Oct. 28, 2005
SETTING THE STAGE: The South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3, 2-3 SEC) travel to Knoxville’s Neyland Stadium/Shields-Watkins Field (104,079) to take on the No. 23/25 Tennessee Volunteers (3-3, 2-3 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference battle on Saturday, Oct. 29. The ESPN2 cameras will be on hand for the 7:45 p.m. ET start. Sean McDonough and Mike Gottfried will be in the booth and Alex Flanagan will work the sidelines for “The Deuce.” It will mark USC’s fifth appearance on ESPN or ESPN2 this season. Todd Ellis (play-by-play) and Tommy Suggs (analyst) handle the broadcast for the Carolina Gamecock Sports Network, with Rob DeBoer on the sidelines.
ABOUT THE GAMECOCKS: The Gamecocks have won back-to-back SEC games to improve their record to 4-3 in the first year of the “Steve Spurrier Era” at the University of South Carolina. The Gamecocks have posted consecutive wins over Kentucky and Vanderbilt and have non-conference wins over UCF and Troy. The Gamecocks’ three losses – at Georgia, versus Alabama and at Auburn – have come against teams ranked among the nation’s top 25. Those three schools have a combined record of 19-2 and are ranked 4th, 5th and 19th in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/Coaches polls this week. In fact, USC’s first seven opponents have a combined record of 31-18 (63.3 winning percentage). The Gamecocks need to win two of their final four games to become bowl eligible. They still have games remaining at Arkansas (2-5), and back-to-back home games versus No. 16/18 Florida (5-2) and versus in-state rival Clemson (4-3).
AND FOR THE VOLUNTEERS: Five of Tennessee’s first six games have been conference tilts, with the Vols winning two of those five league contests. After a season-opening non-conference win over UAB, Tennessee dropped a 16-7 decision at Florida. They followed that up with wins at LSU (in overtime) and over Ole Miss, but have dropped their last two to Georgia and at Alabama. Tennessee has struggled to put points on the board, ranking 105th in the country in scoring offense (16.33 ppg) but are allowing just 16.0 points per game themselves, the nation’s 10th best mark. Rick Clausen has taken the bulk of the snaps and has completed 60.4 percent of his passes. Head coach Phillip Fulmer is a perfect 12-0 lifetime against the Gamecocks.
TENNESSEE TIES: Head Coach Steve Spurrier was born in Johnson City, Tenn. Safety Chris Hampton (Memphis-Melrose High), quarterback Antonio Heffner (Memphis-Melrose High) and quarterback Cade Thompson (Maryville) are also from the Volunteer state.
CAROLINA CONNECTIONS: Seven Tennessee players are from the state of South Carolina, including tight end Brett Weyman (Charleston), defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (Columbia), defensive end Robert Ayers (Clio), center Richie Gandy (Darlington), defensive back Sinclair Cannon (Greer), defensive back Jonathan Hefney (Rock Hill) and offensive tackle Eric Young (Union). In addition, Associate Head Coach John Chavis was born and raised in Dillon, South Carolina.
A SOUTH CAROLINA WIN OVER TENNESSEE WOULD:
* Give the Gamecocks three straight wins for the first time since Sept. 18 – Oct. 2, 2004 when they defeated South Florida, Troy and Alabama in successive games.
* Give the Gamecocks three straight conference wins for the first time since Sept. 28 – Oct. 12, 2002 when they defeated Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Kentucky on consecutive weekends.
* Be the Gamecocks first win ever in Knoxville. They are 0-12 all-time when playing the Volunteers on their home turf.
* Snap a 12-game losing streak to the Volunteers. The Gamecocks last win over Tennessee came on Oct. 31, 1992 by a 24-23 score in Columbia. USC’s only other win in 23 previous meetings came by a 24-0 score in the first meeting ever between the two schools, back on Oct. 29, 1903.
SERIES NOTES: This is the 24th meeting on the gridiron between Carolina and Tennessee. The Volunteers lead the all-time series, 19-2-2. The teams have met every year since 1992 (a 24-23 South Carolina victory), with Tennessee winning all 12 of the meetings since that game. The Game-cocks have never won in Knoxville, losing on each of their 12 previous trips to UT, including a 23-20 overtime setback on Sept. 27, 2003 in their last game in Knoxville.
A LITTLE MORE HISTORY: This is the 112th season of college football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. The university did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. This is the 99th consecutive year in which USC has competed on the gridiron. They own an all-time record of 504-510-44. Their only conference championship came in the 1969 season when they posted a perfect 6-0 record to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title in Paul Dietzel’s fourth year.
