21 yards.

Connor Shaw helped guide the Gamecocks back into the game, connecting on 7-of-11 passes for 67 yards and rushing 14 times for 92 yards. Shaw left the game late in the second quarter with a shoulder injury but re-entered the game to help lead the Gamecocks to victory. After the offense stalled in his first series back, he guided Carolina on a nine-play, 66-yard scoring drive in his second series.


Today's photo is from Jennifer Cook and her daughter, Nataleigh,
with one of the stars of last night's football game, Marcus Lattimore! Jennifer waited over two hours to get a photo with the talented running back at Fan Day earlier this month, and her smile shows it was worth the wait!

2012-08-12 14.45.59.jpg

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Halftime Update from Vanderbilt

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South Carolina - 10
Vanderbilt - 10

Gamecocks have found their way on the ground but haven't found a consistent passing game yet, while Vanderbilt has been finding their success through the air including a 78-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Rodgers to Jordan Matthews. Marcus Lattimore scored the Gamecocks' first points of 2012 with a 29-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter.

South Carolina - 29 yard rushing TD (Lattimore), 20 yard FG (Yates)
Vanderbilt - 78 yard passing TD (Rodgers to Matthews), 25 yard FG (Spear)

Rushing Yards:
South Carolina - 133
Vanderbilt - 36

Receiving Yards:
South Carolina - 23
Vanderbilt - 164

Defense: Jimmy Legree and Shaq Wilson lead the team with six tackles each at the half. Jadeveon Clowney has two tackles for loss including one sack.

Coach Spurrier at halftime to the Gamecock Radio Network's Langston Moore:

"Well, we struggled throwing the ball and we're running fairly decent. Would like to have more balance. We've given up a couple big plays defensively. We gotta keep playing; we're in a dogfight. Gotta keep playing and make it a little bit better."


- Marcus Lattimore's first 2012 touchdown, a 29-yard run in the first quarter, gave him 28 career rushing touchdowns, giving him sole possession of third place in rushing touchdowns in SC history. Lattimore is three rushing touchdowns away from the school record of 31 set by George Rogers and Harold Green.

- Carolina's second score was the first career field goal for Adam Yates as he connected from 20 yards with 11:44 to play in the 2nd quarter giving the Gamecocks a 10-0 lead.

-Kenny Miles - right knee bruise - return is probably
-Connor Shaw - right shoulder bruise - being evaluated by doctors

Photo Blog: Traveling to Vandy

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After quick meetings and practice in Columbia this afternoon, the Gamecocks packed up to head to Nashville.

Vandy travel 1.jpg

Team bags coming off the plane

Vandy travel 2.jpgView getting off the plane

Vandy travel 3.jpg

Loading up to head to the hotel!

Once at the hotel the team holds chapel, team dinner and a movie before bed. Routine prep - tomorrow is GAMEDAY.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition:
women's volleyball hosts exhibition game; men's tennis signs a new member to the 2012-2013 team; travel and gameday information for Vandy game; and more!


Women's Volleyball vs. Slovenian National Team  - 7 p.m.
Exhibition - Free Admission


Football Travels To Vanderbilt On Thursday For Season Opener

Lorenzo Ward media 8-28-12.jpegFootball. Gamecocks Go Indoors Tuesday
*Lorenzo Ward talks post-practice

Volleyball. South Carolina Volleyball Hosts Slovenian National Team in Wed. Exhibition

Men's Soccer. Look Ahead: Gamecock Classic

Men's Soccer. Gamecock Spotlight: Devin L'Amoreaux

Men's Tennis. Tsvetan Mihov Joins Gamecock Tennis for 2012-13

Pregame Activities Announced for Former Farmers' Market


Football: Preview: South Carolina Gamecocks at Vanderbilt Commodores (

Football: Video: South Carolina's X factor (ESPN SEC Blog)

Football: USC freshman receiver eager to contribute to passing game (

Football: Shaw bringing stability to Gamecocks (Anderson Independent Mail)

Football: Byrnes product Nick Jones awaits larger role with Gamecocks (Spartanburg Herald-Journal)


Football: Franklin has Vanderbilt fans excited (


'Tis the season for gamecock football!


vanderbilt.jpg"What Channel is the Game On?" Vandy Edition

Travel And Gameday Information for Vanderbilt

Photos: New Softball Stadium Progress

First Opportunity To #BeatClemson

Winning Weekend in Gamecock Country

Gamecock Equipment Staff Ready for Potential Rain Thursday

Fans Will See More At SEC Football Stadiums This Season


Get to know South Carolina Women's Soccer senior goalkeeper Darien Vercillo in her Gamecock Spotlight!


