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Oct. 25, 2013

October 25, 2013

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South Carolina Notes

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 20/20 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-2, 3-2 SEC) travel to Columbia, Mo. for the first time ever to face the No. 5/7 Missouri Tigers (7-0, 3-0 SEC) on Saturday, October 26. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local) with Joe Tessitore and Matt Millen in the booth and Maria Taylor working the sidelines for ESPN2. Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs handle the call for the Gamecock Radio Network with Langston Moore on the sidelines. WKNT (107.5 The Game) in Columbia is the flagship station for Gamecock Athletics.

Date: Saturday, October 26
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Stadium: Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium (71,004)
Series: Missouri leads 2-1
RADIO Flagship – 107.5 FM “The Game” & the IMG Network

A LITTLE HISTORY: 2013 marks the 120th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 107th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina is 23 games over the .500 mark with an all-time record of 570-547-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 32 games over since.

SEC HISTORY: The 2013 season marks South Carolina’s 22nd year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC Eastern Division title in the 2010 season. The Gamecocks are 75-97-1 all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 20-9 since 2010 in conference action.

CAROLINA VS. MIZZOU: Missouri leads the all-time series against Carolina by a 2-1 margin. The first two contests were held at bowl sites, with Missouri posting a 24-14 win in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, and a 38-31 come-from-behind win in the 2005 Independence Bowl in Shreveport. South Carolina won the first SEC Eastern Division battle between the two schools with a convincing 31-10 win at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. last season. This is the Gamecocks first trip to Columbia, Missouri.

SPURRIER VS. THE TIGERS: Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is 1-1 in his career against Missouri, with Gary Pinkel working on the Tigers’ sidelines in both contests. Mizzou posted a 38-31 win in Shreveport in the 2005 Independence Bowl, the final game of Coach Spurrier’s first season with the Gamecocks. Carolina returned the favor with a 31-10 win in Columbia, S.C. last season.

THE LAST TIME THEY MET: No. 7/8 South Carolina scored 21 second-quarter points and never looked back in a convincing 31-10 win over Missouri on Sept. 22, 2012 in Columbia, S.C. Connor Shaw threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns and completed a school-record 20-consecutive passes in the win. He finished the day 20-of-21 passing and added 41 yards on the ground. The Gamecocks tallied 396 yards of total offense, with Marcus Lattimore adding 85 yards on 21 carries with a pair of TD runs. Ace Sanders returned six punts for 106 yards. Mizzou mustered just 255 yards of offense and did not reach the endzone until just 17 seconds remained in the contest.

BEATING THE EAST: The Gamecocks are 2-2 against SEC Eastern Division foes this season. Carolina has won 15 of its last 18 contests within the division. They had never won more than four games in the division prior to Coach Spurrier’s arrival, but have done it in each of the last three seasons. The HBC has posted four-plus wins in the division four times in eight seasons:

THE LAST TIME OUT: The No. 11/9 Gamecocks traveled to Knoxville and suffered a heart-breaking last second loss to the Tennessee Volunteers by a 23-21 score. The Gamecocks outgained the Vols, 384-325, but turned the ball over twice and logged nine penalties for 84 yards. Sophomore running back Mike Davis continued to impress, running 21 times for 137 yards and a touchdown. Damiere Byrd had his best game as a Gamecock, catching four passes for a career-high 121 yards, including a 76-yard TD pass from Connor Shaw. Shaw struggled for much of the game, completing just 7-of-21 passes for 161 yards. He threw a touchdown, but also had his string of consecutive pass attempts without an interception snapped at a school record 177. He added 78 yards on the ground, including a score, before leaving the contest late in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. The Gamecock defense played well for much of the game, collecting 14 tackles for loss in the contest, but were unable to come up with one last stop, as Tennessee put together a game-winning nine-play, 63-yard drive in the final three minutes, culminating with a 19-yard field goal as time expired.

