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Sept. 16, 2002

| Game Notes in .pdf format

The South Carolina Gamecocks (1-2/0-1 SEC) look to get back on the winning track this week and will host the Temple Owls (1-2/0-1 BIG EAST), Saturday, Sept. 21 at Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. There is no live television scheduled for this game.

A Closer Look

* South Carolina is looking to snap a two-game losing streak. The Gamecocks are under .500 for the first time since the 1999 season. USC dropped its second straight heartbreaker last Saturday, losing 13-7 to Georgia in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. The third largest crowd in Williams-Brice Stadium history – 84,227 – was on hand for the USC-UGA contest. The game was delayed 52 minutes in the first quarter due to inclement weather.

* Against Georgia, the Gamecocks found themselves trailing 10-0 early in the fourth period. USC’s offense then caught fire and the margin was sliced to three at 10-7 with 12:23 remaining. Georgia tacked on a field goal with 2:54 left, before USC marched down to the Bulldog two-yard line only to fumble the ball on fourth down and one with 12 seconds remaining.

* The Gamecocks experienced a 34-21 non-conference defeat Sept. 7 against Virginia in Charlottesville. USC turned the ball over seven times against the Cavaliers, including six fumbles and one interception. 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. Temple is likewise 1-2 on the year. The Owls opened the 2002 season with a 34-7 conquest of Richmond. They dropped a 35-3 decision to Oregon State on Sept. 7, before playing a hard-fought game against #1 ranked Miami, Fla., this past Saturday, before losing 44-21.

* With the loss at UVA, the Gamecocks dropped out of the national polls. Carolina had been ranked 22nd in the writers’ poll and 19th in the coaches’ poll heading into the Virginia game. Dating back to the final 2000 national rankings, Carolina had been ranked in 21 consecutive national rankings, which is a school record. The last poll that USC wasn’t ranked in came on Dec. 3, 2000. Following its Outback Bowl win over Ohio State on Jan. 1, 2001, USC finished 19th in both of the final polls for the 2000 season. Its Outback Bowl victory over the Buckeyes on Jan. 1, 2002, elevated Carolina to 13th in both of the final polls for the 2001 season. The Gamecocks had been ranked 22nd in the 2002 preseason poll.

* Over the years, Carolina has compiled a won-loss record of 485-490-44.

* The Gamecocks went 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 averaging 83,972 through its first two home games of this season.

* This weekend’s non-conference matchup will only be the second meeting between USC and Temple. The Owls won the previous meeting, 26-6, at Philadelphia in 1933. In competition against opponents from the BIG EAST Conference, USC is 20-26-5, having also played Miami, Fla. (5-8-2), Pittsburgh (1-3-0), Virginia Tech (10-7-2), and West Virginia (4-7-1), who are all currently BIG EAST members.

* This will be Temple’s first road game of the season, after opening up the year with three straight games at home.

* The last time USC squared off against an opponent from the BIG EAST was in the 1995 Carquest Bowl, when the Gamecocks were 24-21 winners over West Virginia.

* This will be Lou Holtz’s third meeting as a head coach against Temple. He is currently 1-1 vs. the Owls. In his second game as a head coach at Williams & Mary in 1969, Holtz’s team defeated Temple 7-6 at Philadelphia. His 1971 William & Mary squad lost to the Owls on the road 17-13.

* Coach Holtz enters the Temple 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: Temple 26, USC 6, 9/29/33 … Carolina goes on the road for the first time on the 1933 campaign and falls. The Gamecocks would go 6-3-1 that season and were coached by Billy Laval, who also had coached the 1932-33 USC men’s basketball team to a 17-2 record and Southern Conference championship.

* Several Gamecocks have been mentioned on preseason watch lists for national awards. Senior defensive back 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 Temple game with 283 career tackles, including 28.5 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback sacks, 23 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 Temple game with 1,461 career rushing yards and 22 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 leads Carolina and ranks fifth in the SEC in rushing, averaging 102.7 yards per game. He also ranks fourth in the SEC in passing efficiency (126.9).

* At this writing, USC has 14 former players on NFL rosters. That is an all-time high for the school.

* This week’s game will 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 and in nine states on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Handling the broadcast will be former Gamecock greats Todd Ellis (play-by-play) and George Rogers (color analyst).

Charter cable affiliates in the Palmetto State include: Abbeville (channel 21), Anderson (31), Beaufort (77), Belton (54), Camden (64), Chester (45), Gaffney (64), Gray Court (21), Greenville/Spartanburg (21), Pickens (52), Salem (52), Union (61), Walterboro (38), West Pelzer (21) and Whitmire (50). Comcast’s South Carolina affiliates include: Beaufort (channel 15), Calhoun Falls (99), Charleston (42) and Newberry (51). Arrangements have been made to show replays of the game on Time-Warner cable systems in Columbia, Orangeburg, Sumter and Manning on cable channel 10.

For the complete release in Adobe Acrobat format, click on the link at the top of the page.