Kickoff set for Noon on ESPN
COLUMBIA, SC October 18, 2013 – The No. 11/9 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1, 3-1 SEC) travel to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers (3-3, 0-2 SEC) on Saturday, October 19. Game time is set for Noon ET with Dave Pasch and Brian Griese in the booth and Tom Luginbill working the sidelines for ESPN. Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Langston Moore on the sidelines. WKNT (107.5 The Game) in Columbia is the flagship station for Gamecock Athletics.
Date: Saturday, October 19
Kickoff: Noon ET
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Stadium: Neyland Stadium (102,455)
Series: Tennessee leads 22-7-2
RADIO Flagship – 107.5 FM “The Game” & the IMG Network
A LITTLE HISTORY: 2013 marks the 120th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 107th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 24 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 570-546-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 33 games over since.
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS TICKETS
SEC HISTORY: The 2013 season marks South Carolina’s 22nd year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. The Gamecocks are 75-96-1 all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 20-8 since 2010 in conference action.
CAROLINA VS. TENNESSEE: This is the 32nd meeting in a series that dates back to 1903. Tennessee leads the all-time series, 22-7-2. The Vols hold a 14-2 advantage in Knoxville and are 8-5-2 all-time in Columbia. South Carolina has won the last three meetings, rolling up a 38-24 in Williams-Brice Stadium in 2010, posting a 14-3 victory in Knoxville in 2011 and holding on for a 38-35 win in Columbia last season. It’s the first three-game winning streak for South Carolina in the series. In fact, the Gamecocks had never defeated the Vols twice in a row before the current streak. Carolina has won four of the last five and five of the last eight contests. The Gamecocks defeated Tennessee four times from 1903-2007 and have won four times from 2008-2012. South Carolina’s only two overtime contests in history (both losses) have come at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, a 23-20 setback in 2003 and a 27-24 loss in 2007.
SPURRIER VS. TENNESSEE: South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, who was raised in Johnson City, Tenn., owns a 14-8 all-time record as a head coach against Tennessee, including a 5-3 mark as head coach at South Carolina. Two of his eight losses have come in overtime. See page 17 for a game-by-game recap.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET: No. 17/16 South Carolina came up with a pair of crucial defensive plays down the stretch to hold off Tennessee for a 38-35 win at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 27, 2012. Jadeveon Clowney forced a fumble on a sack to end one fourth-quarter drive, then Victor Hampton sealed the win with an interception. The game was an offensive showcase with the teams combining for 982 yards of total offense, including 510 by Carolina. Connor Shaw completed 22-of-32 passes for a career-high 356 yards with three TDs. Justice Cunningham (108) and Bruce Ellington (101) each went over the 100-yard mark in receiving. The game was marred by a devastating season-ending knee injury to running back Marcus Lattimore.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET IN KNOXVILLE: Freshman tailback Brandon Wilds rushed for a career-high 137 yards on 28 carries in his first career start and the Gamecock defense limited the Vols to just 186 total yards, as Carolina defeated Tennessee, 14-3, on Oct. 29, 2011, in Knoxville. South Carolina finished the evening with 318 total yards with 231 of those coming on the ground. Connor Shaw rushed 16 times for 64 yards and completed 10-of-18 in the air for 87 yards and a touchdown in the defensive slugfest. It was the Gamecocks’ second-straight win over the Vols, Carolina’s first back-to-back wins over the Vols in history. For more on the game, see page 13 of the game notes.
SCORING HERE AND THERE: The Gamecock offense has had its way against Tennessee in each of the last two games played in Columbia, with Carolina tallying 38 points in both the 2010 and 2012 wins, the most points they have scored in a game in the series history. However, on its last two trips to Knoxville, Carolina was held to 13 and 14 points. The Gamecocks have scored at least 24 points in each of their last five home games against Tennessee, but have tallied more than 21 points just once in their 16 visits to Neyland Stadium.
BEATING THE EAST: The Gamecocks are 2-1 against SEC Eastern Division foes this season, losing at Georgia before posting home wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Carolina has won 15 of its last 17 contests within the division. They had never won more than four games in the division prior to Coach Spurrier’s arrival, but have now done it in each of the last three seasons. He has posted four-plus wins in the division four times in eight seasons.
