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Gamecocks and Hurricanes to Meet in Shreveport

Gamecocks and Hurricanes to Meet in Shreveport

Posted on 08 December 2014 by Allen

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The South Carolina Gamecocks will face the Miami Hurricanes in the 2014 Duck Commander Independence Bowl, it was announced on Sunday. The December 27 game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 CT) from Independence Stadium (48,961) in Shreveport, La. and will be televised nationally on ABC. It will mark the Gamecocks’ 20th bowl appearance in school history.

South Carolina heads into the contest with an overall record of 6-6, including a 3-5 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Miami posted a 6-6 overall mark as well, including a 3-5 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

This is the 16th time the Gamecocks and Hurricanes have met on the gridiron, but the first since 1987 and just the third since 1960. Miami leads the all-time series, 8-5-2, and has won each of the last six meetings between the two schools. South Carolina’s last win over the Hurricanes came by an 8-0 score in 1947.

This will be South Carolina’s second trip to Shreveport and the Independence Bowl. The Gamecocks dropped a 38-31 decision to the Missouri Tigers on December 30, 2005, concluding head coach Steve Spurrier’s first season with the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks are bowl-eligible for the 11th-consecutive year and for each of the 10 seasons under Coach Spurrier. This will mark the Gamecocks’ seventh-consecutive bowl appearance, extending their school record. South Carolina is 7-12 in bowl appearances all-time, but has won seven of its last 11 bowl games.

Coach Spurrier is 4-4 in bowl games at South Carolina, including wins in each of the last three bowl games (2012 Capital One Bowl against Nebraska, 2013 Outback Bowl versus Michigan and 2014 Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin). Coach Spurrier is 10-10 all-time as a head coach in bowl games. He lost his only previous meeting with the Hurricanes, a 37-27 setback in the 2001 Sugar Bowl.

The Gamecocks are scheduled to begin their bowl practices on Tuesday, December 16.

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Gamecocks ready for The Palmetto Bowl

Gamecocks ready for The Palmetto Bowl

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Allen

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On Saturday, the University of South Carolina and Clemson University are set to meet on the football field for the 112th time, dating back to their first gridiron encounter in 1896. One of the most storied and historic rivalries in all of college football, the annual game between the state’s largest public institutions has never had an official name. The athletic departments of both schools announced this week the official adoption of The Palmetto Bowl™ as the name of the game moving forward, and a trophy and logo will be developed and unveiled prior to the 2015 game.

“From ‘Big Thursday’ to ‘The Palmetto Bowl,’ there is so much history and tradition to showcase about this rivalry,” said South Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner. “The Palmetto Bowl gives this rivalry an identity that highlights the State of South Carolina and the accomplishments of these outstanding institutions.”

“This is one of the premier games every year in college football, and it’s a great opportunity for our institutions to increase exposure to the State of South Carolina and all the great people here,” Clemson Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “To name this game The Palmetto Bowl hopefully adds to the identity of this great rivalry.”

“We had a good practice today in the stadium,” said head coach Steve Spurrier, who will be coaching his 400th game on Saturday. “We’ll be in the stadium tomorrow and in the stadium on Friday before we go up there. Guys seemed excited to go play the Clemson Tigers. Hopefully we’ll play our best. We’re going to need to. We’ll kick it off and see what happens. We think we have a chance (to win). You always have a chance if you play well, but we’ve got to play well to beat them.

“We’ve got a lot to be thankful for,” continued the Head Ball Coach. “I told our guys to win these last two (against Florida and South Alabama) was pretty good for where we were. We’re going to try our best to win one more. It would be a pretty good comeback from some things that have happened this year. I’m proud of what our guys have done the last couple of games.”

The Gamecocks and Tigers kick off at 12 noon Saturday, in a contest set for broadcast on ESPN.

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Gamecocks worried about Clemson Running Game

Gamecocks worried about Clemson Running Game

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Allen

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The University of South Carolina football team (6-5, 3-5 SEC) practiced Tuesday afternoon at the indoor facility, as rain enveloped the Columbia metropolitan area. The Gamecocks are preparing for Saturday’s annual Palmetto Bowl against the Clemson Tigers (8-3, 6-2 ACC). Game time is set for noon ET at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has to prepare his unit for two different types of quarterbacks that Clemson may use on Saturday. “You have to be concerned with (Deshaun) Watson because he can run the football,” said Ward. “Not that they won’t run it with (Cole) Stoudt. I think he’ll run the ball some too, but they’ll run it a lot more with Watson playing quarterback.” Ward said not knowing which quarterback would play will have no effect on their preparation this week. “We’ll prepare just like we’ve done in the past for an athletic quarterback and one that’s not so athletic. The game plan will be very similar.”

