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Throwback Thursday: Sterling Sharpe

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Throwback Thursday - the great Sterling Sharpe! The All-American and 2013 College Football Hall of Fame nominee had 169 catches, 2,497 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns in his Gamecock career. His 1986 season sat atop the Carolina record books for nearly 20 years until Sidney Rice in 2005 and he remains third in program history in career yardage, surpassed only recently by Kenny McKinley and Alshon Jeffery. He went on to seven standout seasons with the Green Bay Packers, his NFL career cut short by injury. He now appears as a TV analyst and has partnered with Coach Spurrier the past several years in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge golf tournament (even winning the tourney in 2008 and 2009!) Forever To Thee, Sterling Sharpe!


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Sterling Sharpe

 

 

Inside The Chart.pngWell friends, we've reached the end of our third season of "Inside The Chart," our weekly broadcast blog on Gamecocks Online.  Preparation is at the heart of what we do, and whether a game turns into a blowout or an instant classic, we want to make every broadcast informative, entertaining, and memorable.

 

That often leads me on some strange twists and turns through the Internet wormhole.  Or, when I'm looking at stats, I'll discover a "fish," some hidden number that offers a clue to the game.  Our access to the players and coaches also gives us a cache of memorable quotes.

 

With another season behind us, it's time to look back at the best of the best, the strangest of the strange, and the most random of the random.  Enjoy our first annual "Year In Charts" from "Inside The Chart":

 

The Frank Martin Section

After a year of working with him on "Carolina Calls" and post-game radio interviews, one thing became clear:  Frank Martin has led one heck of a life.  Some of those stories you can find with a quick Google search.  Others we discovered for the first time.  Some of the more memorable stories from a truly captivating coach:

 

*      Martin had an uncredited role in the football movie "Any Given Sunday" starring Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx.   Martin played the Miami Sharks' offensive line coach during football scenes filmed in Homestead, Fla.    

 

*      Martin said he and his friends used to sneak in to the Orange Bowl every New Year's Day.  Martin said they used the same time-honored tactic:  find the most elderly ticket taker, wait until the line got crowded, and hurdle the turnstile unnoticed.  Unfortunately, one of the Orange Bowls Martin attended was Clemson's national championship-clinching victory over Nebraska in 1982.

 

*      When they were assistant coaches at Miami Senior High School in Miami, Fla., Martin and Alabama head coach Anthony Grant attended a taping of "Sabado Gigante," the popular variety show on Spanish-language television station Univision.  Grant was chosen from the studio audience, and, to Martin's astonishment, won a car.  When the emcee, Don Francisco, began peppering him with questions on stage, Grant - whose knowledge of the Spanish language was minimal - could only utter the phrase "Que fantastico!"  The story had been kept a secret until Martin spilled the beans on "Carolina Calls." 

 

When asked about it by my colleague, "Voice of the Crimson Tide" Chris Stewart, Grant rolled his head to the sky, laughed, and said, "Who told you?"

 

*      Like Martin, Ole Miss assistant coach Sergio Rouco is a Miami native.  Their connection, though, goes well beyond a shared hometown:  Rouco coached Martin as a 12 year-old in the San Juan Bosco church league in Little Havana.  Martin's first coaching gig was as a volunteer JV assistant at Miami Senior, when Rouco was the head coach.  Rouco also led the Marinos de Anzoategui to a Venezuelan league title in 2010, where his assistant coach was Luis Carrera, the father of freshman Michael Carrera.

 

*      Martin has kept the same in-season haircut superstition for the past 20 years.  He says he gets a trim after his team finishes semester exams, and again after the last regular-season game. 

 

Martin Head.jpg*      For the last several years, Texas A&M's "Reed Rowdies" have waved a giant, oversized head of Martin to distract shooters.  After Kansas State's last game there in 2012, several A&M students autographed the head and presented it to Martin.  He still has it in his son's room.  The Reed Rowdies came prepared with a new edition this year.

 

Picture taken before South Carolina's game at Texas A&M.  The Aggies' student section, the "Reed Rowdies," rekindled their tradition of waving an oversized head of Frank Martin during free throws.

 

The "Told You So" Section

We have a rampant curiosity - okay, obsession - for numbers and patterns.  Our proudest moments of tea leaf-reading this year:

 

*      Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Georgia's Aaron Murray and Clemson's Tajh Boyd ranked #1 and #2 in the nation in quarterback efficiency.  Their combined numbers against Carolina:  40% completion percentage, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions.

 

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd getting pulled down by defensive end Aldrick Fordham.

 

 

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*      Heading into its game against Tennessee, South Carolina had the worst fumble recovery percentage of any team in the nation with 10 or more forced fumbles (3 of 14, 21.4%).  A Jadeveon Clowney strip-sack, followed by a Shaq Wilson fumble recovery, helped seal the Gamecocks' 38-35 win.

 

*       At 6'5," freshman Michael Carrera was the shortest player in the nation to rank in the top 100 in Offensive Rebounding Percentage (13th) and Defensive Rebounding Percentage (21st).

 

*      Earlier in the week, we pointed out that Clemson ranked 101st in the nation in total defense versus FBS winning teams.  That put the Tigers alongside defenses like Arkansas (100), East Carolina (102), and Tennessee (104) - all of whom Carolina shredded.  True to form, the Gamecocks rolled up 444 yards of offense behind backup quarterback Dylan Thompson in a 27-17 win.

 

       Total Defense vs. FBS Opponents with Winning Records - Entering Week 13

       100.    Arkansas

       101.    Clemson

       102.    East Carolina

       103.    Wake Forest

       104.    Tennessee

 

*      The South Carolina-Auburn game featured a staggering 27 lead changes, the most in a Division I game this year.  Notre Dame and Louisville traded leads 26 times in their February 9 duel in South Bend, but that game lasted five overtimes.

 

*      South Carolina completed as many pass plays of 50+ yards in the first 20 minutes of the Outback Bowl (2) as Michigan had allowed all season.

 

 

The Cornbread Walker Siblings, Relatives, and Nicknames Division:

When preparing for a game, I always try to research the opposing players to find some interesting stories.  I've been awed and inspired by some of the tales I've found.

 

For some reason, though, this year's teams blessed us with an incredible array of odd names.  The Gamecocks weren't immune, either.  This year's memorable moments in nomenclature (named in honor of Kentucky Wesleyan guard Cornbread Walker):

 

 

*      Missouri wide receiver Bud Sasser has two sisters named Brandy and Tequila.

 

*      It figures that Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel, the SEC's leading freshman rebounder, has an older brother named Rodman.

 

*      Mississippi State freshman guard Craig Sword has a nickname better suited to playing for South Carolina, not against them: "Chicken."

 

*      Linebacker Shaq Wilson rarely gets called Shaq back home.  Among family and friends in Jacksonville, Fla., he's universally known as "Diesel," a play on his Dad's name, Demesio.

 

*       Missouri football has not one, but two freshmen named Mitch Hall.

 

*      A.J. Cann revealed to us that his family nickname growing up was "Ganky."  Its origins remain unclear, but Cann says it was bestowed upon him by his grandmother.

 

*      One of the most distinctive names belonged to St. John's guard Sir'Dominic Pointer.  Even more amazingly, Pointer's birth name was Dominique.  He legally changed it to Sir'Dominic.

 

The Best In Random Information

*       Gamecock wide receiver Damiere Byrd eats a pack of gummy bears before every game.

 

*      Bruce Ellington popped a tendon in his pinky finger in high school, but not on the football field.  He did it while jumping over a porch, trying to run away from a loose pit bull.  The finger still gives him occasional soreness after football games, like when he clutched an ice pack after his 5-catch, 104-yard performance against Arkansas.

 

*      Linebacker Quin Smith says he plays hard thanks to a traumatic incident he had as an eight year-old.  Smith needed 68 stitches (at least - his Dad stopped counting past then) on his arms when he ran through a glass door at the home of a friend.  One piece of glass came within an inch of severing his main artery.

 

*      Assistant coach Matt Figger lived in an empty room in a warehouse in his first year as an assistant at Vincennes University, a junior college in Vincennes, Ind.  It was one of many Spartan conditions to which Figger subjected himself as he chased - and realized - his dream of becoming a major-college basketball coach.

 

*      In a nod to casual wear, St. John's Steve Lavin and his staff wear sneakers on game day.  Apparently, the fashion statement even extends to the priests.

 

Priest Air Force Ones.jpg Picture taken at. John's, even the priests get stomping in their Air Force Ones.   

 

The Year In Quotes:

Our best collection of quotes from "Inside The Charts" and pre-game interviews:

 

*       "They want to go like Ricky Bobby.  They want to go fast."

-Assistant coach Matt Figger, on Arkansas' tempo. 

 

*       "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."

-Safety D.J. Swearinger, discussing when his love for hard hitting began.  For the record, Swearinger and his tackling guinea pig remain friends.

 

*       "A guy stopped me in a truck and asked, 'Hey, are you back?'  I was like, 'Yeah, I'm good to go.'....  He then went on to say, 'How's your shoulder feel?  I said fine, though I remember thinking I haven't had a hurt shoulder.  Then he said, 'Why didn't you bring Marcus Lattimore and Dylan Thompson with you?'  That's when I knew."

-Gamecock baseball player Adam Matthews, on his resemblance - to some, at least - to Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw.  Matthews has put up with numerous cases of mistaken identity since Shaw rose to stardom at South Carolina.

 

*         "I don't think I've even hit him in practice." 

-Connor Shaw, on his first career completion to fullback Qua Gilchrist in the Gamecocks' win over Missouri

 

*         "I tried to jump in that dumpster to burn myself along with the film, but I didn't fit in there."

-Frank Martin, when asked if Carolina's 75-36 loss to Florida qualified as a "burn the tape" game.

 

*         "If the Michigan secondary tackled as well as that chair, South Carolina wouldn't have won the Outback Bowl."

-Us on-air, after Bruce Ellington's leg got caught in a courtside folding chair during Carolina's game at Mississippi State January 9.  Play had to be stopped so Ellington could extricate himself. 

And Finally... Thanks again for supporting our radio network and everything we do.  This blog spanned about 120 pages and too many sleepless nights, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  We can't wait to go "Inside The Chart" with you again next year.  -AD-- 

Latest Conceptual Renderings of Future Facilities

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Check out a slideshow of the latest conceptual renderings (note: finished product may differ from the rendering) of future facilities for Gamecock Athletics that advanced in the approval process on February 28, 2013. View below or click here to launch slideshow.

 



Throwback Thursday: Dual-Sport Star Bobby Bryant

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It's Throwback Thursday! This week we take a look at Bobby Bryant, who was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979. Bryant was a two-sport athlete at Carolina, lettering in football in 1964-66 and in baseball in 1965-67. Bryant was a first-team All-American and All-ACC at defensive back in 1966 and was named the ACC's outstanding athlete in 1967 with the Anthony J. McKelvin Award. He still holds the school record for longest punt return (98 yards vs. NC State, 1966). He was the first pitcher at Carolina to strike out 100 batters in a season and was drafted by the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in baseball. He played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings for 14 seasons from 1968-1981.

Bryant was among almost 50 former Gamecocks who played in the NFL who returned to Columbia for a "Gamecock Pros" luncheon on Monday. For more on the luncheon, click here (photos, video interviews, etc.)


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Have an idea for who/what you want to see featured on Throwback Thursday? Share it in the comments.

Gamecocks At NFL Combine Recap

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*Written by student assistant Kelly McAlindin

Seven Gamecocks were evaluated by NFL scouts, general managers, and coaches this past weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Players are able to attend the Combine by invitation only and work out in their different position groups in addition to medical exams and multiple interviews. Gamecock NFL-hopefuls will also have a chance to impress scouts at our Pro Day on March 27, where scouts come to Columbia. 


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MARCUS LATTIMORE


Lattimore did not perform in any of the drills during the Combine as he continues to recover from his knee injury, but he did undergo a medical evaluation that was reportedly attended by representatives from all 32 NFL teams, and conduct multiple interviews and generate a lot of media attention for his ahead-of-schedule rehabilitation and recovery. His NFL.com draft grade is 74.9



Marcus Lattimore way ahead of schedule in bid to play this year (USA Today)
"This time, I'm progressing faster even though it was a worse injury, because this time I'm not timid to do certain things." - Marcus Lattimore

NFL Fan Pass: Marcus Lattimore's road to recovery (NFL.com)

Marcus Lattimore Says He Will 'Shock' Doctors at NFL Combine With Progress in Recovery From Knee Injury (NESN.com)

VIDEO of Marcus Lattimore's press conference here


D.J. SWEARINGER

Hard-hitting safety D.J. Swearinger has built a name for himself as a dynamic defender and a guy who loves to hit. Swearinger has the highest NFL.com draft grade at 81.4.

Results:
40 yd Dash - 4.67 sec.
Bench Press - 17 reps
Vertical Jump - 37 in.
Broad Jump - 124 in.
3-Cone Drill - 6.70 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)
20 yd Shuttle - 4.11 sec.


2013 NFL Combine: SEC safeties standing out (CBSSport.com)
*Swearinger believes in his abilities at the professional level - "I haven't played in the NFL, but a lot of my past teammates say it's no different that the SEC, just more professional. I think that will be a big help with me going into the next level."



DEVIN TAYLOR


With guys like Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney on the other end of the line, it was easy to get distracted. But having a player like Devin Taylor to deal with too helped the Gamecocks' D-line wreak havoc the past several seasons. Taylor's long, lean ideal athletic build has a lot of teams interested. He had the widest wingspan of any defensive lineman at the Combine (87 inches) and was a top performer in several of the drills.

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Results:
40 yd Dash - 4.72 sec.
Bench Press - 14 reps
Vertical Jump - 35 in. (TOP PERFORMER)
Broad Jump - 128 in. (TOP PERFORMER)
3-Cone Drill - 6.89 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)
20 yd Shuttle - 4.3 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)

Combine could help shape Packers' draft strategy (Green Bay Press Gazette)
*Taylor as possible candidate to lengthen Green Bay's defensive line.




DEVONTE HOLLOMAN

Holloman's NFL.com draft grade was 70.5 coming into the Combine. Holloman moved to the Gamecocks' hybrid Spur position last season after three seasons at strong safety and worked out as a linebacker at the Combine. He was said to be a versatile defender with a strong build.  He is projected to be a solid Saturday draft pick but has the potential to outplay his draft position.

Results:
40 yd Dash - 4.76 sec
Bench Press - 15 reps
Vertical Jump - 33 in.
Broad Jump - 113 in.
3-Cone Drill - 7.3 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.26 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)

What Dolphins decide to do in free agency will dictate direction they go in draft (Yahoo Sports)
*Holloman's potential not overlooked by Miami - "Holloman is a hammer."



ACE SANDERS


Sanders didn't wow scouts with his 40-time, but impressed with his quickness in the other drills (as anyone who has watched him on punt return knows, his lateral moves are killer!) and his hands in running routes.

Results:

40 yd Dash - 4.58 sec.
Bench Press - 7 reps
Vertical Jump - 32 in.
Broad Jump - 117 in.
3-Cone Drill - 6.81 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.37 sec.
60 yd Shuttle - 11.29 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)


Chargers Draft Watch: Acing The WR/PR Value - Ace Sanders (Bolt Beat - San Diego Chargers)
* "Ace is a special teams ace."



JUSTICE CUNNINGHAM


Cunningham's NFL.com draft grade is 63.0. He was said to be a great blocker, be quick on his feet, and have savvy route running against defenders.

Results:
40 yd Dash - 4.94 sec.
Vertical Jump - 31.5 in.
Broad Jump - 116 in. (TOP PERFORMERS)
3-Cone Drill - 7.12 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.45 sec.
60 yd Shuttle - 11.88 sec.


2013 Bengals draft team needs: Defensive turnover will make for a busy spring in Cincinnati (Yahoo Sports)
*Cunningham considered a tight end option for his blocking - "Justice Cunningham is a good blocker, as well, and became a seam target in the passing game as the season progressed."



T.J. JOHNSON


Johnson's NFL.com draft grade was 59.0. Although he lacks the physical numbers, his size, smarts, and amount of experience will potentially help him earn a late-round draft pick.

Results:
40 yd Dash - 5.33 sec.
Bench Press - 32 reps
Vertical Jump - 25.5 in.
Broad Jump - 96 in.
3-Cone Drill - 7.83 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.74 sec.


Jadeveon Clowney Featured On Sports Illustrated Cover

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Standout Gamecock defensive end and top player in college football Jadeveon Clowney is featured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week!


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It's Great to be a Gamecock!  If you can't wait until this 2013 season either, season ticket deposits are available now at GamecocksOnline.com/tickets

Follow the Gamecocks in the NFL Combine

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NFL Combine logo.jpgSeven Gamecocks are in Indianapolis this weekend for the 2013 NFL Combine where they will be evaluated, interviewed, poked and prodded by NFL scouts, general managers, and coaches. NFL.com/Combine will have official test results, video, photos, and more.  Marcus Lattimore speaking to the media was a top story today. You can sort the list of participants by college here, to help you keep track of the Gamecocks' performance. With the current grades, D.J. Swearinger is the Gamecocks' highest rated player. You can watch live coverage of the NFL Combine on NFL Network and NFL.com/Combine.


