The University of South Carolina football team is coming off its best season in school history, posting a school-record 11 wins, finishing in the top-10 in the nation for the first time, sweeping through the SEC Eastern Division with a 5-0 mark, and capturing the 2012 Capital One Bowl with a convincing 30-13 victory over Nebraska.
Under the direction of head coach Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks are enjoying the most continued success the school has ever experienced on the gridirion. Over the past two seasons, the Gamecocks have posted a perfect 8-0 record against their top rivals – Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in the SEC East, and instate foe, Clemson, while posting 20 wins overall during the two-year stretch.
Buoyed by 80,000 of the loudest fans in the country, the Gamecocks have turned Williams-Brice Stadium into one of the top home field advantages in the nation, as Carolina has posted a 20-3 mark in its last 23 home contests.
The Gamecocks figure to be a contender for the SEC Eastern Division title and a preseason top-10 pick again in 2012. They return eight starters on offense, including quarterback Connor Shaw who is 8-1 as a starter, and a Heisman Trophy candidate in tailback Marcus Lattimore. On defense, six starters return from a unit that ranked third in the country in total defense in 2011 and features such talented standouts as Devin Taylor, Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Swearinger.