Despite not knowing which quarterback will take the bulk of the snaps, Ward has some familiarity with what the Tigers will try to do offensively. “Chad (Morris) has done a great job at Clemson,” said Ward. “His system is what’s in place. They’ll continue to run the system. Their plays are no different than what they did with the quarterback they had last year. It’s very, very similar.”

Ward’s unit has been very successful in recent meetings with Clemson. “The guys take pride in the state rivalry,” said Ward. “We try to execute better and create some turnovers that have helped us. We’ll try to do the same on Saturday. We’ll have to create some turnovers, especially because they’ve got a great defense. We’ve got to give our offense an opportunity with the football if we can.”

Ward confirmed that Brison Williams would start at one cornerback position, with Rico McWilliams sidelined for this contest with a concussion. Chris Lammons and D.J. Smith are working at the other cornerback spot this week in practice. Ward indicated that if the game were played today, Lammons would be the starter and hopes that McWilliams will be back for the bowl game.

ESPN will televise Saturday’s game nationally, with Steve Levy and Kelly Stouffer in the booth and Dawn Davenport on the sidelines. Sports USA will have the national radio broadcast with Mike Morgan and Gary Barnett describing the action. As always, the Gamecock IMG Sports Network, including WNKT, 107.5 the Game in Columbia, will have all the action, with Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs in the booth and Langston Moore working the sidelines.

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Wuerffel Trophy Winner to be Announced at NFF Dec. 9 Press Conference

Wuerffel Trophy Winner to be Announced at NFF Dec. 9 Press Conference

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Allen

dylan thompson

The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today that the winner the of the Wuerffel Trophy, which is presented by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and honors the college football player who best exhibits exemplary community service, will be announced during the NFF morning press conference as part of the festivities surrounding the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on Dec. 9.

“We are extremely pleased to share our spotlight with the Wuerffel Trophy on Dec. 9,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Wuerffel Trophy represents everything right with college football, and Danny Wuerffel holds a special connection to the NFF as the first person in history to claim the William V. Campbell Trophy, the nation’s premier scholar-athlete award, and then subsequently earn induction in to the College Football Hall of Fame. The candidates for this award, like its namesake, are all leaders in the community, which is an attribute that the NFF works hard to promote. It’s a natural fit for us to collaborate with the All Sports Association to support the ideals of the award.”

The 2014 Wuerffel Trophy finalists, listed alphabetically by university, are:

* Taylor Kelly – Arizona State University – quarterback

* Bryce Haynes – Ohio State University – long snapper

* Sam Rodgers – Syracuse University – long snapper

* Chris Conley – University of Georgia – wide receiver

* Brennen Beyer – University of Michigan – defensive end

* Deterrian Shackelford – University of Mississippi – linebacker

* Ameer Abdullah – University of Nebraska – running back

* Trevor Knight – University of Oklahoma – quarterback

* Dylan Thompson – University of South Carolina – quarterback

* Corey Acosta – University of Southern Mississippi – place kicker

* Greg Mancz – University of Toledo – center

* Andrew East – Vanderbilt University – long snapper

“Each year I’m amazed by the quality of student-athletes who are nominated by their schools, and this year is no different,” said Wuerffel, who will attend the press conference to announce the winner. “Not only is it very difficult to pick a winner, it’s even a struggle to select the finalists. In a time when so much negative attention gets directed to a few players and their poor choices, it’s refreshing to see the positive impact these young men are having in their communities.”

Wuerffel owns one of the most impressive resume’s in all of college football history, claiming the Heisman Trophy and quarterbacking the University of Florida to four SEC championships and the 1996 national title. Wuerffel currently heads the Desire Street Ministries in Decatur, Ga., training leaders to transform impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development, and he has received national recognition for his humanitarian and community service efforts.