Combine workout schedules:

Saturday, Feb. 23: Tight Ends, Offensive Line, Special Teams -- Justice Cunningham, T.J. Johnson

Sunday, Feb. 24: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers -- Marcus Lattimore (will not participate in drills), Ace Sanders

Monday, Feb. 25: Defensive Line, Linebackers -- Devin Taylor, DeVonte Holloman

Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive Backs -- D.J. Swearinger

Behind The Scenes: Jadeveon Clowney Photo Shoot

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Sports Illustrated, The State, and Athlon Sports all came to Williams-Brice this week to stock up on photos of Jadeveon Clowney. As the media look toward the 2013 season and season preview publications, you can expect to see the buzz about the nation's top player continue to grow, including several magazine stories and covers.


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Getting ready to practice facial expressions










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Clowney joked around throughout the shoot, keeping photographers and staff members laughing







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Close-up and long range views...









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Several different poses for each photographer








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Steve Spurrier looks on from the wall










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Thank you, sir!








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Whew! All done!



















2013 football season ticket deposits are available online now. Spring practice will start on March 5 with the Garnet & Black Spring Game set for April 13. More spring practice info

"Inside the Roost": Chad Holbrook, Marcus Lattimore

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1075 the game logo.jpgTune in to "Inside the Roost" tonight from 7-8 p.m. on 107.5 The Game! Joining host Derek Scott will be Athletics Director Ray Tanner, Head Baseball Coach Chad Holbrook, and calling in to the show will be Marcus Lattimore.



Listen to "Inside the Roost" every Monday from 7-8 p.m. on 107.5 The Game for weekly insights into Gamecock Athletics and special guests. You can also listen online!  


Beloved Gamecock running back Marcus Lattimore is busy this spring preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft and rehabilitating after a knee injury last season. He'll be one of three non-quarterbacks participating in Monday Night Football analyst and former coach Jon Gruden's "QB Camp" this spring.   Check out the excerpt below and see more of this story here from ESPN.

Gruden's QB Camp series presented by Corona Extra is back for a fourth year this spring, beginning Thursday, April 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2) and continuing throughout the month with segments on SportsCenter and NFL studio shows across multiple ESPN networks.

Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck during Gruden's QB Camp in 2012. (Tim Casey/ESPN Images)


The SportsCenter specials will offer a first-hand look at some of this year's top prospects leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, which ESPN will again televise April 25-27.

Nine of the top quarterbacks in the draft are scheduled to participate in Gruden's QB Camp:

• Matt Barkley (USC)
• Tyler Bray (Tennessee)
• Zac Dysert (Miami, OH)
• Mike Glennon (N.C. State)
• Landry Jones (Oklahoma)
• EJ Manuel (Florida State)
• Ryan Nassib (Syracuse)
• Geno Smith (West Virginia)
• Tyler Wilson (Arkansas)

The series will also include a trio of non-quarterbacks:

• Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M), the 2012 Outland Trophy winner and top-five prospect at offensive tackle.
Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina), the heralded Gamecocks running back who suffered a severe knee injury in October but hopes to play in the NFL in 2013.
• Manti Te'o (Notre Dame), the highly-touted linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up who led the Fighting Irish to the BCS Championship game.

Each prospect will visit Gruden's office in Tampa, Fla. -- affectionately dubbed the Fired Football Coaches Association (FFCA) -- for a film session. Most of the players will also participate in an on-field workout.


Gamecock IMG Sports Network FAQ's

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GamecockRadio.jpgAnswers to the 10 most commonly asked questions about Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio broadcasts.  Thanks for listening! 

-Andy Demetra, "Voice of the Gamecocks"/Director of Broadcasting, Gamecock IMG Sports Network

 

 

1.)    Where can I listen to the game in [my town here]?

      

        We keep our affiliate list for all sports here.

 

 

2.)   What if I live in an area that doesn't carry Gamecock baseball?  Can I listen to games on my computer?

 

Yes!  By subscribing to Gamecock All-Access.  A subscription to Gamecock All-Access lets you watch all South Carolina home baseball games that aren't televised, with the Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio call underneath.  It also lets you listen to the live radio broadcasts of all Gamecock road games.   

 

 

3.)  Can I listen on my local station's online stream?  What if I have a TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other radio listening app?

 

No.  Our affiliates only own the terrestrial radio rights.  IMG College owns the streaming radio rights.  As part of their contract, all affiliates must disable their live streaming devices during South Carolina football, basketball, and baseball broadcasts.  That includes any TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other apps.

 

 

4.)    Can I listen to games on my tablet or mobile phone?

 

Yes!  Gamecocks Online has an official app in the iTunes store and Android Marketplace which allows you to stream broadcasts over your phone or tablet.  The app itself is free to download, but the live content requires a premium subscription ($4.95/month, $19.99/year for iPhone, e.g.). 

 

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Search "South Carolina Gamecocks" in the iPhone or iPad Apps category of the iTunes store.

 

While it costs less than a Gamecock All-Access subscription, please note:  a subscription for your phone/tablet does not give you video.  Also, depending on your cell phone's bandwidth, your audio stream may be more sensitive to buffering.  A subscription to the Gamecocks Online app is separate from a subscription to Gamecock All-Access. 

 

Gamecock All-Access and the Gamecocks Online app are managed by CBS Interactive, Inc.,  The Gamecock IMG Sports Network does not have control over the availability, reliability, or sound quality of these streams.  Some things we can control from the booth; unfortunately, this isn't one of them!

 

 

5.)    How can I sync up the radio with the TV?

      

      Because of differences in satellite transmission times, as well as our own FCC-required 7-second delay, our radio call will not always match up to the TV feed.  There are devices you can buy, such as SportSync, that will even out the delay.  Other than that, your best bet to fix it is trial-and-error.   

 

 

6.)   Why do certain stations carry all Gamecock baseball games, while some only carry SEC and post-season games?

 

Some stations don't have the ability to run a full, 56-game broadcast schedule.  This could be due to scheduling conflicts, staffing concerns, or local programming restrictions.  To still maintain a Gamecock presence in their market, a station may elect to carry only SEC and post-season series.     

 

Beginning in 2012, the Gamecock IMG Sports Network has made all of our baseball broadcasts available "network-wide" when they don't conflict with basketball.  Essentially, our stations have a greater opportunity than ever before to pick and choose their schedules.  As always, it's best to contact your local station to find out whether a particular game will air.

 

If you live in an area that doesn't carry Gamecock football, basketball, or baseball broadcasts - or if your local station doesn't carry a full schedule - you can always approach them.  Community groundswell tends to make things happen, especially if there are local businesses that may be interested in sponsoring the extra coverage.

   

 

7.)     Why don't you have a station in my hometown?

 

Let's say you live in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Why doesn't a station there carry Gamecock football?  Simply put, there aren't enough Gamecock fans in Raleigh - and enough advertisers who want to target them -- to justify a station carrying the games. 

 

Each year, our IMG College Affiliate Relations team travels to every market in South Carolina, trying to line up new affiliates and renew our existing ones.  We always strive for 100% coverage.  However, for the same reasons listed above - scheduling conflicts, staffing concerns, or other programming obligations - in certain markets, no station may be willing to invest in becoming a Gamecock Radio Network affiliate. 

 

 

8.)   But I live in an area that has an affiliate station listed.  Why can't I hear the game?

 

You may have an affiliate station that's designated for your market, but its signal doesn't reach your home.  A station's signal is sometimes stronger in one direction than another. 

 

Also, AM radio stations have different signal strengths in the daytime and nighttime.  By law, they have to "power down" their signal at night.  Thus, you may be able to hear Gamecock baseball broadcasts during the day, but can't pick it up once the sun sets. 

 

 

9.)   If a Gamecock basketball game or coaches' show airs at the same time as a Gamecock baseball game, why do stations  have to carry the basketball game/coaches' show?

 

Inevitably, conflicts arise during the fall (when football and basketball overlap) and early Spring (when basketball and baseball overlap). 

 

As part of our radio agreement, the sport with more affiliates statewide always takes priority.  Currently, we have more basketball affiliates (21) than baseball affiliates (13).  In fairness to our affiliates -- and the sponsors who count on them -- we have to offer on our satellite channel the sport that's carried by more of our stations.  It's a common industry protocol, and from an ethical and business standpoint, it's the right thing to do. 

 

We also defer to the "ongoing" sport.  A late-season conference game should, and will, take precedence over an early-season non-conference game.  Wins and losses do not factor into this decision.  It's about staying consistent with our affiliates and our sponsors' expectations.

 

Please note:  this does not shut you out of listening to your desired game!  You can still subscribe to Gamecock All-Access or buy the Gamecocks Online iTunes or Android listening app.

 

 

10.)   Can I listen to the baseball game on XM?

      

       For selected conference games only.  XM has three dedicated SEC channels (199-201), which makes carrying every South Carolina game impossible.  After all, we have to share those channels with 13 other SEC schools.  Each week, XM selects the games that it carries.  We will notify you when they decide to pick up a South Carolina broadcast (they usually make the decision early in the week).  You can also check their programming schedule on siriusxm.com.

Outback Bowl - Steve Spurrier.jpegIn advance of the 2013 Signing Day today, ESPN's SEC writer Chris Low recently took a look at recruiting in the SEC over the past four years and the results on the field. Good news for your Gamecocks.

The school doing the most with the least has been South Carolina. The Gamecocks have signed 13 ESPN 150 prospects since 2009, which is seventh in the league. But the Gamecocks have the third-best record over the last four years (38-15) behind only Alabama and LSU. They're also one of two teams in the league (along with Alabama) to have won 11 or more games each of the last two seasons.

As the Head Ball Coach himself would say, somebody's coaching 'em up in Columbia.

Read the full article here.


Check out the Gamecocks' Signing Day Central page for coverage of this year's class.

Carolina Football: Top 10 Program

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We first distributed the graphic below via email and it's been making the rounds in social media. Check out some of the reasons Carolina Football has solidified itself as a Top 10 Program. It's Great to be a Gamecock!


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Season ticket deposits are available for the 2013 season. Go to GamecocksOnline.com/tickets for more info.

Throwback Thursday: 2005 Tennessee Win & Sidney Rice

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Throwback Thursday! Today we're going back to October 29, 2005, Coach Spurrier's first season and Gamecock Football's first-ever win in Knoxville. Gamecock great Sidney Rice had 8 catches for 112 yards and two TDs to help lead the way and Josh Brown kicked the game-winning field goal for the 16-15 victory over the Vols. What was your favorite memory from this game?


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Have an idea for who you want to see featured on Throwback Thursday? Share it in the comments.

Faile Family Holiday Surprise from The Ellen Show

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No Gamecock fan could forget the Faile family after the video of their surprise reunion before Carolina's game vs. Georgia spread like wildfire in social media this fall. Ellen DeGeneres was one of many celebrities to see and share the video, but she took it a step further for "The Ellen Show" with lots of surprises for the family, including a $25,000 prize in her Cash at Your Door game in November and, most recently, a trip to her show and a large prize package for Christmas:




Thank you to Sgt. Faile and everyone who helped make this special surprise a success!





Jadeveon Clowney Hit the Talk of College Football

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Reactions ranged from "greatest hit ever seen" to just a simple, "Wow."  The hit and fumble recovery Jadeveon Clowney put on Michigan's Vincent Smith spawned a trending topic on Twitter, multiple ESPN replays, No. 1 on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays of the day, online GIF images, mulitple YouTube uploads, and even a tweet by LeBron James

ESPN's official YouTube upload of the hit alone has almost 800,000 views in 24 hours:




The Gamecock Productions edition of the hit includes another low-angle shot from the other side of the field:




As big of a play as it was individually for Clowney, it was also a huge game-changer. As anyone who watched the game knows, the play came immediately after a questionable first down call in Michigan's favor that seemed to fire up the South Carolina defense. On the next play after the hit and fumble recovery, Connor Shaw found Ace Sanders in the end zone for a go-ahead score.

Outback Bowl Day 6: First Look at Raymond James Stadium

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We've been practicing and enjoying bowl events all week - and it's finally almost time for the game. Just one more day until kick-off of the Outback Bowl on January 1st at 1:00 PM. The Gamecocks held a walk-through practice at Jefferson High School before busing over to Raymond James Stadium for their first look. The stadium is all decked out in Outback Bowl signage and field paint (and Gamecock rally towels!!)


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If you're not coming to the game, be sure to tune in on ESPN at 1:00 PM! Go Gamecocks!



Outback Bowl Day 5: Beach Day

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After practice this afternoon a group of Gamecocks made the short trip from Tampa to Clearwater for Beach Day. Michigan and South Carolina fans enjoyed the band, cheerleaders, and a few light-spirited competitions. While Michigan's cheerleaders won the tug of war 2-1 (Michigan men and co-ed teams both won, Carolina women won), the Gamecocks took home the pie-eating contest courtesy of Ashton Holmes.  Clearwater officials presented both teams with symbolic keys to the city and other gifts.  More photos here.


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Tomorrow will be a low key day for the team with just one day left until Outback Bowl game day. The team will have meetings in the morning and a walk-through later in the afternoon.

Outback Bowl Day 5: Last Full Practice

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The Gamecocks held their last full practice this morning in preparation for the Outback Bowl on Tuesday.  Check out a few photos below as the team was in good spirits for their final practice, even starting off practice with Sandstorm for the first flex line song.
Post-practice interview video with Coach Ward is available here on GamecocksOnline.com. More photos in our Facebook album here.


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The Outback Bowl is just two days away on January 1st! Tune in at 1:00 PM as the Gamecocks take on Michigan. 

After waking up to rainy weather in Tampa this morning, the sun made an appearance just as the Gamecocks began practice around 11 AM (watch post-practice media interviews here.)

After practice the team enjoyed a great lunch from Outback Steakhouse, then headed out to Busch Gardens for the afternoon. A group of players were given a special chance to see the best of the park - learning some new moves from dancers (video of Victor Hampton's attempt here), riding one of the most popular roller coasters (watch video of their reactions right after getting off Cheetah Hunt here), and feeding giraffes. A big thank you to the Outback Bowl and Busch Gardens staff members who escorted them through the attractions and made it all possible! 


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"[Feeding the giraffes] was awesome. It was everything I wanted it to be. I was waiting for it all day and finally got to feed them. I was excited," Kenny Miles said after the experience. "I love animals. I like giraffes and getting to feed them made me even more excited to see them."

Check out a few more photos below and see our full photo album here.   




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Stay tuned for more from our Outback Bowl trip including tomorrow's outing to Clearwater for Beach Day!

Outback Bowl Day 3: Splitsville Bowling

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In what will hopefully be a prediction of the Outback Bowl outcome, South Carolina defeated Michigan tonight in the two team's Outback Bowl outing to Splitsville in Tampa. Each team selected four players to represent their squads. Representing the Gamecocks were Byron Jerideau, Ace Sanders, D.J. Swearinger, and Dylan Thompson. The team would put up a winning score of 448 to beat handily Michigan's score of 383. The two teams shared some good-natured trash talk along with enjoying food and other activities. Check out a few photos below along with our full album here.  Video highlights available soon on GamecocksOnline.com. 


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The two teams prepare to compete!


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Ace Sanders was clutch with a few strikes.


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Winning team!


Stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com throughout the bowl trip to Tampa for more coverage!

Outback Bowl Day 3: Team Luncheon and Practice

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Outback Bowl festivities continued today as the Gamecocks headed into downtown Tampa for the DeBartolo Team Luncheon. Both teams joined in the festivities and enjoyed a great lunch.  After lunch the Gamecocks trekked over to Jefferson High School for their second practice. Tonight, they'll head to Splitsville in Tampa for bowling and fun.


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Photo gallery - team luncheon

Photo gallery - practice and new cleats

Outback Bowl Day 2: Children's Hospital Visit

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After their first practice in Tampa, a contingent of Gamecock football players headed to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa to visit with patients Thursday afternoon. They were joined by several Michigan players as well and all had a great time. You can see video of the event here and our full album of photos from the visit here


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Left to right (back row) Dylan Thompson, Kadetrix Marcus, Brock Stadnik, Kelcy Quarles, J.T. Surratt, Clayton Stadnik, (front row) Victor Hampton, Walker Inabinet, Ace Sanders

"[The visit] was great and a positive time to make the kids smile. I had fun interacting with the kids who are in a more serious situation than we are and just making them smile," Dylan Thompson said after the visit. "It's bigger than football. It's good to know they'll have a positive thing when you know they may have some negative days surrounding that." 


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The players split into two groups comprised of players from both teams to visit rooms throughout the children's hospital, ages ranging from toddlers to teenagers. The players from both teams developed a camaraderie (though Victor Hampton jokingly reminded everyone it was all business on January 1st!).

"It was a really good experience to have the chance to make a little kid's day that is just less fortunate than I am. My mom always tells me to count my blessings. It's just a reality check that your life could be different than how it is," Ace Sanders shared. "[The Michigan players] were good people. You don't typically go hang out with the people you're about to play against, but we had a chance to bond; they're good guys over there."

See more photos from the visit here and stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com throughout the bowl week for more coverage of events and practices. Go Gamecocks!

Outback Bowl Day 2: First Practice

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The Gamecocks took over Jefferson High School this morning for their first practice in Tampa to prep for the Outback Bowl. Check out a few pictures below and see the full album here


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South Carolina takes on Michigan in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day, January 1st, at 1:00 PM on ESPN.