THE LAST TIME OUT: The No. 14/12 Gamecocks traveled to Fayetteville and came away with a 52-7 drubbing of the Arkansas Razorbacks. In what easily was the Gamecocks best performance of the season, Carolina scored on eight of its 10 possessions with seven touchdowns. The Gamecocks scored touchdowns on each of their last five possessions of the game. After surrendering 64 yards and a touchdown on Arkansas’s first drive, the Carolina defense held the Razorbacks scoreless on just 184 yards over the final 57 minutes. Carolina held an impressive 43:25 – 16:35 advantage in time of possession, running 89 plays (the most since the Kentucky game in 2011) to the Hogs’ 37. Connor Shaw accounted for four touchdowns, three passing and one running. Mike Davis went over the 100-yard barrier for the fifth time in six games with 128 yards on 19 carries. Arkansas ran just 13 plays in the second half, including five in the third quarter. The win was the first for the Gamecocks in Fayetteville since 2005 and the 52 points scored was their high mark in 22 meetings with the Razorbacks.
EVERY 100 YEARS OR SO: The Gamecocks` 45-point win at Arkansas was not only the largest margin of victory on the road in the Steve Spurrier Era, but the largest margin of victory in a true road game for the Gamecocks since a 68-point win at Charleston on October 26, 1912. The 52-point total was also the highest point total by a Spurrier team on the road. The previous high came in a 45-42 win at Georgia on Sept. 10, 2011.
PART-TIME WORK: The Gamecock defense was on the field for just 37 plays and 16 minutes, 35 seconds in the win at Arkansas. A check of the Carolina record books could not find another game in which the opponents had as few as 37 plays for an entire game.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS: The Gamecocks had a field day against Arkansas last Saturday, with several marks figuring among the top-5 in the Steve Spurrier Era:
43:25 time of possession – 1st
32 first downs – tied for 1st
54 rushing attempts – tied for 2nd
277 yards rushing – 3rd
30 passing yards allowed – 3rd
4 passes completed against – tied for 3rd
537 total yards – 4th
52 points scored – tied for 4th
SCORING EARLY…: The Gamecocks have scored on their first possession of the game in five of six contests this season with three touchdowns and two field goals:
North Carolina: Roland 65-yard TD pass (3-82, 1:19)
Georgia: Fry 36-yard field goal (11-57, 5:32)
Vanderbilt: Jones 12-yard TD pass (6-42, 2:37)
Kentucky: Byrd 62-yard TD pass (4-77, 1:39)
Arkansas: Fry 33-yard field goal (13-59, 4:48)
…AND OFTEN: The Gamecocks have tallied 65 first-quarter points in their six games, despite being shutout in the first stanza at UCF. They tallied double-figures with 17 versus North Carolina, 21 against Vanderbilt, 14 against Kentucky and 10 at Arkansas. 31 percent of the Gamecocks’ 207 points have been scored in the first quarter and 120 points (58 percent) have been scored before intermission this season.
SCORING WITH REGULARITY: Over the last 10 quarters, Carolina has logged 24 offensive possessions, not counting the two they ran out the clock to end the game. The Gamecocks have scored on 18 of those 24 possessions (75 percent) with 15 touchdowns and three field goals. They have punted three times and have fumbled three times during that stretch.
THIRD DOWN SUCCESS: After going just 10-for-25 (40 percent) on third down conversions through the first two games, Carolina has converted 35-of-60 third down chances over their last four games, 58.3 percent. For the season, the Gamecocks rank third in the SEC and eighth in the country at 52.9 percent.
STAYING ON THE FIELD: Carolina’s offense is one of the best teams in the country in logging the fewest three-and-outs this season. Of 60 offensive drives, the Gamecocks have had just seven three-and-outs, or 11.7 percent. Only Baylor (4.1 percent) and Texas A&M (10.1) have a better ratio.
FAST START: South Carolina has opened the 2013 season with a 5-1 record. It’s the third-straight season that the Gamecocks have opened with at least five wins at the halfway point of the regular season, and the fourth time in the last five years that Carolina has opened at least 5-1.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Gamecocks are 11-4 in their last 15 true road contests. Their four road losses in that stretch all came to nationally-ranked opponents: at No. 8 Arkansas in 2011, at No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida in 2012 and at No. 11 Georgia in 2013. Those are the only four losses for Connor Shaw as the starting QB.
LONG DRIVE CONTEST: South Carolina has put together 16 touchdown drives this season of 75 yards or longer, including at least two against every opponent. Three have been over 90 yards.