“This year we had a record number of universities nominating their athletes,” said Tom Brassell, executive director of the Wuerffel Trophy. “It just continues to amaze us to see what good things so many of these young men are doing in serving others in their communities and around the world.”

A football player is nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy by his university or college sports information director or football liaison. A committee, which includes the Wuerffel Trophy national directors, selection committee members and past winners, will vote on the finalists later this month, and the winner will be formally announced on Dec. 9, 2014. The 2014 Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner at the All Sports Association’s 46th Annual Awards Banquet on Feb. 13, 2015, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

About the Wuerffel Trophy

The Wuerffel Trophy is college football’s premier award for community service. The All Sports Association presents the Wuerffel Trophy to the Football Bowl Subdivision football player who best exhibits exemplary community service, along with qualifying academic and athletic achievement. As the trophy namesake, Danny Wuerffel embodies the three categories of the award: Community Service, Academics and Athletics. Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 2013 Gabe Ikard, University of Oklahoma; 2012 Matt Barkley, University of Southern California; 2011 Barrett Jones, University of Alabama; 2010 Sam Acho, University of Texas; 2009 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan University; 2008 Tim Tebow, University of Florida; 2007 Paul Smith, University of Tulsa; 2006 Joel Penton, Ohio State University; and 2005 Rudy Niswanger, Louisiana State University. Learn more at www.wuerffeltrophy.org

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Gamecocks not underestimating South Alabama

Gamecocks not underestimating South Alabama

Posted on 20 November 2014 by Allen

dylan thompson

The University of South Carolina football team (5-5, 3-5 SEC) worked out at the Bluff Road practice fields on a cool Wednesday afternoon in Columbia. The Gamecocks are preparing for their final home game of the 2014 season, a Saturday noon start against the South Alabama Jaguars (6-4, 5-3 Sun Belt). A win would make the Gamecocks bowl-eligible for an 11th-straight season.

Saturday will be Senior Day, with 22 players expected to take part in the festivities. The list includes seniors Rory Anderson, Damiere Byrd, A.J. Cann, Ryland Culbertson, Jordan Diaz, Patrick Fish, Cody Gibson, Sharrod Golightly, Tyler Hull, Nick Jones, Kadetrix Marcus, Connor McLaurin, Sidney Rhodes, Corey Robinson, J.T Surratt, Dylan Thompson and Brison Williams. In addition, Mike Davis, Austin Hails, Coleman Harley, Matthew Harvey and Drew Owens, will also participate despite having a year of eligibility remaining. This year’s senior class has been part of 38 wins, tying for the second-most in school history, including three bowl victories.

The Gamecocks still have a lot to play for this season. “We want to get bowl-eligible,” said senior quarterback Dylan Thompson. “And just have a good time doing it. South Alabama is a good team. We’ve got to come out and play hard, play fast. They play fast and we have to be ready for them. It’s going to be a good day to play. Hopefully we’ll finish strong at home. We want to give the home crowd a good show because we haven’t done that the past few times at home.”

“I think it’s gone by pretty fast to tell you the truth,” said senior offensive guard A.J. Cann of his time at Carolina. “I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I know it’s Senior Day this Saturday and I’m going to enjoy that. Hopefully we’ll come out with the win, which will be even better for us.”

Saturday’s game will be televised on the Fox Sports Net, with Fox Sport South picking it up in the Columbia area. Bob Rathbun will have the play-by-play with Tim Couch providing the color commentary. Olivia Harlan is the sideline announcer.

The Gamecocks will practice again on Thursday afternoon.

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Breaking Down South Alabama at South Carolina

Breaking Down South Alabama at South Carolina

Posted on 20 November 2014 by Allen

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It’s Senior Day for the South Carolina Gamecocks (5-5, 3-5 SEC) as they host the South Alabama Jaguars (6-4, 5-3 Sun Belt) in the final home game of the 2014 season. Game time is set for noon ET at Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) in Columbia. This is the first meeting on the gridiron between these two schools. Fox Sports Net will televise the game, with Bob Rathbun and Tim Couch in the booth and Olivia Harlan working the sidelines.

The Gamecocks have played back-to-back overtime games, losing to Tennessee, 45-42, before winning at Florida last week by a 23-20 count, snapping a four-game SEC losing streak.

The Gamecocks need one win in their final two games: South Alabama (6-4), and at Clemson (7-3), to reach the six-win plateau and become bowl eligible. The Gamecocks have been bowl eligible in eachof the previous nine years under head coach Steve Spurrier.