Gamecock Volleyball is now second in the SEC with a .352 hitting percentage after this weekend's 2012 Gamecock Invitational. Four student-athletes stand in the top 15 in the league in hitting percentage, led by junior middle blocker Megan Kent, who hit .471 and ranks third in the league stats. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Cara Howley ranks eighth in the SEC in hitting percentage and 13th in blocks per set.

Tsvetan Mihov of Sofia, Bulgaria, has signed a Financial Aid Agreement to attend the University and play for the men's tennis team. A transfer from Oklahoma, Mihov will have two years of eligibility beginning with the 2012-13 season. In two seasons at Oklahoma, Mihov's singles and doubles rankings climbed to as high as No. 38 in the nation. Last fall, he won the USTA/ITA Central Region title to earn a spot in the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. Prior to playing college tennis, Mihov was the 2009 Bulgarian national champion and part of the 2010 Davis Cup team.


Today's photo is from Davin Wise of his daughters Addysen and Zoey at Fan Day with members of the Gamecock cheerleading squad. Be sure to watch these lovely ladies cheer on our Gamecock football
team in the season opener against Vanderbilt tomorrow night at 7 p.m.!


Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

"What Channel is the Game On?" Vandy Edition

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ESPN logo.jpgOur weekly "what channel is the game on?" post returns for 2012 with your #9 Gamecocks on the road at Vanderbilt for the first game of the season! Every week we'll bring you this post to try to help out those in Gamecock Country who can't make it to the game in person.

Hopefully y'all won't have too much trouble finding the game this week (we HAVE been counting down all summer after all!) as the Gamecocks will face the Commodores as the premier game in the country Thursday, August 30, on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET. ESPN's Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, and Samantha Steele will call the action for the broadcast.

The game will also be available nationwide online streaming on   WatchESPN is available to fans with video subscriptions through Time Warner, Verizon, Brighthouse and Comcast. Note, this is different from last season. This year whatever game is on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will only be on WatchESPN and not Thursday's game is not available on

Game Information:
Who: #9 South Carolina at Vanderbilt
When: Thursday, August 30, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Dudley Field/Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.
Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network

While we don't know the exact channel number for every local ESPN channel across the country, we've included a few below. Remember to check your local listings for the actual channel number in your area.

Local Channel Listings for ESPN (leave us a comment if you see a different channel so we can update our list):

Time Warner Cable    
Columbia, SC           Channel 26
Florence, SC             Channel 29
Myrtle Beach, SC     Channel 25
Summerville (Charleston), SC     Channel 26
DirecTV               Channel 206
Dish                    Channel 140
AT&T Uverse     Channel 602
Charter Cable     Channel 32

If you miss the original airing of the game or just want to re-watch the game (Who wouldn't? Especially if it's a Carolina win!) catch the re-broadcast of the game with Andy Demetra and Brad Muller on the call on Sunday on SportSouth. Check your local listings for air time.

In addition to television, hear from your very own Gamecocks Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and new sideline reporter Langston Moore on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio broadcast. Gamecock football games are available on dozens of affiliates throughout South Carolina (click here for a list). The game is also available via satellite radio (Sirius/XM 91).

For those headed to Nashville the in-stadium radio frequencies for our broadcast are: 103.9 FM  Primary and 105.3 FM  Secondary

Fans anywhere in the country can listen to the Gamecock radio broadcast of the game with a premium account on All-Access. 

Photos: New Softball Stadium Progress

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Despite the rainy weather so far this week in Columbia, progress is continuing on the new softball stadium! Check out a couple new photos below from this morning and see more photos here in our Facebook photo album of the project.



