2008 Media Days: Legge's Look at S. Carolina

BIRMINGHAM – Here's a look at the day South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks had at the SEC's annual Media Day event. South Carolina finished fourth in the SEC East and did not go to a bowl last season.

Last season: 6-6
Last game vs. Georgia: 16-12 win
Series Record: Georgia leads 44-14-2

Most memorable Georgia win: 1980 – Herschel Walker and the Bulldogs best eventual Heisman Trophy winner George Rodgers and South Carolina.
Most painful Georgia loss: 2000 – With all the hype in the world behind their backs, Georgia – and what's supposed to be their Heisman candidate – lose 21-10 in one of the biggest upsets of the year. Quincy Carter throws five touchdowns to help the Gamecocks' cause.
Starters returning: 17

Best player: Kenny McKinley
Biggest Weakness: It is not the defense. Who is the quarterback?
2008's big question: Carolina has beaten pretty much everyone they have lined up against since Spurrier arrived, but never in the same season – can that happen in Columbia now?

Inside the numbers vs. Georgia (as seen in the Dawg Post Season Preview):
100
That's how many yards South Carolina seems to need on the ground to have a shot to beat Georgia. In the 16 games since the Cocks entered the SEC, Carolina has only won five times. Still, in four of those five affairs the Gamecocks had no less than 100 yards rushing. Look for Carolina's rushing yardage; there is a direct correlation to the 100-yard rushing mark and a win.

Recruiting Implications:
Moderate… sometimes heavy. Georgia is always going to be in the running for the best players in South Carolina – they always have been. The Gamecocks, on the other hand, have struggled over the last few years to take talent from Georgia. Winning two games in a row would help in that area some, but Georgia is likely always going to be able to keep in-state players to themselves from the Cocks. What Carolina needs to be concerned about on the recruiting side of things is that Georgia doesn't get any more momentum in the Palmetto. Three notable Dawgs listed below are all former Mr. South Carolinas. In other words, in three of the last four years the "best" player in South Carolina went not to Clemson or South Carolina, but to Georgia – a striking thing to note. Notable Georgians on the Carolina Roster: Jasper Brinkley, Kenny McKinley, Eric Norwood and Carlos Thomas. Notable South Carolinians on the Georgia Roster: A.J. Green, CJ Byrd and Prince Miller.

Last year's prediction: Holding onto the ball may be even more important in this series, but when Georgia shuts Carolina's running game down they win; when they don't they lose. If Carolina can't run, they can't win. The Gamecocks have only beaten Georgia four times since entering the SEC – they ran the ball for more than 100 yards in all but one of those games (2001). The Cocks ended last year's upset with 140 yards – way too many for Georgia to allow and expect to win the game. Georgia beats South Carolina when they have their way on the line – that didn't happen last year.

Legge's must-win game for Carolina: Georgia on September 13th
Legge's projected SEC finish: 4th SEC East
Legge's All-SEC Gamecocks: Kenny McKinley and Captain Munnerlyn


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