LAST SEASON’S MATCHUP: Before an overflow crowd announced at 81,400 at Williams-Brice Stadium, Carolina started off strong against #11 Tennessee before coming up short in a 43-29 setback. A Ricardo Hurley safety gave USC an early 2-0 lead and a pair of Josh Brown field goals extended the advantage to eight. The Vols scored late in the first half and added the two-point conversion to knot the game heading into intermission. Two third quarter touchdowns gave Tennessee a 14-point lead heading into the final stanza. Both teams put up 21 points in a wild fourth quarter, with the Vols prevailing for the 12th straight time and for the 19th time in 23 meetings with the Gamecocks. Carolina won the statistical battle, logging more first downs (30-14), total yards (567-412), total plays (86-56) and time of possession (37:39-22:21). Dondrial Pinkins threw for a career-high 306 yards while completing 30-of-42 passes with two TDs.
INJURY REPORT: Safety Chris Hampton (ankle), cornerback Tremaine Tyler (ankle), offensive guard William Brown (lower back), tight end Andy Boyd (right knee sprain), running back Taylor Rank (ankle sprain), defensive end Shea McKeen (lower back) and tight end Jonathan Hannah (right ankle sprain) did not play against Vanderbilt due to injuries. Syvelle Newton tore his left Achilles’ tendon and will miss the remainder of the season. Cody Wells (neck sprain), Yvan Banag (bruised lower back) and Fred Bennett (bruised sternum) were also injured against the Commodores.
SPURRIER VS. TENNESSEE: South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier owns a 9-5 career record against Tennessee, including a 4-4 mark in Knoxville. He faced the Vols every year from 1988 to 2001, the first two with Duke (where he was 1-1) and the final 12 when he was the head coach at Florida (8-4). A win this week would be his 10th against the Volunteers. He already owns double-figure career wins over Kentucky (13), Vanderbilt (13), Georgia (11), LSU (11), Auburn (10) and South Carolina (10).
THE LAST TIME OUT: The Gamecocks outlasted the Vanderbilt Commodores last Saturday in Columbia, posting a 35-28 victory. The defenses dominated the first half, as the teams went into intermission knotted at 7. USC scored on four of its five second half possessions. Syvelle Newton sparked the offense, rushing 15 times for 80 yards and a touchdown and completing 3-of-4 passes for 46 yards and two scores. Quarterback Blake Mitchell completed 15-of-27 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Sidney Rice was over the 100 yard receiving game for the second straight time, finishing with eight catches for 132 yards and a season-high three TDs. Dustin Lindsey, who was making his first career start, and Ko Simpson led the defense with 10 tackles each. The victory marked the 100th conference win in Steve Spurrier’s collegiate coaching career. He is 100-26-1 after 127 conference games coached.
FOR STARTERS: Tight end Carson Askins and linebacker Dustin Lindsey made their first collegiate starts Saturday vs. Vandy. Overall, 27 Gamecocks have made their first collegiate start this season (14 on the offense, 13 on defense), the most in Division I football this year.
SECOND HALF BLAST: In each of the last two games USC has gone into intermission tied: 10-10 versus Kentucky then 7-7 vs. Vanderbilt. In both cases, the Gamecocks’ offense got untracked in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 34-6 in the second half, then outlasting the Commodores 28-21 in the second half last week. For the season, USC has scored 110 second half points compared to just 74 in the first half of their games.
GOING THE DISTANCE: The Gamecocks have used most of the field in their scoring drives this season. Of their 26 scoring drives, South Carolina has traveled 62 yards or more 19 times and 75 yards or more 14 times. The longest drive was a 12-play, 97-yard drive against Troy, the longest in the SEC this season.
BACKED UP: USC has been plagued by poor starting field position all season. USC has started just 29 of 86 drives (34 percent) beyond their own 25 yard line. They did not start a drive beyond their own 40-yard line in four of their seven games. Over 51 percent of their drives (44 of 86) have started at their own 20 or worse.
RED ZONE NUMBERS: USC’s offense has had excellent success in the red zone, scoring on 18-of-22 opportunities (81.8), which ranks in a tie for fifth in the SEC. They have scored 15 touchdowns, while settling for a field goal just three times. The Gamecocks percentage of touchdowns scored per red zone opportunity (68.2 percent) ranks first in the Southeastern Conference. Defensively, the Gamecocks rank in a tie for fourth in the SEC, allowing their opponents to score 75.0 percent of the time (24-of-32) when entering the redzone.