WALKING WOUNDED: The Gamecocks have several players who are listed as either questionable or doubtful for this week’s game. Quarterback Connor Shaw and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles both suffered knee sprains at Tennessee, while Gerald Dixon Jr. has an ankle sprain. Center Cody Waldrop (ankle), guard Ronald Patrick (ankle) and safety Chaz Elder (concussion) all missed the Tennessee game with injuries.

BY LAND OR BY AIR: The Gamecocks had a 100-yard rusher (Mike Davis-137) and a 100-yard receiver (Damiere Byrd-121) against Tennessee. It was the first time this season that has occurred and the first time since the Troy game in 2010 when Marcus Lattimore rushed for 102 yards and Alshon Jeffery logged 123 receiving yards. It was Davis’s sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season and of his career, while it was Byrd’s first 100-yard receiving game.

DIALING LONG DISTANCE: Connor Shaw connected with Damiere Byrd on a 76-yard touchdown pass against Tennessee. It was the longest touchdown pass of Shaw’s career and his second-longest pass completion overall. It was Shaw’s fourth completion this year of 50 yards or more.

THIS BYRD CAN FLY: Junior Damiere Byrd has been the Gamecocks’ hottest receiver of late. The speedster who was recently named a captain on the Carolina track & field team, has 16 catches in the last four games for 350 yards. He has scored in each of the last three contests, with TD receptions of 62, 45 and 76 yards. He had just three catches for 34 yards in the first three games.

SCORING EARLY: The Gamecocks have scored on their first possession of the game in five of seven contests with three touchdowns and two field goals.

THIRD DOWN SUCCESS: After going just 10-for-25 (40 percent) on third down conversions through the first two games, Carolina converted 35-of-60 third down chances over their next four games, 58.3 percent. Tennessee held them in check to a season-low 4-of-14 on third downs. For the season, the Gamecocks rank third in the SEC and 20th in the country at 49.5 percent.

STAYING ON THE FIELD: Carolina’s offense had been one of the best teams in the country in logging the fewest three-and-outs this season before struggling at Tennessee. Of their first 60 offensive drives, the Gamecocks had just seven three-and-outs. Last week against Tennessee, they were held in check with six three-and-outs among their 14 drives, including all three drives in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. For the season, Carolina has been held to three-and-out 13 times in 74 drives, 17.6 percent of the time. Conversely, Carolina has scored on 36 of 74 drives, 48.6 percent.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Gamecocks are 11-5 in their last 16 true road contests. Four of the five road losses in that stretch came to nationally-ranked opponents: at No. 8 Arkansas in 2011, at No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida in 2012 and at No. 11 Georgia in 2013, before losing to unranked Tennessee last week. Those are the only five losses for Connor Shaw as the starting quarterback.

LONG DRIVE CONTEST: South Carolina has put together 17 touchdown drives this season of 75 yards or longer, including at least two against every opponent except Tennessee. Four have been over 90 yards. The drives have ranged from 0:13 to 9:29.

FAST START: South Carolina is off to a 5-2 start. It’s the eighth-straight season that the Gamecocks have opened with at least five wins in their first seven games.

BEST OFFENSE IN HISTORY?: Carolina is averaging 471.9 yards per game of total offense, including 224.6 on the ground and 247.3 through the air. They are on pace to easily shatter the school record for average yards of total offense.

500 OR BUST: Carolina has gone over the 500-yard mark in total offense twice this season, gaining 579 yards vs. Vanderbilt and 537 at Arkansas. They have logged over 1,000 yards of offense in consecutive games twice this year, going for 454 at Georgia before the 579 against Vanderbilt, then coupling the Vandy total with 490 gained at UCF. It is just the eighth and ninth times since joining the SEC in 1992 that USC has produced 1,000 or more yards of offense in back-to-back games. They have also gained over 1,500 yards in three-consecutive games twice, just the third and fourth times that has occurred since 1992.

THE HEAD BALL COACH: Steve Spurrier is in his ninth season directing the Gamecock football program. He has logged a 71-39 mark (.645) in Columbia. The Head Ball Coach is Carolina’s winningest coach with 71 victories and is second in games coached with 110, behind Rex Enright (140). Coach Spurrier owns a 213-79-2 mark (.728) in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach, with previous stops at Duke and Florida.