First Opportunity To #BeatClemson

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With the start of 2012-13 and the month of September South Carolina will have three chances to Beat Clemson (for you Twitter-inclined folks, keep tweeting with #BeatClemson for each event!)

First up to take on the Tigers this year is Women's Soccer as they host Clemson this Saturday, September 1, at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks hope their new freshmen faces can help extend their winning streak over Clemson, currently at a record four straight victories. We'll also have free Little Caesar's pizza on hand for students while supplies last.

Next week, Volleyball will host Clemson here at home in the Volleyball Competition Facility at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 7. It's the night before the football home opener vs. ECU so what better opportunity to warm up your screaming and cheering than against our upstate rival?

Men's Soccer will round out the month hosting Clemson on Tuesday, September 18, at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.

In line with the #BeatClemson theme, the first 200 fans at each event will receive a free "Beat Clemson" t-shirt. Check out a sneak peek!


It's Great To Be A Gamecock!! Be sure to circle your calendars, gather some friends, come and cheer loud for all three teams to BEAT CLEMSON!!!

Travel And Gameday Information for Vanderbilt

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We know lots of Gamecock fans are headed to Nashville to cheer on the Gamecocks on Thursday! Vanderbilt is planning on wearing all black so we encourage all Gamecock fans to wear your gameday GARNET! The team will be wearing their white away jerseys and Garnet pants.

Here are some helpful tips and information we were able to pull together.


If you have gameday questions in Nashville, tweet us at @GamecocksOnline and we will do our best to help!  Many questions may be answered in advance via Vanderbilt's Gameday Information page.

Directions to Dudley Field/Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville


Vanderbilt map.jpeg

Dining recommendations from

If you purchased tickets through the South Carolina Ticket Office you may pick them up at the visitor ticket gate, Gate 3 at Vanderbilt Stadium. Our ticket office staff will also be on location there to assist Gamecock fans with any gameday ticket problems.

Our allotment is sold out, however, single game tickets through Vanderbilt are still available and are on sale online here for $50 each.


The football team will arrive at approximately 4 p.m. (CENTRAL TIME) They are scheduled to be dropped off at the corner of Natchez Trace and Kensington Place (near the Marriott) on the northwest side of Vanderbilt Stadium. Fans are welcome to come cheer on the team as they get off the bus and head in to the stadium.


Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 8/28

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Gamecock Club memberships reach all-time high; football practice recap; SEC Freshman of the Week in women's soccer; two days til Vandy; and more!


Wild Wing Cafe Street Party Pep Rally - activities starting at 4 p.m., more info
Carolina Calls Radio Show on location - 7-8 p.m.


-Carolina Calls radio show live stream (All-Access premium) - 7-8 p.m.

-Video: Football practice recap and post-practice interview video with Lorenzo Ward. Practice wraps up around 6 p.m. and recap will be available afterward.


General News: Gamecock Club Membership Reaches All-Time High

Football: Gamecocks Practice Monday Night

Steve Spurrier's Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Cara Howley Named AgSouth Athlete of the Week

Women's Soccer: D'Angelo, Canada Eliminated From FIFA U-20 World Cup

Women's Soccer:
Coryn Bajema Named SEC Freshman Of The Week

Softball Tryout Meeting Set for Tuesday

Pregame Activities Announced for Former Farmers' Market


Football: Week One in the SEC (

Football: Spurrier thinks South Carolina could top last season (Associated Press)

Football: Healing the Knee, and Then the Psyche (New York Times)
*Marcus Lattimore

Football: Gamecocks Gameplan for Other Rodgers (Aiken Standard)

Football: Don't Expect USC to Hold Lattimore Back (Greenville News)

Baseball: Donations flow in during Holbrook auction (
Photo Gallery


Football: 'Dores await Gamecocks, big stage (The Daily News Journal)

Football: Big season kicks off with big test against Gamecocks (


Football: Looking at Scouts Inc.'s defensive ratings - Johnathan Joseph (

Football: Chargers: Melvin Ingram, Ryan Mathews plan to play in opener (

Brinkley's play gives Vikings reason for optimism (Star Tribune)


Former player and NFL-er Jasper Brinkley sends well-wishes to his Gamecocks!