TURNOVERS A KEY: After logging just three turnovers leading to six points in the first three games, the Gamecocks have forced 11 turnovers and have turned them into 55 points over the last four contests. For the season, USC is plus-0.43 in turnover ratio, coughing up the ball 11 times which have led to 30 points, while forcing 14 turnovers that have led to 61 USC points.
DEFENSE SCORES: The Gamecocks defense has produced three touchdowns this season. Johnathan Joseph returned an interception 42 yards for a score at Georgia. Brandon Isaac returned a fumble 11 yards against Troy for a TD. Ko Simpson returned a fumble 19 yards for a touchdown against Kentucky.
MITCHELL’S THE MAN: Redshirt sophomore Blake Mitchell has proven to be a worthy signal-caller in his first season as the starter. Mitchell has completed 64.1 percent (109-of-170) of his passes, for 1,414 yards and 11 touchdowns with just five interceptions. Although he does not get the publicity of some of the other SEC quarterbacks, Mitchell ranks:
* 1st in the SEC in completion pct. (64.1).
* 2nd in the SEC in passing yards per game, averaging 235.7 yards per contest.
* 2nd in the SEC and 20th in the country in passing efficiency with a mark of 149.46.
* 2nd in the SEC in touchdown passes with 11.
* 5th in the SEC in total offense, averaging 21.9.5 yards per game.
MORE MITCHELL: With still four regular season games remaining, Blake Mitchell is moving up the charts on USC’s single season lists. He ranks 10th in touchdown passes in a season with 11 and is second in percentage with a 64.1 completion ratio. Here are those lists: Single Season Touchdown Passes Rk Quarterback Year TD Passes 1. Steve Taneyhill 1995 29 2. Steve Taneyhill 1994 20 Todd Ellis 1986 20 4. Anthony Wright 1997 18 5. Jeff Grantz 1975 16 6. Bobby Fuller 1991 15 7. Bobby Fuller 1990 13 Tommy Suggs 1968 13 9. Phil Petty 2001 12 10. Blake Mitchell 2005 11
Single Season Completion Percentage Rk Quarterback Year C-A Pct. 1. Steve Taneyhill 1995 261-389 .671 2. Blake Mitchell 2005 109-170 .641 3. Dondrial Pinkins 2004 68-108 .630 4. Steve Taneyhill 1994 231-367 .629 5. Todd Ellis 1986 205-340 .603
NEWTON’S LAWS: Junior Syvelle Newton suffered a season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon in his left leg in the win over Vanderbilt. Prior to the injury, Newton lined up at wide receiver, quarterback and tailback against the Commodores, accounting for 80 yards on the ground and 54 through the air (46 passing and eight receiving), along with three touchdowns (one rushing and two passing), earning SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors. For the season, Newton rushed 21 times for 150 yards and two scores, completed 4-of-5 passes for 47 yards and two touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 297 yards and two TDs. He also returned three kickoffs for an additional 55 yards.
MIXING IT UP: USC has used seven different offensive lines in seven games. Chris White and Na’Shan Goddard have started all seven, while Jabari Levey has made six starts. William Brown and Freddy Saint-Preux have started four times, Fran Person, James Thompson and Thomas Coleman have started twice and Jamon Meredith has made one start.
I’LL TAKE RICE: Redshirt freshman Sidney Rice has shown that he is a key ingredient in the Gamecocks’ offense. The Gaffney, S.C. product has caught eight passes in each of the last two games, going for 125 yards and two touchdowns against Kentucky, then for a season-high 132 yards and three TDs against Vanderbilt. The three touchdown receptions tied a school record and he established a school record by catching a touchdown pass in his sixth consecutive game. Rice ranks:
* 1st in the SEC and 27th in the country in receiving yards, averaging 92.5 yards per game.
* Tied for 2nd in the SEC and tied for 26th in the country in scoring, averaging 9.0 points per game.
* 3rd in the SEC and 38th in the country in reception, averaging 5.67 catches per contest.
