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Sept. 2, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 22nd-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0/0-0 SEC) hit the road for the first time of this young football season, traveling to Charlottesville, Va., to take on the Virginia Cavaliers (0-2/0-1 ACC). Kickoff at Carl Smith Center (61,500) is 7:45 p.m. The contest will be televised nationally by ESPN, with Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Mike Gottfried (color analyst) and Dr. Jerry Punch (sideline reporter) handling the call. A sellout crowd is expected.

A Closer Look
* Carolina opened its 2002 season Aug. 31 at Williams-Brice Stadium, with a 34-24 victory over New Mexico State. Senior quarterback Corey Jenkins, making his first collegiate start, racked up 279 yards of total offense to lead the Gamecocks to the win. The fourth largest crowd in Williams-Brice Stadium history – 83,717 – and the largest home opening crowd ever for the school was on hand. Virginia is 0-2 on the year, having lost to a pair of nationally ranked opponents – 35-29 Aug. 22 at home against Colorado State and 40-19 last Saturday at #3 Florida State in Tallahassee.
* Carolina is ranked #22 in the Associated Press poll and #21 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The polls will not be updated until Sept. 2, due to games on Sunday. USC finished 13th in both of the final polls in 2001 and was ranked 21st in the 2001 preseason ratings. Dating back to the final 2000 national rankings, Carolina has been ranked in 20 consecutive national rankings, which is a school record.
* Over the years, Carolina has compiled a won-loss record of 485-488-44.
* The Gamecocks have won 18 of their last 25 games, going 8-4 in 2000 and 9-3 in 2001. Those 17 victories are the most ever over a two-year period in USC football history.
* Interest in Gamecock football is at an all-time high. Nearly 62,000 season tickets were applied for this summer, which is a school record. For the sixth straight season, all of Carolina’s home games are sold out before the season starts. Over the past six-year aggregate period, USC ranks in the top 10 nationally in home attendance, averaging nearly 80,000 fans per game. In 2001, the Gamecocks averaged a school-record 82,614 at home to rank 10th in the country. USC is expected to travel 7,500 fans to Charlottesville this Saturday.
* This Saturday’s USC-UVA matchup renews a rivalry that was once a yearly affair when the Gamecocks were members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (1953-1971). Carolina leads the all-time series 20-11-1. The two teams first met in 1912, with UVA winning 19-0 in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers won the first six meetings, before USC ran off a nine-game winning streak of its own from 1952-1960. At Charlottesville, USC leads 9-8-1. This will be USC’s first game in Charlottesville since 1986, when UVA won 30-20. The last time the two squads met on the football field was in 1987, when USC posted a 58-10 victory in Columbia.
* This will be the seventh meeting for USC head coach Lou Holtz against Virginia. The Gamecock head coach is 4-2 vs. the Cavaliers during his career. He was 0-2 vs. Virginia during his two seasons as head coach at William & Mary , 3-0 vs. the Cavs while he was at North Carolina State, and 1-0 vs. UVA while he was at Notre Dame.
* Coach Holtz enters the UVA game with 234 career victories, a total which ranks third best among active Division 1-A head coaches and is tied for ninth on the all-time list. A victory this Saturday would push Holtz past Bo Schembechler for eighth place on the all-time victory list. Coach Holtz is in his 31st season as a head collegiate coach.
* Coach Holtz is the only coach in the history of college football to lead six different programs (William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina) to post-season bowl games (all by the second season) and is likewise the only coach in history to have four different programs (North Carolina State, Arkansas, Notre Dame, South Carolina) finish the season ranked in the top 20.
* The Last Meeting: 10/17/87, Columbia, USC-58, UVA-10 … Carolina erupted for 28 fourth quarter points to defeat the Cavaliers 58-10 at Williams-Brice Stadium. The 58 point-explosion by the Gamecocks were the most points scored by a USC team since the 1980 season. Carolina relied on a balanced offensive attack (286 yards rushing/286 yards passing) to post the victory. Quarterback Todd Ellis threw for 286 yards, with his favorite target being All-America receiver Sterling Sharpe, who had six catches for 106 yards and one touchdown, a 59-yarder. Sharpe also returned a punt 59 yards for a score. With his receiving effort that afternoon, Sharpe became the school’s career receiving leader with 2,121 yards on 144 receptions. Tailback Harold Green came back from arthroscopic knee surgery with 132 yards rushing and one touchdown. Tailback Greg Welch also scored a pair of TDs on the ground. Collin Mackie connected on four field goals and Patrick Hinton returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown.
* The Last Meeting in Charlottesville, 9/7/86, UVA-30, USC-20 … UVA scored on its first three possessions and never relinquished the lead in defeating the Gamecocks 30-20 at Scott Stadium. Cavalier quarterback Don Majkowski turned in several big offensive plays and a determined goal line stand by the home team proved to be the difference in the game. UVA rolled up 378 yards of total offense in the first half, compared to 37 by USC, as the Cavaliers built a 27-13 halftime lead. The Gamecocks closed the gap to 27-20 in the third quarter, but were kept out of the end zone by a stubborn UVA defense later in that period. Harold Green rushed for 81 yards and one touchdown, while Todd Ellis threw for 155 yards. Majkowski threw for 271 yards, including TD passes of 70 yards and 26 yards.
* Several Gamecocks have been mentioned on preseason watch lists for national awards. Senior spur Rashad Faison is listed on the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player as voted upon by the American Football Writers Association of America. He also is a Jim Thorpe Award candidate (nation’s top defensive back). Faison enters the Virginia game with 263 career tackles, including 27.5 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback sacks, 22 pass breakups, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. Senior running back Andrew Pinnock is listed as a candidate for the Doak Walker Award, which honors the country’s premier running back, and the Walter Camp Award, the fourth-oldest individual college football award in the nation which recognizes the National Player of the Year. Pinnock heads into the Virginia game with 1,384 career rushing yards and 21 career touchdowns. Senior quarterback Corey Jenkins is on the preseason watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented to the nation’s most outstanding senior quarterback. Jenkins made his first collegiate start in the season opener vs. New Mexico State.
* At this writing, USC has 21 former players on NFL rosters. That is an all-time high for the school.
* This Saturday’s game will be shown nationwide by ESPN. It marks the 11th time since 1999 the Gamecocks have been televised by that national cable network. During the 2001 season alone, USC appeared on either ESPN or ESPN2 five times.
* This week’s game will be also be televised on a taped-delay basis by the Gamecock TV Network in conjunction with Comcast-Charter Sports Southeast. The replay will be shown across the state of South Carolina on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Handling the broadcast will be former Gamecock greats Todd Ellis (play-by-play) and George Rogers (color analyst). Negotiations are still underway with Time Warner Cable to air the replays in Columbia. Arrangements have been made to show the replay in Orangeburg, Sumter and Manning (channel 63), Myrtle Beach (channel 64) and Summerville (channel 9).