Discussion in 'Game Summaries' started by chance17, Jun 12, 2012.
Welcome Gamecock fans to the only USC football resource you'll ever need.
I could tell when you joined the league that you loved the cocks...yes pun intended....lol
What can the Gamecocks do to follow up their record setting 2011 season?
2011 was full of “Football Firsts”: an 11 win season, a final ranking in the top-ten in both polls and the BCS standings, six SEC wins, and an undefeated record vs. the SEC East. Now can the 2012 edition of South Carolina Football live up to the expectations?
With 13 starters returning from a team that finished #9 in the country after going 11-2, the Gamecocks are poised for a chance at the SEC East Division title in 2012. The road to Atlanta wont be easy, though. With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, there are now seven teams in each division. With the schedule makers agreeing to stick with an eight game conference slate, USC will have their hands full with their division foes and their Western division schedule consists of LSU and Arkansas.
Even with the momentum from last season, there are many questions that need to be answered:
- Who will fill the void left by All-American Alshon Jeffery? There are many quality receivers, including incoming freshman and South Carolina Mr. Football Shaq Wilson.
- Can this young offensive line pull together in time to make room for Connor Shaw and Marcus Lattimore when the season begins? With one true freshman and two sophomores, only time will tell.
- Can DeVonte Holloman make the transition to the Spur position after spending two years at safety? He will be hard pressed to perform as well as rookie New York Jet Antonio Allen.
- Who will replace Stephon Gilmore, Melvin Ingram, Alshon Jeffery, and Travian Robertson in the locker room?
Strengths and weaknesses on offense and defense
- Strong receiving core
- Deep at the tailback position
- Potential All-SEC QB in Connor Shaw
- Young line with average depth
- Very weak at TE and FB
- Intimidating DEs
- Plenty of Depth
- Two future NFL players in the secondary with Akeem Auguste and D.J. Swearinger
- No clear stars at LB, despite good depth
- Questions at SS and DT
Coach Spurrier must think he has a pretty good team this year because he taken up his old habit of saying things to get attention from the media. He has commented on the way division titles are determined, Nick Saban as a coach, and Georgia's decision to move their traditionally early meeting to the sixth week. More details can be found here.
2012 Gamecocks Media Guide
Is this the year to break the Chicken Curse?
Nope never!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH
chick-en curse noun \ˈchi-kən ˈkərs\
1) A curse purportedly enacted by Ben Tillman upon his thrusting a pitchfork into the ground on campus in protest of the state legislature's attempts to block the existence of Clemson University.
2) A lame ass excuse that ignorant rednecks have relied upon for psychological reasons. Unable to cope with the fact that they are completely useless and a waste of space, they invest themselves fully in something external which they believe represents and validates them (USC football). When their team has been the laughing stock of the region (see 1998-1999) and was unable to reach a bowl game for over a century, they had to pin it on something out of their control to avoid turning their despair inward. Hence, the belief in a curse grabbed hold in the minds of the locals and probably kept suicide rates low.
3) Something that appears to have been "lifted" in recent years for the baseball and football teams, despite the utter futility of our basketball team.
Baseball - attempting to 3-peat as national champions
Football - back-to-back double digit win seasons and a returning Heisman candidate
Basketball - STILL SUCKS!!!
You don't need to preach to me about the success of USC, they are my second favorite team, but I thought it was that they hadn't won an SEC title in football.
Not trying to preach; trying to make light of it Apparently I suck at conveying sarcasm/tone in writing. When I got here in '09 people were still in that mentality that they were never going to win anything because of some damn curse. Now they have all the talent to shut up and just play.
When our first season starts in '13, there are no excuses for me to not take the gamecocks to an 8 or 9 win season with a top 25 finish. They have won a Division title, but not the SEC outright title. With me controlling them, they might not for a while
You and me both which sucks because I am sarcastic like 90% of the time
I assume you're just planning on recreating Spurrier when you create your head coach for '13, right?
I haven't decided whether or not i'll create myself or recreate Richt.
Recreating spurrier is a possibility. He is such a colorful character so that could be good or bad. I haven't decided what the fate of the Head Ball Coach is yet.
SPRING GAME RECAP
The spring game provided fans a brief redoubt from their anticipation of the new season. Granted, we all know that the spring “game” is hardly deserving of that moniker, but there are some things we can take from it and hope they carry over into the season.