HE JUST GETS BETTER: Sidney Rice seemingly has improved with every game. Here’s a look at his game-by-game performances after missing the opener with a broken finger. Opponent Receptions Yards Touchdowns Georgia 5 70 1 Alabama 5 74 1 Troy 5 91 1 Auburn 3 63 1 Kentucky 8 125 2 Vanderbilt 8 132 3 TOTALS 34 555 9
ANOTHER HELPING OF RICE PLEASE: Sidney Rice is moving up the charts at USC. Here’s where he ranks: Single Season Touchdown Receptions Rk Receiver Year TD Passes 1. Jermale Kelly 1997 10 Monte Means 1995 10 Sterling Sharpe 1986 10 4. Zola Davis 1995 9 Sidney Rice 2005 9
Career Touchdown Receptions Rk Receiver Years TD Passes 1. Jermale Kelly 1997-2000 19 Robert Brooks 1988-1991 19 3. Zola Davis 1995-1998 17 Sterling Sharpe 1983, 1985-87 17 5. Philip Logan 1974-1977 15 6. Troy Williamson 2002-2004 13 Monty Means 1992-1995 13 Toby Cates 1991-1994 13 9. Mike Haggard 1970-1972 11 10. Eddie Miller 1988-1991 10 —————————————————————- Sidney Rice 2005 9
Single Season Receiving Yards Rk Receiver Year TD Passes 1. Sterling Sharpe 1986 1,106 2. Sterling Sharpe 1987 915 3. Zola Davis 1995 911 4. Troy Williamson 2004 835 5. Zola Davis 1998 733 6. Brian Scott 2001 730 7. Philip Logan 1975 716 8. Reed Bethea 1987 689 9. Robert Brooks 1991 684 10. Philip Logan 1976 678 —————————————————————- Sidney Rice 2005 555
PLAYING THE OLDIES: Sophomore Tim Frisby hauled in his first career reception, a nine-yard catch against Troy. The 40-year old former U.S. Army Ranger has earned national attention appearing on Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ESPN’s Cold Pizza, and has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Live From CNN and Good Morning America. The walk-on receiver and father of six served in the first Gulf War and in the conflict in Kosovo. He received a pair of prestigious post-season honors, earning the Keith Jackson Award for Excellence and the Walt Disney World of Sports Spirit Award.
THE TURMANATOR: Senior Daccus Turman gave the Gamecocks some semblance of a running game when he carried 18 times for 81 yards in the win over Kentucky. It was the most rushing yards gained by a USC back this season. He leads the team with 196 yards rushing on 42 carries with two scores. He has 1,206 career rushing yards with 12 rushing TDs.
EARLY RETURNS: The Gamecocks feature a pair of true freshmen in their return game. Carlos Thomas handles the kickoff returns. He has returned 14 kicks for 324 yards, a 23.1 yard average which ranks fifth in the league. His longest return is a 79-yarder against Troy. Kenny McKinley has returned 13 punts for 52 yards, a 4.0 yard average, which ranks seventh in the SEC.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: Josh Brown is one of those rare athletes who handles both the punting duties as well as the kicks on field goals and extra points. He is averaging 40.1 yards per punt this season with a long of 51 yards. The Gamecocks rank fifth in the SEC and 25th in the country in net punting at 37.1 yards per punt. He has converted all four of his field goal attempts this year and is 14-of-19 in his career with a long of 45 yards, set this season against Kentucky. After missing four of his first five field goal attempts in his career, he has converted 13 of his last 14 field goal tries.
INTO THE END ZONE: Freshman kicker Ryan Succop has been impressive while handling kickoffs for the Gamecocks this season. Fourteen of his 35 kickoffs (40 percent) have been touchbacks. One that was returned by Troy’s Leodis McKelvin went 100 yards to paydirt, the longest return against South Carolina in school history. Only 15 of 52 USC kickoffs a year ago (29 percent) were touchbacks.
THREE-WAY THOMAS: Freshman Carlos Thomas has done it all this season. He is third the squad in all-purpose yards with 450. He has started three times at wide receiver where he has made nine catches for 73 yards, including a career-high four catches against Kentucky. He has carried the ball three times for 53 yards. He also has been the primary kick returner, with 14 returns for 324 yards, including a long of 79 yards. In addition, he has played cornerback, making a key interception of a D.J. Shockley pass in the end zone late in the first half at Georgia. His two-way performance against the Bulldogs earned him recognition as the SEC Freshman of the Week for September 17.
