2004 SEC Football Preview: South Carolina

Lou Holtz's Gamecocks are on a collision course with Vanderbilt in Saturday's regionally televised season opener. As part of our 2004 SEC Football preview, here's a capsule look at the South Carolina Gamecocks.

COACHING

Head Coach:Lou Holtz (Career Rec: 243-127-7)
Offensive Coordinator: Lou Holtz
Defensive Coordinator: Rick Minter

2003 Record: 5-7 overall (2-6 SEC)

2003 NCAA STATS RANKINGS

Total Offense: 75th (355.1)
Rushing Offense: 47th (161.4)
Passing Offense: 81st (193.7)
Scoring Offense: 82nd (22.3)
Total Defense:53rd (368.2)
Rushing Defense: 71st (165.6)
Passing Defense: 36th (202.6)
Scoring Defense: 63rd (26.2)

STARTERS RETURNING

Offense (9):


LG Jabari Levey (6-7, 340, Jr.)
C John Strickland (6-5, 304, Sr.)
RG Jonathan Alston (6-5, 302, Sr.)
RT Na'shan Goddard (6-6, 305, Jr.)
QB Dondrial Pinkins (6-2, 245, Sr.)
RB Daccus Turman (5-11, 229, Jr.)
*TB Demetris Summers (6-1, 200, So.)
WR Troy Williamson (6-2, 200, Jr.)
WR Matthew Thomas (6-1, 188, Sr.)

Defense (6):


DE Moe Thompson (6-3, 280, Jr.)
DT Darrell Shropshire (6-2, 299, Sr.)
DE George Gause (6-5, 265, Sr.)
LB Marcus Lawrence (6-3, 236, Sr.)
LB Lance Laury (6-2, 231, Jr.)
S Jamacia Jackson (6-1, 210, Sr.)
* All-Star Candidates

Roster

TEAM STRENGTHS

Offensive line, defensive line.

TEAM QUESTION MARKS

Defensive secondary, quarterback.

KEY GAME

Sept. 11, Georgia. If the Gamecocks can stun Georgia they may be in for a special season.

HEAD COACHES COMMENTS

"Last couple of years we lost some real heartbreakers. A play here or there away. Then the last game more embarrassed than I've ever been. Go back and say we really aren't a play away. When talking about the tradition of South Carolina, think of our fans, the loyalty of our fans and their enthusiastic support of the Gamecocks. Even after last year contributions up 11.8 million and we've sold 60,000 season tickets for this season."

"We have question marks in the secondary and on our pass rush. I can understand how we would be picked sixth in the Eastern Division, the way we ended last season. I have questions, I have intrepidations, but at same time I have hope and beliefs and think we'll be a pretty good football team but pretty good is not good enough in the southeastern conference."

"All coaches complain about preseason polls, if you weren't in top 25 it's going to take a long time to work way up. If picked 14 in country, you have a chance to win the National Championship. Coaches complain about it but then they vote in it. You win enough games polls and bowls take care of themselves. Just keep winning."

VandyMania Projection

2004 SCHEDULE AND GAME PREDICTIONS


Sept. 4 at Vanderbilt, W 21-20
Sept. 11 GEORGIA, L 21-14
Sept. 18 SOUTH FLORIDA, W 31-30
Sept. 25 TROY STATE, W 31-20
Oct. 2 at Alabama, L 28-21
Oct. 9 OLE MISS, W 28-17
Oct. 16 at Kentucky, W 24-21
Oct. 30 TENNESSEE, W 20-17
Nov. 6 ARKANSAS, W 35-17
Nov. 13 at Florida, L 21-16
Nov. 20 at Clemson, W 35-31

VandyMania's 2004 South Carolina prediction: 8-3, (5-3 SEC)


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