AT THE TOP OF THE LEADERBOARD: Steve Spurrier recorded his 65th victory at South Carolina in the 2012 the regular-season finale at Clemson. He surpassed Rex Enright (64) for the most coaching wins in school history. He now owns 71 wins at South Carolina. He is also the winningest coach at Florida with 122 victories. The legendary Bear Bryant (60 at Kentucky and 232 at Alabama) is the only other coach to own the most wins at two SEC schools.

TOPS IN HIS FIELD: Steve Spurrier became the 71st head college football coach (all divisions) and the 22nd in Division I history to record 200 wins when he accomplished that feat against UAB in 2012. He ranks third among active Division I coaches with 213 wins. In addition, the HBC has 47 wins as a head coach at the professional level, giving him 260 career coaching wins.

THE 2013 RANKINGS: The Gamecocks entered the 2013 season with the highest national ranking in school history. They opened the season sixth in the Associated Press poll and seventh in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The previous high to open a season came in 2012 when they opened at No. 9 in both major polls. They have been as high as sixth in both polls and as low as 20th in both polls this season.

YES THEY CALL IT A STREAK: The Gamecocks are tied for the fifth-longest current streak of being ranked in the Associated Press’s Top 25. Carolina and Stanford have been ranked for 56-consecutive weeks, trailing only Alabama, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma. Carolina’s streak started with the second week of the 2010 season and is the longest consecutive streak in school history.

SHAW STANDS OUT: Senior quarterback Connor Shaw, a 6-1, 209-pounder from Flowery Branch, Ga., is 22-5 as a starter, including a 13-0 mark at home. With 4,934 yards passing and 1,522 yards rushing, he is the first 4,000-1,000 yard player in school history. He is the school’s all-time leader in completion percentage at 66.0 percent, is fourth with 43 touchdown passes, and is fourth in total offense with 6,456 yards.

HE’S EFFICIENT: Connor Shaw ranks fourth in the SEC and 11th in the country in pass efficiency with a mark of 162.8, tossing 11 touchdowns with one interception.

THROWING STRIKES: When the Gamecocks pitch it around, there’s been no one who has been more accurate in school history than Connor Shaw. Shaw is hitting 66.0 percent of his career pass attempts. He had gone a career-best and school record 177 pass attempts without an interception before last week. This season, he is hitting on 63.4 percent of his pass attempts.

SHAW AGAINST MIZZOU: Connor Shaw enters this week’s game against Missouri having connected on each of his last 20 passing attempts against the Tigers. After misfiring on his first attempt in last year’s contest, Shaw proceeded to hit on a school-record 20-consecutive passes to finish the game 20-for-21 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. The .952 completion percentage for the game is also a school record.

THROWN’ IN THE WIND: Junior Dylan Thompson, a 6-3, 218-pounder from Boiling Springs, S.C., is waiting in the wings if Shaw is unable to answer the bell and has proven to be more than adequate. In 2012, Thompson led the Gamecocks to wins over East Carolina and Clemson in his two starts, throwing for over 300 yards on both occasions. He was 7-of-10 for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the bowl win over Michigan, including the game-winning 32-yard pass to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds remaining in the contest. In 2013, Thompson completed a 29-yard TD pass to Kane Whitehurst in the season opener against North Carolina, the only snap he took from scrimmage in that game. In his first series against Vanderbilt he led the team on a eight-play, 76-yard drive that culminated with his three-yard TD run. He played most of the game at UCF, completing 15-of-32 passes for 261 yards. He was 4-of-5 for 38 yards and a touchdown in the win at Arkansas. For the season, he is 29-of-51 (56.9 percent) for 421 yards and two TD’s with two interceptions.