SACK ATTACK: The Gamecocks are tied for second in the SEC with 22 sacks after seven games. Stanley Doughty (3.5 sacks) and Mike West (3.0 sacks) lead the way, while 15 different players have figured in the mix. The 22 sacks easily exceeds USC’s 2004 total of 12 sacks. In their four wins, USC has posted 19 sacks (4.75 per game) while the three losses have produced just three sacks (1.0 per game). Here are the game-by-game numbers: Opponent Sacks Yards UCF 6 38 Georgia 1 1 Alabama 1 2 Troy 5 27 Auburn 1 5 Kentucky 6 29 Vanderbilt 2 13 TOTAL 22 115
KO IS OK: Sophomore safety Ko Simpson is the most heralded player on the USC roster. Simpson was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over Kentucky after returning a fumble for a touchdown, intercepting a pass (the seventh of his career) which led to another Gamecock TD and logging a game-high 13 tackles. The 6-1, 201-pounder was USC’s only pre-season all-conference selection and has been named to numerous pre-season all-America squads. He is regarded as the top safety in America and a first team all-America by The Sporting News and is on the Watch List for the Bronco Nagurski Award. Simpson was named the SEC Freshman of the Year by the Associated Press and was a Freshman all-American last season after logging six interceptions, tying for the SEC lead and tying for third nationally. This season he leads the team with 60 tackles, including 35 solos. His 8.6 tackles/game average leads all SEC defensive backs.
CORNERING THE MARKET: Cornerbacks Fred Bennett and Johnathan Joseph each have a pair of interceptions this season. Bennett has picks against UCF and Troy and blocked a field goal attempt against Vanderbilt, the first block by a USC player since 2001. He owns six career interceptions. Joseph has interceptions against Georgia, which he returned 42 yards for a touchdown, and against Vanderbilt, which he returned 32 yards, setting up a USC touchdown. They are the first two interceptions of his career.
SEEING DOUBLE: The Gamecocks have opponents seeing double when Jordin and Dustin Lindsey are on the field. Jordin has started the last four games at defensive end, while Dustin made his first start last week at linebacker against Vanderbilt. Wearing numbers 40 and 41, the Lindsey twins from Davidson High School in Mobile, Ala., have combined for 44 tackles including 7.5 TFL’s.
PLAYING THE KIDS: Coach Steve Spurrier has 24 true freshmen scholarship players on the roster. Of the 24, half have seen action. Those who have played in their first season at USC include Yvan Banag, Mike Davis, Jonathan Hannah, Shea McKeen, Kenny McKinley, Nathan Pepper, Taylor Rank, Marvin Sapp, Ryan Succop, Carlos Thomas, Bobby Wallace and Dakota Walker. Those who are have not played include Tommy Beecher, Kerry Bonds, Freddie Brown, Jared Cook, Brent Davis, Lemuel Jeanpierre, O.J. Murdock, Gerrod Sinclair, Cade Thompson, Jeremy Ware, Damien Wright and Brandyn Young.
CANADIANS, EH?: The Gamecocks roster features three players from north of the border. Tight end Robert Pavlovic and offensive lineman Gurminder Thind are from Mississauga, Ontario, while offensive lineman Justin Sorensen hails from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
BETTER OF LATE: After the 1998 and `99 seasons saw South Carolina win just once in 22 tries, the Gamecocks have begun to turn the corner since the start of the 21st century. Since the start of the 2000 season, USC has logged an overall record of 37-29. The 33 wins from 2000-04 matches the best five-year stretch in school history. USC also posted 33 wins from 1980-1984.
ELITE COACHES: The Sporting News recently ranked the top collegiate coaches. USC’s Steve Spurrier was tabbed the second best coach in the country behind only Southern California’s Pete Carroll. Here is TSN’s top 10: 1. Pete Carroll, Southern California 2. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina 3. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma 4. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa 5. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech 6. Jim Tressel, Ohio State 7. Phil Fulmer, Tennessee 8. Mack Brown, Texas 9. Dan Hawkins, Boise State 10. Tom O’Brien, Boston College
BOWL ASPIRATIONS: The Southeastern Conference has agreements to send eight of its member institutions to post-season bowl games following the 2005 season. The winner of the SEC Championship Game will automatically participate in the Bowl Championship Series comprised of the Sugar, Rose, Orange and Fiesta Bowls. the Capital One Bowl (Orlando) will then make its pick. Other SEC tie-ins are with the Outback Bowl (Tampa), SBC Cotton Bowl (Dallas), Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl (Atlanta), Mainstay Independence Bowl (Shreveport), Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl (Nashville) and EV1.net Houston Bowl.