South Alabama is 6-4 on the season and 5-3 in the Sun Belt Conference. They have played one SEC school this year, losing by a 35-3 count to Mississippi State in their second game of the season. They put together a four-game winning streak during the middle of the 2014 campaign, but lost back-to-back road games at Lafayette and Arkansas State before rebounding with a win over Texas State last week. They wrap up the regular season next week against Navy.

Steve Spurrier has never faced South Alabama. This will mark the 67th different school that the HBC has faced during his 25-year career.

South Carolina has won 17-straight games against non-conference opponents. Its last non-conference loss came to Florida State in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. Since that loss they have defeated East Carolina (three times), Navy, The Citadel, Clemson (three times), Nebraska, UAB, Wofford, Michigan, North Carolina, UCF, Coastal Carolina, Wisconsin and Furman.

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Gamecocks top Florida in OT

Gamecocks top Florida in OT

Posted on 15 November 2014 by Allen

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After enduring so many heartaches for the season, it would be South Carolina (5-5, 3-5 SEC) that would play the role of spoiler Saturday afternoon, beating the Florida Gators (5-4, 4-4 SEC) 23-20 in overtime. Dylan Thompson would keep it on a read option from four yards out to shock The Swamp and send the Gamecocks home a winner.

With under three minutes to play in the game, South Carolina was faced with a 4th-and-10 at the Florida 41. A bad snap forced a hurried throw and an incompletion to give the home side the ball with 2:32 to play. After three run plays to take the clock all the way down to 46 seconds, the Gators would punt from their own 43.

Junior Carlton Heard would barrel in untouched on the punt attempt, snuffing it out and putting the offense on the Florida 34 yard line. It was the first blocked punt for the program since Devin Taylor at N.C. State in September of 2009.

A pass out to the left sideline to Mike Davis would get a quick 27 yards right off the bat, as the team would have to move fast with 46 seconds to play and no timeouts. Four plays later after the pitch and catch, Davis would fall on a fumbled option pitch in the end zone for a touchdown and a 17-17 game. The Gators would kneel on the ensuing possession to take it to overtime.

In the extra frame, Florida opened with a four-play drive leading to 35-yard field goal to put the pressure on the Carolina offense. Mike Davis would tote it four plays in a row, converting a 3rd-and-3 to the Florida 14 to keep the drive rolling. Two plays later, facing third down at the 4-yard line, Thompson ran untouched to the left for the instant win.

Overtime would have never happened had it not been for another clutch play from the Gamecock special teams earlier on in the fourth quarter. With the home side ahead 17-10 and 3:40 left to play, Francisco Velez lined up to attempt a field goal from the 32 to make it a two-possession game. It would be knocked back by Brison Williams to keep it just a seven-point lead.

It appeared to be an all-too-familiar theme for South Carolina early on, as it would dominate the first quarter but would allow the Gators to storm back as the game wore on. Thompson orchestrated an eight play, 85-yard drive on the opening possession of the game, capitalized by a 20-yard touchdown run from Brandon Wilds. Elliott Fry added a 32-yard field goal in the team’s next possession to put the Gamecocks up 10-0, and Carolina would ultimately hold the ball for 11:30 of the opening quarter.

The Gators would use a potent run game to score the next 17 points and force the miraculous comeback from the Gamecocks. Quarterback Treon Harris ran 20 times for 111 yards, and the home side would total 219 yards rushing to just 60 passing on the day.

The Gamecocks would total 301 yards of offense on 80 plays while limiting Florida to 278 on 60, respectively. It is the first road win for the team since Vanderbilt on Sept. 20 and the first win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since 2010.

Carolina will return home next Saturday, Nov. 22 as it hosts South Alabama. The game will kickoff at noon and will be broadcasted on FOX Sports South.

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Gamecocks worried about Treon Harris

Gamecocks worried about Treon Harris

Posted on 13 November 2014 by Allen

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The University of South Carolina football team (4-5, 2-5 SEC) worked out on Thursday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields in preparation for this Saturday’s game at Florida (5-3, 4-3 SEC). Kickoff is set for noon. The game will be televised live on the SEC Network with Dave Neal and Andre Ware in the booth and Laura Rutledge on the sidelines.

Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward knows that his unit will have to contain Gator quarterback Treon Harris. “He makes plays with his feet when he has to,” said Ward of Harris. “He throws the ball well. They do a good job of getting him out of the pocket and he’s an athletic quarterback that’s doing well for them. I think they’ll run him some, but we won’t see the inside run, other than the quarterback draw.”

Ward has shuffled some of his defensive players around this week in an effort to contain the athletes on the Florida offense. Skai Moore will slide over to the Mike linebacker position, with Jonathan Walton slated to make the start at Will linebacker. Brison Williams will start at safety with Rico McWilliams and Chris Lammons earning the start at the cornerback positions. Either Chaz Elder or T.J. Gurley will start at the other safety position, according to Ward.

“You’re playing against a team that’s very athletic and you want to get your most athletic guys on the field,” said Ward of putting both Moore and Walton on the field at the same time. “They do a lot of shifting with the tight ends. Brison played well for us at corner, but I think he’s probably played better in his career at safety when we can get him tighter to the box. He’ll play some corner as well, but you’ll definitely see him at safety. You want leadership and guys that are going to communicate and talk and we get more of that communication and talk with Brison playing safety.”

The Gamecocks will have a short work out on Friday before heading to Florida.

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Fry Nominated for Burlsworth Trophy

Fry Nominated for Burlsworth Trophy

Posted on 12 November 2014 by Allen

usc

University of South Carolina sophomore placekicker Elliott Fry is one of 55 players nominated for the 2014 Burlsworth Trophy, it was announced today.

In the award’s fifth year, the Trophy honors Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman.

The award will be given to the collegiate player who began their career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Nominees must have begun their first season of participation with a D1 football program without financial aid of any kind from their athletic department.

Fry, a six-foot, 165-pounder from Frisco, Texas, went from unheralded walk-on to a spot on the 2013 SEC All-Freshman team. This season, he is a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, which recognizes the nation’s top placekicker, and was recognized on the midseason All-SEC first team by both Phil Steele and ESPN.com.

“As we enter our 5th year of the Burlsworth Trophy, I am again impressed by the quality of committed athletes that have been selected,” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “They each represent what the Burlsworth Trophy stands for: hard work, dedication to a sport and to their school and above all else, a commitment to excel at the highest level.”

Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth walked on to the Razorback team in 1994, worked his way to being a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft, but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities.

Springdale Rotary Club will host a banquet on Dec. 8th in Springdale, Ark. to honor the finalists and to announce the 2014 winner.

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Thompson named finalist for Wuerffel Trophy

Thompson named finalist for Wuerffel Trophy

Posted on 12 November 2014 by Allen

dylan thompson

University of South Carolina senior quarterback Dylan Thompson is one of 12 finalists for the 2014 Wuerffel Trophy, it was announced today. The Wuerffel Trophy honors the college football player who best exhibits exemplary community service.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Wuerffel Trophy, an award named after former Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, who led the Florida Gators to the 1996 national championship, played six years in the National Football League and has received national recognition for his humanitarian and community service efforts with Desire Street Ministries, in New Orleans and around the country.

The Wuerffel Trophy finalists, listed alphabetically by university, are:
• Taylor Kelly – Arizona State University – quarterback
• Bryce Haynes – Ohio State University – long snapper
• Sam Rodgers – Syracuse University – long snapper
• Chris Conley – University of Georgia – wide receiver
• Brennen Beyer – University of Michigan – defensive end
• Deterrian Shackelford – University of Mississippi – linebacker
• Ameer Abduullah – University of Nebraska – running back
• Trevor Knight – University of Oklahoma – quarterback
• Dylan Thompson – University of South Carolina – quarterback
• Corey Acosta – University of Southern Mississippi – place kicker
• Greg Mancz – University of Toledo – center
• Andrew East – Vanderbilt University – long snapper

“Each year I’m amazed by the quality of student athletes who are nominated by their schools, and this year is no different,” said Wuerffel. “Not only is it very difficult to pick a winner, it’s even a struggle to select the finalists. In a time when so much negative attention gets directed to a few players and their poor choices, it’s refreshing to see the positive impact these young men are having in their communities.”