BEST OFFENSE IN HISTORY?: The Gamecocks are averaging 486.5 yards per game of total offense this season, including 225.7 on the ground and 260.8 through the air. They are on pace to easily shatter the school record for average yards of total offense.
500 OR BUST: The Gamecocks have gone over the 500-yard mark in total offense twice this season, gaining 579 yards vs. Vanderbilt and 537 at Arkansas. They have logged over 1,000 yards of offense in consecutive games twice this season, going for 454 at Georgia before gaining 579 against Vanderbilt, then coupling the Vandy total with the 490 gained at UCF. It is just the eighth and ninth time since joining the SEC in 1992 that Carolina has produced 1,000 or more yards of offense in back-to-back games. They have also gained over 1,500 yards in three consecutive games twice this season, just the third and fourth times that has occurred since 1992. It was done previously in 1995 and again in 2006.
THE HEAD BALL COACH: Steve Spurrier is in his ninth season directing the Gamecock football program. He has logged a 71-38 mark (.651) in Columbia. The Head Ball Coach is Carolina’s winningest coach with 71 victories and is second in games coached with 109, behind Rex Enright (140). Coach Spurrier owns a 213-78-2 mark (.731) in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach, with previous stops at Duke and Florida.
AT THE TOP OF THE LEADERBOARD: Steve Spurrier recorded his 65th victory at South Carolina in the 2012 the regular-season finale at Clemson. He surpassed Rex Enright (64) for the most coaching wins in school history. He now owns 71 wins at South Carolina. He is also the winningest coach at Florida with 122 victories. The legendary Bear Bryant (60 at Kentucky and 232 at Alabama) is the only other coach to own the most wins at two SEC schools.
TOPS IN HIS FIELD: Steve Spurrier became the 71st head college football coach (all divisions) and the 22nd in Division I history to record 200 wins when he accomplished that feat against UAB in 2012. He ranks third among active Division I coaches with 213 wins. In addition, the HBC has 47 wins as a head coach at the professional level, giving him 260 career coaching wins.
THE 2013 RANKINGS: The Gamecocks entered the 2013 season with the highest national ranking in school history. They opened the season sixth in the Associated Press poll and seventh in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The previous high to open a season came in 2012 when they opened at No. 9 in both major polls. They were ranked sixth in both polls after the first week of action, but slipped to No. 13/14 following a road loss at Georgia when they were the underdog. They were ranked No. 12/13 for consecutive weeks, then flip-flopped those two spots for one week. Last week they dropped one spot to No. 14 in the A.P. poll, their lowest ranking of the season, and stayed at No. 12 in the Coaches’ poll. After a convincing win at Arkansas, they rebounded in the polls, moving up three spots in the A.P. poll to No. 11 and three spots in the Coaches’ poll to No. 9.
SHAW STANDS OUT: Senior quarterback Connor Shaw, a 6-1, 209-pounder from Flowery Branch, Ga., is 22-4 as a starter, including a 13-0 mark at home. With 4,773 yards passing and 1,444 yards rushing, he is the first 4,000-1,000 yard player in school history. He is the school’s all-time leader in completion percentage at 67.2 percent, is fourth with 42 touchdown passes, and is fourth in total offense with 6,217 yards.
HE’S EFFICIENT: Connor Shaw ranks third in the SEC and seventh in the country in pass efficiency with a mark of 172.8, tossing 10 touchdowns with no interceptions. Here are the Division I leaders:
THROWING STRIKES: When the Gamecocks pitch it around, there’s been no one who has been more accurate in school history than Connor Shaw. Shaw is hitting 67.2 percent of his career pass attempts and has gone a career-best and school record 166 pass attempts without an interception. This season, he is hitting on 68.5 percent of his pass attempts, putting him on pace for a school record, breaking his own mark of 67.5 set last season.
THROWN’ IN THE WIND: Junior Dylan Thompson, a 6-3, 218-pounder from Boiling Springs, S.C., has proven to be a worthy backup for Connor Shaw. In 2012, Thompson led the Gamecocks to wins over East Carolina and Clemson in his two starts, throwing for over 300 yards on both occasions. He was 7-of-10 for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the bowl win over Michigan, including the game-winning 32-yard pass to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds remaining in the contest. In 2013, Thompson completed a 29-yard TD pass to Kane Whitehurst in the season opener against North Carolina, the only snap he took from scrimmage in that game. In his first series against Vanderbilt he led the team on a eight-play, 76-yard drive that culminated with his three-yard TD run. He played most of the game at UCF, completing 15-of-32 passes for 261 yards. He was 4-of-5 for 38 yards and a touchdown in the win at Arkansas. For the season, he is 28-of-50 (56.0 percent) for 416 yards and two TD’s with two interceptions.
