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South Carolina 2022 Football Season Highlights
South Carolina 2022 Football Season Highlights
Football  . 

South Carolina 2022 Football Season Highlights

TEAM
• South Carolina finished the 2022 season with an 8-5 record overall and 4-4 in the SEC, a one-game improvement both overall and in the SEC from the 2021 season. After being pegged for fifth by the media in the preseason, the Gamecocks finished third in the SEC Eastern Division behind National Champion Georgia and No. 6 Tennessee.
• The Gamecocks won eight or more games in a season for just the 15th time in 129 seasons of intercollegiate football and for the first time since winning eight games in 2017.
• The Gamecocks were ranked 23rd in the country in both the final Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls. It marked the first time since the 2013 season that the Gamecocks finished the season ranked in the top-25 and the 10th time Carolina has finished the season ranked in the final AP poll.
• The Gamecocks defeated No. 5 Tennessee and No. 7 Clemson in the final two games of the regular season, the first time Carolina has posted back-to-back wins over top-10 teams in school history and just the seventh time in history that a school has defeated AP Top-10 opponents in consecutive weeks as an unranked team, the first since 2003.
• The Gamecocks posted three wins over ranked teams, defeating No. 13 Kentucky, No. 5 Tennessee and No. 7 Clemson. It was the sixth time in school history that Carolina defeated three ranked teams in the same season and the first time since 2013. It was also the first time that Carolina defeated three teams that were all ranked in the top 15 in the country.
• The Gamecocks posted their first win in nine tries against Texas A&M, won at Kentucky for the first time since 2012 and defeated Clemson for the first time since 2013.
• The Gamecocks won three road games, winning at Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Clemson. It marked the first time Carolina has won three true road games since the 2013 season.
• South Carolina was selected as the Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week as selected by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) after its win over Tennessee. It marked the fifth time since 2002 that the Gamecocks have been honored as the National Team of the Week.
• When the Gamecocks won at Clemson, it snapped the Tigers’ 40-game home winning streak and brought the Palmetto Trophy home to Columbia for the first time since 2013.
• The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, featuring South Carolina and Notre Dame, earned a TV rating of 3.1 with 5.766 million viewers. It was the highest rated non-New Year’s Six bowl game of the 2022-23 season. Along with the Tennessee game (2.45 rating/4.867 million viewers), the two games were the fifth- and sixth-highest rated Gamecock football games of the last 10 seasons.
• The Gamecocks sold out all six of their Saturday home games and averaged 75,785 for seven home contests, ranking 16th in the country.
• The Gamecocks won four of their five non-conference games, improving their record to 40-13 in their last 53 non-conference games.
• The Gamecocks used 42 different starters on offense (20) and defense (22) in 2022.
• The Gamecocks will open the 2023 season at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte when they play in the Duke’s Mayo Classic against North Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 2.

COACHING STAFF
• Head Coach Shane Beamer has logged a 15-11 record in two seasons as the Gamecocks’ head coach. He is tied with Joe Morrison, Steve Spurrier and Will Muschamp for the most wins in his first two seasons at South Carolina.
• Shane Beamer is the third Carolina coach to take his team to a bowl game in each of his first two seasons, joining Steve Spurrier and Will Muschamp.
• Shane Beamer was recognized as the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Week twice during the 2022 season, earning the national recognition following wins over Kentucky and Tennessee.
• Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Pete Lembo was a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach, and was a finalist for the FootballScoop Special Teams Coach of the Year award.

OFFENSE
• The Gamecocks averaged 32.2 points per game during the 2022 season, ranking 39th in the country. That was nearly a 10-points per game increase over the 2021 campaign when they averaged 22.6 points per game.
• The Gamecocks tallied 30 or more points in nine of 13 games. It marked the first time in school history that Carolina scored 30-plus points nine times in a season. The scored 30 or more points in a game just three times in 2021.
• Wide receiver Antwane “Juice” Wells Jr. earned first-team All-SEC honors after leading the squad with 68 receptions for 928 yards and six touchdowns. Both marks ranked eighth in school history for a single season.
• Spencer Rattler started every game at quarterback. He completed 264-of-399 passes (66.2 percent) for 3,026 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The 3,026 passing yards was the sixth-highest mark in school history, while the 264 completions ranked second in school history, the 399 pass attempts ranked fifth, the 66.2 percent completion percentage ranked fourth and the 18 touchdowns ranked tied for eighth.
• Center Eric Douglas and second-team All-SEC right guard Jovaughn Gwyn started every game on the offensive line. Douglas played in 57 career games, tying for third on the all-time list with Rodney Paulk and teammate Josh Vann. Gwyn made 47-consecutive starts, tying for the second-longest streak in school history with Brandon Shell behind only T.J. Johnson.

DEFENSE
• The Gamecocks were solid again in pass defense, ranking 27th in the country in pass efficiency defense and 34th in passing defense, allowing just 206.7 yards per game through the air.
• The Gamecock defense forced 23 turnovers, including eight fumble recoveries and 15 interceptions. The 23 turnovers forced ranked second in the SEC and 20th in the country, while the 15 picks ranked first in the league and 14th in the nation.
• Safety Nick Emmanwori earned true freshman All-America honors from several publications. Emmanwori was also named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
• The Gamecocks scored two defensive touchdowns, both on interception returns in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against Notre Dame.
• Linebacker Brad Johnson played in his 59th career game, second on the all-time list behind only Parker White.

SPECIAL TEAMS
• The Gamecocks boasted the nation’s top-ranked special teams unit, earning the No. 1 spot in ESPN’s special teams efficiency ranking.
• South Carolina ranked fourth in the country in punt returns (16.6), fifth in kickoff returns (25.1), seventh in net punting (42.8), 23rd in opponent kickoff returns (17.3) and 27th in opponent punt returns (4.6).
• The Gamecocks tied for third in the country with six blocked kicks and tied for second with five blocked punts.
• The Gamecocks scored five special teams touchdowns – two blocked punt returns, one kick return, one fake punt and one fake field goal.
• Junior punter Kai Kroeger was an All-American and first-team All-SEC selection.
• Long snapper Hunter Rogers earned second-team All-SEC honors.
• In addition to his 46.1-yard punting average, Kai Kroeger was 4-for-4 passing for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
• Placekicker Mitch Jeter was a perfect 11-for-11 in field goal attempts in 2022, including a pair of 50-plus yarders. Jeter and Eddie Leopard (12-for-12 in 1980) are the only kickers in school history to make all of their field goal attempts in a season with a minimum of 10 attempts.