PUTTING POINTS ON THE BOARD: The last time a Steve Spurrier coached offense was shutout came on October 3, 1987 against Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey. The Scarlet Knights blanked the Blue Devils, 7-0. Coach Spurrier has coached 184 straight games without being whitewashed since that day in Jersey.
EARNING THEIR WAY: Head Coach Steve Spurrier rewarded four former walk-ons with scholarships this fall. The quartet includes deep snapper Ike Crofoot, wide receiver Michael Flint, fullback Lanard Stafford and linebacker Jerod June.
RECORD SALES: USC has established a school record for football season tickets sold. The Gamecocks sold 62,618 season tickets for the 2005 campaign, surpassing the previous mark of 62,103, set in 2002. The numbers do not include student tickets and tickets contractually obligated to visiting teams.
FIRST-YEAR COACHES: With four wins in the first seven games, head coach Steve Spurrier has already surpassed the combined first-season win total of the two previous USC head coaches who had national titles under their belt. Paul Dietzel and Lou Holtz combined to go 1-20 in their initial season in Columbia. Here’s how previous USC coaches fared in their first season as the Gamecocks’ head coach: Coach Year Record Warren Giese 1956 7-3 Jim Carlen 1975 7-5 Brad Scott 1994 7-5 Sparky Woods 1989 6-4-1 Joe Morrison 1983 5-6 Steve Spurrier 2005 4-3 Richard Bell 1982 4-7 Marvin Bass 1961 4-6 Paul Dietzel 1966 1-9 Lou Holtz 1999 0-11
GOING BOWLING: Only Jim Carlen in 1975 and Brad Scott in 1994 led the Gamecocks to a bowl game in their first season as head coach. Carlen’s squad lost 20-7 to Miami (Ohio) in the Tangerine Bowl, while Scott’s `94 team defeated West Virginia in the Carquest Bowl, 24-21.
LENDING A HAND: Head Coach Steve Spurrier has put together an excellent coaching staff. On the offensive side of the ball, Coach Spurrier is the coordinator and also works directly with the quarterbacks. Madre Hill, one of the top tailbacks ever at the University of Arkansas, is in his first season at USC as the running backs coach. John Hunt, who worked with Coach Spurrier at Florida is the offensive line coach. David Reaves, son of All-American quarterback John Reaves, assists Coach Spurrier with the quarterbacks. Steve Spurrier, Jr. rejoins his father’s staff, taking over the wide receivers. Rick Stockstill is in his second season at USC as the recruiting coordinator and also handles the tight ends. On the defensive side of the ball, John Thompson and Tyrone Nix are co-defensive coordinators. Thompson, who served as the head coach at East Carolina the past two seasons, also works with the inside linebackers. Nix, who played and coached at Southern Miss, handles the defensive line. Ron Cooper works with the outside linebackers and also is the special teams coordinator. Dave Wommack serves as the secondary coach. Thompson, Nix and Wommack all worked together at Southern Miss.
IN THE BOOTH: Receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr. and secondary coach Dave Wommack are the only full-time coaches who sit in the pressbox during the game. The rest of the full-time staff are on the sidelines.
INDIVIDUAL HONORS: Several Game-cocks were pre-season all-league selections by various publications: Syvelle Newton – 3rd team by Phil Steele. Na’Shan Goddard – Second team by Athlon and SEC Coaches; Third team by Phil Steele. Jabari Levey – Second team by Athlon, The Sporting News and Phil Steele; Third team by SEC Coaches. Ricardo Hurley – Fourth team by Phil Steele. Ko Simpson – First team by Athlon, The Sporting News, Street & Smith’s, CBS Sportsline, Blue Ribbon, SEC Media and SEC Coaches; Second team by Lindy’s and Phil Steele. Fred Bennett – First team by Blue Ribbon; Second team by The Sporting News and Lindy’s. Josh Brown (PK) – Second team by The Sporting News; third team by SEC Coaches.
UP NEXT: The Gamecocks remain on the road in the Southeastern Conference next Saturday when they travel to Fayetteville to face the Arkansas Razorbacks. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. ET and will the game will be televised by JPS. The Razorbacks lead the all-time series by an 8-5 margin, including a 5-1 record when playing in the state of Arkansas. USC won last year’s contest played in Columbia by a 35-32 score, just their second win in the last seven tries against the `Backs. The Gamecocks lone win in Arkansas came on Oct. 18, 1997 by a 39-13 score. Head Coach Steve Spurrier is a perfect 4-0 against Arkansas.