BE LIKE MIKE: Sophomore running back Mike Davis has put together five 100-yard rushing games in six contests this season, earning a midseason addition to the Maxwell Award watch list. With 1,017 career rushing yards, he became the 41st player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard plateau. The Lithonia, Ga. product had 115 yards in the season opener against North Carolina, 149 at UGA, was held to 77 by Vanderbilt before rebounding with a career-high 167 yards in the win at UCF, then logged 106 against Kentucky before going for 128 at Arkansas. Davis is the SEC’s leading rusher, averaging 123.7 yards per contest, is second in all-purpose yardage at 154.5 yards per game, and is tied for first in scoring at 9.0 points per game. Davis ranks 10th in the nation in rushing and 13th in all-purpose yards.
WITH 50 YOU GET 72: There have been 72 recorded rushes of 50 yards or more from scrimmage in South Carolina history. Mike Davis has logged four of those in his first two seasons. He had a 50-yarder as a true freshman against UAB last season. His 75-yard burst against North Carolina in the 2013 season opener and his first career start was the longest by a Gamecock since Bobby Wallace went for 88 against Middle Tennessee in 2006, and tied for the 12th-longest run in school history. He matched that with another 75-yard burst at Georgia, playing for the first time as a collegian in his home state. Of the 14 runs in school history of 75 yards or longer, Davis is the only one to do it twice. His fourth-career 50-yard jaunt came at UCF, a 53-yard TD run. Only Derek Watson has more runs of 50-plus yards at Carolina.
100-YARD EFFORTS: The Gamecocks have five 100-yard rushing games this season, all from Mike Davis, one more than their total from a season ago when they got three from Marcus Lattimore and one from Kenny Miles. Davis is the third player on the roster with a 100-yard rushing game in his career, joining Brandon Wilds (3) and Connor Shaw (1). Both Wilds and Shaw turned in their 100-yard efforts during the 2011 campaign. Only 13 backs in Carolina history have more 100-yard rushing games than Davis has logged in his brief career.
ON THE RECEIVING END: The Gamecocks have spread the wealth in the passing game this season with 16 different players getting receptions and four different players leading the team in receiving in the six games this season. The Gamecocks list no seniors on the three-deep at the three wide receiver positions.
Bruce Ellington is the top returning receiver. He logged 40 receptions for 600 yards and seven touchdowns last season. After a slow start, he had his best game as a Gamecock against Vanderbilt, catching eight passes for 111 yards, both career highs. For the season, he has a team-high 21 catches for a team-best 332 yards with three touchdowns, including two against Arkansas. Ellington went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for his career in the win at UCF.
Nick Jones is not the biggest guy on the roster or have the most raw talent. All he does is catch passes. The 5-7, 174-pounder from Moore, S.C. had his best game as a Gamecock, catching six passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the loss at Georgia, all career highs. His TD catches came from 18 and 30 yards out. His previous highs were four receptions (4 times) and 78 receiving yards. He had just one career touchdown coming into the season, but has found paydirt three times in 2013. For the season, he has 18 catches for 191 yards and three scores.
Damiere Byrd, the fastest player on the squad, has come on strong of late. He caught a career-high five passes for 74 yards at UCF, then had another five-catch game against Kentucky, this time for a career-high 98 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown reception. He added a 45-yard scoring pass at Arkansas. He has 15 catches on the season for 263 yards with 2 TDs.
Shaq Roland returns to the active roster this week after sitting out the last three contests. The 2011 “Mr. Football” recipient in the state of South Carolina, Roland is averaging 20.1 yards per catch, including a 65-yard TD reception on the Gamecocks’ third play from scrimmage this season.
SOMETHING FROM SHAMIER: Sophomore Shamier Jeffery finally got into the stat line with a five-catch performance at Arkansas, good for 32 yards. Now that he’s in the books, he becomes part of the most prolific set of brother receivers at South Carolina. He and his older brother, Alshon, have combined for 186 catches and 3,074 receiving yards.
