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Nov. 11, 2005

SETTING THE STAGE: After two straight road games, the bowl-eligible South Carolina Gamecocks (6-3, 4-3 SEC) put their four-game winning streak on the line as they return home to host the 12th-ranked Florida Gators (7-2, 5-2) in the final Southeastern Conference game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 12. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. at sold-out Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) in Columbia. For the second week in a row, Jefferson Pilot Sports will be on hand with Dave Neal and Dave Rowe in the booth and Dave Baker providing the sideline reports. 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 four straight SEC games to improve their overall record to 6-3 in the first year of the “Steve Spurrier Era” at the University of South Carolina. The current streak marks just the second time they have won four straight SEC contests since joining the league in 1992. The Gamecocks have posted consecutive wins over Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas 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 20. Those three schools have a combined record of 23-3 and are ranked 9th, 4th, and 15th respectively in this week’s Associated Press poll.

AND FOR THE GATORS: Florida is in its first season under head coach Urban Meyer. The Gators are ranked 12th in both polls, have won seven of nine decisions, and are 5-2 in the SEC. They won their first four games of the season, then dropped two of three, losing at Alabama and at LSU, before bouncing back with a pair of wins over nationally-ranked Georgia and Vanderbilt. The Gators feature one of the nation’s top defenses, as they rank 10th in total defense and 13th against the run. They are also second in the country in turnover margin at plus-1.89. Offensively, junior quarterback Chris Leak runs the attack. He is completing 62.9 percent of his passes. His favorite target has been junior wideout Chad Jackson, who has caught 63 passes for 632 yards.

ALWAYS A WINNER: South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier has always been on the winning sideline when Florida and Carolina get together. He was a perfect 10-0 when facing the Gamecocks when he patrolled the Gator sidelines. This will be his first game against his alma mater since he left Gainesville following the 2001 campaign. For more on Spurrier, please see pages three and four of the Carolina Game Notes package.

BOWL ON THE HORIZON: When they secured their sixth victory of the season Saturday at Arkansas, South Carolina became bowl-eligible for the fourth time in the past six years,and should be on its way to its first bowl game since the 2001 season. Carolina has gone to 11 bowl games in school history, losing the first eight before winning the last three – the 1995 Carquest Bowl against West Virginia, and most recently posting back-to-back Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State in 2000 and 2001. Spurrier took Florida to 11 bowl games in his 12 seasons as the Gators’ coach.

A SOUTH CAROLINA WIN OVER FLORIDA WOULD: * Lift the Gamecocks into a second place tie in the SEC Eastern Division with Florida behind only Georgia and keep Carolina’s SEC title hopes alive, hinging on a pair of losses by the Bulldogs. * Give Carolina five straight SEC wins for the first time in school history. They previously won four straight in 2001, posting consecutive wins over Georgia, Miss. St., Alabama and Kentucky. * Give the Gamecocks five straight wins for the first time since Sept. 1 – Oct. 6, 2001 when they defeated Boise State, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and Kentucky to open the season. * Snap a 14-game losing streak by Carolina to the Gators. USC’s last win over UF came in 1939 by a 6-0 score. Florida owns a 19-3-3 all-time lead in the season series.

SERIES NOTES: This is the 26th meeting between Carolina and Florida. The Gators lead the all-time series, 19-3-3. Florida owns an 8-3-1 advantage in games played in Columbia, while the Gamecocks are winless in Gainesville in 10 tries. UF holds a slim 1-0-2 lead in games played in Tampa. Florida has won each of the last 14 contests between the two squads, including all 13 matchups since USC joined the SEC. The Gamecocks last win came on Nov. 4, 1939 by a 6-0 score in Columbia. Florida was a 48-14 winner in Gainesville last season, and survived a 24-22 decision two years ago when the teams last meet at Williams-Brice Stadium.