WSOC-12 Goal celebration.jpegWinning Weekend in Gamecock Country

Gamecock Equipment Staff Ready for Potential Rain Thursday

Fans Will See More At SEC Football Stadiums This Season

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra - August 27, 2012

Numbers Game: Lucky #13?

This Week's Home Events: Women's Soccer First to Face Clemson

Pre-Game Stadium Tour Auction Listings Now Available


Get to know freshman soccer player Devin L'Amoreaux in his Gamecock Spotlight!


Women's Soccer forward Coryn Bajema was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after her three-goal outburst over the weekend to lead the Gamecocks to shutout victories over Mercer and Jacksonville. Bajema is the seventh Gamecock to earn the SEC Freshman of the Week honor, the last being Sabrina D'Angelo who was selected on October 17, 2011.

The Gamecock Club has reached 14,100 members, eclipsing last year's high mark of 13,896. This year Gamecock Club members will provide over $12 million in scholarships and support to 385 student-athletes. Including Junior Gamecock Club members, this year's total membership has reached 15,000 for the first time since the Gamecock Club was founded in 1940.


Today's photo is from J.J. McLaughlin of his 7-year-old son with Cocky at Sunday's women's soccer game. Be sure to come out again this Saturday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. as they take on Clemson!  Go Gamecocks!

J.J. McLaughlin.jpg

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

From the SEC office:

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (August 27, 2012) - When fans attend football games at Southeastern Conference stadiums this season, they will witness more game action on stadium video boards, including replays of officiating reviews.

Starting with games this weekend, institutions are not limited in the use of replays except when a stoppage occurs for an official review.  The time during which replays may be shown is from the end of a play until the beginning of the next play, except when a stoppage occurs for an official review.

During official reviews, stadium video boards will be able to show replays from the television network that is broadcasting the game.  During an official review, the video feed from the television network will be shown on the stadium video board only between the referee's announcement to stop play for the review and his communication of the review's outcome.

In previous years, the SEC had a standard one real-time replay policy for all plays in a game for all sports.

"The change in policy will allow our fans to see more of the action, including great plays and close calls," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  "Fans in the stadium now can see many of the same views of a play seen by fans watching on television.  This should add to the overall game experience for fans inside our stadiums."

Replays of touchdowns not stopped for official review can be shown following the point-after-touchdown attempts until the ensuing kickoff begins. 

There are exceptions to the policy for game-highlight packages shown later in the contest.

The change in policy was approved by the SEC Athletics Directors in August following a recommendation prepared by the conference's Working Group on Fan Experience.  The Working Group is chaired by Mississippi State University Athletics Director Scott Stricklin.

Another policy change approved by the Athletics Directors and recommended by the Working Group, permits bands to be amplified when playing during designated times.  Bands will not be allowed to play once the center takes his place over the football until the play is whistled dead.  Previously, bands were not allowed to be amplified during the game and were not allowed to play once the offensive team broke the huddle.





Inside The Chart.png 


Monday, August 27


The love affair began at age 7, and hasn't subsided since.


For as long as D.J. Swearinger has played football, the senior safety has fallen head-over-heels for  - well, knocking players head over heels. 


"My Dad always told me to hit low, hit hard, and wrap up," Swearinger told me after practice Sunday. 


The Greenwood, S.C., native has carried that advice into his senior season at South Carolina, where he has earned a reputation as one of the SEC's fiercest hitters.  Who else could inspire defensive line coach Brad Lawing to joke this summer that when Swearinger reaches the NFL, "he'll lead the league in fines" because of his unrepentant love of hitting?


D.J. Swearinger.jpeg"It's just instincts and something I love to do.  I love contact.  But I also love interceptions, too," Swearinger said.


Senior D.J. Swearinger (#36) chasing down a ballcarrier vs. Florida.