KANE IS ABLE: Redshirt sophomore Kane Whitehurst, a transfer from Arkansas, caught a 15-yard touchdown pass against his former teammates. Whitehurst has caught two passes this season, both thrown by Dylan Thompson, and both for touchdowns.
HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER: Pharoh Cooper is starting to make his presence felt. The true freshman has been used in the “wildcat” formation in each of the last two games. He had two carries for 26 yards against Kentucky, then carried four times for 45 yards against Arkansas, including a 33-yard burst. He also took over the punt and kickoff return duties against the Razorbacks and logged a 36-yard punt return, the longest by a Gamecock this season.
THE O-LINE: The Gamecocks boast a veteran offensive line with four returning starters. Junior left guard A.J. Cann is the most experienced of the group with 31 career starts, the most on the squad, and is an All-SEC candidate. Senior right guard Ronald Patrick started all 13 games last season and has made 19 consecutive starts. However, he suffered a high ankle sprain at Arkansas and is doubtful for the Tennessee game. Junior left tackle Corey Robinson started nine of the final 10 games a season ago, while right tackle Brandon Shell was a Freshman All-American while making 10 starts in 2012. The two tackles have started every game this season. The lone newcomer is at center, where a pair of redshirt freshmen, Cody Waldrop and Clayton Stadnik have split time. Waldrop started the opener, but suffered a foot sprain in the win over North Carolina. He was replaced by Stadnik, who started the next two games before Waldrop returned to face UCF. Waldrop injured an ankle in that contest, so Stadnik was handed the starting duties against Kentucky and at Arkansas. Clayton’s twin brother, Brock, is also a member of the Carolina offensive line, and was the more highly-recruited of the two. The two played side-by-side at the collegiate level for the first time in the win at Arkansas.
SEC POW’S: Redshirt freshman Clayton Stadnik was honored as the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Vanderbilt. The 6-3, 281-pounder from Greensboro, N.C. graded out at 82 percent while playing all 87 snaps in the win over the Commodores. The line did not give up a sack or quarterback hurry in that contest while rolling up 579 yards of offense. Left guard A.J. Cann was selected for his efforts at UCF. Cann led the charge for the Gamecocks’ offensive line that helped amass 225 yards on the ground, including 167 from Mike Davis, and four rushing touchdowns, and another 265 yards through the air. The 6-4, 314-pound junior from Bamberg, S.C., played all 80 offensive snaps, grading out at 86 percent with no sacks or pressures.
AS GOOD AS IT GETS: The 2013 Gamecocks feature one of the game’s top players in junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney, who is regarded by most as the top defensive player in the country and a likely top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was just the second Gamecock to earn unanimous All-America honors in 2012, joining George Rogers from his Heisman Trophy season in 1980. Clowney was named the Hendricks Award winner as the nation’s top defensive end, and the All-America Player of the Year, presented by AT&T as selected by the fans on ESPN.com. He finished sixth in the Heisman race and was a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award and the Bednarik Award after being named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: Fresh off his trip to L.A. to receive the ESPY Award for the top play of the year, Jadeveon Clowney is back to cause havoc for quarterbacks around the southeast. As a sophomore, Clowney set school records last season for sacks in a game (4.5 at Clemson), sacks in a season (13.0) and tackles for loss in a season (23.5). The 6-6, 274-pounder was on everyone’s preseason All-America list and a legitimate candidate for all the national awards. With 2.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss this season, he continues to move up the all-time Carolina charts in those categories. In addition, he has nine career forced fumbles.
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: Jadeveon Clowney is not the only one who can get to the quarterback. Junior Kelcy Quarles, an All-SEC candidate, leads the team with 4.0 sacks and has 5.0 tackles for loss in 2013. He logged 3.5 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss last season. Fifth-year senior Chaz Sutton, who has spent the past two years backing up Clowney and Devin Taylor, logged 5.0 sacks last season. He leads the team with 5.5 tackles for loss this season and has 17.0 in his career.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES: The Gamecocks have tallied 39 tackles for loss, an average of 6.50 tackles for loss per game. 17 different players have contributed to the 37 TFL’s, led by Chaz Sutton (5.5), Kelcy Quarles (5.0) and Jimmy Legree (4.0).