LAST SEASON’S MATCHUP: Looking for an SEC road sweep for the first time in its program’s history, South Carolina traveled to Gainesville to take on the Gators on November 13, 2004 in a game that was televised nationally by ESPN2. The Gamecocks grabbed an early 7-0 lead on Gonzie Gray’s 13-yard run late in the opening quarter. However, Florida capitalized on two first half interceptions and blocked a punt, leading to a 21-7 halftime lead, a lead the Gators would not relinquish in a 48-14 victory. Chris Leak finished the night with a career-high six touchdown passes. The Gators threw for 319 yards and outgained Carolina, 411-279 in the contest.

THE LAST TIME OUT: The Gamecocks lost the statistical battle but won the game at Arkansas last Saturday. The Razorbacks outgained the Gamecocks, 356-187, running 72 plays to USC’s 58, but USC came away with a 14-10 victory. Carolina took advantage of an early Arkansas gamble, as the Gamecocks stopped a fourth-and-one play from the Razorback 29-yard line, setting up a Blake Mitchell to Sidney Rice seven-yard touchdown pass. Trailing 10-7 in the third quarter, Orus Lambert intercepted a pass and Mitchell hit freshman Kenny McKinley on the next play for a 42-yard touchdown pass, putting Carolina on top to stay.

EXTENDING THE RECORD: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Sidney Rice continues to improve on his own school records. He caught a touchdown pass against Arkansas, extending his school record to eight consecutive games with a touchdown reception. The touchdown catch was his 12th of the season (most in the SEC), and increased his school single season record.

HOLD THAT LINE: Despite giving up 219 net rushing yards to Arkansas, the top rushing team in the SEC, the Gamecock defense came up big against the run when needed last Saturday. Early in the first quarter, Arkansas gambled on a fourth-and-one from their own 29, but Orus Lambert stopped Casey Dick on a quarterback sneak for no gain, setting up USC’s first touchdown. Just before the half with the score tied at 7, Arkansas had a first-and-goal situation from the USC one-yard line, but Lance Laury and De’Adrian Coley came up with stops and when a third down pass fell incomplete, the Razorbacks were forced to kick a field goal. Finally, trailing by four late in the fourth quarter, Arkansas had a second-and-one at the USC 17-yard line, but Chris Hampton, Ricardo Hurley and the tandem of Stanley Doughty and Dakota Walker came up with three successive stops on Darren McFadden, basically sealing the win.

FOUR IN A ROW: Carolina has won four straight games, tying Ohio State, UTEP and Miami (Ohio) for the 10th longest current winning streak in the country.

RANKED FOES: Depending on which poll you believe, the Florida game will mark either the third (Associated Press) or fifth (USA Today/Coaches) ranked opponent the Gamecocks will face this season. When Carolina knocked off the No. 23/25 Tennessee Volunteers, it snapped a string of seven straight losses against an opponent ranked in the Associated Press’s top 25, dating back to a 31-7 win over No. 15 Virginia on Sept. 6, 2003.

SECOND HALF SURGE: In each of the last four games, USC has gone into intermission either tied (10-10 vs. Kentucky and 7-7 vs. Vanderbilt) or trailing (12-7 at Tennessee and 10-7 at Arkansas). In each case, the Gamecocks played well after halftime, outscoring the Wildcats (34-6), Commodores (28-21), Volunteers (9-3) and Razorbacks (7-0) in the second half to come away with a win. For the season, USC has scored 126 second half points compared to just 88 in the first half of their games.They have scored 70 points in the fourth quarter this season, the high mark among any of the four quarters.

WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: Not only has South Carolina rallied in the second half for victories in each of their last four games, they have shown a penchant for winning the close one. The Gamecocks are 4-1 in games decided by 10 points or less, with each of their last three games, all wins, decided by seven points or less. USC is 6-3 despite outscoring their opponents by only eight points on the season (214-206).

FOR STARTERS: Linebacker Terrell Davis made his first career start for South Carolina on Saturday at Arkansas. He became the 28th Gamecock to make his first collegiate start this season (14 on offense and 14 on defense), the most in Division I football in 2005.

WALK(-ON) THIS WAY: USC has used a pair of walk-ons in key positions. Offensive lineman Thomas Coleman has made three starts, while tight end Carson Askins has made two starts. Prior to the start of the season, four walk-ons were rewarded with scholarships. The quartet included deep snapper Ike Crofoot, wide receiver Michael Flint, fullback Lanard Stafford and linebacker Jerod June.