“We definitely threw the ball better than we have in any spring game,” Spurrier said. “We probably had more (passing) yards and completions than we have ever had. The receivers caught about everything and ran good routes.”
On the game's first play, Black quarterback Connor Shaw found wide receiver Damiere Byrd behind the Garnet secondary and hit him in stride for a 70-yard touchdown strike. According to Spurrier, Byrd needs to “catch lots and lots of passes” to have a breakout year since he can “obviously get behind some guys”, according to the Head Ball Coach.
Byrd (3) gets 6!!!
Byrd, who also runs track for the university, attributes his spring success to hard work and dedication in the off-season.
Along with Byrd, senior D.L. Moore ended the spring on a high note with three catches for 82 yards and a 63-yard touchdown pass to lead the Black. For the Garnet team, tight end Corey Simmons had a team-high 41 yards with a touchdown. Tight end Drew Owens caught a touchdown pass, but was injured on the play. The initial diagnosis was a sprained knee.
Tanner McEvoy finds D.L. Moore (82) in the endzone.
Defense was sparse, as is custom in the Garnet and Black game, but hopefully the quarterback performance translates into game situations. Quarterbacks Connor Shaw, Dylan Thompson, Tanner McEvoy, Seth Strickland, Andrew Clifford and Austin Hails combined to go 39-for-54 with 511 yards and six touchdowns, while throwing just two interceptions.
Connor Shaw was particularly sharp, going 6-for-7 for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Presumed backup Dylan Thompson may have solidified his spot behind Shaw going 15-for-20 for 168 yards. However, redshirt freshman Tanner McEvoy had his strongest showing from scrimmage as a gamecock, going 8-for-12 for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Despite being encouraged to look into transferring, junior Andrew Clifford performed admirably as well, going 7-for-9 for 67 yards and a touchdown.
With this bevy of capable signal callers, the gamecocks look to rely less on Heisman-hopeful Marcus Lattimore this year as he returns from injury.
OL Will Sport / Brandon Shell
DL Chaz Sutton
CB Jared Shaw
WR Damiere Byrd
LB Damario Jeffrey
TE Drew Owens
DB Ahmad Christian
RB Blair Lowery
QB Seth Strickland / Dylan Thompson
K Adam Yates
P Michael Williamson
Everyday Attitude & Hustle Award
Bruce Ellington / Victor Hampton
Outstanding Weight Room
Dr. Harris Pastides - Scholar Athlete
Joe Morrison - Players of the Spring
Kenny Miles- Offense
Jadeveon Clowney - Defense
Ace Sanders - Special Teams
Ernest Brooks - MVP - Clemson Game
Connor Shaw - Offense
Melvin Ingram - Defense
D. J. Swearinger - Special Teams
MVP - Bowl Game
For videos, look to these links:
Sights and Sounds
Breaking News from The Garnet and Black...
Steve Spurrier is no longer the Head Ball Coach!!! This comes after his arrest this morning during practice.
No word yet on the charges filed against him, but the office of football operations has apparently pushed for an immediate replacement and an announcement will reportedly be made today.
This just in...
Steven Orr Spurrier was arrested this morning during practice and soon after dismissed. This follows a series of bizarre reports over the past week of a man matching the description of the Head Ball Coach disturbing the peace. Some of the incidents included bathing in the fountain at Five Points and assaulting local residents wearing orange. Here is a photo snapped by an unlucky local on a cell phone. For more on this story we take you live to Columbia where Rachel Nichols is reporting on these shocking events.
From what we've heard from the Columbia Sheriff's Office, Steve Spurrier was arrested in connection with the string of incidents that have baffled residents over the past week. He has been moved to an undisclosed psychiatric hospital after initial toxicology reports came back showing no narcotics, but an extremely elevated level of the heavy metal mercury. Mercury poising is known to cause symptoms similar to early onset dementia, which could fall in line with the behavior described. Spurrier's visors have reportedly been taken from his home and sent for testing. The Sheriff's Office had no comment on whether or not foul play was suspected. Soon-to-depart AD Eric Hyman has released a statement: "It is with much regret that we at the University of South Carolina must place Coach Spurrier on indefinite leave. We wish that our community didn't have to see this and that our players didn't have to lose their coach at this stage in the season. In light of the rapidly approaching season, we at the University of South Carolina thought it in the team's best interest to immediately appoint a replacement from within. After the loss of Ellis Johnson to USM this offseason, we had interviewed many candidates for the position of defensive coordinator. Of the final two, one was Mike Chance, former defensive coordinator for the Division I-AA Murray State Racers. He declined the offer due to prior commitments, but was taken on as head recruiting advisor after fulfilling those. I have appointed him interim head coach and he will be taking over immediately." Well, you heard it here first, SportsNation... change in Columbia. The question is, how will the #9 Gamecocks respond? Actually, who is Mike Chance??? Can we get someone to dig up something on this guy...
