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2017 South Carolina Football Superlatives
Football  . 

2017 South Carolina Football Superlatives

Jan. 16, 2018


– South Carolina finished the 2017 season with a 9-4 record overall and a 5-3 mark in the Eastern Division of the SEC.

– The Gamecocks won nine or more games for just the seventh time in school history. Five of those seven seasons have come in the last eight years.

– South Carolina posted its 600th victory in school history with a November 18 win over Wofford.

– South Carolina defeated Florida and Tennessee, two of the big three SEC East rivals, in the same season for just the fourth time. It also occurred in 2005, 2010 and 2011.

– Two of the Gamecocks’ four losses were to teams that participated in the College Football Playoffs.

– The Gamecocks have increased their overall win total from three in 2015 to six in 2016 to nine in 2017. South Carolina is one of only three NCAA FBS programs and the only one in the Power Five to have a multiple-win improvement in each of the last two regular seasons.

– The Gamecocks won five or more conference games for just the eighth time in 26 years since joining the SEC.

– The Gamecocks finished in sole possession of second place in the SEC Eastern Division.

– The Gamecocks capped the season with a 26-19 win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Carolina rallied from a 19-3 deficit in the contest to earn the victory. It was the largest come-from-behind win in Will Muschamp’s head coaching career.

– The Gamecocks improved to 9-13 overall in bowl games and have won five of their last six bowl games, with wins over Michigan (twice), Nebraska, Wisconsin and Miami since 2012.

– The Gamecocks finished second in the SEC and tied for 13th in the nation with a plus-11 in turnover margin.

– South Carolina ranked first in the SEC in fewest yards penalized, surrendering just 38.0 per game, ninth in the nation.

– Will Muschamp is 15-11 as the Gamecocks’ head coach, matching Joe Morrison (15-8) and Steve Spurrier (15-10) for the most wins in their first two seasons at South Carolina.

– Twelve Gamecocks took part in Senior Day ceremonies.

– 70 percent of the Gamecocks’ roster was composed of freshmen and sophomores.

– Permanent team captains were Jake Bentley, Hayden Hurst, Skai Moore and D.J. Wonnum. It marked the second time that Hurst and Moore were named captains. Bentley and Wonnum became just the second and third sophomores in school history (joining Hurst from 2016) to earn the title of team captain.

– South Carolina ranked second behind only Northwestern among bowl teams in Graduation Success Rate.

– South Carolina averaged 78,586 fans for seven home games, 16th in the nation.


– Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley took every meaningful snap for the Gamecocks. He completed 245-of-394 passes (62.2 percent) for 2,794 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

– Among SEC quarterbacks, Bentley ranked second in pass completions, second in pass attempts, sixth in passing yards per game (214.9), sixth in pass completion percentage, tied for fourth in touchdown passes and seventh in total offense (221.5).

– In school history, Bentley’s 2017 season ranked seventh in passing yards, fourth in pass attempts, fourth in pass completions, 10th in completion percentage and tied for seventh in passing touchdowns.

– After two seasons, Bentley ranks 10th in career pass completions (370), second in career completion percentage (63.3), and 11th in career passing touchdowns (27) in school history.

– Junior tight end Hayden Hurst was a first-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press, the SEC coaches and Phil Steele.

– Hurst was a semifinalist for both the Mackey Award (nation’s top tight end) and Burlsworth Award (nation’s top walk-on).

– Hurst finished his three-year career with 100 receptions for 1,281 yards. He had more receptions than any other tight end in school history, and finished second among tight ends in receiving yards behind only Danny Smith’s total of 1,336, set from 1984-87.

– Hurst was recognized as the John Mackey Tight End of the Week for his performance against Georgia.

– Sophomore wide receiver Bryan Edwards led the team with 64 receptions for 793 yards and five touchdowns. After two seasons, Edwards has logged 108 catches for 1,383 yards. The 108 career receptions rank 13th on the school’s all-time list.

Shi Smith and OrTre Smith ranked third and fourth, respectively, among SEC freshmen in receptions per game, and third and sixth, respectively, in receiving yards per game.

– South Carolina surrendered 28 sacks after allowing 41 sacks in 2016.

– Senior center Alan Knott was recognized as the SEC Offensive Lineman of the week for his efforts against Vanderbilt.

– Senior offensive lineman Cory Helms was named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the nation’s top football scholar-athlete.

– Helms was named to the 2018 East-West Shrine All-Star game.


– The Gamecocks were fifth in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing just 20.7 points per game. It was their fewest points allowed since the 2012 season and the fourth-straight year in which the defense has shown improvement.

– South Carolina held 11 of its 13 opponents to fewer points scored than their season scoring average.