RED ZONE NUMBERS: USC’s offense has had excellent success in the red zone, scoring on 21-of-26 opportunities (80.8 percent), which ranks fourth in the SEC. They have scored 18 touchdowns, while settling for a field goal attempt just five times. The Gamecocks percentage of touchdowns scored per red zone opportunity (69.2 percent) ranks second in the Southeastern Conference behind only LSU (70.4 percent). Defensively, the Gamecocks rank sixth in the SEC, allowing their opponents to score 73.7 percent of the time (28-of-38) when entering the red zone.

THIS `N THAT ABOUT CAROLINA: * The team that has scored first has gone on to win all nine games this season. * The Gamecocks are 4-1 in games decided by 10 or fewer points this season. * The Gamecocks are nearly 50-50 in running (264) and passing (271) attempts, but average three times more yards when passing (230.8) than running (79.2) the ball. * USC leads the SEC with 19 TD passes. * The Gamecocks are 13th in the country in pass defense, allowing 172.8 yards per game through the air. * USC’s 2005 opponents own a 56-39 record, a .589 winning percentage.

THE TURNOVER FACTOR: After logging just three turnovers leading to six points in the first three games, the Gamecocks have forced 14 turnovers and have turned them into 69 points over the last six contests. For the season, USC is plus-0.22 in turnover ratio, coughing up the ball 15 times which have led to 30 points, while forcing 17 turnovers that have led to 75 USC points. The Carolina defense has not allowed a point following their last four turnovers.

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 61.9 percent (143-of-231) of his passes, for 1,798 yards and 15 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Although he does not get the publicity of some of the other SEC quarterbacks, Mitchell ranks: * 1st in the SEC in touchdown passes (15). * 3rd in the SEC in completion pct. (61.9). * 2nd in the SEC in passing yards per game (224.8). * 3rd in the SEC and 27th in the country in passing efficiency (143.5).

MORE MITCHELL: With two regular season games and a bowl game remaining, Blake Mitchell is moving up the charts on USC’s single season lists. He is tied for sixth in single season touchdown passes with 15, is fourth in percentage with a 61.9 completion ratio and is closing in on the top 10 in single season passing yards. Here are those lists: Single Season Touchdown Passes Rk Quarterback Year TD Passes 1. Steve Taneyhill 1995 29 2. Todd Ellis 1986 20 Steve Taneyhill 1994 20 4. Anthony Wright 1997 18 5. Jeff Grantz 1975 16 6. Bobby Fuller 1991 15 Blake Mitchell 2005 15 8. Tommy Suggs 1968 13 Bobby Fuller 1990 13 10. Phil Petty 2001 12

Single Season Completion Percentage Rk Quarterback Year C-A Pct. 1. Steve Taneyhill 1995 261-389 .671 2. Dondrial Pinkins 2004 68-108 .630 3. Steve Taneyhill 1994 231-367 .629 4. Blake Mitchell 2005 143-231 .619 5. Todd Ellis 1986 205-340 .603

Single Season Passing Yards Rk Quarterback Year Yards 1. Todd Ellis 1987 3,206 2. Steve Taneyhill 1995 3,094 3. Todd Ellis 1986 3,020 4. Bobby Fuller 1991 2,524 5. Steve Taneyhill 1994 2,486 6. Bobby Fuller 1990 2,372 7. Todd Ellis 1988 2,285 8. Phil Petty 2000 2,353 9. Dondrial Pinkins 2003 2,127 10. Tommy Suggs 1970 2,030 Blake Mitchell 2005 1,798

SERVING UP RICE: Redshirt freshman Sidney Rice is a key ingredient in the Carolina offense. Prior to being held to 51 yards and one touchdown on four catches at Arkansas, the Gaffney, S.C. product caught eight passes in each of the previous three games, going for 125 yards and two touchdowns against Kentucky; for a season-high 132 yards and three TDs against Vanderbilt; then for 112 and two scores at Tennessee. He has established the school record for touchdown catches in a season (12) and consecutive games with a touchdown catch (8). Rice ranks: * 1st in the SEC and 26th in the country in receiving yards, averaging 89.8 yards per game. * 1st in the SEC in touchdowns scored with 12. * 3rd in the SEC and 36th in the country in reception, averaging 5.75 catches per contest. * 2nd in the SEC and 23rd in the country in scoring, averaging 9.0 points per game.