SACK MASTERS: The Gamecocks led the SEC and finished fifth in the country with 43 sacks a year ago. This season, Carolina has 14 sacks, an average of 2.33 per game.
NEW FACES: The Gamecocks graduated five seniors who manned the linebacker and Spur positions a year ago and have a host of youngsters to fill in those slots this season. Sophomore Marcquis Roberts has started every game and is second on the the team with 26 tackles, one ahead of Kaiwan Lewis, who has started four contests. Redshirt freshman T.J. Holloman has started each of the last two games. Junior Sharrod Golightly has started every game at Spur and has 22 stops. Sophomore Cedrick Cooper, who dislocated his elbow in the preseason, true freshman Skai Moore, who led the team in tackles at Arkansas, redshirt freshman Jordan Diggs, and true freshman Larenz Bryant also see action.
SECONDARY IN NATURE: South Carolina returned three starters in the secondary in junior cornerback Victor Hampton, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree and junior safety Brison Williams. Hampton is considered the shutdown corner, while Legree has played both corner and safety during his career. Legree has five in his career, one more than Hampton.
THE FRISCO KID: True freshman Elliott Fry walked on to the Gamecock squad this summer and earned the starting placekicking chores. The Frisco, Texas product is a perfect 6-for-6 in field goal attempts, hitting from 39 and 26 yards in the season opener against North Carolina and on a 36-yarder at Georgia. After not getting an attempt against either Vanderbilt or UCF, he hit on 40- and 41-yard field goals against Kentucky and connected from 33-yards out at Arkansas. He is fifth in the SEC in scoring among kickers, averaging 7.2 points per game. He became the first true freshman placekicker to kick in the Gamecocks’ season opener since Courtney Leavitt in 1996.
HULL OF A PUNTER: Junior Tyler Hull is in his second season as the Gamecocks’ punter. The 6-2, 206-pounder from Mount Airy, N.C. spent his first season at Guilford College before transferring to South Carolina just prior to the start of the 2012 campaign. Last season, he averaged 39.4 yards per punt. This year he is averaging 38.0 yards per punt with five of his 15 punts inside the 20 and a long of 55 yards.
GOOD HOME COOKIN’: The Gamecocks have won their last 14 games at Williams-Brice Stadium. Carolina is 30-3 in its last 33 home games. The only home losses since 2009 came to top-ranked Florida in 2009, to 17th-ranked Arkansas in 2010 and to defending national champion Auburn in 2011. The Gamecocks’ 14-game home winning streak is the second-longest in the nation, trailing only Michigan (18).
TOP HOME STREAKS: The Gamecocks have won 14-straight home games, their longest stretch since joining the SEC and tying for the second-longest streak in school history. Only a 15-game home winning streak from 1978-80 has been longer. Here are the top home winning streaks:
FIRST TIMERS: 16 Gamecocks have made their first career starts this season. Eight made their first career start in the season-opening win over North Carolina, including four on offense (TB Mike Davis, TE Drew Owens, WR Shaq Roland and OC Cody Waldrop) and four on defense (Spur Sharrod Golightly, LB Kaiwan Lewis, SS Kadetrix Marcus and LB Marcquis Roberts). OC Clayton Stadnik and CB Ahmad Christian both made their first career starts at Georgia. Mason Zandi, who has spent the majority of his young career at tackle, made a start at tight end against Vanderbilt. Fullback Connor McLaurin, defensive end Darius English and linebacker T.J. Holloman all made their first start against Kentucky. Cornerback Rico McWilliams and safety Chaz Elder both made their first starts at Arkansas.
EVERY TIME OUT: Ten players have started all six games this year, five on offense and five on defense: Junior offensive guard A.J. Cann, junior spur Sharrod Golightly, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree, senior offensive guard Ronald Patrick, sophomore linebacker Marcquis Roberts, junior offensive tackle Corey Robinson, senior quarterback Connor Shaw, sophomore offensive tackle Brandon Shell, junior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt and senior defensive end Chaz Sutton.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Gamecocks will wrap up their three-game road swing on Saturday, Oct. 26, with a stop in Columbia, Mo. for an SEC Eastern Division showdown with the division-leading Missouri Tigers. Mizzou leads the all-time series, 2-1, with a pair of bowl wins in 1979 and 2005 before the Gamecocks won the first SEC match by a 31-10 count last season at Williams-Brice Stadium. This is Carolina’s first trip to Missouri.