The 2012 season is close at hand folks. Before it begins, lets focus our attention on things to watch for in the upcoming season.
Strength of Schedule
Strength of schedule (SOS!!!)
This is the toughest schedule to date for the Gamecocks. They will be fighting their way through the SEC east, hoping to get a shot at their first SEC championship. Along with the usual games, week 4 will be a special treat as it will be the first ever battle of Columbia with SEC newcomer Missouri. This year’s border rivalry with Georgia has been pushed back to week 6. This could potentially be good for both teams, as the wrinkles in the playbooks should be ironed out. Lets all hope that neither team is battling the injury bug when these two clash.
This years SEC west games are against Arkansas and LSU (in Baton Rouge). Lets be honest folks, the Eastern division has been a joke for years. The only way to legitimize their season, even if it is a winning one, is to take at least one of these two games.
Besides the new rivalry with Missouri, another one is currently in the works and should be taking shape in week 10 when who takes home the Carolina Cup will be decided when UNC travels to Columbia. These two universities have been trying to work out this border rivalry for years, with both claiming to be willing. Now that AD Eric Hyman has departed for Texas A&M and Coach Spurrier has unfortunately had to be replaced by Coach Chance, talks were finally pushed to the forefront and action was taken.
In a move that may have been made to bring the ACC and B1G back into the national spotlight contention with the SEC, the three conferences have worked out a deal pitting teams from each conference against each other throughout the season in a series of marquee match-ups. South Carolina has drawn Nebraska week 3 in Lincoln in what should be a tough rematch of the 2012 Capitol One Bowl as the Cornhuskers will look to avenge their 30-13 loss.
The Gamecock depth chart has many fresh faces, but here are the ones who could become household names by the end of the season.
LT Brock Stadnik He will either be protecting Connor Shaw's blind side this year or backing up redshirt freshman Brandon SHell and hopes to show that he has the physical skills to keep up with the speed of the SEC defensive fronts. Look for him again at the end of the year when the SEC All-Freshmen team is voted on.
HB Mike Davis Though fourth on the depth chart, he should see some time on the field. He's a speedy back with good size, but doesn't use it to his advantage yet. Look for him in two back sets when the Gamecocks have a lead.
WR Shaq Roland
Shaq Roland makes it fours years in a row now that USC has hooked Mr. Football for their home state. He wont see any action this year, as Coach Chance has decided to have him sit out this year and develop his skills behind a number of upperclassmen led by DL Moore and Ace Sanders.
As is the nature of the college game, the changing of the guard is one of the only constants. The following are seniors poised for a big year and potentially a shot at the NFL draft.
DJ SwearingerIn the South Carolina backfield for 2011, DJ Swearinger was "the other guy" who was making plays. He wasn't the first-round draft pick, Stephon Gilmore, who was a lockdown corner. He wasn't the freakish talent at the Spur position that is DeVonte Holloman. Swearinger was just the Gamecock safety who finished second on the team in tackles and found a way to be around the ball all the time (80 tackles in 2011).
Swearinger's game is going to improve. With the loss of Stephon Gilmore, the Gamecocks will be playing without one of the nation's best cornerbacks and that means the safety job just got a little bit more difficult. Linebackers Antonio Allen and Rodney Paulk are also gone, so expect Swearinger's role to pick up in many different ways. He'll have to be more active in the passing game; breaking up passes and getting his hands on more footballs. In the run game, expect him to remain active in the box. He is a stud, a football player's football player at the safety position. He'll be a leader on this Gamecocks team, pushing for the team lead in tackles and, with a good season, he has a chance to be an All-SEC candidate.
After going to South Carolina as an unheralded, skinny, long 3-star recruit from Beaufort, South Carolina, Taylor made his presence felt early and often for the Gamecocks. In 2009, the lanky defensive end was a freshman All-SEC performer, and he would carry that into 2010, where he made the first team All-SEC roster.
Taylor is a long, athletic ballplayer who gets to the quarterback, pursues relentlessly and truly is a great complement to Jadeveon Clowney. He is a solid player against the run and the pass. He also has long arms and can separate from offensive tackles.