FRESHMAN SENSATION: Sidney Rice is closing in on the NCAA freshman record for touchdown pass receptions. Rice currently has 12 TD receptions, just two off the NCAA freshman record of 14, held by Florida’s Jabar Gaffney (2000) and Southern California’s Mike Williams (2002). His 12 touchdowns scored ranks second among this year’s freshmen behind only Northwestern running back Tyrell Sutton (17) and his dozen TD receptions ranks in a tie for third among all wide receivers behind Southern California’s Dwayne Jarrett (14) and Miami (Ohio)’s Martin Nance (13).

RICE IS HEATING UP: 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 Tennessee 8 112 2 Arkansas 4 51 1 TOTALS 46 718 12

MORE RICE PLEASE: Sidney Rice is moving up the USC charts. Here’s where he ranks:

Single Season Touchdown Receptions Rk Receiver Year TDs 1. Sidney Rice 2005 12 2. Jermale Kelly 1997 10 Monte Means 1995 10 Sterling Sharpe 1986 10 5. Zola Davis 1995 9

Single Season Touchdowns Scored Rk Player Year TDs 1. Harold Green 1987 16 2. George Rogers 1980 14 3. Jeff Grantz 1975 12 Sterling Sharpe 1986 12 Stanley Pritchett 1995 12 Derek Watson 2000 12 Andrew Pinnock 2001 12 Sidney Rice 2005 12

Single Season Receiving Yards Rk Receiver Year Yards 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. Sidney Rice 2005 718 8. Philip Logan 1975 716 9. Reed Bethea 1987 689 10. Robert Brooks 1991 684

Career Touchdown Receptions Rk Receiver Years TDs 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. Sidney Rice 2005 12 10. Mike Haggard 1970-1972 11

NO DEPOSIT, NO RETURN: Freshman kicker Ryan Succop has been impressive while handling kickoffs for Carolina. 18 of his 43 kickoffs (42 percent) have been touchbacks. Only 15 of 52 USC kickoffs a year ago (29 percent) were touchbacks.

MIXING IT UP: The offensive line has been a revolving door this season. The Gamecocks have started the same five linemen in back-to-back games just once and nine players have made starts. Chris White and Na’Shan Goddard have started all nine games, while Jabari Levey has made eight starts. Freddy Saint-Preux has started six times and William Brown has made four starts. Thomas Coleman and James Thompson have each started three times, while Fran Person has started twice and Jamon Meredith has made one start.

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 TDs and caught 27 passes for 297 yards and two more touchdowns. He also returned three kickoffs for 55 yards.

EARLY RETURNS: The Gamecocks feature a pair of true freshmen in their return game. Carlos Thomas handles the kickoff returns. He has returned 15 kicks for 353 yards, a 23.5 yard average which ranks fifth in the SEC. His long is a 79-yarder against Troy. Kenny McKinley has returned 14 punts for 52 yards, a 3.7 yard average, which ranks ninth in the SEC.

YOUTH IS SERVED: The Gamecocks’ offense has been given a shot in the armrecently by a pair of true freshmen. Tailback Mike Davis rushed 16 times for a team-high 61 yards at Tennessee, then came back with 16 carries for a season-high 89 yards at Arkansas. Wide receiver Kenny McKinley caught a season-high five passes for 54 yards at Tennessee then came back with three catches for 58 yards and his first career touchdown at Arkansas.

JUST FOR KICKS: Josh Brown’s career-long 49-yard field goal was the game-winner over Tennessee. It tied for the ninth longest field goal in USC history and was the longest since Reid Bethea hit a 49-yarder against Alabama on Sept. 30, 2000. Bethea and Brown own the only two field goals of 49-yards or longer by a Carolina kicker since 1992. Brown has converted 5-of-7 field goal attempts this year and is 15-of-22 in his career. After missing four of his first five field goal attempts in his career, he has converted 14 of his last 17 field goal tries.

