Columbia, SC (Univ. of SC Media Guide) -
A LITTLE HISTORY: 2014 marks the 121st season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 108th consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 582-552-44. The Gamecocks were nine games under .500 until head coach Steve Spurrier took the reins in 2005, but are 39 games over since that time.
2013 CU at SC
CAROLINA VS. Clemson: This is the 112th meeting between these two Palmetto State schools in a series that dates back to 1896. The teams have met every year since 1909, making the Carolina-Clemson series the second-longest running con-secutively played rivalry in college football at 106 straight meetings, behind only Minnesota vs. Wisconsin (108). The Tigers hold a 65-42-4 advantage, including a 16-10-1 lead in Clemson. However, the Gamecocks have won the last five and six of the last eight meetings. Carolina has won the last two times the teams have met at Memorial Stadium, posting a 29-7 win in 2010 and a 27-17 victory in 2012.
Clowney sacks Tajh Boyd 2013
THE LAST TIME THEY MET: No. 10/9 South Carolina forced a half-dozen Clemson turnovers, turning three of them into touchdowns, as the Gamecocks won for the fifth-straight time over the #6/4 Tigers, 31-17 in Columbia on November 30, 2013. The game was deadlocked at 17 heading into the final period, but Mike Davis scored on a two-yard run to cap a drive that took over six minutes off the clock, then Brandon Wilds scored on a 26-yard pass from Pharoh Cooper to seal the win. Connor Shaw posted 246 yards of total offense, including 94 on the ground, while All-American Kelcy Quarles led the defense with 2.5 sacks. Skai Moore had a fumble recovery and an interception in the contest.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET IN CLEMSON: Steve Spurrier became the winningest coach in Carolina history as the Gamecocks posted a 27-17 win at Clemson on November 24, 2012. Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson went the distance, completing 23-of-41 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns, while defensive end Jadeveon Clowney set stadium and school records with 4.5 sacks to lead the Gamecocks. The Carolina offense rolled up 444 total yards, while the defense limited the high-octane Tiger attack to 328 yards. Ace Sanders caught six passes for a career-high 119 yards, while Bruce Ellington hauled in seven passes for 72 yards and two scores. Clemson held a 14-10 advantage heading into intermission, but the Gamecocks outscored the Tigers, 17-3, in the second half. After rolling up 163 yards on 21 snaps in the first quarter alone, Clemson was lim-ited to 91 yards on just 19 plays throughout the entire second half.
SPURRIER VS. CLEMSON: Steve Spurrier is 7-5 in 12 contests against Clemson. He was 1-2 as the head coach at Duke, and is 6-3 in nine meetings with the Tigers as the Gamecocks’ head coach. He is 3-3 in Clemson’s Memorial Stadium.
Another Carolina First Down!
SPURRIER VS. SWINNEY: Steve Spurrier is 5-1 against Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. The Tigers posted a win when the two coaches squared off for the first time in 2008, but Spurrier has won the last five times, outscoring Clemson by a combined score of 155-71.
CAROLINA VS. THE ACC: South Carolina has won four straight and seven of its last eight games against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
NON-CONFERENCE WINS: South Carolina has won 19-straight games against non-conference opponents. Its last non-conference loss came to Florida State in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. Since that loss they have defeated East Carolina (three times), Navy, The Citadel, Clemson (three times), Nebraska, UAB, Wofford, Michigan, North Car-olina, UCF, Coastal Carolina, Wisconsin, Furman and South Alabama.
2014 Capital One Bowl - Connor Shaw to Jerell Adams
ROAD WARRIORS: South Carolina is 2-2 on the road this season, and are 14-7 in their last 21 true road contests. Five of the seven road losses in that stretch came to teams ranked in the top 11 in the country: at No. 8 Arkansas in 2011, at No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida in 2012, at No. 11 Georgia in 2013, and at No. 5 Auburn this season. They have also lost to a pair of unranked teams in Tennessee (2013) and Kentucky (2014).
Fish and Fry
RECORD EXTENDED: Elliott Fry has set the school record for consecutive extra points made with 94. He made his first six as a true freshman before missing at Georgia last season. He hit his final 48 of the 2013 season and has connected on all 46 this season. Fry broke Scott Hagler’s mark of 82, set from 1984-86.