Outback Bowl Day 1: Welcome to Tampa!

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The Gamecocks arrived in Tampa Bay today for their New Year's Day Outback Bowl match-up with Michigan. The first official bowl event was a Welcome Dinner by Outback Steakhouse.  Check out a couple photos from the day below and see the full album here!


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Check out the stats on the more than 4,700 pounds of food for the two teams: 750 lbs of sirloin steak, 750 lbs of chicken, and 900 lbs of ribs, all cooked over a wood fire grill. Also 700 lbs of house salad, 400 lbs of bacon topped lobster mac & cheese, 1,600 coconut shrimp, 160 bloomin' onions, 1,200 lbs of cheese cake, 80 gallons of barbecue sauce and 90 cases of soda and water. 


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Stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com throughout the week leading up to the Outback Bowl for coverage of bowl activities and events! First day of practice here in Tampa is tomorrow. 


Fort Jackson Troops Visit Athletics Facilities

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Fort Jackson trainees who didn't head home for the holidays hung out with us today! They toured Carolina Stadium and Williams-Brice (even taking time for a race on the field), then went to cheer on Women's Basketball in their 65-45 win over SC State.


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Thank you, soldiers! Go Gamecocks!


Throwback Thursday: 2001 Outback Bowl MVP Ryan Brewer

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Throwback Thursday takes us to the 2001 Outback Bowl MVP Ryan Brewer! The sophomore running back had 19 carries for 109 yards, an additional 92 yards receiving, and scored all three of the Gamecocks' touchdowns in a 24-7 dismantling of Ohio State on New Year's Day. Can we get a BRREWWWW!!!! chant going?



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Have an idea for who you want to see featured on Throwback Thursday? Share it in the comments.

Gamecocks Outback Bowl Digital Bowl Guide

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The Gamecocks will be in beautiful Tampa Bay for a week after Christmas for the Outback Bowl vs. Michigan on January 1st at 1:00 PM on ESPN. Check out our digital bowl guide from the Gamecock Sports Network by IMG College including fan events down in Tampa Bay and a look back at the 2012 football season.


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Digital Bowl Guide

Throwback Thursday: John Abraham

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Time for Throwback Thursday! John Abraham (1996-1999) led the Gamecocks in sacks each of his four years at Carolina and has continued harassing QBs in the NFL. Currently playing for the Atlanta Falcons, he leads all active NFL players with 122 career sacks. What's your favorite memory of the player nicknamed, "The Predator"?

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Have an idea for who you want to see featured on Throwback Thursday? Share it in the comments.

*Written by student assistant Kim Barrett

On Monday, Jamie Speroni, associate athletic director of football operations, joined Derek Scott on 107.5 The Game for the weekly edition of "Inside the Roost." Speronis discussed the football team's preparations for the Outback Bowl and how he coordinates the plans for the team traveling to Tampa.

The first step in preparing for the game was Coach Spurrier and Speronis traveling to Tampa last week to sign the contract for the game. The two are familiar with the preparations that go into planning the Outback Bowl after the Gamecocks played in the bowl against Iowa in 2009. When asked if it helps having prepared for the bowl game before, Speronis stated "Absolute'y it does. It's a lot easier."

To be successful in the bowl game, football personnel must pack up everything in Columbia and move their operations to Tampa for about a week. When asked who has the toughest job in this process, Speronis shared, "[Director of Equipment] Chris Matlock must pack up the equipment, computers, medical supplies and strength and conditioning equipment, and move it down there. I believe he has the thankless job of it."

Playing in the Outback Bowl provides a unique opportunity for the players and coaches, as they will get to experience playing in an NFL facility. Speronis believes the players are lucky to play in such an exciting facility, stating "Anytime you are in a National Football League facility its exciting. It's just a real special feel to play where the NFL does."

The Gamecocks will travel to Tampa on Dec. 26 and will resume practice there on the 27th. Despite leaving so close to Christmas, players and coaches will break for the holidays on the 22nd. Speronis shared that players from Florida are allowed to go home and meet the team in Tampa, rather than traveling back to Columbia first.

When in Tampa the team will practice at Jefferson High School, the same place they practiced at in 2009. Speronis shared with 107.5 that the bowl committee has a collection of sites that they allow the universities to choose from.

Being student-athletes, the players are currently consumed with finals and looking forward to going home for the holidays, but Speronis was quick to note "If anyone has question that we will be tuned in and focused they should eliminate that." The team will resume practice this Friday and will have some two-a-days between now and breaking for Christmas.

When not concerned with the stress of the game, the team will get the chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful city of Tampa. Having lived in Tampa before, Speronis is excited for the players to enjoy the perks of playing in a bowl game in a great location. Speronis shared, "Its a great location and a new property. These guys will be spoiled rotten by those people."

Despite the hype and distractions of playing in a bowl game, the Gamecocks must stay focused on their goals. As Speronis noted, "At the end of the day its a business trip, and our goal is to get to 11 wins."


Marcus Lattimore officially announced today that he will enter the 2013 NFL Draft, foregoing his final season of college eligibility. He held a news conference this afternoon to discuss his decision along with head coach Steve Spurrier and team physician Dr. Jeffrey Guy. Watch the full video and read their statements here.

After the news conference we asked Marcus a few questions to reflect on his time at Carolina and his appreciation for the fans.


BL: What is a favorite memory that will stick with you about your time at Carolina?

ML: One is easily when we came back from Florida [in 2010] and it was maybe 2:30 in the morning and the end zone of the stadium was almost full of fans. That amazed me. I was just a freshman that year and had never seen anything like that. Fans were out there waiting on us. That's what proved to me that we have the most loyal fans.

You knew coming to South Carolina was the right place for you, but did you ever expect this much fan support that you've gotten, both on the field and off?

No, not at all. It was surreal to me [after I got hurt]. I was watching Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football and heard them say, 'praying for Marcus.' Fans would even come to my house to say 'we're praying for you' or 'thank you for everything you've done'. Just everywhere I went in Columbia it has been nothing but sincere respect for me and that means a lot.

What will you miss the most about your time at Carolina?

Of course the love I got from here, but just my amazing teammates. I've made lifelong friends that will be at my wedding one day and I'll be at theirs one day. It's crazy that I found so many friends even outside of football and I will miss that the most - the student body and all my teammates.

You plan to stay involved and you're still a Gamecock for life; does it help to know you'll always be welcomed back with open arms?

No doubt.  That's one thing I want to do anyway. When football is over for me I want to come back and help this university the way they helped me achieve my goals and put me in this position I'm in today.

What's one thing you want fans to know?

One thing I want fans to know is I got every letter, I got every card, and I'm working on reading all of them, especially from Gamecock Nation. I really, really appreciate them because it really got my spirits up.



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Marcus Lattimore with his family after the news conference.


We've heard some talk this week about the academic success of our football team prompted by an inaccurate report distributed to the media. While that information has been corrected, we thought it was important to weigh in on the topic of measuring academic achievement.

Rating the academic standard for current teams is difficult because of the delay between events and the data collection and reporting by the NCAA, especially around Graduation Success Rates (GSR). So third parties are left to use only historical data to draw conclusions about this season's teams, which isn't entirely fair to the current student-athletes working so hard toward their degrees.

Over the last two full seasons (2010, 2011), our football team has reached new heights on the field, bringing every Gamecock fan with them. Want to know what other heights the team has been rising to?

  • South Carolina football posted its highest ever GPA in Spring 2012, breaking the previous semester's record, and has had a team GPA of 2.7 or higher for the last four semesters.
  • The football team's APR (Academic Progress Rate), which is more of a real-time indicator than GSR, has been trending upward such that the program has a four-year average of 966 and a single-year high of 993 in 2010-11 - both numbers are the highest in program history.
  • On the 2012 team, there are 10 student-athletes who have already earned their degrees.
  • In the last two academic years (2009-10 and 2010-11), 50 football student-athletes have graduated - including two current NFL players who came back to finish what they started in the classroom.

We can be honest. A football GSR of 55 is not where we want or expect our program to be. But, let's see where our number is when the data catches up with the student-athletes that have been on the field the last several years. We're confident that the 55, which measured the freshman class entering in 2005, will represent the turning point for an upward trend in the GSR as well. How do we know that? We know Steve Spurrier.

Coach Spurrier and our academic staff have instilled a culture in our football program based on the idea that greatness in one area yields it in the other. The focus it takes to study film on an opponent is the same as it is to study for a pre-calculus exam. The discipline it takes to sit at a computer after a hard practice to write a five-page paper on the impact of the Civil War on the economy of the South is the same as it is to wake up early for voluntary conditioning sessions throughout the summer.

The student-athletes have clearly embraced the concept. The record-breaking academic numbers from the last several years listed above have come with an SEC Eastern Division title in 2010 and a school-record 11 wins and a top-10 national ranking in 2012.

"Coach Spurrier and his football staff as well as the academic services staff have worked extremely hard to establish a standard and to communicate expectations to our student-athletes," said Raymond Harrison, associate athletics director for academics and life skills. "There is a strong level of accountability, not only from the coaches but also from the student-athletes who understand the formula for success. The upperclassmen take pride in teaching the younger student-athletes the Carolina way - doing things right all the time and being consistent in your work ethic. This has transformed the program, and we are so proud of their academic achievements."

And, Gamecock Nation can be proud as well, not just of our football team's achievements, but of those of all our student-athletes.


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Check out some of our Spring 2012 graduates last May!


Anyone who was in Williams-Brice on October 6 this fall was overjoyed by the Gamecocks defeating Georgia. But the biggest story from the game turned out to be a special moment before kick-off. Turns out Jeremy Fowler, a columnist with CBSsports.com, agreed. He picked the surprise military family reunion at Williams-Brice as his top "best moment" of the 2012 college football season. Check out an excerpt below and see his full article here.

"The best moment of the 2012 season didn't happen during the game.

Family reunited in Columbia: Rarely does a 35-7 thumping of Georgia in Williams-Brice Stadium get upstaged in pregame, but Sgt. Scott Faile's triumphant return from Kuwait easily did just that.

Tammy Faile and her two children were picked to take the field as the "Military Family of the Game." Sgt. Faile appeared on the video board with a message that he wished he could watch "the Gamecocks beat up on Georgia. ... Just keep in mind my tour is over soon."

Once the message ended and Faile actually walked onto the field, to the surprise of a family that sprinted to his side, the game was already over. Easily the best moment of the year for those who watched it live (I was lucky) or those who saw the video online."


Pre-Game Photos - South Carolina at Clemson

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Always a great atmosphere for a rivalry game!! Check out a few photos from before today's game and see the full photo album here on our Facebook page


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South Carolina taking on Clemson on ESPN and the Gamecock Radio Network. GO GAMECOCKS!

 

Inside The Chart.pngThe stakes have gotten higher, and the obsessing has started a little earlier, for this year's edition of Carolina vs. Clemson (7:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network).  Can you blame anyone?  Never in the 110-game history of the series have the teams met with more combined wins.  Never before could a BCS bowl go to the winner, and a BCS brush-off go to the loser.  The game features one of its sharpest contrasts of styles ever, with Clemson's jaw-dropping offense squaring off against Carolina's jaw-breaking, SEC-tested defense.  Neither team has faced an opponent quite like the other.  And because of that, never has the outcome felt like such a complete, utter mystery.  It makes for one compelling, combustible showdown at Death Valley Saturday night.

More notes as we dive into our prep for Clemson:

Run Kenny Run:  Kenny Miles plays each game with one number in mind. 


"I always say to myself, 'You only have 50 [yards],'" Miles told me. 

 

Kenny Miles vs. Arkansas.jpegHe explained the psychology behind it.  "If you keep telling yourself you're having a good game, then you'll lose focus.  But if you keep telling yourself you only have 50, you'll keep playing hard.  You've got to keep finishing your runs.  You'll keep grinding for those yards, and you'll wind up having a pretty good game," he said.

Kenny Miles has had several productive games against Clemson in his Carolina career.

Miles has had a few of those against his in-state rival.  As a freshman, Miles rampaged for 114 yards against Clemson, a career high that stood until last week.  Last year, he posted a season-high 71 rushing yards.  With Connor Shaw nursing a sore foot, Miles' productivity could be magnified.

Keep Your Powder Dry:  The talk this week has revolved - rightfully so - around Clemson's deadly, dizzying up-tempo offense.  Led by running back Andre Ellington, quicksilver receivers Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins, and quarterback Tajh Boyd, the Tigers are averaging 536 yards of offense, the sixth-highest total in the country.  The Tigers' tempo (82.1 plays per game, 3rd nation) makes it difficult, if not impossible, for defenses to make substitutions and checks.

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The Gamecocks haven't faced a team that plays at such warp speed, but here's a lesser-known fact:  they have faced a team with similar explosiveness.  Clemson averages 6.52 yards per play, the second-highest average among South Carolina's opponents.  The only team that rips off more yards per play?  Georgia (7.00). 

The Gamecocks smothered the Bulldogs in their October 6 meeting, holding them to an average of 3.3 yards per play.  South Carolina set the edges, denied cutback lanes, and affected quarterback Aaron Murray with pressure from their "rabbit"package.  A similar recipe may be required Saturday.

Tajh Boyd's numbers compare favorably to Georgia's Aaron Murray (right).  Will a similar result follow in Death Valley?

Incidentally, Boyd ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency behind - you guessed it - Aaron Murray.  The Gamecocks forced Murray into career lows in completions and passing yards.   

Poised to Strike?  South Carolina just finished off its first perfect home record since 1987, but on the road, the Gamecocks have been plagued by curiously slow starts.  In four road games, Carolina has been outscored 51-20 in the first half, and its 255.5 yards per game ranks 119th in the nation, placing them in the company of such lightweights as 3-8 Auburn, 2-9 Tulane, 1-9 Hawaii, and 1-10 Idaho.

The perils of a slow start on the road are well-documented.  Perhaps this stat will offer encouragement.  Look at where Clemson ranks in total defense against FBS winning teams, and the company they keep:

NCAA Rank            Team                      Yds. Allowed/Game

100.                        Arkansas             492.1

101.                        Clemson                 493.8

102.                        East Carolina       494.3

103.                        Wake Forest           494.5

104.                        Tennessee          494.6

They Gamecocks toasted those teams for an average of 41 points per game.  Can Bruce Ellington, Ace Sanders, and the Gamecock tight ends poke holes in a Clemson secondary that will be without its starting cornerbacks?  Can the Gamecock offensive line get downhill early?  If so, can they put Carolina's slow road starts behind them?

State of Recovery:  Like any rivalry game, turnovers can swing momentum quickly.  The Gamecocks are one of four teams in the nation that has not recovered a fumble on the road this year.  BYU, Army, and Oklahoma State round out the support group.

South Carolina - Fumbles Recovered

Home                     8

Road                      0

 

Pressure to Pressure?  I asked Devin Taylor if the defensive line felt more pressure to hurry Boyd.  In typical, stoic style, the senior defensive end offered his reply:

"There's always pressure on our front four to affect the quarterback."

For the final time, Taylor will cast his 6'8" shadow on the Carolina-Clemson series, leading a pass rush that ranks eighth in the nation in sacks (34.0).  Lest you think the Tigers have faced toothless pass rushes, though, Clemson has played four teams that rank in the Top 30 nationally in sacks.  In the face of pressure, Boyd has a ready answer:  he ranks second on the Tigers in rushing (466 yards), and his freelance runs have become a vital part of Clemson's offense.  If the Gamecocks can bring pressure with their four down linemen, that could free up Lorenzo Ward's linebackers to drop back in coverage or spy on Boyd, not allowing him to turn upfield.  It may also prevent him from delivering to his playmakers with the space they want.

And Finally....  South Carolina has outscored Clemson 44-17 in the second half during its three-game winning streak.  Can the Gamecocks call in their closers again Saturday?

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage begins at 4:00 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you in Death Valley.  -AD--

Travel and Gameday Information for Clemson

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Carolina Football heads to Clemson to take on their rival Tigers this weekend and many Gamecock fans are sure to be their crowing along! Be sure to wear gameday Garnet and Black to help us stand out in the crowd of Purple and Orange Tigers!


Directions to Memorial Stadium in Clemson


Stadium Map (click here to enlarge):





Here are some helpful tips and information we've pulled together to help you enjoy gameday on the road.

If you have gameday questions in Clemson, feel free to tweet us at @GamecocksOnline and we will do our best to help! Many questions may be answered in Clemson's Fan Guide.

A few tips Clemson shared with us to pass along:

Parking lots open at 8 a.m.

Gates open at 5 p.m. - those with lower deck tickets can use any lower deck gate. Top deck tickets must use the gate printed on the ticket.

Re-entry is allowed - must have ticket and hand stamp to re-enter.

Please arrive early to avoid heavy traffic and be able to get into seats before kickoff.


For those in the stadium, you may listen to the Gamecock Radio broadcast of the game on 95.1 FM Primary or 97.3 FM Alternate.

 

TICKETS

If you purchased tickets through the South Carolina Ticket Office you may pick them up at the visitor ticket gate, Gate 9. Our ticket office staff will be on location there to assist Gamecock fans with any gameday ticket problems.