He'll now be counted on to anchor a defensive secondary that breaks in three new starters, including Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree at cornerback and Brison Williams at safety.  Vanderbilt returns its top 5 wide receivers from 2011, and rangy sophomore Chris Boyd brings the most touchdown catches of any returning SEC wideout (8).


But nothing shrinks a wide receiver quite like the fear of a punishing hit.  Few deliver them out with more predatory delight than the 6'0," 210-pound Swearinger. 


And like most people who fall in love, Swearinger remembers the exact moment that he developed his lust for big hits. 


"I was actually about seven years old.  The guy that I hit was one of my good friends.  I felt good doing it.  It was just a feeling I couldn't explain. 


But I'm doing it now, and I'm going to keep doing it."


Other notes as we climb towards game day in Nashville:


Anchor Down, Bombs Away?  Not Arkansas with its explosive aerial offense.  Not Auburn under its uptempo guru, former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.  Not even LSU or Alabama, the two participants in last year's BCS National Championship Game.


Zac Stacy.jpgIn 2011, Vanderbilt - yes, Vanderbilt - led all Southeastern Conference teams in plays from scrimmage longer than 40 yards.  The Commodores had 18 "money plays," as head coach James Franklin calls them.  South Carolina, by comparison, had 13. 


Running back Zac Stacy (right) broke Vanderbilt's single-season rushing record in 2011 (1,193 yards).


Vanderbilt has reason to believe it can continue minting money plays in 2012.  The Commodores return 9 starters from an offense that averaged 31.5 points over their last 7 games.  Running back Zac Stacy, who broke Vanderbilt's single-season rushing record last year, returns to the backfield, along with 2009 SEC Freshman of the Year Warren NormanCan South Carolina avoid the mental lapses that plague teams in season openers, and prevent Vandy from sparking itself with a long play? 


One thing we do know:  Vanderbilt's "money plays" went into bankruptcy at Williams-Brice last year.  The Gamecocks held the Commodores to 77 total yards on 48 plays in a 21-3 win. 


Full Speed Ahead:  Thursday night marks the highly anticipated return of Marcus Lattimore, who tore his ACL against Mississippi State October 17.  He'll face a Vanderbilt defense that needs to replace its top three tacklers, but still sported some impressive numbers against the run last year.


On the surface.


Vanderbilt Rush Defense                     Yards Per Carry Allowed                    NCAA Rank

Overall                                                    3.59                                                        36th

3rd downs, 1-3 yds. to go                     4.06                                                        85th



Lattimore vs. Navy.jpegIn addition to finishing 18th nationally in rush defense, Vanderbilt finished a respectable 36th in yards per carry allowed (3.59).  Yet on third downs with 1-3 yards to go, the Commodores defense allowed 4.06 yards per rush, dropping them to 85th in the nation.  Statistically, the Commodores failed to bow up in short-yardage situations. 


Here he comes:  Marcus Lattimore (#21).


Why might that be significant?  Tough yards lead to first downs.  First downs lead to marches downfield.  Drives downfield lead to points.  And no player in college football excels at grinding out yards after contact - rehabbed ACL or not - more than Marcus Lattimore.


Sibling Warfare:  Which family has the better set of sibling names, the Cunninghams or the Robinettes?  Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham counts siblings Power, Promise, and Sincere.  Vanderbilt freshman QB Patton Robinette boasts sisters Payton, Paxton, and Preston.


Postscript:  Whatever happened to D.J. Swearinger's friend, the person he knocked into next week as a 7 year-old?


"He's still my friend to this day," D.J. chuckled.


More notes to come.  Let the countdown continue.   -AD--

Winning Weekend in Gamecock Country

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The Gamecocks were very successful in their opening weekend with almost all sports in action at home here in Gamecock Country. All playing their home openers, women's soccer, men's soccer, and volleyball went undefeated this weekend - a rare feat!

Men's Soccer earned a 1-0 victory over College of Charleston Friday night on Stephen Anderson's first career goal.

Meanwhile over at the Volleyball Competition Facility, the Volleyball team hosted two matches on Friday and two matches on Saturday in the season-opening Gamecock Invitational, collecting victories in all four contests over Temple, Akron, Eastern Tennessee State, and UNC Asheville.