A football player is nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy by his university or college sports information director or football liaison. A committee, which includes the Wuerffel Trophy national directors, selection committee members and past winners, will vote on the finalists later this month, and the winner will be formally announced on Dec. 9, 2014. The 2014 Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner at the All Sports Association’s 46th Annual Awards Banquet on February 13, 2015, in Fort Walton Beach.

“This year we had a record number of universities nominating their athletes,” said Tom Brassell, executive director of the Wuerffel Trophy. “It just continues to amaze us to see what good things so many of these young men are doing in serving others in their communities and around the world.”

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Breaking Down South Carolina at Florida

Breaking Down South Carolina at Florida

Posted on 12 November 2014 by Allen

spurrier

Coming off their second bye week of the season, the South Carolina Gamecocks (4-5, 2-5 SEC) get back into action
this week when they head to “The Swamp” to take on the Florida Gators (5-3, 4-3 SEC) in the final SEC contest of the 2014 season. Game time is set for noon ET at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (88,548) in Gainesville. The SEC Network will televise the game nationally, with Dave Neal and Andre Ware in the booth and Laura Rutledge working
the sidelines. Sports USA has the national radio broadcast with Mike Morgan and Gary Barnett
describing the action.

This is the 35th meeting in a series that dates back to 1911. The Gators lead the all-time series, 24-7-3, including a 13-1 advantage in Gainesville. The Gamecocks have won three of the last four contests between the two squads after losing 18 of the previous 19 meetings. South Carolina won for the first time ever in Gainesville in 2010, 36-14, with the SEC Eastern Division title on the line.

Steve Spurrier owns a 4-5 record against his alma mater including a 1-3 mark in Gainesville. The first time he was on the opposing sideline, Spurrier defeated the Gators at Williams-Brice Stadium by a 30-22 score in 2005.
After four straight losses, he and the Gamecocks won in Gainesville by a 36-14 score for the SEC Eastern Division title in 2010. Carolina made it two straight with a 17-12 win in 2011 in Columbia. Florida won in 2012, the last time they met in Gainesville, by a 44-11 score. The Gamecockswon for the third time in four years with a 19-14
victory in Columbia last season.

The No. 11/12 Gamecocks rallied from a 14-6 halftime deficit to defeat the Florida Gators, 19-14, on November
16, 2013 at Williams-Brice Stadium in front of a home season-high crowd of 83,853. Elliott Fry booted a career-high four field goals and littleused tailback Shon Carson rushed for 102 yards on 13 carries, including a key fourth-quarter 58-yard burst that led to the game-winning points. Bruce Ellington scored Carolina’s only TD on
a 32-yard pass from Connor Shaw in the third quarter. The Gamecock defense pitched a shutout in the second half, holding the Gators to 130 total yards over the final two periods.

South Carolina is 1-2 on the road this season with two road games remaining, but are 13-7 in their last 20 true road contests. Five of the seven road losses in that stretch came to teams ranked in the top 11 in the country: at
No. 8 Arkansas in 2011, at No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida in 2012, at No. 11 Georgia in 2013, and at No. 5 Auburn this season. They have also lost to a pair of unranked teams in Tennessee (2013) and Kentucky (2014).

The Gamecocks have three regular season games remaining – at Florida, vs.South Alabama and at Clemson. They need two wins to secure their 10th-straight bowl eligible season. The Gamecocks have been a strong closer of late. They won the final four games of the 2011 season, the final five games of the 2012 season and a school-best six-consecutive wins to close the 2013 season.

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Spurrier addresses Lattimore’s retirement

Spurrier addresses Lattimore’s retirement

Posted on 05 November 2014 by Allen

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The South Carolina Gamecocks spent Wednesday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields.

The Gamecocks (4-5, 2-5 SEC) are enjoying a bye week this week, before wrapping up the 2014 regular season with contests at Florida (Nov. 15), at home versus South Alabama (Nov. 22) and at Clemson (Nov. 29).

Following Wednesday’s practice, head coach Steve Spurrier said that he spoke with Marcus Lattimore, who announced his retirement from the NFL today.

“(Marcus) said his knee just didn’t come around 100 percent,” said Coach Spurrier. “It looks like he’s going to have to hang it up. I told him he’s got a home back here in Columbia and the University of South Carolina. He knows that. Hopefully he’ll be back soon, probably try to graduate starting class in January, but maybe he can get back before then. Obviously, the big success we had here between 2010 and ’13 started when we signed Marcus Lattimore and then all the really top players that followed after he came with us.