BE LIKE MIKE: Sophomore running back Mike Davis has put together six 100-yard rushing games in seven contests this season, earning a midseason addition to the Maxwell Award watch list, and spots on Phil Steele’s first-team All-SEC and third-team All-America squads. With 1,154 career rushing yards, he became the 41st player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard plateau. The Lithonia, Ga. product had 115 yards in the season opener against North Carolina, 149 at UGA, was held to 77 by Vanderbilt before rebounding with a career-high 167 yards in the win at UCF, then logged 106 against Kentucky before going for 128 at Arkansas and 137 at Tennessee. Davis is the SEC’s leading rusher, averaging 125.6 yards per contest, is second in all-purpose yardage at 154.3 yards per game, and is tied for second in scoring at 8.6 points per game. Davis ranks 10th in the nation in rushing and 13th in all-purpose yards. He has scored a touchdown in every game this season.

A SEASON TO REMEMBER: Mike Davis is closing in on 1,000 yards for the season. Davis has 879 yards through seven games. There have only been nine seasons and seven players (George Rogers did it three times) in Carolina history with a 1,000-yard rusher.

100-YARD EFFORTS: The Gamecocks have six 100-yard rushing games this season, all from Mike Davis, two more than their total from a season ago when they got three from Marcus Lattimore and one from Kenny Miles. Davis is the third player on the roster with a 100-yard rushing game in his career, joining Brandon Wilds (3) and Connor Shaw (1). Both Wilds and Shaw turned in their 100-yard efforts during the 2011 campaign. Only 10 backs in Carolina history have more 100-yard rushing games than Davis has in his career.

CROSSING THE CENTURY MARK: Mike Davis has logged six 100-yard rushing games this season. Only 13 other Gamecocks have logged as many as six 100-yard rushing games in a career.

MAKING A POINT: Mike Davis has logged a touchdown in every game this season, recording 10 TDs overall. That moves him into the top-10 single-season marks in school history:

WITH 50 YOU GET 72: There have been 72 recorded rushes of 50 yards or more from scrimmage in South Carolina history. Mike Davis has logged four of those in his first two seasons. He had a 50-yarder as a true freshman against UAB last season. His 75-yard burst against North Carolina in the 2013 season opener and his first career start was the longest by a Gamecock since Bobby Wallace went for 88 against Middle Tennessee in 2006, and tied for the 12th-longest run in school history. He matched that with another 75-yard burst at Georgia, playing for the first time as a collegian in his home state. Of the 14 runs in school history of 75 yards or longer, Davis is the only one to do it twice. His fourth-career 50-yard jaunt came at UCF, a 53-yard TD run. Only Derek Watson has more runs of 50-plus yards at Carolina.

ON THE RECEIVING END: The Gamecocks have spread the wealth in the passing game this season with 16 different players getting receptions and four different players leading the team in receiving in the seven games this season. The Gamecocks list no seniors on the three-deep at the three wide receiver positions.

Bruce Ellington is the top returning receiver. He logged 40 receptions for 600 yards and seven touchdowns last season. After a slow start, he had his best game as a Gamecock against Vanderbilt, catching eight passes for 111 yards, both career highs. For the season, he has a team-high 21 catches for a team-best 332 yards with three touchdowns, including two against Arkansas. Ellington went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for his career in the win at UCF.

Nick Jones is not the biggest guy on the roster or has the most raw talent. All he does is catch passes. The 5-7, 174-pounder from Moore, S.C. had his best game as a Gamecock, catching six passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the loss at Georgia, all career highs. His TD catches came from 18 and 30 yards out. His previous highs were four receptions (4 times) and 78 receiving yards. He had just one career touchdown coming into the season, but has found pay dirt three times in 2013. For the season, he has 19 catches for 195 yards and three scores.

Damiere Byrd, the fastest player on the squad, has come on strong of late. He caught a career-high five passes for 74 yards at UCF, then had another five-catch game against Kentucky, this time for a then-career-high 98 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown reception. He added a 45-yard scoring pass at Arkansas. At Tennessee, he recorded four catches for a career-high 121 yards, including a 76-yard TD catch. He has 19 catches on the season for a team-leading 384 yards with 3 TDs.

Shaq Roland returned to the active roster last week after sitting out the previous three contests. The 2011 “Mr. Football” recipient in the state of South Carolina, Roland averages 20.1 yards per catch, including a 65-yard TD reception on the Gamecocks’ third play from scrimmage this season.

HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER: Pharoh Cooper is starting to make his presence felt. The true freshman has taken the direct snap in the “wildcat” formation. He had two carries for 26 yards against Kentucky, then carried four times for 45 yards against Arkansas, including a 33-yard burst. He also took over the punt and kickoff return duties against the Razorbacks and logged a 36-yard punt return, the longest by a Gamecock this season.

THE O-LINE: The Gamecocks boast a veteran offensive line with four returning starters. Junior left guard A.J. Cann is the most experienced of the group with 31 career starts, the most on the squad, and is an All-SEC candidate. He was a midseason first-team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele. Senior right guard Ronald Patrick started all 13 games last season and has started 19 of the last 20 games, missing the Tennessee contest with a high ankle sprain. Junior left tackle Corey Robinson started nine of the final 10 games a season ago, while right tackle Brandon Shell was a Freshman All-American while making 10 starts in 2012. The two tackles have started every game this season. The lone newcomer is at center, where a pair of redshirt freshmen, Cody Waldrop and Clayton Stadnik have split time. Waldrop started the opener, but suffered a foot sprain in the win over North Carolina. He was replaced by Stadnik, who started the next two games before Waldrop returned to face UCF. Waldrop has continued to be plagued by injuries, so Stadnik has started the last three games. Clayton’s twin brother, Brock, is also a member of the Carolina offensive line, and was the more highly-recruited of the two. The two played side-by-side at the collegiate level for the first time in the win at Arkansas.

SEC POW’S: Redshirt freshman Clayton Stadnik was honored as the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Vanderbilt. The 6-3, 281-pounder from Greensboro, N.C. graded out at 82 percent while playing all 87 snaps in the win over the Commodores. The line did not give up a sack or quarterback hurry in that contest while rolling up 579 yards of offense. Left guard A.J. Cann was selected for his efforts at UCF. Cann led the charge for the Gamecocks’ offensive line that helped amass 225 yards on the ground, including 167 from Mike Davis, and four rushing touchdowns, and another 265 yards through the air. The 6-4, 314-pound junior from Bamberg, S.C., played all 80 offensive snaps, grading out at 86 percent with no sacks or pressures.

AS GOOD AS IT GETS: The 2013 Gamecocks feature one of the game’s top players in junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney, who is regarded by most as the top defensive player in the country and a likely top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was just the second Gamecock to earn unanimous All-America honors in 2012, joining George Rogers from his Heisman Trophy season in 1980. Clowney was named the Hendricks Award winner as the nation’s top defensive end, and the All-America Player of the Year, presented by AT&T as selected by the fans on He finished sixth in the Heisman race and was a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award and the Bednarik Award after being named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: Coming off his trip to L.A. to receive the ESPY Award for the top play of the year, Jadeveon Clowney is back to cause havoc for quarterbacks around the southeast. As a sophomore, Clowney set school records last season for sacks in a game (4.5 at Clemson), sacks in a season (13.0) and tackles for loss in a season (23.5). The 6-6, 274-pounder was on everyone’s preseason All-America list and a legitimate candidate for all the national awards. With 2.0 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss this season, he continues to move up the all-time Carolina charts in those categories. In addition, he has nine career forced fumbles.

FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: Jadeveon Clowney is not the only one who can get to the quarterback. Junior Kelcy Quarles, an All-SEC candidate, leads the team with 5.0 sacks (T-4th in SEC) and has 7.0 tackles for loss (T-7th in SEC). He logged 3.5 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss last season. Fifth-year senior Chaz Sutton, who has spent the past two years backing up Clowney and Devin Taylor, logged 5.0 sacks last season. He is second on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss this season and has 18.0 in his career.

BEHIND ENEMY LINES: The Gamecocks have tallied 53 tackles for loss, an average of 7.57 tackles for loss per game, third in the SEC and 17th in the country, including a season-high 14 in the loss at Tennessee. 19 different players have contributed to the TFL’s, led by Kelcy Quarles (7.0), Chaz Sutton (6.5), Jadeveon Clowney (5.5) and Jimmy Legree (5.5).