FOUR STARTERS: Na’Shan Goddard, Chris White, Ko Simpson and Chris Tucker are the only Gamecocks to start all nine games in 2005. 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.

SACK ATTACK: The Gamecocks lead the SEC with 26 sacks. Stanley Doughty (3.5 sacks) and Mike West (3.0 sacks) lead the way, but 16 different players have figured in the mix. The 26 sacks easily exceeds USC’s 2004 total of 12 sacks.

CORNERING THE MARKET: Cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph (3) and Fred Bennett (2) own five of the Gamecocks’ seven interceptions this season. Joseph, who is tied for the SEC lead, has interceptions against Georgia (which he returned 42 yards for a touchdown), against Vanderbilt (which he returned 32 yards setting up a USC touchdown) and at Tennessee (which set up another Carolina TD). They are the first three interceptions of his career. .Bennett has picks against UCF and Troy and also blocked a field goal attempt against Vanderbilt, the first block by a USC player since 2001. He owns six career interceptions. Ko Simpson, Carlos Thomas and Orus Lambert own the other interceptions.

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 81 tackles, including 56 solos. His 9.0 tackles/game average leads all SEC defensive backs and ranks him in a tie for fourth in the SEC among all defensive players.

SEEING DOUBLE: The Gamecocks have opponents seeing double when Jordin and Dustin Lindsey are on the field. Jordin has started the last six games at defensive end, while Dustin has made three straight starts at linebacker and has recorded 29 tackles since moving into the starting role. Wearing numbers 40 and 41, the Lindsey twins from Davidson High School in Mobile, Ala., have combined for 68 tackles including 11.0 tackles for loss.

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 186 straight games without being whitewashed since that day in Jersey.

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.

RECORD SALES: USC set a school record for football season tickets sold. The Gamecocks sold 62,618 season tickets in 2005, surpassing the previous mark of 62,103, set in 2002. The numbers do not include student tickets and tickets contractually obligated to visiting teams.

ALL-TIME RECORD: 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 the Gamecocks have competed on the gridiron. They own an all-time record of 506-510-44. 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.

BETTER OF LATE: After the 1998 and `99 seasons saw USC win just once in 22 tries, the Gamecocks have turned things around. Since the start of the 2000 season, USC has logged a record of 39-29. The 33 wins from 2000-04 matched the best five-year stretch in school history, also accomplished from 1980-84.

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. ELITE COACHES: The Sporting News 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

GAMECOCK DEBUTS: Steve Spurrier needs just one win to match Warren Giese, Jim Carlen and Brad Scott for most wins in their first season as the Gamecocks’ head coach. Here’s how all the coaches fared in their first year in Columbia: Coach Year Record Warren Giese 1956 7-3 Jim Carlen 1975 7-5 Brad Scott 1994 7-5 Steve Spurrier 2005 6-3 Sparky Woods 1989 6-4-1 Joe Morrison 1983 5-6 Richard Bell 1982 4-7 Marvin Bass 1961 4-6 Paul Dietzel 1966 1-9 Lou Holtz 1999 0-11

GOING BOWLING: Steve Spurrier will join Jim Carlen (1975) and Brad Scott (1994) as coaches that 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 team defeated West Virginia in the Carquest Bowl, 24-21.

BOWL TIE-INS: The SEC 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 Houston Bowl. Six SEC school are bowl-eligible: Georgia, Florida and South Carolina from the East and Alabama, LSU and Auburn from the West.

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.

UP NEXT: The Gamecocks wrap up the 2005 regular season with their traditional matchup with in-state rival Clemson. The November 19 meeting at Williams-Brice Stadium will be the 103rd meeting between the two schools. Clemson holds the all-time lead in the series, 62-36, while four games have ended in a tie. The Tigers hold a 47-29-3 advantage when the game has been played in Columbia. CU has won the last three contests and seven of the last eight meetings, including a 29-7 win in Clemson last November. USC’s lone win in that stretch came in 2001 by a 20-15 score.