“He’s a wonderful young man,” continued the Head Ball Coach. “He’s coming back hopefully soon. Maybe he can add a lot of inspiration to the University of South Carolina like he did when he was a player here. I don’t know if the President wants to hire him or the athletic director or us coaches, but certainly he can help out as he’s coming back to graduate like (graduate assistant) DeVonte Holloman. He’ll add a lot to South Carolina, our state, as well as our University.

“(Marcus) leads by example,” noted Coach Spurrier. “He does all the coaches ask and then a little bit more. He’d be out here before practice getting the running backs going through drills on their own. He’d just say, ‘follow me, let’s go get better today.’ That’s the kind of young man he is. He’s a tremendous team player; a team player all the way. We look forward to him getting back here in Columbia. We’re all disappointed that pro thing didn’t work out. But there are other things in life besides playing pro football. He’ll be successful in whatever he does.”

The Gamecocks will take the rest of the week off before returning to practice next Monday.

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Gamecocks looking to shake off loss to Vols

Gamecocks looking to shake off loss to Vols

Posted on 04 November 2014 by Allen

usc

The South Carolina Gamecocks spent Tuesday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields.

The Gamecocks (4-5, 2-5 SEC) are enjoying a bye week this week, before wrapping up the 2014 regular season with contests at Florida (Nov. 15), at home versus South Alabama (Nov. 22) and at Clemson (Nov. 29).

It’s been a tough season for defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “Probably the worst I’ve ever been a part of,” said Ward. “I can’t say that because we went 2-14 when I was with the (Oakland) Raiders. We lost 12 in a row I think. It’s tough but you have to grind through it.

“It’s hard for both (the players and coaches),” continued Ward. “You’re not used to losing. We’re accustomed to winning around here and we need to get back to it. You’ve got to keep grinding through it. We’re going through this for a reason. There are a lot of different reasons. We can’t give up on the kids and can’t give up on the system, so we’ve got to keep grinding through it.”

The Gamecocks continue to falter in the game’s final minutes, losing three games with two touchdown leads in the final period. “I think we’re to the point where because of what happened early when we lost against Missouri late in the game and lost against Kentucky late in the game to where we got in the ballgame on Saturday night and guys were afraid to make mistakes, which made them play tentative. You can’t do that. That’s why you miss tackles in the open field. I thought we could have made some different calls to make them more aggressive in hindsight,” said Ward, “but that’s the way the game goes.”

Ward said the coaches are trying to remain positive. “We’ve got three games left in the season and we don’t want to lose those three,” noted Ward. “You want to try to win your next game and try to get some momentum going. The best thing we can do is try to beat Florida.”

After the tough loss to Tennessee, Ward believes this was a good time to have an off week. “I think the bye week came at a good time for us,” said Ward. “Guys mentally needed a break. I think, especially with the way we lost the ballgame, this came at a good time.”

Ward confirmed that Na’Ty Rodgers is working at defensive tackle. “We’ll see what he can do. It will be tough to teach him everything we’re doing now. If he’s going to stay on this football team, he’s will play defense,” said Ward.

The Gamecocks are scheduled to practice again on Wednesday afternoon.

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Cooper honored after loss to Vols

Cooper honored after loss to Vols

Posted on 03 November 2014 by Allen

usc

University of South Carolina sophomore wide receiver Pharoh Cooper was named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll and was recognized as the College Football Performance Awards national Wide Receiver of the Week.

Cooper, a 5-11, 201-pounder from Havelock, N.C., had 256 all-purpose yards – the most for the Gamecocks this year – and accounted for four touchdowns in a heartbreaking 45-42 two-overtime loss to Tennessee in Columbia. Cooper ran for a score in the first quarter, threw a TD pass in the second and had TD receptions in the third and fourth quarters. His 233 receiving yards are a single-game school record and his 11 receptions are a career-best. Cooper ran for 23 yards on three carries, threw a 30-yard TD pass and recovered a fourth-quarter onside kick by the Volunteers.

The announcement was made by the Louisville Sports Commission, owners and operators of the Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse and given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. The winner and his family will be honored on January 27, 2015, at a banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health at the Galt House Hotel and Suites in downtown Louisville.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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