The match with ETSU was the only one to go beyond three sets, but the Gamecocks outlasted them for a five-set victory.

Freshmen provided the spark in the women's soccer team's 3-0 shutout victory on Sunday, accounting for all three goals. Coryn Bajema's two first-half goals gave her three total on the weekend (after the Gamecocks 2-0 victory over Mercer on Thursday) and Stevi Parker earned her first career goal. Fellow freshman Courtney Angotti-Smith registered two assists in the game, giving the Goose Creek native a total of three assists in her first two games in a Gamecock uniform.


There are more chances to check out all three teams at home this week, including the women's soccer team taking on Clemson on Saturday at 7 p.m. - the first Gamecock squad to face the Tigers this season. Check out all this week's home events here.

Numbers Game: Lucky #13?

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Two Gamecocks will wear jersey number 13 this season - both punters -  sophomores Patrick Fish and Tyler Hull. Coach Spurrier shared the news during his weekly press conference on Monday. 

It's not the first time two players have had the same number. For example, both Marcus Lattimore and DeVonte Holloman wear #21 and former players Stephen Garcia and Stephon Gilmore both donned #5.  But it is possibly the first time two players at the same position have worn the same identifier.

FB-12 Spurrier press conference 8-27-12.jpeg"We don't want the other team to know which one's in kicks a little higher than the other," Spurrier explained, laughing, going on to joke that he might put some quarterbacks in the same number too.

Spurrier confirmed that it's completely legal as long as they both aren't on the field at the same time, saying that the idea came from special teams coach Joe Robinson.

"Eh, it's just a way of keeping numbers down to tell you the truth," said Spurrier. "105 guys, someone's got to double up and you can only have one punter out there at a time. Maybe it'll start a new trend."


With the 2012-13 school year underway, the women's soccer team will be the first Gamecock squad to face Clemson this Saturday, September 1, at 7 p.m. After sweeping this weekend's Gamecock Invitational the volleyball team will host the Slovenian National Team in a free exhibition match. Cross Country hosts their lone home meet of the year at Fort Jackson on Friday. Men's Soccer hosts two home matches this weekend. Friday's match against St. John's at 7 p.m. is Kid's Night featuring a
Soccer Obstacle Course and Silly Band/Face Tattoo Giveaway. Fans can also help get excited for the 2012 football season at Tuesday's Wild Wing Cafe Street Party Pep Rally in the Vista. The Carolina Calls radio show will air live on location from 7-8 p.m. as well.

WSOC-12 Goal celebration.jpeg

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wild Wing Cafe Street Party Pep Rally
The Vista at corner of Lady and Gadsden St.

-DJ playing music starting at 4 p.m.
-Appearances and performances by the Carolina Band, cheerleaders and Cocky starting at 6:45 p.m.
-"Carolina Calls" radio call-in show on location with Steve Spurrier, 7-8 p.m.
-Bounce House
-Photo opportunities with trophies
-Live music after the show from Tokyo Joe and Southwood

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Volleyball vs. Slovenian National Team - 7 p.m. (Exhibition)
- Free admission

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cross Country at Fort Jackson - 6 p.m.
- Hosting only home meet of the year

Men's Soccer vs. St. John's - 7 p.m.
- $1 admission
- Verizon Bandana Giveaway
- Kid's Night - Soccer Obstacle Course, Silly Band/Face Tattoo Giveaway, Cocky's Bounce House

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Women's Soccer vs. Clemson - 7 p.m.
- "Beat Clemson" T-shirt giveaway*
- Free Little Caesar's Pizza for students*
- Cornhole
*While supplies last

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Men's Soccer vs. Northwestern - 1 p.m.
- Life Day
- Halftime Promotion

Gamecocks on the road...

Football at Vanderbilt - Thursday, 7 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN, Gamecock Radio Network
Volleyball at the Patriot Inn Mason Invitational - Saturday, Sunday - More Info

Though current projections for Tropical Storm Isaac have the heaviest weather traveling west of Nashville, the chance for severe weather during Thursday's season-opening game still has the Gamecock equipment staff on high alert. 