The rising senior is a versatile player as well. Taylor can play with his hands on the ground, he can stand up and he is extremely comfortable dropping into pass coverage.
Taylor is set to push his way back onto the All-SEC team in proper fashion. Clowney on the opposite end will help keep Taylor from seeing double teams, and that should translate into good numbers for the senior.
There will be an uptick in Taylor's statistics, and that bodes well for his shot at the All-SEC team. Expect the senior to put up double digits in tackles for loss and to push close to the double digits in sack numbers.
With the continuity brought on by Lorenzo Ward and the solid players around him, the Gamecock senior should be set for success.
Auguste is a versatile defensive back that has played free safety and cornerback during his Gamecock career. As a free safety in 2010, he tallied 58 tackles—good for fifth on the team. He has good cover skills, is capable of adding help over the top and isn't afraid to help out in run support.
Auguste is moving back to cornerback for his senior season, and is currently listed as a starter on South Carolina's most recent depth chart. Someone is going to have to step in for the recently-departed Stephon Gilmore, and Auguste is the likely candidate. Having a pass rush that is second-to-none should help out Auguste and the entire Gamecock defensive backfield.
In our fourth highlight of the upcoming season, we detail some of the changes that were made to the depth chart that he made as this team transitions to a new playbook. Coach Chance has been very forthcoming with his analysis of the individual moves and has given a comment regarding each player. Part 1 will cover the redshirts and part 2 will detail some changes in this year's depth chart.
WR #2 Shaq Roland - "Shaq was the gem in the crown that was last year's 13th ranked recruiting class. What people don't think about is that he played both ways and was really used as a deep threat at receiver. He came into practice and I thought his hands still needed enough work where I decided to have him sit out his first year, especially since Bruce Ellington opted to continue his dual-sport routine. We have the depth and there's no reason to rush him onto the field"
WR #5 Jody Fuller - "Jody showed up with a little extra weight and wasn't getting a lot of separation from the corners in our practices, he too is being redshirted so we can keep his talent on our depth chart for an extra year.
G #54 Clayton Stadnik - "We brought in Clayton and his brother Brock to help secure our line. He has the physical tools, but was not holding his blocks well and his technique was keeping him from pushing around the smaller defenders like he should be able to. Patrick and Cann are being backed up by two seniors currently. We're giving him a year to get his footwork down before he faces the big guys our conference opponents have like Bennie Logan, Josh Jenkins, and Josh Boyd."
DT #53 Carlos Hood - "He's a good young talent, just not ready to face the sort of backfields he's going to be up against in conference play. With the switch to a three man front, he's gotta show he can clog up space. A year of our strength and conditioning program will do him some good."
LB #52 TJ Holloman - "He'd be a starter for some teams, but we feel its best for him to have time to develop in the weight room before he sees the field.
LB #51 Kaiwan Lewis - "Kaiwan was a big question mark on on our depth chart. He has the size to play LB, but is quick enough enough to play safety. Potentially he can develop his cover skills and may be in line to play our Spur version of the Bandit sometime in the future."
FS #11 Chaz Elder - "He's long, lean, and athletic, but we want him to show some better skills defending the pass before we let him see too much action. He's got some habits that we're working on breaking currently"
SS #2 Jordan Diggs - "You have to understand that we have two people that have been listed as CB's that have played safety before. That puts us pretty deep at the position in all reality. He's got some soft hands, but he isn't reading the QB well enough to get in position to make plays consistently. He'll learn plenty this season from DeVonte Holloman."
Depth chart adjustments
The major change this offseason was the switch from a hybrid nickel package to the 3-3-5 stack. That, along with the placement of redshirts, lead to the following changes to the depth:
Reginald Bowens will be rotating in at both Mike and Stud
DeVonte Holloman has been moved from CB to Spur
Victor Hampton moves to the second corner spot
Brison William will be the second Spur
The offensive depth chart remains unchanged.
Week 1 Regional TV game ____________________1__2__3__4__F #11 South Carolina__0_21__7_17_45 @ Vanderbilt _______7__3__0__0_10
Spoiler: Scoring Summary
Spoiler: Team Stats
Key PlayersSCarQB #17 Dylan Thompson 14-16, 274 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT, 3 carries, 51 yds, 1 TDCB #3 Akeem Auguste 7 tackles (1 solo), 1 def, 1 INT, 99 INT-yds, 1 TD VandyHB #2 Zach Stacy 15 carries, 71 yds, 6 receptions, 68 ydsCB #23 Andre Hall 6 tackles (2 solo), 2 INT, 16 INT-yds
Gamecock Nation can breathe easy after their team rallied from an early deficit and never looked back against a feisty Vanderbilt team. Final score, 45-10. Here an excerpt from the post game conference.