– South Carolina recorded 26 sacks after logging 21 sacks during the 2016 season.

– South Carolina forced a league-high 28 turnovers, tying for ninth in the country.

– The Gamecocks scored five non-offensive touchdowns (two on special teams and three on defense), second in the SEC and 21st in the nation.

– South Carolina recovered 14 fumbles, most in the SEC and tied for eighth in the nation.

– South Carolina intercepted 14 passes, tied for second in the SEC and tied for 32nd in the nation.

– Senior linebacker Skai Moore was a first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC coaches and a second-team pick by the AP and by Phil Steele. He was also named second-team All-America by College Sports Madness.

– Moore became just the 15th FBS player in history to lead his team in tackles in four seasons. His 7.2 tackles per game ranked 12th in the SEC.

– Moore tied the school record with 14 career interceptions.

– Moore finished his career with 353 tackles, sixth on the school’s all-time list, including 213 unassisted tackles, second all-time in South Carolina history.

Skai Moore and JaMarcus King will represent South Carolina at the 2018 Senior Bowl.

– Senior defensive end Dante Sawyer was a second-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press.

– Sawyer led the SEC and tied for the NCAA lead in fumbles forced with five, one shy of the school record.

– Sophomore defensive lineman D.J. Wonnum was named third-team All-SEC by Phil Steele.

– Wonnum led the team with 13.0 tackles for loss and with 6.0 sacks. He tied for seventh in the SEC in tackles for loss.

– Wonnum was twice recognized as the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following his performances against Arkansas and Tennessee.

– Defensive back Jamyest Williams was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.

– Williams ranked sixth among SEC freshmen in tackles per game at 3.5, 11th in passes defended with three, third in interceptions with two, and tied for ninth with 4.0 tackles for loss.

– Sophomore linebacker T.J. Brunson earned a spot on the A.P.’s All-Bowl team after collecting 13 tackles – including nine solos – and recorded two sacks to help the Gamecocks erase a 16-point deficit in a 26-19 victory over Michigan.

– Brunson tied for the SEC lead with three fumbles recovered.

– Senior cornerback JaMarcus King ranked third in the SEC with 14 pass breakups.

– Linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle was named to the SEC Community Service team.

Special Teams

– South Carolina ranked sixth in the SEC in punting average, with a net of 40.5 yards per punt.

– Sophomore Joseph Charlton ranked sixth in the SEC in punting, averaging 43.5 yards per punt. He had 15 kicks inside the 20, 17 punts of 50-yards or longer and only four touchbacks.

– Redshirt freshman Parker White led the team in scoring with 68 points. He was 14-of-25 on field goal attempts and a perfect 26-of-26 on extra point attempts. He was 10-of-11 on field goal attempts inside 40 yards.

– South Carolina was the only SEC school to record two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

– Despite playing in just three games and returning only two kickoffs, Deebo Samuel tied for fifth in the country with two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

– Samuel was twice named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week and named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll following his performances against NC State and Missouri.

– Coleman Hutzler was nominated for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.


Coaches’ Awards

Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete Award – Michael Scarnecchia

Community Service Award – Spencer Eason-Riddle and Ulric Jones

Strength & Conditioning Award – Hayden Hurst, D.J. Wonnum and T.J. Brunson

Comeback Player of the Year Award – Skai Moore

Offensive Scout Team Award – Eric Douglas

Defensive Scout Team Award – M.J. Webb

Special Teams Scout Team Award – Spencer Eason-Riddle

Nutrition Award – Javon Kinlaw

Players’ Choice Awards

Unselfish Teammate ââ’¬” Offense – Hayden Hurst and Cory Helms

Unselfish Teammate ââ’¬” Defense – Chris Lammons and JaMarcus King

Unselfish Teammate – Special Teams – Javon Charleston and Taylor Stallworth

Tenacity Award ââ’¬” Offense – Hayden Hurst and Alan Knott

Tenacity Award – Defense – T.J. Brunson and Dante Sawyer

Tenacity Award – Special Teams – Javon Charleston and D.J. Smith

Most Valuable Player – Offense (Steve Spurier Award) – Bryan Edwards

Most Valuable Player – Defense (Joe Morrison Award) – Skai Moore

Most Valuable Player – Special Teams (Jim Carlen Award) – Joseph Charlton

Leadership Award ââ’¬” Offense – Jake Bentley

Leadership Award ââ’¬” Defense – Skai Moore

Leadership Award – Special Teams – Taylor Stallworth

Most Explosive Player ââ’¬” Offense – A.J. Turner

Most Productive Player ââ’¬” Defense – D.J. Wonnum

Most Productive Player – Special Teams – Joseph Charlton

Steve Wadiak MVP Award – Skai Moore