GAMEDAY ARRIVAL

The football team will arrive at Memorial Stadium at approximately 5 p.m. They are scheduled to be dropped off at Gate 10. Fans are welcome to come cheer on the team as they get off the bus and head in to the stadium!

"What Channel is the Game On?" Clemson Edition

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Thumbnail image for ESPN logo.jpgOur weekly "what channel is the game on?" post returns as the Gamecocks prepare for the final game of the regular season against rival Clemson. Carolina hopes to earn their fourth-straight victory over their rival Tigers, matching their longest win streak in history.

The game is sold out so we know a lot of fans will be tuned in at home. Every week we bring you this post to try to help out those in Gamecock Country who can't make it to the game in person.


The Gamecocks take on Clemson on Saturday, November 24, airing nationally on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. ESPN's Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, and Shannon Spake will call the action for the broadcast.

The game will also be available nationwide online streaming on WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app.  WatchESPN is available free to fans with video subscriptions through Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Brighthouse and Comcast.


Game Information:
Who: #12 South Carolina vs. #11 Clemson
When: Saturday, November 24, 2012, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Clemson Memorial Stadium
TV: ESPN, WatchESPN
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 below channels within the state of South Carolina. 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):

ESPN

Time Warner Cable
Columbia, SC Channel 26 (Digital channel 500, HD channel 1500)
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 Derek Scott and Langston Moore on the call on Sunday, November 25, at 8 p.m. on SportSouth following The Steve Spurrier Show at 7:30 p.m. The replay also airs at 1 a.m.


In addition to television, hear from your very own Gamecocks Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and Ryan Brewer 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 112/XM 197).

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

29 Football Players Being Honored for Senior Day

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Saturday's game vs. Wofford is the final home game for 29 Gamecock Football players. Be sure to get to your seats by approximately 12:30 PM to help give them a proper farewell during Senior Day presentations before the game. Cheer loudly for them throughout the game and sing along with the alma mater after the game.

The 2012 Carolina senior class has produced 35 wins over the past four seasons (7 in 2009, 9 in 2010, 11 in 2011 and 8 in 2012), surpassing last year's senior class total of 34 for the most in school history. It's the third-straight year a new standard has been set, as the 2010 seniors posted a then-school record 29 wins.

GO GAMECOCKS!


Akeem Auguste

Jacob Baker

Reginald Bowens

Kaleb Broome

Andrew Clifford

Justice Cunningham   (2012 Team Captain)

Travis Ford

Aldrick Fordham

Qua Gilchrist

Chaun Gresham

DeVonte Holloman

Walker Inabinet

Damario Jeffery

Byron Jerideau

T.J. Johnson   (2012 Team Captain)


Blair Lowery

Kyle Madden

Kenny Miles

Davis Moore

D.L. Moore

Jared Shaw

DeAngelo Smith

Quin Smith

Seth Strickland

D.J. Swearinger   (2012 Team Captain) 


Devin Taylor

David Wilkins

Shaq Wilson   (2012 Team Captain)

Adam Yates



Four student equipment managers will also be honored as part of Senior Day:

Brett Bethune

Tye Burke

Grant Collins

Shane Nelson



Gameday Timeline: SC vs. Wofford

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Can't believe the season has gone by so fast! Saturday is the Gamecocks' final home football game of the season as they take on Wofford at 1:00 PM. Be sure to get to your seats at least 30 minutes before kick-off for Senior Day presentations. 27 senior players will be honored before the game. Cheer loudly for them and through the entire game and the alma mater to help give this record-breaking group a proper farewell!

*Times approximate

8 a.m.

Athletics Dept. parking lots at Farmer's Market, Fairgrounds, Armory, ETV, and Stadium open

8 a.m.

Stadium Parking Office opens

8:30 a.m

Lexington Medical Center Gamecock Village opens

9 a.m.

Stadium Box Office opens

9:30 a.m.

Student Ticketing Window opens

10:40 a.m.

Gamecock Walk

11 a.m.

Early gates 4, 14, 16, 22, 25 open

11:30 a.m.

Gates open

11:30 a.m.

Band & Spirit Pep Rally at Gamecock Village

12:30 p.m.

Senior Day presentations

1 p.m.

Kick-off vs. Wofford


Also note in the Lexington Medical Center Gamecock Village this week is the Wahl Grooming 101 Tour with its mobile barbershop and team of stylists to help guys learn the ins and outs of cutting and maintaining their hair. Check it out!

Gamecock fans experienced quite a treat a few weeks ago as Darius Rucker performed a surprise concert in Gamecock Village after the Gamecock Walk and did a wonderful job performing the national anthem before the game. Yahoo Music was along for the ride. Check out their video feature.

Darius Rucker talked about his visit and thoughts on college football in Yahoo Music's blog post.

*Written by student assistant Kelly McAlindin

Following practice Wednesday night, coaches and players offered comments on the confidence in their play for Saturday's game and not overlooking Wofford's ability.

As they approach the last home game of the season, the Gamecocks have revived their tenacity that had been damaged on their tough stretch on the road against LSU and Florida. When asked about the reliability of his starting offensive line, Coach Shawn Elliott said it is great to have the same five guys playing every game, "We've settled into a groove where we feel like we are capable of going out there and putting forth a good effort."

The offense as a whole has stepped up to make some game-changing plays. Coaches and players have especially taken notice of Bruce Ellington's improvements at wide receiver and believe in his ability to be a leader and make plays.

"It's good to have him on the field, it's good to have the ball in his hands, and it's good that he's getting his opportunities, " noted Steve Spurrier Jr.

Ellington's fellow wide receiver Ace Sanders also commented on Bruce's improved play and the impact it has had on the Carolina offense, "It's always a great thing when you have [more than one person] out there that you believe in and that can make play."

When asked about how it feels to be a key player for the Gamecocks, Ellington believes he has been put in great situations by his teammates and appreciates his opportunities, "It builds my confidence to be able to go out there and catch the ball."

When asked about the improved level of leadership among the players, Spurrier Jr. explained how proud he is to see the top players as role models for the younger players, "You want your best players to be your best leaders because everyone emulates those guys and we've had a strong core of players who have been great."

The confidence the Gamecocks have in their level of play will favor them in Saturday's game but they cannot afford to overlook Wofford as a tough opponent. With an undefeated home record on the line, they must take the game as seriously as they would for any other. When asked about his expectations for Saturday, Coach Elliott said he has been watching Wofford for a long time and they are not a team to be taken lightly, "I don't take this team for granted, I know exactly what they are capable of, and we have to play our best to beat them."

Check out more videos of coaches' and players' post-practice interviews here and check back to GamecocksOnline.com tonight for thoughts from Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward following Thursday's practice.

Sneak Peek at South Carolina-Wofford Gameday Program

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We're just two days away from Senior Day and the final home game of the season. Feels like it flew by! 27 players will be honored during pre-game festivities so be sure to get to your seats early and cheer loudly through the very end of the game to give them a proper farewell at Williams-Brice. It's also Military Appreciation Day including the popular annual Salute to the Military halftime presentation. Take a sneak peek at this week's gameday program. Senior defensive end Devin Taylor is the cover star this week as well as the focus of a feature story written by Media Relations Student Assistant Kevin Hellman. Check out an excerpt and read the full feature in this week's program, which you can pick up at the game for $5.


"Devin has had a really good career for us," said defensive line coach Brad Lawing.  He is a real intelligent person, understands the game, and makes very few mistakes - kind of how he leads - by example." 
     Lawing noted that Taylor consistently works with younger players on the team to help them improve.  Always there with an ear to listen, or a few words to say, he is an example of one of many student-athletes that has grown into being a top-tier SEC player.
     "(Younger players) look up to him because he has played so much football here and had success," added Lawing. 
     Devin Taylor has helped contribute to many firsts and in South Carolina football history.
     The redshirt senior from Beaufort made an impact right away in his first game in Raleigh, N.C. Coach Lawing remembers the 2009 victory at N.C. State and how Taylor's consistent surges from defensive end caused havoc on the Wolfpack offense and starting quarterback Russell Wilson, who currently now is in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.
     "He started the game and caused a fumble on his very first play," noted Lawing.  "We recovered that fumble and scored on that series and won 7-3."

Other features in this week's program include "Carolina's Finest" taking a look at junior softball player Samie Garcia and a profile on the Women's Basketball team off to a 2-0 this season. Our "Inside the University" feature will take a closer look at the University's assistance to help military members pursue their degrees.

We also look back on November 17, 2001, and the Gamecocks' 20-15 victory over Clemson for the "On This Date" feature written by Assistant Media Relations Director Andrew Kitick.

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Be sure to pick up the program on Saturday at the game vs. Wofford presented by Kangaroo Express and Safe Federal Credit Union. 

Thank you to the Media Relations staff for their hard work on the program and their help with this post!







Saturday's Military Appreciation Day Honorees

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Saturday's game against Wofford is Military Appreciation Day, including our annual Salute to the Military halftime show. Be sure to stay in your seats for this special annual event.


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As part of the event several members of the armed forces will be recognized. The honorees will represent all of our veterans as well as those presently serving. The honorees will be presented with a special football by University President Harris Pastides and Athletics Director Ray TannerLearn more about them below:


Johnny Mayo and Buck
Mayo was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade 39th Scout Dog Platoon in Vietnam. He and his faithful German Shepherd, Luke, will be paying tribute to the handlers and the dogs who helped save American lives on the battlefield. His awards include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, The Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

Major Walter Reece
Reece is a graduate of the Class of 1991 at the University of South Carolina. He is a UH-1 Huey Pilot and has served in the Marines for 20 years, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His awards include the Air Medal Strike/Flight, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals.

Lieutenant Colonel John Wright
Lieutenant Colonel John Wright has served in a variety of command assignments during his 26 years of service, including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Currently he is the Commander of the Gamecock Battalion. Some of his numerous awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Lieutenant General Dana Kyle Chipman
Chipman is the the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army. He began his service with the 4th Infantry Division where he served as a platoon leader and company executive officer. He earned a juris doctor from the Stanford Law School and holds degrees from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School and the United States Army War College. During his long and illustrious career he has earned many awards including the following: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, The Legion of Merit, The Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal.

Corporal Kevin Brewington
Corporal Brewington was serving in Afghanistan in September of 2011 with the 125th Stryker Brigade. While on patrol he stepped on an IED, losing both his legs and leaving him with a severe injury to his right arm. His awards include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

133rd Military Police Company
The 133rd Military Police Company conducted over 600 joint patrols while serving in Afghanistan to help train and partner with the Afghan uniformed police. On June 20, 2012, they came under one of the heaviest and most devastating attacks of the the campaign due to an insurgent suicide bomber. Despite losing three soldiers and having five seriously wounded, they continued to fight with great discipline and focus. The company has been awarded the Valorous and Meritorious Unit Awards, and soldiers from the company have received 21 Bronze Stars, 10 Purple Hearts and 142 Army Commendation Medals.


*Written by student assistant Kim Barrett

After practice Tuesday, defensive players and coaches talked to the media about preparations for Saturday's game against Wofford, and the excitement of the last home game for seniors.

Wofford is different from teams the Gamecocks have played this season because they run a triple option offense. After playing passing teams during their past two games, the Gamecocks' defense will be up against a tough running team. Devin Taylor explained that they are looking at film from similar teams they have played in the past to prepare for this type of offense.

When asked if he was worried about playing a running team this week, Taylor said, "All of us guys have to play disciplined throughout the whole game. Take a play off if we need it and listen to what the coach tells us."

Despite Wofford playing in the Southern Conference, a Football Championship Subdivision conference, Coach Lawing is quick to recognize the Terriers' ability. Lawing shared, "In my opinion Wofford runs the option better than any team in the country."

Coach Brown shared that his players need to make sure they focus their eyes on the right players to not miss any big plays. He explained, "If a corner spends too much time looking at the quarterback than they won't see the receiver running down the field."

Saturday's game is even more important for the seniors who will be playing their last home game as Gamecocks. Several players took the post-practice interviews as a time to reflect on what it feels like to be a part of the winningest class in Gamecock history.

When asked how they started the winning tradition, Shaq Wilson shared, "We all came from winning schools in high school, and the coaches decided they wanted to get winning players. We all brought that winning atmosphere here."

Coach Botkin has only been with Carolina for one season, but has as much pride for the senior class as a coach that has worked with players throughout their whole careers. Botkin attributes the Gamecocks' success to their senior leadership, stating, "Those guys are the reason we have been successful. The leadership, presence and energy they bring has helped this team. It's contagious and has helped everyone else play better."

The senior Gamecocks take an extreme amount of pride in the team they have been apart of, and are planning a strong finish for their last home game. When asked his feelings about his last game at Williams-Brice, DeVonte Holloman shared, "Its just special. We cherish every moment, and we are going to finish it with a cherry on top on Saturday."

Watch full videos of the players' and coaches' comments here, and check back to Gamecocksonline.com tonight for comments after Wednesday's practice.

 

Inside The Chart.png

 

Cornerback Akeem Auguste admits, with unbridled enthusiasm, to a love of the TV show "Law & Order."

Exactly what kind of "senior" does that make him, anyway?

Auguste, along with a host of others, will celebrate their Senior Day Saturday as South Carolina faces Wofford at Williams-Brice Stadium.  The Gamecocks and Terriers (8-2, 6-2 SoCon) will meet for the first time since September 20, 2008, when Auguste - then a callow freshman - recorded one solo tackle in a 23-13 win. 

All the patience and discipline that Auguste has developed over the last five years will come in handy against a Wofford team that rarely beats itself.  At his Tuesday press conference, Steve Spurrier called the Terriers "the most fundamentally sound team we've played all year."  Talent alone won't overwhelm Wofford.  Executing and playing assignment football will.  Spurrier hopes his seasoned, savvy veterans will pave the way. 

Other notes as we dive into our chart prep for the Terriers (1:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):

Eric Breitenstein-2.jpg"Breit" Spot:  In an age where spread offenses and finesse passing games have overtaken college football, Wofford offers a lethal, low-fi alternative. 

The Terriers rank 2nd in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in rushing, using a wingbone attack to average 357 rushing yards per game.  Unlike the triple-option that the Gamecocks saw from Navy or The Citadel, Wofford's offense utilizes more shotgun formations, with the main plays being a fullback dive; a quarterback keeper; an option pitch; or a play-action pass.

Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein (left) has rushed for more than 5,000 yards in his career.

The centerpiece of Wofford's ground game is 5'11," 225-pound senior fullback Eric Breitenstein (152.8 ypg, 3rd FCS).  Breitenstein grew up in Valle Crucis, N.C., a tiny town tucked in the western North Carolina mountains, and his running style is, predictably, downhill.  He rushed for a SoCon-record 321 rushing yards against Elon in October, and last week he broke Wofford's career rushing record with 5,223. 

After looking through the charts, I also found one of the more impressive numbers from a Gamecock opponent this season.  Of Breitenstein's 216 carries, only 5 have gone for negative yards.

 

Eric Breitenstein - 2012

Rushing Attempts                  216                         Rushing Yards                       1535

Negative Rushes                   5                              Loss Yards                              7

 

Like Marcus Lattimore, Breitenstein's running game is a pastiche of power, balance, quick feet, and rarely going down on first contact.  He'll be an intriguing matchup for a Gamecock defense that ranks 15th in the nation in tackles for loss (74.0).  Can the Gamecocks' duo of Byron Jerideau and Kelcy Quarles push back on Breitenstein's bruising style? 

And Another Thing:  Wofford averages 6.4 yards per carry.  South Carolina ranks 7th in the nation in rush defense at home, allowing a penurious 2.6 yards per carry.

Wofford Offense vs. South Carolina Defense

Wofford Yds./Carry                                                                             6.4                         

South Carolina Yds./Carry Defense   (Home Games)               2.6  (#7 NCAA)

 

Jayo Shaw.jpg"De-Shaw Vu":  Wofford has some experience facing a Shaw at quarterback.  In 2010 and 2011, Wofford went 1-2 against a Georgia Southern team quarterbacked by Jaybo Shaw, the older brother of Gamecock junior Connor Shaw. 

 

Look familiar?  Connor Shaw's older brother, Jaybo, faced Wofford three times over the last two seasons as Georgia Southern's starting quarterback.  Notice the identical #14. 

 

The elder Shaw played at Georgia Tech for two seasons before following assistant Jeff Monken to GSU, where he had taken over as head coach.  Running a triple-option offense for the Eagles, Shaw only completed 42% of his passes against the Terriers (16 of 38), but rushed for four touchdowns. 

 

"Third"-Stringer:  Wofford starting quarterback Brian Kass is a third-generation college signal-caller.  His grandfather played quarterback for Hofstra, and his Dad played at Wake Forest before transferring to New Hampshire.  Kass' brother, Rob, played four seasons at East Carolina, finishing his career in 2009.  A hip pointer has limited Kass the last two games, which could cause former Pickens HS standout James Lawson to see extended reps.  Redshirt freshman Michael Reimer, a 6'5" graduate of Chapin HS, could also factor into the rotation.