We checked in with Director of Equipment Chris Matlock and Equipment Manager Jake Corbett on what their preparations are. In anticipation of wet weather, the Gamecocks will travel with extra sets of rain gear, plenty of towels, and a full extra pair of cleats for each player. Football travel trunks are already packed with a back-up pair for a regular road game, but with the possible soggy conditions the staff will take an extra back-up, making it three pairs of cleats on the truck per player!

The team has even considered securing a portable shoe dryer for the game where cleats could be dried out while the extra pair is being worn and changed out.

Rest assured, the Gamecocks can handle any weather as it comes - and are prepared for just about anything!

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 8/27 Victorious Weekend

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Gamecock football game week prep continues for first game at Vanderbilt; freshmen shine in women's soccer win; a victorious weekend for women's soccer, men's soccer, and volleyball!


-Coach Spurrier press conference live stream - NOON

-Video: Football practice recap and post-practice interview videos featuring offensive players and coaches. Practice wraps up around 8:15 p.m.

-This Week's Home Events blog post


Football. Gamecocks Practice Sunday
*Practice recap and interview videos

Men's Soccer. Men's Soccer Earns Shutout Victory In Season Opener Against College of Charleston

Volleyball. Gamecocks Clinch Invitational Title with Sweep of UNC Asheville

Volleyball. Gamecocks Outlast ETSU in Five-Set Nailbiter

Volleyball. Gamecocks Fire Past Akron in Three-Set Sweep

Women's Soccer
. Gamecock Freshmen Provide Spark In 3-0 Shutout of Jacksonville

Tickets. Road Football Game Tickets On Sale Now


Football: Gamecocks' Gilchrist glad to back on offense (Greenville News)

Football: USC's Davis gets ticket to ride to Vandy game (Greenville News)

Football: Tight ends to play a major role in offense for Gamecocks (Greenville News)

Football: Adams among USC freshmen who could see action in opener (Anderson Independent Mail)

Baseball: Donations flow in during Holbrook auction (
Photo Gallery


Football: 'Dores await Gamecocks, big stage (The Daily News Journal)

Football: Big season kicks off with big test against Gamecocks (


Football: Chargers: Melvin Ingram, Ryan Mathews plan to play in opener (

Brinkley's play gives Vikings reason for optimism (Star Tribune)


We can't wait either!


"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra - August 24, 2012

IMG_6038.jpgPre-Game Stadium Tour Auction Listings Now Available

Southern Living Names South Carolina Among South's Best Tailgates

Q&A with New Sideline Reporter Langston Moore

Men's Golf Alum to Appear on Golf Channel's "Big Break"

Update: Softball Stadium Construction Photos


Highlights of the volleyball team's three-set win over UNC Asheville on Saturday to sweep the season-opening Gamecock Invitational:



Freshmen provided the offense in the women's soccer team's 3-0 shutout of Jacksonville on Sunday. Coryn Bajema's two first-half goals gave her three total on the weekend, and Stevi Parker earned her first career goal in the 53rd to pace the attack. Fellow freshman Courtney Angotti-Smith registered two assists in the game.

Volleyball outside hitters Juliette Thevenin and Bethanie Thomas led the Gamecocks to a win over UNC Asheville. Thevenin posted 14 kills and eight digs in the win, hitting .440 in the process, while Thomas had a .474 percentage with 10 kills and eight digs. Those two helped the team post a .419 hitting percentage, the best of the weekend.


Today's photo is from Susan Delk Thomas, Class of 83, of her daughter, Laura Beth Thomas, Class of 2013.

"This is a photo of my daughter Laura Beth Thomas, Class of 2013, with Cocky at last fall's Carolina-Clemson game.  She likes to think that her fan support has contributed to our current 3-0 record against the Tigers.  She's so convinced that she is applying to grad school in hopes or extending the streak!"

Susan Thomas.JPG

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 8/24 It's The Weekend!

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: volleyball, women's soccer and men's soccer all kick off their first home events; more information on what gameday activities will be like in the former farmer's market area; the latest look at the new video board; upcoming weekend events; and more! 