THROWIN’ IN THE WIND: Dylan Thompson has taken most every meaningful snap this season. Thompson, a 6-3, 218 pounder from Boiling Springs, S.C., waited patiently for his turn behind Connor Shaw, the winningest quarterback in school history. It’s already been a big year for Thompson, as he proposed marriage to his girl-friend at midfield in August. Thompson is 9-5 as a starter, is one of only 13 players in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards and one of only 10 players to throw for over 4,000 yards. He needs 142 passing yards to become the eighth player to throw for 5,000 yards in their Gamecock career.
Dylan Thompson and GA Mangus
THOMPSON VS. CLEMSON: Dylan Thompson can become the first Carolina quarterback since Steve Taneyhill (1992, 1994) to win twice in Clemson. Thompson was the starting QB in Carolina’s 27-17 win in Memorial Stadium in 2012. He completed 23-of-41 passes that night for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
Cann and Thompson
A SPECIAL BOND: Fifth-year seniors quarter-back Dylan Thompson and offensive guard A.J. Cann have developed a special bond. Not only are they great friends and roommates, but they also spent a week over the summer together in Israel, where they were able to teach some of the locals about football. Thompson also has a long standing friendship with wide receiver Nick Jones since they were youngsters, each breaking a bone of the other’s while playing against each other in basketball.
SUPER COOPER: Sophomore wide receiver Pharoh Cooper had one of the top games recorded by a Gamecock against Tennessee. The 5-11, 201 pounder from Havelock, N.C. caught a career high 11 passes for a school record 233 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed three times for 23 yards and a score, and completed 1-of-2 passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. He became the first Gamecock since Connor Shaw in the 2014 Capital One Bowl to account for touchdowns via the run, pass and catch. In addition, he recovered the Vols’ onside kick attempt late in the contest, that appeared to have sealed the win. Working out of the Wildcat formation, he has thrown two TD passes this season.
A GRAND PERFORMANCE: Mike Davis needs just 112 yards to become a 1,000 yard rusher this season. Davis, who rushed for 1,183 yards last season, would become just the second player in school history to record more than one 1,000 yard rushing season, joining the great George Rogers, who had three. Mike Davis has logged 11 100 yard rushing games, tying him for second on the all-time list behind only George Rogers.
REVOLVING DOOR: Nine players have rotated at the linebacker and Spur positions. Seven different players have made at least one start at the three spots. Skai Moore (8), Marcquis Roberts (5), Jonathan Walton (5), T.J. Holloman (3), and Kaiwan Lewis (1) have started at the Mike and Will linebacker positions; and Sharrod Go-lightly (9) and Jordan Diggs (2) have each made starts at the Spur position.
IT DOESN’T SEEM FAIR: The Gamecocks have been frustrated by defeating the SEC Eastern Division champion in each of the past three years (Georgia in 2011 and 2012; Missouri in 2013) and having a 6-2 conference record in each campaign, yet did not represent the East at the SEC title game in any of those seasons. With Georgia still in the running for the SEC Eastern Division title, a team South Carolina defeated earlier this season, the streak has a chance to be extended to four straight years.
TOTING THE SHEEPSKIN: Nine Gamecocks have earned their degree, including A.J. Cann, Ryland Culbertson, Patrick Fish, Cody Gibson, Sharrod Golightly, Nick Jones, Connor McLau-rin, Sidney Rhodes and Dylan Thompson.
THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER:
* The Gamecocks have had a first-team All-America selection in each of the last five seasons. Eric Norwood (2009) got things started, followed by Alshon Jeffery (2010), Melvin Ingram (2011), Jadeveon Clowney (2012 and 2013) and Kelcy Quarles (2013).
* Since the start of the 2010 season, Carolina has a combined 15-4 record against its top four rivals. They are 4-0 against Clemson, 4-1 against Georgia and Florida, and 3-2 versus Tennessee in this decade.
* Steve Spurrier has 205 career victories as an SEC head coach, 122 at Florida and 83 at South Carolina. Only Paul “Bear” Bryant (292) has won more as an SEC head coach. Vince Dooley is third on the list with 201 wins.
* Steve Spurrier is one of only four coaches to record 100 or more wins as an SEC coach against SEC competition. Only Bear Bryant (159) has won more SEC conference games than Coach Spurrier’s 131.
Mike Davis 2013