 

Join us Friday for our final "Pre-Snap Reads" before the Gamecocks and Terriers get together.   -AD--

"What Channel is the Game On?" Wofford Pay Per View Info

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Our weekly "what channel is the game on?" post returns as the No. 9 (BCS) Gamecocks prepare for the final home game of the season vs. Wofford. The Gamecocks are 8-2 overall and 6-2 in the SEC after a 38-20 victory over Arkansas last Saturday. Each game week we bring you this post to try to help out those fans who can't make it to the game in person. Currently single seat tickets are available for the game, though more may come available. If students do not claim their full allotment the remainder will be made available to the public.

The Gamecocks will take on the Wofford Terriers airing on a Pay-Per-View basis with Andy Demetra and Brad Muller on the call. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. The pay-per-view broadcast is presented by the South Carolina Tobacco Quitline.

Game Information:
Who: #9 South Carolina vs. Wofford
When: Saturday, November 17, 2012, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium
TV: Pay-Per-View
Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network


Cable systems in the state of South Carolina carrying the game:

Berkeley Cable                                                  Moncks Corner
Comporium                                                        Rock Hill
Comcast                                                            Charleston, Augusta and Savannah
Farmers Telephone Cooperative                       Kingstree
Horry Telephone Company                                Conway
Knology                                                              Charleston
PBT Cable                                                         Gilbert
Southern Coastal Cable                                    Georgetown
Time Warner                                                      Columbia
Truvista                                                              Chester

DirecTV - Channel 785 (785-1 for HD)  
AT&T U-Verse - Channel 636 (1636 for HD)
Dish Network - Channel 462


***Note: At this time, Charter Cable serving the Greenville/Spartanburg area has elected NOT to carry the PPV game vs. Wofford. Customers with Charter will be unable to view the game and may call Charter directly with questions.




Fans outside the state of South Carolina do not have access to the game on TV, but may watch the online stream via ESPN3.com.

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, November 18, at 8 p.m. on SportSouth following The Steve Spurrier Show at 7:30 p.m. The replay also airs at 1 a.m.


In addition to television, hear from your very own Gamecocks Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and 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 92/XM 199).

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

D.J. Swearinger Earns Several Weekly Honors

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Saturday's 38-20 win over Arkansas was highlighted by one of the best games of senior D.J. Swearinger's career. He posted a career-high 13 tackles (10 solo) including one for loss and a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown that put Carolina up 31-10 in the third quarter. To date this season, Swearinger has recorded 53 tackles (second on the team only to linebacker Shaq Wilson), two interceptions, and two touchdowns. His performance Saturday earned him several weekly honors:

National Defensive Player of the Week (Walter Camp Football Foundation)

Co-Defensive Player of the Week (SEC)

AgSouth Athlete of the Week (Gamecock Athletics)

Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week (ESPN)


FB-12 D.J. Swearinger vs. Arkansas.jpeg
















Be sure to be in your seats at least 30 minutes before the 1:00 PM kickoff this Saturday vs. Wofford for Senior Day festivities. Be sure to give Swearinger and 26 other Gamecock Football seniors a proper farewell!


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The monkey - or more specifically, the Hog - is off the Gamecocks' back.

After three straight exasperating losses to Arkansas, South Carolina (8-2, 6-2 SEC) snapped its losing streak to the Razorbacks with a crisp, turnabout-is-fair-play, 38-20 win at Williams-Brice Stadium.  The win also assured South Carolina its second straight 6-win SEC season.

The Gamecocks bookended their bye week with identical 38-point showings.  Unlike the Tennessee game, this finish had far less drama.  And given the misery the Razorbacks had inflicted on the Gamecocks, it had far more satisfaction, too. 

 "Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes" on a happy Homecoming at Williams-Brice:

Inside The Interception:  D.J. Swearinger thrives off emotion.  His teammates feed off it.  It's an inextricable part of his football DNA, and a big reason why he has become of the most tenacious hitters in the SEC. 

Yet after incurring a personal foul penalty for a hit above the shoulders on wide receiver Javontee Herndon in the third quarter, the senior didn't let his temper spill out. 

Swearinger Pick-Six.jpeg"When they threw the flag, I didn't even think about it at all.  I got ready for the next play.  I didn't get mad at all," Swearinger told me afterwards.  It was a more muted reaction, he admitted, than the one he had after his personal foul against UAB, which landed him a one-game suspension.

D.J. Swearinger on his way to a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown against Arkansas.

The cooler head prevailed one play later.  With Arkansas facing a 1st-and-10 from the Gamecock 36 yard-line, Swearinger picked up a Tyler Wilson pass and romped 69 yards for a touchdown, extending South Carolina's lead to 30-10.  Amazingly, the Gamecocks have scored a defensive touchdown in three straight games against Wilson, a likely first-round NFL draft pick next April.

I asked Swearinger how he sniffed out the interception.  He said he picked up a pattern as the Razorbacks broke their huddle.

"'11' [Cobi Hamilton] being in there in the slot, the coaches helped us - and I watched it on film - that he's only going to run two routes, an out route or a curl route.  He ran the out route.  I was just sitting in the zone, and I read the quarterback's eyes and broke on the ball," Swearinger said. 

The interception - which accompanied a career-high 13 tackles for Swearinger - deflated Arkansas' hopes for good.

Dog-Eat-Dog World:  Bruce Ellington sported an ice wrap on his left hand after the game, a precautionary measure for an old dog-chasing injury.

You read that right.

During his senior year of high school in Moncks Corner, S.C., Ellington, his friend, and his cousin were hanging around outside one night when a dog - a pit bull, he believes - began chasing them.

Ellington vs. Arkansas.jpeg"I was running, and I jumped over a porch.  It was dark, so I couldn't see.  I just heard him coming toward us," Ellington said, his breakaway speed apparently not limited to opposing cornerbacks.

If you thought Bruce Ellington was fast on his 46-yard touchdown catch, imagine what he's like with a loose dog chasing him.

Ellington escaped the predatory pit bull, but he popped a tendon in his pinky finger on the jump.  The injury eventually required surgery.  Ellington said he landed on the hand after a catch, giving him some lingering, non-serious soreness.

It wouldn't surprise anyone if Ellington needed the ice to cool off his hot hands.  With 5 catches for 104 yards, the sophomore broke his career high of 101 receiving yards set in the last game against Tennessee.

Quote of the Night:  "I appreciate him for that."

- Swearinger on Gamecocks kicker Adam Yates.  After Swearinger's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty backed the Gamecocks to the 20-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, Yates drilled his kick to the Arkansas 1.

Running For Miles:  In his first game subbing for an injured Marcus Lattimore, Kenny Miles rushed for 37 yards and added another 44 yards receiving.  But according to quarterback Connor Shaw, the senior's best move came on Shaw's 10-yard touchdown dash late in the second quarter. 

Kenny Miles vs. Arkansas.jpegOn film, the Gamecocks noticed that Arkansas blitzed heavily from the wide (field) side.  Under ordinary circumstances, the Gamecocks would call a running play away from the blitz.  On this occasion, though, Arkansas steamed from the short (boundary) side, where the Gamecocks' keeper was designed.

Kenny Miles rushed for 37 yards, but his key block led to a Connor Shaw touchdown in the 2nd quarter.

"Kenny had the 'first come,'" Shaw told me.  "Kenny picked up the first [blitzer, linebacker A.J. Turner].  There was another guy free, and I just had to make him miss.  It was a great block," he told me.

Lattimore has long been praised for his blocking ability.  Miles paid him proper homage, helping Carolina stretch its lead to 21-10 before halftime.

In Fairness:  On Friday's "Inside The Chart," we lauded Tyler Wilson's ability to stand firm, and deliver throws while taking a hit.  His touchdown strike to Keon Hatcher as Jadeveon Clowney leveled him was as impressive a throw by any opposing quarterback this season.

First Things First:  In its last four games, Arkansas outscored opponents 55-0 in the first quarter.  Freshman Jerell Adams snapped that streak with his 29-yard touchdown grab.

And Finally...  With 38 more points Saturday, the Gamecocks continue to test the limits of the BeastBoard's circuitry.  Carolina now needs 32 points to break the 1995 school record for points scored at home in a season.  That '95 team - helped generously by a 77-14 thrashing of Kent State - scored 271 points.  The Gamecocks enter their home finale against Wofford with 239 points.  

Most Points at Home  - School History

1.        1995  (271 points)

2.        2012  (239 points)

 

On that note, join us next week as we begin our chart prep for the Terriers.  Thanks for diving "Inside The Chart" with us.  -AD--

Spurs Up Play of the Game: Fourth Down Touchdown

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Coach Spurrier is a fan of going for it on fourth down, so when the Gamecocks found themselves facing fourth and five on the Arkansas 42-yard line toward the end of the first half, he didn't need much convincing from his quarterback to run another ball play.

"On the previous play I had a terrible throw to Ace [Sanders]; he was wide open on the quick out. So I ran to the sidelines and said, 'Coach, let's go for it!' and he said, 'Yeah, let's go for it,'" shared junior quarterback Connor Shaw. "He ended up calling a great play. We just recognized the coverage and executed it."

Shaw escaped the defense with just enough time to find receiver Bruce Ellington sitting in a hole in the coverage. Ellington took it the rest of the way to the end zone for the 42-yard touchdown. The score put the Gamecocks up 21-10 with just 1:30 to go in the half.

"When I was running I saw the corner went in and I saw the safety over top so I just sat in the hole then took it to the end zone," said Ellington, after the game. "The play was for me to go deep but I saw the safety up top and saw a little hole so I just sat in it."

"I told Bruce it was a good heads up play because if he had kept running [the route] he would have run into the free safety," said Shaw.

Both Shaw and Spurrier saw that Arkansas was in a coverage that they had shown on film and they had a feeling they could get a good play. Shaw complimented the offensive line in giving him time to escape the blitz and find Ellington.

"Bruce is starting to get a lot of balls and that was a big play he had on the 4th & 5 play. It ended up being one of the big plays of the game," said Spurrier. "They were in a kind of coverage that I think the guy's supposed to come way over but we had Ace going down the middle on the play and it ended up being a good play for us and a bad play for them." 

Check out the highlight below:

 



MIles_120922_000128_TB.jpgKenny Miles was described by his teammate DeVonte Holloman as "just a good dude" and "the ultimate team player" by head coach Steve Spurrier during this week's football press conference. Many have made note of his decision to stay at Carolina for his final year of eligibility this season despite already graduating and perhaps having been able to transfer elsewhere and see more playing time. This week the fifth year player will see much of the carries after Marcus Lattimore suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. Let's get to know Kenny Miles a little more, shall we?


Q. You went to Brookwood High School in Georgia - did you grow up in Georgia? 

A. No, I was born in Augusta and then I moved up to Philadelphia for a little bit. Then I lived in Maryland for a little bit. I lived in Delaware for a little bit and then I moved back down to Georgia...Most of my Dad's family is up north so that's why we moved up there. And then my mom moved back to Georgia while my dad and I stayed up there and then eventually my dad and I came back down. 

Which do you like better? Living up north or living in the South?

I like the South, but up North has better food. [pan to Brittany's dubious expression]. It does, it does! In general here is a lot of franchise stuff, up there it's more like Ma n' Pa type places like Cambriati's. And the snacks are better up North - we got Hirsch potato chips, we got Tastykakes, we got Hershey's ice cream.



Tell me about Tastykakes, people keep telling me about these but I'm a Little Debbie fan myself.

You've never had Tastykakes before? They are fresher than Little Debbie, number one. The Chocolate Junior is my favorite. I don't eat those during the season because I do not have any self-control with those.  But, it's a cake with chocolate icing in the middle and then it's another little cake and then there's chocolate on top of that. It sounds like a lot of chocolate but, ah man, it's so good!


What were some of your favorite things to do when you were a little kid?

Play football. Of course play football. When I was little, me and one of my best friends would get the toy cars and we would play football with the cars. We would line them up like an actual football game and act like we were coaches. That was kind of fun because my dad and his dad were coaches.


When did you first start playing football?

I was six and I played linebacker and running back and it was fun.  That's when my pants didn't fit, when your knee pads are all the way down at your shins. It was cool.  My dad came home and was like, "Hey man, you wanna play football?" And I was like, "Yeah!" And he said, "Okay, good because I signed up you already." So it was fun, I had a really good time. My first year, I think I scored one touchdown and then I kind of got a grasp for the game. And then my next year I scored like 18 and won a championship that year so it was cool.


What are some of your favorite things to do off the field or with your friends?

I love to go bowling. We got a lot of good bowlers. Marcus [Lattimore] and Dylan Thompson are good bowlers. Matt O'Brien, he was a walk on, he's a good bowler.  I love bowling; it's competitive, but it's not a grind like football is, it's kind of just hanging out. I also love going to the movies! I'm a big movie buff. I watch Netflix all the time!

 

What's the best movie you've seen lately?

I was watching this one movie last night, Almost Famous, but I ended up falling asleep cause it was late. I really like to relax.


Favorite movie of all time?

Remember the Titans, definitely.

 

You're a senior, so what is your favorite memory from your time at South Carolina, either on the field or off?

Probably the Ole Miss game my sophomore year. That was probably the loudest, at that time, I had ever heard the stadium and it was really cool. At the time Ole Miss had a bunch of hype; they were number four. I think that was probably one of my first best memories but I got a ton of them. Beating Clemson, that's always a great memory to have.


What are you going to miss the most about South Carolina?


Being around my teammates and the fans. Now we got the Gamecock Walk and stuff like that. Just the little things - being around my teammates every day and getting police escorts on gameday. Just little stuff like that I think is cool, so that's probably the main thing.


Who would you say you are closest with on the team?

I'm real close with Latt [Marcus Lattimore], I'm real close with Mike [Davis], probably just the running back group in general. I'm real close with all those guys.  I'm close with [Byron] Jerideau and Devin Taylor cause we used to live on the same block.  We all hangout, barbeque, relax, go to the lake.


Are you into fishing, hunting, and mud racing like some of those guys?

I like going fishing; I've never been hunting. The mud racing is Devin and Byron's thing. I let them go do that and I'll chill at home and wait til they get back. Now fishing, I like going fishing - it's fun. I've never been hunting, but I keep telling TJ [Johnson] to take me but he hasn't taken me yet.


Be sure to cheer on Kenny Miles as he takes the field for his final SEC game of his career. South Carolina kicks off vs. Arkansas at noon this Saturday, November 10, on CBS and Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio affiliates.

 

 

Inside The Chart.pngArkansas' dreams of playing for a national title vanished long ago.  So has the consolation of a Top-25 ranking.  At 4-5 overall (2-3 SEC), even a bowl game hangs in the balance.  It's a dramatic fall for a onetime Top-10 team that has since been banished to the BCS wilderness.

But even a season gone awry can't scrub away the stat that scares Gamecocks fans the most:  Arkansas has beaten Carolina soundly in each of the last three seasons.  In each game, the Razorbacks have poured on at least 33 points and averaged 310 passing yards.  Even during a golden age of football at Carolina, Arkansas has remained a stubborn thorn in the Gamecocks' side.  It makes Saturday's showdown at Williams-Brice Stadium (12:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network) anything but predictable.

"Pre-snap reads" before the Gamecocks try to deliver a "Hog Reckoning" at Williams-Brice Stadium:

Tyler Wilson-2.jpgTyler The Creator:  Arkansas' "Pigs Fly" passing game attracts plenty of attention, and for good reason.  Led by hard-throwing senior Tyler Wilson and the NCAA's fourth-leading receiver, Cobi Hamilton, the Razorbacks' 305.4 passing yards per game rank 22nd in the nation.  Wilson has also shown a knack for the big play, with a nation's-best 8 passes of 50 or more yards

Tyler Wilson (left) was Arkansas' first All-SEC quarterback in 2011.

In addition to his throwing chops, the 6'3," 220-pounder has earned praise -- and first-round NFL projections -- for his ability to hang tough in the pocket.  Time and again in a 19-15 win over Tulsa, Wilson took a punishing hit, only to clamber up and keep throwing.  The Gamecocks may have a loaded-gun pass rush, but don't expect Wilson to shy away from it.

Yet peeling back the numbers, Arkansas hasn't shown the same passing prowess in opposing airspace.  In road games, the Razorbacks drop to 99th in the nation in completion percentage (53.5%).  South Carolina's secondary -- which coordinator Lorenzo Ward said could be re-wired because of injuries -- will look for a better showing after Tennessee burned them for 381 passing yards.  Can they take advantage of an Arkansas passing game that's not nearly as efficient away from the Natural State? 

Salutatorian Not So Special:  Arkansas' leading tackler, linebacker Ross Rasner, had six people in his high school graduating class.

Here's the Rundown:  The return to health of tackles Byron Jerideau and Kelcy Quarles comes at a key time for the Gamecock defense.  In addition to Wilson and Hamilton, Arkansas has an underrated running game led by 5'9," 213-pound wrecking ball Dennis Johnson.  With preseason All-SEC running back Knile Davis bothered by injuries, the bulk of Arkansas' carries have fallen to Johnson, whose punishing, "hit-first" style that resembles Florida's Mike Gillislee.  Johnson bulldozed for 109 yards and two touchdowns against Tulsa, and rushed for a career-high 161 yards in the Razorbacks' last SEC game against Ole Miss.  His carries often leave piles of would-be tacklers in his wake. 