Men's Soccer vs. College of Charleston - Friday, 7 p.m. - Stone Stadium

Volleyball - Gamecock Invitational - Volleyball Competition Facility
Friday, 12:30 p.m. vs. Temple
Friday, 8 p.m. vs. Akron
Saturday, 3 p.m. vs. East Tennessee State
Saturday, 8 p.m. vs. UNC Asheville

Women's Soccer vs. Jacksonville - Sunday, 1 p.m. - Stone Stadium


Men's Soccer. Men's Soccer Hosts College Of Charleston In 2012 Season Opener

Volleyball. Gamecocks Look Strong in Sweep of Temple

Volleyball. Gamecock Gameday: Volleyball Hosts Gamecock Invitational

Football. Pregame Activities Announced for Former Farmers' Market

Football. Practice Shortened by Heavy Rains

Track & Field. Track Walk-On Orientation Meeting Set For Monday

Women's Soccer. Gamecock Women's Soccer Wins Home Opener, 2-0

Women's Soccer. D'Angelo, Canada Suffer Setback Against Norway, 2-1


Men's Soccer: Stam, Martinez set standard for USC soccer (

Football: Did You Know?: Steve Spurrier nearing another coaching milestone (

Football: Gamecocks hope to collectively make up for loss of Jeffery (Greenville News)

Football: College Football: SEC's Must-See Games of 2012 (Athlon Sports)
*No. 2 - Week 6 (Oct. 6) Georgia at South Carolina
*No. 7 - Week 8 (Oct. 20) South Carolina at Florida

Football: Instant impact: Eastern Division (ESPN SEC Blog)
*Jerell Adams, Shaq Roland, Brandon Shell

Football: The SEC's best 25 players: No. 7 (ESPN SEC Blog)
*Jadeveon Clowney

Football: Connor Shaw: SEC's Sleeper QB (ESPN Stats & Info)


Thumbnail image for Alshon Jeffery Bears preseason game.jpgFootball: Jeffery ready for impact (ESPN)

Football: Ingram like Merriman -- but built to last (U-T San Diego)

Football: Emanuel Cook to miss Baltimore Ravens season with broken leg (

Football: CB Gilmore making Bills look smart with early play (Yahoo Sports)

Track & Field: Running star Natasha Hastings is preparing for 2016 Olympics and is on track for career as a Wilhelmina model (


Tweeted a photo earlier today of the new video board with the Gamecock Productions logo graphic displayed... It's a beauty... and  BEAST!


IMG_6038.jpgPre-Game Stadium Tour Auction Listings Now Available

This Week's Home Events: Volleyball, Men's & Women's Soccer Home Openers

Southern Living Names South Carolina Among South's Best Tailgates

Q&A with New Sideline Reporter Langston Moore

Men's Golf Alum to Appear on Golf Channel's "Big Break"

Update: Softball Stadium Construction Photos


Check out highlights of women's soccer's win over Mercer last night - first home event for any Gamecock team of the 2012-13 season and it was a victory!


Today's photo is from Lauren, a member of the Carolina Band. We tweeted about this earlier in the week, but AD Ray Tanner made a special visit to the band to deliver ice cream!

"Ray Tanner came by to visit the Mighty Sound of The Southeast !!!! He brought the whole Carolina Band icecream too :) My name is Lauren Spires. I play piccolo and I am a member of the Carolina Band and wanted to share this awesome experience! Thanks :) Lauren"

Lauren Spires.jpg

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Friday, August 24


Ask any broadcaster this question:  would you rather forget your spotter chart or your underwear? 


The answer would be easy.  One could be concealed from view.  The other couldn't.


Each week during the season, our lives revolve around a simple, double-sided manila envelope called a "spotter chart."  This chart contains all of the information that we need to give a thorough, compelling call of a game.


At its most basic, a spotter chart helps us identify players quickly during a play.  But a good chart goes beyond names and numbers.  We're not only painting a picture; we're telling a story.  As the week progresses, I try to stuff my chart with any information that could become relevant during my storytelling of the game.