SACK MASTERS: The Gamecocks led the SEC and finished fifth in the country with 43 sacks a year ago. This season, Carolina has 15 sacks, an average of 2.14 per game.

NEW BACKERS: The Gamecocks graduated five seniors who manned the linebacker and Spur positions a year ago and have a host of youngsters to fill in those slots this season. Sophomore Will linebacker Marcquis Roberts has started every game and is tied for the team lead with 32 tackles, Redshirt freshman Mike linebacker T.J. Holloman has started each of the last three games and has 29 stops. True freshman Skai Moore (30 tackles) and sophomore Kaiwan Lewis (4 starts) back up Roberts and Holloman. Junior Sharrod Golightly has started every game at Spur and has 27 tackles. Sophomore Cedrick Cooper, who dislocated his elbow in the preseason, redshirt freshman Jordan Diggs and true freshman Lorenz Bryant also play.

SECONDARY IN NATURE: South Carolina returned three starters in the secondary in junior cornerback Victor Hampton, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree and junior safety Brison Williams. Hampton is considered the shutdown corner, while Legree has played both corner and safety during his career. Legree has five picks in his career, one more than Hampton.

THE FRISCO KID: True freshman Elliott Fry walked on to the Gamecock squad this summer and earned the starting placekicking chores. The Frisco, Texas product is 6-for-7 in field goal attempts. He hit from 39 and 26 yards in the season opener against North Carolina and on a 36-yarder at Georgia. After not getting an attempt against either Vanderbilt or UCF, he was good on 40- and 41-yard field goals against Kentucky and connected from 33-yards out at Arkansas. He missed for the first time this season last week at Tennessee from 45-yards out. He is eighth in the SEC in scoring among kickers, averaging 6.6 points per game. He became the first true freshman placekicker to kick in the Gamecocks’ season opener since Courtney Leavitt in 1996.

HULL OF A PUNTER: Junior Tyler Hull is in his second season as the Gamecocks’ punter. The 6-2, 206-pounder from Mount Airy, N.C. spent his first season at Guilford College before transferring to South Carolina just prior to the start of the 2012 campaign. Last season, he averaged 39.4 yards per punt. This year he is averaging 37.4 yards per punt with six of his 23 punts inside the 20 and a long of 55 yards. He punted eight times at Tennessee after logging just 16 punts through the first six games.

FIRST TIMERS: 18 Gamecocks have made their first career starts this season. Eight made their first career start in the season-opening win over North Carolina, including four on offense (TB Mike Davis, TE Drew Owens, WR Shaq Roland and OC Cody Waldrop) and four on defense (Spur Sharrod Golightly, LB Kaiwan Lewis, SS Kadetrix Marcus and LB Marcquis Roberts). OC Clayton Stadnik and CB Ahmad Christian both made their first career starts at Georgia. Mason Zandi, who has spent the majority of his young career at tackle, made a start at tight end against Vanderbilt. Fullback Connor McLaurin, defensive end Darius English and linebacker T.J. Holloman all made their first start against Kentucky. Cornerback Rico McWilliams and safety Chaz Elder both made their first starts at Arkansas. Offensive guard Will Sport and wide receiver Pharoh Cooper made their first starts at Tennessee.

EVERY TIME OUT: Nine players have started every game this year, four on offense and five on defense: Junior offensive guard A.J. Cann, junior spur Sharrod Golightly, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree, senior sophomore linebacker Marcquis Roberts, junior offensive tackle Corey Robinson, senior quarterback Connor Shaw, sophomore offensive tackle Brandon Shell, junior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt and senior defensive end Chaz Sutton.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Gamecocks will open a four-game regular-season-ending homestand by hosting Mississippi State on Saturday, November 2. The Gamecocks lead the all-time series, 8-6, but the teams have met just once since 2007, a Carolina 14-12 win in Starkville on October 15, 2011. Carolina has won each of the last six meetings between the two schools and own a 4-3 record when the teams have met at Williams-Brice Stadium.