Sports writer - "Coach Chance, your team came out today and looked sluggish. What can you tell us about that and is that something we will see again next week when you travel to face ECU?"
Coach Chance - "You know, we work constantly on execution and these guys prepare all summer long with that first game in mind. Sometimes you come out and everything just seems to not go your way. Chalk it up to nerves or call it whatever you want. A good team keeps a level head and hunkers down and fights back. That's what you saw today and I can say I'm proud of the way our players handled it."
We saw Connor Shaw turn the ball over three times and then you made the change to Dylan Thompson. Will Shaw be starting next week?
It's too damn early in the season for you guys to be asking those kinds of questions. Shaw had some struggles, but he is the leader of this team. He's earned the starting job on a history of good decisions in big games and he wont lose it because of a few rash decisions in one. That said, we have the talent on this team to handle anything like this.
Speaking of that coach, what's the word on Lattimore? Will he be back for the prime time match-up against Nebraska?
Marcus tore a pec according to our medical staff. He's gonna be out for four weeks, at the least. Brandon Wilds came in and carried the ball well. He was putting up over 6 a carry. We'll adjust our gameplan a little bit, but we'll be just fine.
With all the offseason talk of this receiving corps being mediocre after the loss of Alshon Jeffery, can we expect more of the fireworks we saw today?
Ace Sanders did a fantastic job for us with his 6 catches and we had 10 different guys record one today. Moore, Brent, and Smith all made big touchdown grabs that gave us the room to breathe and run the clock. I'd have to say I'm pretty happy with how our receivers performed, but don't expect us to become an air-it-out kind of team. Just look at the stat sheet and how our O-line performed: 31 pancakes and 1 sack allowed. Our line kept us pushing forward and the tight ends and blocking backs made sure that there was room for our tailbacks to operate.
Is Shaw on thin ice? Will Wilds be an effective replacement in extended action for a second season in a row? Will the Gamecocks be looking ahead to their game with the Cornhuskers or will they keep ECU in their sights? Stay tuned to the Garnet and Black and we'll let you know as it happens.
On the recruiting trail... prospects Dan Brown and Jared Price have signed with South Carolina. Brown is a 6'1" receiever from Fair Lawn, New Jersey who is known for his exceptional straight line speed. Price is a well rounded corner from Longview, Texas. Coach Chance said he was happy to see his first prospects commit and thinks this is the first wave of many future SEC starters that he will be adding to the roster. When asked for comment Coach Chance had this to say...
"You know that there were probably some recruits out there who thought that with the staff change here at USC that the football program was potentially in jeopardy. I think our strong showing against Vandy put their minds at ease."
athlete JJ Watkins committed to South Carolina a little later in the day. Watkins played weak side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme in high school and also was the teams starting halfback. It is unclear where Coach Chance intends to use him, but he is athletic enough to help add depth at HB, or LB, but also may be destined for a job at the FB position. The six-foot, 227 lb athlete from Morgantown, North Carolina had garnered no interest from other SEC schools, but Coach Chance says he is confident that Watkins will be an integral part of future game plans.
When asked about in-state talent and whether or not the Gamecocks will be going for a fourth year straight of signing Mr. Football in their home state, the Coach had some choice words.
"Listen...I don't really think that it is as much of a big deal as everyone makes it out to be. I hear guys saying, 'if you can't sign the guys in your own back yard, you can't compete.' Let me tell you a little secret, that's just a bunch of malarkey. You bring a fat girl to the prom, you better be prepared to dance with her. You can't sign a bunch of guys that nobody cares about to fill your depth chart and justify it with their home state. We're above that. We don't have to sign Mr. Football to keep Clemson from getting him. We go after who we want and who will fit best in the roles we have a need for. We are supposed to be a contender for the National Championship last time I checked. There is no excuse for not sending guys out to all fifty states to find young men to fit your scheme. I'm not going to say that we're ignoring locals, just that if we are wanting to be a National powerhouse, it's time to start acting like it."
We'll keep you posted as more news develops on the recruiting trail and we start to see the future of your South Carolina Gamecocks take shape.
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