Yet look at how Carolina has done against the other top rushers in the SEC: 

SEC Rank                Player (School)                    Season Avg.          Yds. vs. USC

2.                             Todd Gurley (UGA)                 95.2                        39

4.                             Mike Gillislee (UF)                  88.6                        37

5.                             Zac Stacy (VU)                       83.6                        48

11.                           Kendial Lawrence (MU)            74.0                        67

 

Dennis Johnson.jpgThe Gamecocks held those backs to just 56% of their season rushing average.  A passing game is sometimes only as good as its running game.  Predictability hurts even the most prolific passing offenses.  If the Gamecocks can contain Johnson like they've done other SEC running backs, they could hone in better on Arkansas' lethal passing game.  Quarterback Tyler Wilson could be without his second and third-leading pass catchers in Brandon Mitchell (violation team rules) and tight end Chris Gragg (knee).

 

Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson is coming off a career-high 161 rushing yards in his last SEC game vs. Ole Miss.

 

A Time To Pounce?  In its last 7 games, Arkansas has been outscored 84-27 in the second quarter.

 

No Giveaways, Please:  What can't South Carolina do Saturday?  Give Arkansas anything easy.  The Razorback defense, while improving, has an undeniable youthfulness:  two freshmen and a sophomore start in the secondary, and all three of their senior linebackers (Tenarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith to injury, Terrell Williams to suspension) are out.  Opponents have feasted on them for 292 passing yards per game, the worst average in the SEC behind Tennessee.

 

That could leave Connor Shaw licking his chops, given the junior's career-high passing game against Tennessee.  But getting reckless could cost the Gamecocks:  Arkansas has only forced 10 turnovers this year, 110th in the nation.   The Razorbacks also have 0 special teams or defensive touchdowns, after accounting for 8 last year.  Few teams are starving for a big non-offensive play more than Arkansas.  To snap its three-game losing streak, Carolina can't offer up the first.

 

And Finally...  Gamecock linebackers coach Kirk Botkin lettered at Arkansas from 1990-93, becoming the Razorbacks' first-ever All-SEC player as a tight end.  On game days, Botkin paces the sidelines square-jawed and serious.  But as this media guide photo shows, Botkin had some graceful moves back in his playing days:

 

Kirk Botkin.jpg

Back in the day:  Gamecock linebackers coach Kirk Botkin starred at tight end for Arkansas.

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage begins at 9 a.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  See you Saturday.  -AD--

 

Gamecocks Players and Coaches Prepare for Arkansas

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*Written by student assistant Kelly McAlindin

Following the bye weekend and practicing all week in preparation for Saturday's game, Carolina players and coaches are focused on ending their three-year losing streak against the Razorbacks.

Last year's game at Arkansas is not a fond memory for any player or coach but they are using it as motivation to end the slump and come out with a win this weekend. When asked about what he remembers from last year's game, junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington did not hesitate, "We lost, that's what I remember and I don't want to do that again."

Throughout the past couple weeks, both the offensive and defensive lines have experienced some changes and made some improvements to better their play against a tough opponent in Arkansas.

Saturday's game will be the first game without top running back Marcus Lattimore in the line-up. Despite the loss, running backs coach Everette Sands maintains his confidence in the running game with Kenny Miles and Mike Davis coming to the forefront. When asked about the players' ability to play against a team like Arkansas, Sands feels good about their progress and preparation, "I'm looking for both of them to step up and do some things."

The defensive line has also made some changes in order to adapt to the Razorbacks' passing game. Just like Tennessee, the Gamecocks are expected to face a lot of deep balls and passing plays which will require the defense to stay on their toes.

By making improvements in practice, secondary coach Grady Brown is determined to use the different techniques to weaken the Arkansas offense, "We try to build up our tool box with as many tools as possible and on that particular weekend, we need to pull out that particular tool and be able to use it."

When asked about how he plans to play against another passing offense, sophomore corner back Victor Hampton believes the defense has to play smart and have confidence in stopping pass completion, "We definitely have to be more aggressive and get in their faces more to let them know we don't allow as many catches."

Saturday's game at Williams-Brice will be very important for the Gamecocks. The stage will be set for them to test their new offensive and defensive strategies as well as for a victory against an SEC opponent. When asked about his thoughts about the game, Bruce Ellington noted his expectations and the magnitude of the game, "They're going to come in and try to get a win so we  just have to go out there and do what we got to do to get a win."

Check out more videos of coaches' and players' post-practice interviews here and check back to GamecocksOnline.com tonight for thoughts from Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward following Thursday's practice.

We're just three days away from South Carolina's final SEC game of the regular season against Arkansas.


When you're in the stadium this Saturday be sure to pick up the gameday program for just $5. This week's program will include a feature on Senior spur DeVonte Holloman.

This week is the All Sports Reunion and our Carolina's Finest piece features the 2002 Women's Track & Field team that won the first NCAA Championship in school history. Our Inside the University feature takes a closer look at the historic Horseshoe.


In the "On This Date" feature by Assistant Media Relations Director Andrew Kitick we look back on Nov.10, 1984 and South Carolina's 38-26 win over Florida State. Can you name the Gamecock player that returned a kickoff for touchdown 99 yards to open the second half? Two school records also occurred in the victory and still stand to this day. What were they?


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Be sure to pick up the program at the game on Saturday vs. Arkansas presented by Verizon.
 
Thank you to the Media Relations staff for their hard work on the program and help with this post!

 

Inside The Chart.png"Life after Lattimore" begins in earnest for the Gamecocks Saturday when they close out SEC play against Arkansas (12:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network).  Redshirt senior Kenny Miles will occupy Lattimore's spot atop of the depth chart, with freshman Mike Davis moving up to top reserve. 

Yet when it comes to picking up Lattimore's lost yardage, neither may play as important a role as quarterback Connor Shaw. 

Whether bewitching defensive lines with the zone-read option, or making savvy tuck-and-run decisions under pressure, few players use his legs as weapons better than the 6'1," 207-pound junior from Flowery Branch, Georgia.

Just how important is Shaw's running as Carolina enters the final quarter of the regular season? 

Consider this:  Shaw is 14-3 as a starter. 

In those 14 wins, he averages 54.9 rushing yards per game.  

In three losses, he averages 7.0 rushing yards per game. 

Connor Shaw - rushing as starter

Wins (14g):                           54.9 ypg

Losses (3g)                            7.0 ypg

 

Three of Shaw's four worst rushing games came in losses:  a -2-yard performance against LSU October 10; a -1-yard slow burn against Florida October 17; and a 14-carry, 24-yard effort at Arkansas last year. 

 

Connor Shaw Running.jpegOf course, sacks count against a quarterback's rushing total, which may also explain the divide between wins and losses.  Yet Shaw's running game remains an undeniable barometer of Carolina's success.  A foot sprain has limited him in practice, and head coach Steve Spurrier mentioned that redshirt sophomore Dylan Thompson would be ready to go if needed.  On Saturday, Arkansas' improving defense snuffed out a Tulsa offense that relies heavily on the zone-read option.  The Golden Hurricane ranked 9th in the nation in rushing (248 yards per game) before the Razorbacks throttled them to 106 yards in a 19-15 win.

 

Connor Shaw's running game has factored heavily into Carolina's wins -- and losses. 

 

If Shaw is healthy enough to play, how may designed runs will factor into the game plan against Arkansas?

 

Other notes as we dive into our chart prep against Arkansas (with some studying done in the voting lines Tuesday):

 

Generally Speaking:  Knowing his opportunities for carries would be diminished behind Marcus Lattimore, Miles considered transferring for his final season.  He instead came back to Carolina, telling me "I feel like you should always finish what you start.  I came down here and I made a commitment to play for the program and graduate, and do the best I could do."

 

Kenny Miles vs. Citadel.jpegSuch dedication befits a player whose parents both served in the military (his Dad had a tour in Operation Desert Storm).  The extra season in Columbia gave Miles another opportunity, too:  he interned in the office of South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson this summer.

 

Running back Kenny Miles.

 

Rip and Strip:  Senior spur Devonte Holloman made no secret of his defense's ambitions. 

 

"We've set a bunch of goals for us defensively.  One of those things was a high turnover number.  We haven't been getting many turnovers.  That's going to be a big focus this week especially," Holloman said.

 

Arkansas may give them a golden opportunity:  the Razorbacks rank 116th in the nation in turnover margin (-11).  Against an explosive Arkansas offense - few SEC offenses seem more frightening when they get rolling - a turnover or two could be critical.

 

Pleading The Third:  If they can't stamp out drives with turnovers, the Gamecocks need to find ways to stall them.  In the Gamecocks' three-game losing streak to the Razorbacks, Arkansas' quarterbacks - like Bray, pro-style pocket passers in Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson -- have gone a combined 17-for-22 (77.3%) on third downs.

Arkansas QB's vs. Carolina - 3rd down, last 3 games

10 for 12 (77.3%)

 

Cunningham vs. UT.jpegCarolina had difficulty suppressing Tennessee on third downs - Vols quarterback Tyler Bray went 4-for-5 on third downs of 7+ yards to go.  Each completion went for a first down.  The Gamecocks could face a similar challenge against another Tyler-led offense Saturday.

 

And Finally...  Outside the Gamecocks' press conference auditorium, Justice Cunningham smacked his lips and lamented his lack of a touchdown this season.  The senior tight end from Pageland, S.C., would certainly be deserving of one - his 18 receptions rank fourth on the team. 

 

Want a drive deep inside opponents' territory?  A completion to Justice Cunningham is a good start. 

 

But have you noticed how often Cunningham's catches figure into scoring drives?  Of his 18 receptions this year, 15 have occurred on drives that ended in a red-zone trip or a touchdown.  Cunningham may not have a score of his own, but he has nonetheless been a magnet for scoring drives.

 

Join us Friday for our final "Pre-Snap Reads" as the Gamecocks get ready for their Homecoming with the Hogs.  -AD--

"What Channel is the Game On?" Arkansas Edition

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Our weekly "what channel is the game on?" post returns as the No. 8 Gamecocks prepare for their game at Williams-Brice Stadium this Saturday against Arkansas. The Gamecocks are 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the SEC following their victory against Tennessee on October 27th. The Razorbacks are 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the SEC suffering losses to Alabama, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.


There are still tickets available for this week's match-up with Arkansas - purchase online here. However, 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. You won't want to miss this game as Carolina hopes to extend their nine-game home winning streak on Homecoming Weekend!


The Gamecocks will battle the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday, November 10, airing nationally on CBS at 12 p.m. ET. CBS's Tim Brando, Steve Beuerlein, and Marty Snider will call the action for the broadcast.

The game will also be available nationwide online streaming on CBSSports.com.
 


Game Information:
Who: #8 (BCS) South Carolina vs. Arkansas
When: Saturday, November 10, 2012, at 12 p.m. ET
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium; Columbia, SC
TV: CBS, CBSSports.com
Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network


While we don't know the exact channel number for every local CBS channel across the country, we've included below channels within the state of South Carolina. Remember to check your local listings for the actual channel number in your area.


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

CBS

Time Warner Cable
Columbia, SC Channel 9 (HD channel 1110)
Florence, SC Channel 8
Myrtle Beach, SC Channel 13
Summerville (Charleston), SC Channel 5




If you miss the original airing of the game or just want to re-watch the game, catch the re-broadcast of the game with Andy Demetra and Brad Muller on the call on Sunday, November 11, at 8 p.m. on SportSouth following The Steve Spurrier Show at 7:30 p.m. The replay also airs at 1 a.m.

In addition to television, hear from your very own Gamecocks Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and 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 91/XM 91).

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





*Written by student assistant Kelly McAlindin

Following practice Wednesday, Gamecock Football coaches and players offered comments about where they stand after defeating Tennessee and the game plan for remaining four games of the season.

The Gamecocks are now ranked No. 8 in the BCS polls, which is the same ranking the team was given at the beginning of the season. The team's ranking has fluctuated, ranging from No. 3 to No. 13, but Head Coach Steve Spurrier believes the team has had a good year, "Not a great year, not a bad year, just sort of a good year right now and certainly we hope to finish strong the last four games."

One of the keys to the victory against Tennessee was the improvement to Connor Shaw's passing game. Coach Spurrier, who faced some criticism for benching the junior quarterback during the game at Florida, notes how that move is what motivated Shaw to play his best game of the season, "I've had many a quarterback who after the bench they come back better players and, for Connor, it really helped him."

Although the loss of Marcus Lattimore for the season still resonates with the team, his teammates are beginning to step up and keep the team focused on winning.

Senior running back Kenny Miles, who is now the number one running back for the Gamecocks' offense, appreciates the opportunity to help the team and maintain the level of play needed to win, "We'll be ready to play when we know it's time to go."

Miles also noted how although the team is missing one of its leaders on the field, the team still continues to push and look forward the finishing the season strong, "We still got the pieces, still got the people, still got the coaches and we're all focused."

Players and coaches believe the bye week could not have come at a better time. It gives the team time to re-evaluate before taking on Arkansas at Williams-Brice on November 10.

Additionally, the Gamecocks remain optimistic about a successful finish to season despite the highs and lows they have experienced along the way. When asked about how he feels about the remainder of the season, Kenny Miles focuses on the team's drive to win, "It's not a good book unless you win at the end."

Check out more videos of coaches' and players' post-practice interviews here.











Outpouring of Support for Marcus Lattimore

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Thank you to everyone who sent in get well cards and happy birthday wishes for Marcus Lattimore. This is just a sampling of all the well-wishes that have come in and there are many more on our website and in social media. They've been collected here at the athletics department and will be delivered to Marcus very soon.

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Continue to keep Marcus and all of our student-athletes affected by injuries in your thoughts and prayers! Go Gamecocks!

Coaches and Players Take Advantage of Bye Week

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*Written by student assistant Kim Barrett

After practice Tuesday Coach Ward, Coach Lawing and D.J. Swearinger talked to the media about their victory over a tough Tennessee offense and the upcoming bye weekend.

The Gamecocks overcame Tennessee, 38-35, but the players are not shy about recognizing their mistakes. D.J. Swearinger praised Tennessee's quarterback, great receivers, and their ability to find the Gamecocks' holes and weaknesses.

Because of missed assignments during the Tennessee game, the Gamecocks know what they have to work on during the next two weeks. Swearinger stated, "Some plays we folded and didn't get the job done. We got to clean it up so we can get it right."


Coaches and players are taking advantage of the bye week to work on weaknesses that have hindered the team in previous games. When asked what things the team is working on, Coach Ward shared, "We got to do better man coverage, better zone coverage, and do a better job of disguising what we do."

Several key players, including Kelcy Quarles, Akeem Auguste, Byron Jerideau, and Jadeveon Clowney, are not practicing this week because of injuries. Coach Ward said they are expected to return next week as the Gamecocks prepare for Arkansas.


Due to injuries younger players have had to step up and perform like they have been playing college football for years. Coach Lawing praised the younger players and stated that they keep getting better.

Football is unlike any sport in the toll it takes on its players. Coach Lawing shared, "Football is the only sport in the world where the object is to get the man with the ball, not just get the ball. Because of that it's a hard sport and not everyone can play."

After playing nine games, seven of which were SEC opponents, coaches and players agree the team needs a break. When asked how big this bye week is, Swearinger shared, "It's huge. We got to take this week and take advantage of it."

Video of coaches' and players' interviews are available here at GamecocksOnline.com. Check back tonight for interviews following today's practice.

 

Inside The Chart.pngLorenzo Ward and Jadeveon Clowney crisscrossed each other in the hallway following South Carolina's 38-35 win over Tennessee.  The Gamecock defensive coordinator greeted his sophomore with a smile and a hearty slap across the chest.

Ward leaned in.  "Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time ballgames," he said.

Clowney vs. Tennessee.jpegIt didn't matter that South Carolina had found little luck against Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray.  Never mind that UT's offensive line, second in the nation in sacks allowed, had kept Clowney out of the backfield all day.  None of that mattered on a 1st-and-10 from the Gamecock 19 with 1:18 remaining.  When the defense needed a big stop, its all-everything defensive end delivered the most clutch save by a Gamecock this side of Matt Price. 

Clowney's strip-sack of Bray -- and Shaq Wilson's fumble recovery -- helped seal South Carolina's third straight win over the Volunteers.  The day will be remembered more for the play that resulted in Marcus Lattimore's severe leg injury.  But when it came to clinching their ninth straight home win, the Gamecocks showed they still have plenty of big-time players left.

 "Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes" as South Carolina heads into its bye week:

Not This Time:  Don't discount the clutch fumble recovery by Wilson, either.  Entering the game, South Carolina had the worst fumble recovery percentage in the nation among teams that have forced 10 or more (3 of 14, 21.4%).

Justice For All:  Justice Cunningham walked out of Williams-Brice Stadium with his game ball, his iPad, and his usual stoic face.  Even a career day for the senior tight end (6 catches, 108 yards) couldn't alter his expression.

Cunningham vs. UT.jpegActually, Cunningham left a little annoyed.

"I was mad I fell.  I wanted that touchdown," Cunningham said of his 45-yard gallop in the fourth quarter.  Cunningham stumbled out of bounds at the 5 yard-line, moments after delivering a vicious stiffarm to freshman safety LaDarrell McNeil. 

Tight end Justice Cunningham set career highs in receptions (6) and receiving yards (108)

Cunningham said me he was happy to make opportunistic catches against the Tennessee secondary.

"Linebackers and DB's, they're worried about the wide receivers.  They don't think we're really going to catch the ball," he said.

As a result, Cunningham finished with the most receiving yards by a Gamecock tight end in years.

Shaw vs. UT.jpegFlipping The Field:  After forcing a three-and-out with 0:40 remaining, Tennessee still had a chance to string together a game-tying drive.  But with the wind at his back, Tyler Hull wound up and hammered a sailing, 51-yard punt.  By the time returner Cordarrelle Patterson found his bearings, Kenny Miles wrapped him up for an eight-yard loss.  Maligned for its misadventures against Florida, the 59-yard net punt was South Carolina's longest of the season.  It couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

2 Chains:  Connor Shaw and Tyler Bray were especially deadly when faced with long yardage.  On 3rd downs of 7+ yards, the duo combined to go 7-for-9 for 157 yards (22.4 yards/completion). 

3rd and 7+ Yards                Comp./Att.           Yds.       Yds./Completion              First Downs

Tyler Bray                              4-5                         97           24.2                                    4

Connor Shaw                       3-4                         60           20.0                                    2

 

Shaw finished with a career-high 356 passing yards, shattering his previous best of 311 against Kentucky in 2011.

And Finally... Keep #21 in your thoughts. 

"Inside The Chart" will be gone fishing during the bye week.  We'll start back up a week from Wednesday as we dive into our prep for the final SEC contest against Arkansas.  Thanks for diving "Inside The Chart" with us.  -AD--

 

Pre-Game & Fan Photos - South Carolina vs. Tennessee

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Check out photos from Gamecock Walk, tailgating, Darius Rucker in Gamecock Village, our halftime salute to first responders, and more in our slideshow of fan photos from today's win over Tennessee.


 

Inside The Chart.pngCoaches preach it all the time:  "Don't let one loss become two."  Never let a loss, however gut-wrenching, affect your preparation and resolve for the next game.

Bruce Ellington vs. UAB.jpegSouth Carolina (6-2, 4-2 SEC) will try to heed that wisdom when it returns to Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday to face Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC).  The Gamecocks are looking to shake off a pair of anemic offensive performances against LSU and Florida.  The Vols face an even more arduous task:  shaking off Alabama.

Can Bruce Ellington and the Gamecocks take advantage of an "Alabama hangover"?

For 20 of their 21 years together in the SEC, the South Carolina-Tennessee game has followed UT's "Third Saturday in October" showdown against #1 Alabama.  Even though the Vols gained a season-high 282 yards against the Tide defense, Alabama still cruised to a 44-13 victory.   

It made me wonder how badly Alabama, in its ascent under Nick Saban, gives fellow SEC teams a crimson-colored hangover.  Check out how these SEC teams fared a week after facing the Tide:

2010

Arkansas                               OPEN DATE           

Florida                                    L-LSU

South Carolina                     L-Kentucky

Ole Miss                                L-Arkansas

Tennessee                           L-South Carolina

LSU                                        W-Louisiana-Monroe

Mississippi State                 L-Arkansas

Auburn                                  W-South Carolina (SEC Championship)

 

2011

Arkansas                               W-Texas A&M*

Florida                                    L-LSU

Vanderbilt                              L-Georgia

Ole Miss                                L-Arkansas

Tennessee                           L-South Carolina

LSU                                        W-Western Kentucky

Mississippi State                 L-Arkansas

 

2012

Arkansas                               L-Rutgers

Ole Miss                                L-Texas A&M

Missouri                                BYE - vs. Kentucky 10/27

Tennessee                           vs. South Carolina 10/27

 

Note:  I didn't include Alabama's 2011 game against Auburn, since the Tigers didn't play again until New Year's Eve.

Since 2010, SEC teams that played a conference game the week after facing Alabama have a combined 1-11 record.  The only SEC team to break that stupor?  Eventual BCS national champion Auburn, which rallied past the Tide in the 2010 Iron Bowl, then steamrolled South Carolina in the SEC Championship game.  

The Gamecocks not only represent Tennessee's "Afta-Bama" opponent, but its fourth ranked opponent in as many weeks.  As South Carolina learned in the Swamp, an exhausting schedule tests a player's mental reserves as much as its physical reserves.  Key for the Gamecocks:  take advantage of Alabama's assist, and wear down Tennessee's resilience early.

Other "Pre-Snap Reads" before Carolina and Tennessee meet at high noon (or thereabouts - 12:01 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network).

Tyler Bray.jpgThis May Help:  South Carolina has only allowed two touchdowns in its last 12 first quarters at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Oddly, the teams that nicked them were Navy and The Citadel.

Shades of Bray: Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray hails from Kingsburg, Calif., a town of 11,000 known as "Little Sweden" for its predominantly Swedish roots.  Its water tower is even in the shape of a Swedish coffee pot.

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray.

Since becoming UT's starter at halftime of the Carolina game in 2010, Bray has shown a high-velocity, "See you Sunday"-type arm.  His 273 passing yards per game ranks 3rd in the SEC, and his 51 career touchdowns leads all active SEC signal-callers.  He has a pair of rangy targets in Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson, a running back in Raijon Neal (83.3 rush ypg) who can keep the play-calling balanced, and an offensive line that has only allowed three sacks.  At a water tower-sized 6'6," Bray can also see over Carolina's telescopic arms on the defensive line. 

Lattimore Handoff.jpegBut with 8 interceptions and a 51% completion percentage in four SEC games, Bray can be his own worst enemy.  Head coach Derek Dooley put some heat on his quarterback this week, telling the media "If he is loose with the ball, he's coming out of the game and we're going to play [backup] Justin Worley."  Can the Gamecocks keep the pressure on Bray, and prevent him from getting his confidence going? 

Better Days Ahead?  The Gamecock offense stumbled against two of the elite defenses in the nation in LSU and Florida.  Could they be due for a change against Tennessee?

Yards Per Play Allowed

3.             LSU                         3.69

4.             Florida                    4.17

98.          Tennessee            6.10

 

Among Carolina's opponents, only UAB (104th NCAA) has a more gaping yards-per-play average.  Could a more vulnerable defense - and an undefeated record at home - help Connor Shaw return to form?

 

Nuthin' But A "Glee" Thang:  You may not find many football players who will readily volunteer themselves as fans of the Fox show Glee.  But count Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera among them, and with good reason - his sister, Naya, plays cheerleader Santana on the show.

Position Change:  In its 14-3 win over the Vols last year, South Carolina won despite a sizable gap in starting field position.

Avg. Starting Field Position -2011                    Tennessee                                         Carolina

                                                                                Own 45                                                Own 27

 

In addition to improving their own ball security on kickoffs, the Gamecocks need to prevent returner Cordarelle Patterson from opening his stride.  The (Rock Hill) Northwestern HS product ranks 2nd in the nation, averaging 34.5 yards per kick return.

And Finally...  Recruiting is a game of hits and misses - or in Derek Dooley's case, a miss that turns into a hit again.  As head coach of Louisiana Tech, Dooley recruited safety Prentiss Waggner from nearby Clinton, La.  At his in-home visit, Dooley told Waggner he "didn't think he was good enough to go to Tennessee." 

Waggner ignored the advice and signed with the Volunteers.  He'll be making his 33rd consecutive start Saturday.

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage begins at 9 a.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  See you at Williams-Brice.  -AD--

 



*Written by student assistant Kelly McAlindin

Following Wednesday's practice, Head Coach Steve Spurrier and the offensive assistant coaches offered comments about their plans and expectations for Carolina's first home game since defeating Georgia on October 6th.

The Gamecocks have suffered two tough losses on the road against No. 6 LSU and No. 2 Florida and they are ready to get back to Williams-Brice and take home a win.

"We know the fans are going to be ready and we're going to be ready to play the best we can," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier.

In their past two games, the Gamecocks' offense has struggled to make plays, posting only 36 rushing yards and 155 passing yards against the Gators last Saturday. When asked about how the offense looks to improve against Tennessee, Steve Spurrier Jr. thinks playing at home is a definite advantage, "Hopefully this will be a good home game and we can feel comfortable and catch the ball like we know we can."

Spurrier Jr. also commented on the importance of Saturday's game and how being at home will instill more confidence in the team, "It's a big game and it's an SEC East opponent so hopefully we can go and play the way we know how to play."

One of the biggest issues for South Carolina has perhaps been the cohesion of the offensive line. Between the various line-ups and recent injuries, Offensive Line Coach Shawn Elliott hopes the Tennessee game will spark some improvement.

With starting sophomore Mike Matulis out with a shoulder injury, this has forced the offensive line to make some changes. When asked about his decision to start redshirt sophomore A.J. Cann, Coach Elliott said he believes in the young player's potential, "I just think there are times you try to fuel a fire in somebody to make them better and i always thought A.J. was the man for the job."

Despite offensive struggles, a shining part of the Gamecocks' offense has been senior center T.J. Johnson. In his comments yesterday, Coach Spurrier recognized Johnson as having started more games than any other football player in South Carolina, "He has started 48 and that's pretty neat."

Coaches and fans alike look forward to seeing a renewed South Carolina team storm the gridiron against Tennessee. In summing up his expectations, Coach Elliott hopes to see the team play smart and apply what they have improved upon in practice, "We'll see if we can right the ship and get back on course."

Check out more videos of coaches' and players' post practice interviews here and check back to GamecocksOnline.com tonight for thoughts from defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward following Thursday's practice.

Gameday Timeline: SC vs. Tennessee

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Drink your coffee and warm up those breakfast casseroles for AM tailgating! Check out this week's gameday timeline below and be sure to join us in the former Farmer's Market area for the Gamecock Walk to welcome the team to Williams-Brice at approximately 9:40 a.m. Kick-off is set for noon!

Times approximate

8 a.m.

Athletics Dept. parking lots at Farmer's Market,  Fairgrounds, Armory, ETV, and Stadium open

8 a.m.

Stadium Parking Office opens

8 a.m.

Lexington Medical Center Gamecock Village opens

8 a.m.

Stadium Box Office opens

8:30 a.m.

Student Ticketing Window opens

9:40 a.m.

Gamecock Walk

10 a.m.

Early gates 4, 14, 16, 22, 25 open

10:30a.m.

Gates open

10:40 a.m.

Band & Spirit Pep Rally

12 p.m.

Kick-off vs. Tennessee



The Tennessee game is sold out. Tickets remain available for the final two home games vs. Arkansas on Nov. 10 (Homecoming) and vs. Wofford on Nov. 17 (Military Appreciation Day). Purchase online

South Carolina-Tennessee Gameday Program Sneak Peek

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After two tough games on the road, the Gamecocks return to Williams-Brice Stadium this Saturday to take on Tennessee. The game is sold out!

When you're in the stadium this Saturday be sure to pick up the gameday program for just $5. Junior running back Marcus Lattimore is the cover star this week as well as the focus of a feature story written by Media Relations Student Assistant Katie Jordan. Check out an excerpt and read the full feature in this week's program:

Lattimore ranks fourth highest in yards per game in a career among current NCAA players averaging 93.3 yards per game. While most of his on field success comes from studying the opponent and working hard in the weight room, Lattimore also attributes some of his success to what he has learned from other players he admires. One such player is Frank Gore, the starting running back for the San Francisco 49ers.

"He is not a really fast guy, but he makes up for it with his patience and vision, and his ability to catch the ball."

Lattimore also looks to Gore as an example because he, like Lattimore, underwent ACL surgery and returned. Additionally, Lattimore mentions with a smile that Gore also wears number 21 and he likes that about him, but jersey number aside Gore has a presence on the field that Lattimore admires.

"I definitely try to mimic his patience on the field," Lattimore commented. "He is a great guy to look over, and I try to take some of his moves from his game. I think it helps me out."

Other features in this week's program will include team previews for men's and women's golf as well as this week's Carolina's Finest feature that takes a look at senior equestrian rider Audrey Jewell.  Our Inside the University feature takes a closer look at Zafer Gürdal, USC's new technical director of the McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research.

We also look back on October 27, 1950, and the last time South Carolina played a football game in Washington D.C. for the On This Date feature written by Assistant Media Relations Director Andrew Kitick. Can you guess who we played and what famous milestone occurred on that day?

The cover:

Marcus Lattimore - Tennessee.JPG































Be sure to pick up the program on Saturday at the game vs. Tennessee presented by Hyundai. 

Thank you to the Media Relations staff for their hard work on the program and their help with this post!


Gamecock Spotlight: Marcus Lattimore







*Written by student assistant Kim Barrett

After practice Tuesday, coaches and players spoke with the media about how they are using the mistakes they made during the loss to Florida to prepare to play a tough Tennessee offense this Saturday in Columbia.

FB-12 Joe Robinson with media 10-23-12.jpegSpecial Teams Coordinator Joe Robinson discussed how, despite the loss to Florida, the team is working as hard as they do every week to prepare for the 3-4 Volunteers. "They are back and working hard, they are working like they do every week. Every week we have things we need to fix," said Robinson.

One of the problems during this past Saturday's game was fumbles and ball security. Every time a player has the ball in their hands ball security should be number one, and Coach Robinson believes that the fundamentals of ball security were not followed Saturday.

Defensive Line Coach Brad Lawing continues to encourage players to not let their emotions get in the way of their game. When asked if there was a sense of frustration towards the end of the first half against Florida, Lawing stated, "No there wasn't. These guys understand that our goal is win football games so all that other stuff is whatever."

D.J. Swearinger is moving on from the loss to Florida, and is looking forward to playing a strong Tennessee offense. Swearinger shared with the media, "I'm looking forward to it. Anytime you get great competition like that those are the games you love to play in."

To prepare for the Tennessee's strong ability to throw the ball, the defense is focusing on working together to make big plays. Sophomore cornerback Victor Hampton shared with the media, "If anything we are trying to be collective and come together this week and make big plays for the defense, and get some turnovers."

Secondary coach Grady Brown was quick to admit that Tennessee's receivers are probably some of the best in college football, but believes it will be a good task for the Gamecocks to play them.

When asked how the defense is preparing to defend the Tennessee receivers who can make "freakish plays," Coach Brown stated, "The good thing about this game is that our preparations remain the same. The same things apply, you have to be able to line up properly and recognize formations."

After two tough losses on the road the Gamecocks are ready to play in front of a sold out crowd at Williams-Brice. Senior spur DeVonte Holloman knows that the team has to be ready for any situation, stating, "Football is a weird game. Anything can change momentum so you just have to play as hard as you can."


Check out more videos of coaches' and player's post-practice interviews here and check back to GamecocksOnline.com tonight for interviews following Wednesday's practice.

"What Channel is the Game On?" Tennessee Edition

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Thumbnail image for ESPN logo.jpg
Our weekly "what channel is the game on?" post returns as the No. 17/16 Gamecocks prepare for their first home game in two weeks against the Tennessee Volunteers. The Gamecocks are 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC after losses at top-10 teams LSU and Florida. The Vols are 3-4 overall and 0-4 in the SEC.


This week's match-up with Tennessee is sold out. 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. You won't want to miss this game as Carolina hopes to extend their eight-game home winning streak.


The Gamecocks will battle the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, October 27, airing nationally on ESPN at 12 p.m. ET. ESPN's Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, and Jenn Brown will call the action for the broadcast.

The game will also be available nationwide online streaming on WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app.  WatchESPN is available free to fans with video subscriptions through Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Brighthouse and Comcast. Note, this is different from last season. This year games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will only be on WatchESPN and not ESPN3.com. Saturday's game is not available on ESPN3.com.
 


Game Information:
Who: #17/16 South Carolina vs. Tennessee
When: Saturday, October 27, 2012, at 12 p.m. ET
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium; Columbia, SC
TV: ESPN, WatchESPN
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 below channels within the state of South Carolina. 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):

ESPN

Time Warner Cable
Columbia, SC Channel 26 (Digital channel 500, HD channel 1500)
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, catch the re-broadcast of the game with Andy Demetra and Brad Muller on the call on Sunday, October 28, at 8 p.m. on SportSouth following The Steve Spurrier Show at 7:30 p.m. The replay also airs at 1 a.m.


In addition to television, hear from your very own Gamecocks Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and 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 85/XM 85).

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

 

Inside The Chart.pngIn truth, Byron Jerideau should have left town with the South Carolina State Fair.  With tree trunk thighs and Popeye arms, the 6'1," 316-pound defensive tackle from Green Pond has performed feats of strength worthy of a sideshow tent.  Last Spring, the redshirt senior set a program record with a 485-pound bench press, proving he can not only replace Travian Robertson on the depth chart, but in the record books as well.

 

But strength alone doesn't cut it on the football field.  Bench presses and dead lifts don't always translate into sacks and tackles for loss.  Without technique, strength is sa parlor trick.  But in his final season in Garnet and Black, Jerideau is becoming known as much for his impact plays as his Strongman reputation.  Despite being hobbled by a sprained ankle, Jerideau has strung together two of his best games as a Gamecock.  Against #9 LSU, he tallied a career-high 6 tackles.  In Saturday's loss to #2 Florida, he added four tackles and his first blocked extra point.

 

Byron Jerideau.jpegJerideau credits an improved understanding of the game for his improved production.

 

Byron Jerideau (left) has enjoyed two of his best games back-to-back.

 

"[I'm] just playing fundamental football.  I've started to use my hands," Jerideau told me.  "I've just learned to depend on the people beside me.  I would sometimes jump gaps, and the ball might go up my gap.  If you stay in your gap, you'll play smart."

 

Jerideau's "gap integrity" has played an important role in South Carolina ranking 4th in the nation in tackles for loss (64.0).  By plugging his gap, ballcarriers have to decelerate or find space elsewhere, leaving extra time for his teammates to pounce. 

 

Jerideau Celebrates.jpegIt has made for a satisfying season for a man who grew up a Gamecock fan outside Walterboro.  But make no mistake:  Jerideau still takes pride in his freakish strength.  He first discovered his talent in the sixth grade while playing for his middle school football team.  The then-140-pound Jerideau and his teammates began a weight-lifting program under the supervision of their future high school head coach.

 

"We started with the bar [approximately 45 lbs.], and everybody had to [lift] it as many times as they could.  Everybody was doing it, like, 40 times.  I went and did it probably 120 times," he said.

 

"My coach said, 'Wow, this guy has some power.'"

 

And plenty more, as Byron Jerideau has shown this season.

 

More notes as we prepare for Tennessee (9:00 a.m. EST airtime, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):

Where's The Beef?  With Jerideau holding the pocket, and Jadeveon Clowney masquerading as Jeff Driskel's personal backpack, South Carolina has moved up to 3rd in the nation in sacks (29.0), affirming Lorenzo Ward's prophesy that the Gamecocks would blitz more.  They'll receive their toughest test yet from Tennessee:  the Vols have only allowed 3.0 sacks all year, tied for 2nd-lowest in the nation.

South Carolina Defense:   29.0 Sacks                               (#4 NCAA)

Tennessee Offense:            3.0 Sacks Allowed                (#2 NCAA)

 

The Volunteers not only returned experience to their offensive line, but heft:  their starters average an industrial-sized 317.8 pounds, one of the highest averages in college football.  Of the Gamecocks' opponents to date, only LSU's offensive line (316.4 pounds per starter) compares favorably on the scales.  Those Tigers smashed open running lanes and limited the Gamecocks to a season-low one sack, which came from linebacker Shaq Wilson.  Can the Gamecocks redeem themselves against a line whose - ahem - robustness belies its record?

 

Fumbled Opportunities:  Both figuratively and literally, a shot at victory slipped out of the Gamecocks' hands Saturday.  A series of four fumbles dealt Florida short fields, and wiped out any momentum the Gamecocks tried to build.  Not even Gainesville's notorious humidity was to blame. 

 

Byrd fumble.jpgCarolina's hands may get clammier at this:  Tennessee has forced the seventh most fumbles in the nation (16).  It's the highest total by a Carolina opponent to date.

 

Damiere Byrd (right) watches as a fumble slips away vs. Florida.  (photo courtesy:  florida.247sports.com).

 

On the bright side, Tennessee has only recovered four of those fumbles (25.0%).  Of teams that have forced 10 or more fumbles, UT's recovery rate is second-worst in the nation behind.... South Carolina (3 of 14, 21.4%).

 

Chained Down:  South Carolina's third-down defense has cratered the last two weeks - in consecutive losses to LSU and Florida, the Gamecocks have allowed 55% conversions on third downs (17 of 31).

Tennessee may have a 3-4 record, but the Vols have shown an uncanny ability to convert third downs away from Rocky Top.  The Volunteers rank 11th in the nation in third-down conversions in road or neutral-site games (23 of 46, 50.0%).  In home games, Tennessee plummets to 112th in the nation (18 of 56, 32.1%).   

Tennessee Third-Down Conversions

Site                                         Conversion %                       NCAA Rank

Road                                      50.0%                                     11th

Home                                     32.0%                                     112th

 

Tennessee used that skill to its advantage against #1 Alabama.  Despite scoring only 13 points, the Volunteers manufactured 4 trips inside the Alabama red zone.  The Crimson Tide had only allowed 8 red zone trips in its first 6 games.

 

Third-down stops not only enliven a crowd, they energize a defense.  Can the Gamecocks regain their stride against an opponent that has been a surprisingly tough "out" on the road?

 

And Finally... Saturday won't be the first time Tennessee plays on Steve Spurrier's field.  During preseason camp, the Volunteers barnstormed around the state, practicing at various Tennessee high school fields.  Among the schools they visited was Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn.  Science Hill plays its home games at - you guessed it - Steve Spurrier Field.

 

 

 

Steve Spurrier Field.jpgSteve Spurrier Field at Science Hill HS (Johnson City, Tenn.).  The Tennessee football team held a practice there during preseason.

 

Check back Friday for our final "Pre-Snap Reads" before the Gamecocks welcome Tennessee to Williams-Brice.  -AD--

 


Jerideau_121006_000071_TB.jpgWe caught up with defensive lineman Byron Jerideau to get to know the senior Gamecock better. Check out the conversation below and learn more about this self-proclaimed country boy:


BL: What was it like growing up in the Lowcountry?

Jerideau: It was fun, I kinda stayed in the country so me and my granddad always doing yard work and fishing and cutting up wood in the winter time. Growing up by the water was cool because me and my dad would go fishing a lot and being able to go right to the beach was cool.


Tell me a little bit more about your family - who you grew up with and what they are like?

 I grew up with my mom; she raised me well. Single mom, working hard, always told me to do what I believe in, keep the dreams up there. I love her. My granddad stays right next to us. He kept me busy in the yard and I used to love to help him, right after school. Even when it got time for high school I still wanted to help him because I knew that he was getting older and needed someone to help him.


What are some of the other things you liked to do, when you were a kid, for fun?

Rifles, hunt, fish, country stuff.


So do you consider yourself a "country boy"?

Yeah, definitely. If you saw where I stay, you'd say that too. Green Pond is in the  woods. I had like a 17 minute drive to school every day. ... It's about 35 - 40 miles from Charleston. It's in between Charleston and Beaufort.


When did you first start playing football?

I started playing football when I was in sixth grade. A lot of people told me I had a good size.  I really almost didn't make the weight limit because for sixth grade rec league you had to be 150 lbs and I was like 140 lbs or something like that. So I almost didn't make it. I played D-line, O-line, and tight end. 


What's your favorite part about playing defensive line?

Tackling. Tackling and hitting. Hitting every play, hitting offensive linemen, hitting the quarterback, hitting everybody and just tackling. I love tackling!


I know you don't get a lot of free time, but when you do what are some of your favorite things to do off the field?

I kinda just like to relax. Sit back and watch TV, watch football, NFL and watch some of the shows I like, Swamp People and Family Guy.


Who are you closest with on the team? Who are some of the other players you hang out with and what do y'all like to do?

Me and Aldrick [Fordham] like to play 2K, it's a video game, and Madden. I beat him all the time. Me and Devin are like best friends and our parents are really close.


Did you and Devin know each other before coming to Carolina?

Yes, we know each other from track and field in high school and football. So every weekend, we'd be at the same track meets and I said, "You play football don't you?" "Yeah, Devin Taylor." "Oh, Byron." We just grew close from there.


What events did you do? Were you a field athlete or were you a track athlete?

I did both. I did shot put and discus. Then at the end of every track meet we did something called a Big Boy Relay and it was for all the "big boys" that did shot put and discus, then they got to run a relay, like the 4 by 1. And Beaufort, they'd always cheat because they had Devin. He was skinny but because he did shot put and discus he qualified to run in the Big Boy Relay. Devin always beat us and we would get second.  And he always won in discus because he's so long and lanky.


You guys have to do interviews all the time. Is there any question that you wish people would ask you, that you normally do not get asked?

I would say, "How am I doing today?" Most people don't ask you how are you doing, or how your day is. They just go straight to the questions about whatever they want to find out.


Jerideau_Wilson_091512_000228_TB.jpg

Quick Hits with Byron Jerideau:

Favorite food?  Lima beans and neck bone
Song on repeat right now on your iPod? Tim McGraw- Live Like You Were Dying 
Favorite kind of music? Country, a little R&B. I'm not a big rap person. 
Favorite TV show? Swamp People. We all used to meet up at my house and watch it every Thursday.  The new season doesn't start for awhile. 
Favorite TV show you're embarrassed to admit that you watch?  Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but it's only because my girlfriend makes me watch it! 
Favorite video game?  Madden, NCAA, mostly sports games 


Fan Photos: South Carolina at Florida

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Check out some of the fans in Gainesville today to cheer on the Gamecocks against the Gators! Thank you, fans, for all your support!!

 

 

Inside The Chart.pngThe SEC may leave little room for error, but it leaves even less room for self-pity.

Celebrating after a win, seething after a loss - whatever the outcome, feelings can't linger long in the SEC.  Coaches warn players about looking ahead; in reality, looking behind can be just as reckless.  The clock is already ticking on the next opponent.  

So after a humbling, 44-11 defeat to #2 Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 SEC) heads back to work Sunday, trying to regroup for its next SEC matchup against Tennessee.  The regular season may not end with a trip to Atlanta, but it can still end memorably - so long as the Gamecocks direct their energies wisely.

"Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes" on a night where "The Swamp" claimed another victim:

Defense vs. UF.jpegLaying It On The "Line":  The numbers, combined with the injuries, offered a gloomy outlook.  LSU had just dashed and gashed the Gamecocks for 258 rushing yards.  The next opponent, Florida, ranked 2nd in the SEC in rushing, and carved up Vanderbilt for 326 yards in a 31-17 win.   The Gamecocks' interior line was also hurting, with defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles (injury/suspension) not making the trip to Florida and Byron Jerideau nursing a heavily-taped sprained ankle.  All signs pointed to a long, difficult day in the trenches.  

Yet the Gamecocks' defensive line came through with a gutsy effort against the Gators.  Carolina bottled up most of Florida's between-the-tackles runs, and prevented Mike Gillislee, the SEC's second-leading rusher (102.5 ypg), from opening his stride.  On Friday, we noted that one of Gillislee's strengths was his ability to take hits, and grind out yards after contact.  In 120 carries on the season, Gillislee had only amassed 9 loss yards.  In 19 carries against Carolina, Gillislee had 10 loss yards.

Mike Gilislee                         Carries                   Loss Yards

Games 1-6                            120                          9

vs. South Carolina                 19                           10

 

Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowney also used their length and speed to neutralize Florida's zone-read option.  One week after breaking Tim Tebow's school record for rushing yards by a quarterback (177), Florida QB Jeff Driskel managed only -5 rushing yardsHowever, an average starting field position of the 50-yard line can put a strain on even the most valiant defenses.

Been There, Done That:  Florida knows exactly how South Carolina feels.  The Gamecocks allowed 183 yards of total offense, yet fell to the Gators 44-11.  Last year, Florida held rival Florida State to 95 yards on 59 plays, yet still dropped a 21-7 decision to FSU.  That gave Florida the "Backhanded Compliment" award for fewest yards allowed by a losing team in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2011.

Clowney vs. UF.jpegFortunately, the Gamecocks will avoid that fate this year.  On September 29, SMU limited TCU to 156 yards of offense, but fell 24-16.  Like Carolina's game, turnovers were the culprit:  the Mustangs threw 5 interceptions and lost a fumble in a driving rainstorm in Dallas.

Incoming!  Jadeveon Clowney's sack of Florida QB Jeff Driskel moved him into the top 5 in school history in sacks.

Seasoned Vets:  I asked Shaq Wilson this week if the Gamecocks' linebacking corps takes any ribbing from their teammates for their, ahem, advanced age.  South Carolina features five seniors among the six players listed on their depth chart. 

Wilson chuckled.

"They mess with us all the time on that.  The young guys pick on us, telling us they have fresh legs all the time," Wilson told me.

Wisecracks aside, the Gamecock linebackers again played with fire.  A week after Wilson posted a career-high 14 tackles, Reginald Bowens followed suit with a career-high 11 tackles against Florida.

No Late Arrivals:  If the last three meetings between the Gamecocks and Gators have taught us anything, it's to get in your seats early:

*  In 2010, Florida's Andre Debose ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown. 

Adam Yates.jpeg*  In 2011, Florida quarterback John Brantley lost a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. 

*  In 2012, Connor Shaw did the same, giving Florida possession at the Carolina 2.

Adam Yates' 51-yard field goal helped the Gamecocks achieve a scoring rarity.

Red Zone Woes:  On Friday's "Inside The Chart" we pointed out Florida's puzzling struggles in Red Zone Touchdowns.  Perhaps belying their #2 national ranking, the Gators ranked 85th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in Red Zone Touchdown % (8 of 20, 40%).  Meanwhile, the Gamecock defense had only allowed 5 touchdowns in 19 red-zone chances (26.3%), the second-lowest percentage in the country behind Notre Dame.

Funny how a couple of fumble recoveries deep inside your own territory can flip those percentages.  The Gators scored touchdowns on 6 of 7 red zone opportunities.

And Finally... The Gamecocks scored 11 points in a game for the first time since a 14-11 loss to Miami (OH) in 1973.

Join us this week as we begin our prep for a long-welcome home game against Tennessee.  Thanks for diving "Inside The Chart" with us.  -AD--

Photos: Arriving in Florida

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The Gamecocks are safely in Ocala, Florida, for the night before taking on the Gators tomorrow!

FB-12 arriving in Ocala 1.jpg

Loading the buses at the airport


FB-12 arriving in Ocala 2.jpgPicking up keys at the hotel


FB-12 arriving in Ocala 3.jpg

Time to get settled in!

The team will have chapel, team dinner, a brief meeting and watch a movie tonight.


Carolina takes on Florida Saturday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 PM on CBS! You can also tune in to ESPN College GameDay from 9 AM to Noon airing live from Gainesville. I'm sure there will be some Gamecocks mixed in the crowd with the Gators!




 

 

Inside The Chart.pngYes, Shaq Wilson confirms, he was named after the basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.  But in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., everyone knows him by a different nickname.  After five years on the Carolina campus, Wilson can finally spill the secret.

"My middle name is Demesio," Wilson told me after our pre-game radio interview.  "It's my Dad's name.  He's Puerto Rican.  Everybody back home calls me 'Diesel' because of it.  My family, my teammates - everybody."

Shaq Wilson vs. LSU.jpegBy any name, Wilson has started to become a household one. 

Head coach Steve Spurrier praised Wilson this week for "having an all-conference linebacker kind of year, maybe even an All-American type year."    The senior leads the Gamecocks with 44 tackles, including a career-high 14 against LSU.   He also recorded a sack and a forced fumble of the Tigers' Spencer Ware, the tailback's first in 242 career carries. 

But Wilson takes grim satisfaction in that personal record.

"As a linebacker I feel like either a lot of people aren't making tackles or you're not getting off the field," he said.  "The numbers I look at mostly are wins and losses and [stops on] third downs.  Those are what matter to me most."

The number Wilson covets most Saturday is the Gamecocks' 7th win.  The senior gets one final crack against his home-state school when South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) faces #2 Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  A win would slingshot the Gamecocks back up the rankings, and give them inside position for an SEC Eastern Division title.  It would also add to Carolina's growing collection of firsts - in this case, its first three-game win streak over the Gators. 

Pre-snap reads before Gamecocks and Gators engage in Swamp warfare (3:30 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):

Curb Your Enthusiasm:  Florida has adopted the motto "start fast and physical" in 2012.  The Gamecocks might counter with the slogan "start faster and more physical."  Did you know:  Carolina is one of five (5) teams nationally that has yet to allow a first-quarter touchdown.

No First-Quarter Touchdowns Allowed                            

1.        South Carolina                     0                             

 Alabama                                                                

 Penn State                                                            

 Notre Dame                                                         

 Kent State                                                             

 

Like any difficult road setting, the Gamecocks can't let the Swamp get engaged early.  The numbers suggest they'll have that ability.

 

Blue In The Red:  Like LSU, Florida has suffered from red-zone issues this year.  

 

Florida Red Zone Offense                  Percentage                           NCAA Rank

Scoring Percentage                             19 of 20, 95.0%                       7th

Touchdown Percentage                        11 of 20, 40.0%                       85th

 

While the Gators boast an All-American placekicker in Caleb Sturgis, they've showcased him far too often on chip-shot field goals.  Despite getting outplayed in Baton Rouge, the Gamecocks stayed close by stalling LSU drives, and forcing the Tigers to settle for field goals.  Will that same strength be a virtue in Gainesville?  Florida and South Carolina rank #5 and #6 in the nation, allowing an identical 12.3 points per game.  In a clash between two stingy defenses, the difference between a touchdown and field goal could make the difference between a win and loss. 

 

Kenny Miles vs. Citadel.jpegBet You Didn't Know, Pt. I:  Florida senior defensive tackle Omar Hunter won a state championship for Buford (Ga.) HS in 2007, routing Lovett HS 50-0 in the title game.  Lovett was coached by Mike Muschamp... brother of Gators head coach Will Muschamp.

 

Kenny Miles (right) will start ahead of Marcus Lattimore.

 

Bounce-Back Ahead?  With LSU's linemen clogging running lanes, Carolina only managed 34 rushing yards on 25 carries in their 23-21 loss to the Tigers.  Their ability to rebound may be further tested, with Wednesday's news that Marcus Lattimore may take fewer carries because of a bruised hip.  Florida rolled up a season-high 9.0 tackles for loss against Vanderbilt, with defensive linemen Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd leading a brute, physical point of attack.