South Carolina Gamecocks 2012

South Carolina 2011 Statistics

(SEC) The Gamecocks play on a grass field at Williams-Brice Stadium (seats 80,250)

  • Steve Spurrier (nickname Head Ball Coach) is in his 8th year as head coach at South Carolina.  Last year they finished with an 11-2 record and yet got beat out to play in the SEC Championship game by Georgia (10-4), whom they beat, because Georgia’s only SEC loss (heading into the SEC Champ) was to South Carolina (while South Caolina lost to Auburn and Arkansas).   This follows up 2010 when they got crushed by eventual National Champion Auburn in their first SEC Championship game ever.  They made it in that game in 2010 with the same two SEC losses to Auburn and Arkansas, as well as an upset loss to Kentucky.
  • As a refresher on Spurrier, as the head coach at Duke he won an ACC Championship in 1989 and as the head coach at Florida he won a national championship in 1996.
  • This year running back Marcus Lattimore returns from an injury that left him out for the season after just seven games last year.  Despite missing six games, he still led the team in rushing with 818 yards.  In 2010 Lattimore became the first 1,000 yard rusher (he had 17 TDs too) for Spurrier at South Carolina.  Brandon Wilds gained experience as the starter with Lattimore out and ran for 486 yards.  Everyone is back for the running game (including Kenny Miles) and if everyone remains healthy this group should put up some great numbers. Last year they finished 25th (up from 60th in 2010).

    Running Back Marcus Lattimore

  • But that’s assuming the offensive line comes together as they aren’t very experienced.  But then again, thanks to injuries (and a lack of depth) last year, they probably were about the same in terms of experience.
  • This team also needs someone can step up and become a real threat in the passing game.  Right now there are no playmakers at receiver and the one they did have (Alshon Jeffery) was a 2nd round pick in the NFL Draft.  Last year with the QB issues his receiving yards and TDs were less than half of what they had been in 2010!
  • The good news on offense (in addition to the return of Lattimore) is that for the first time since before the 2008 season, we can discuss the quarterback situation at South Carolina without considering suspensions (fingers crossed).  Stephen Garcia was finally kicked off the team for good last year after playing in just 5 games.  This came after he was suspended twice in the spring and only had been reinstated in August after he complied with Spurrier’s list of things to do to get back on his good side (including cutting his hair).  The guy finished as the school’s #3 all time passer, but was suspended 6 times.  Connor Shaw started 9 games at QB in 2011 and had a great 65% completion percentage (and an okay 14 TD-6 INT ratio), but passed for just 1448 yards.  Connor is truly a mobile quarterback though and finished as the team’s #2 rusher with 525 yards and 8 TDs.  That’s Spurrier’s thing though as in 2010 Garcia finished as the #2 rusher on the team.
  • Only five starters return on defense. The defensive line is in good shape and one of the top recruits from last year, Jadevon Clowney, is now a sophomore and will get the start at Defensive End.  The rushing defense took somewhat of a dip last year when they were dominant in rushing defense (12th) and sacking the quarterback (7th).

    Cornerback Akeem Auguste

  • The passing defense did a complete 180 degree change last year from one of the worst passing defenses in 2010 (97th) to the #2 passing defense in the nation in 2011. This group isn’t nearly as experienced as last year’s when they had three starters return, but the good news is that Akeem Auguste returns from injury—he was supposed to be the starter last year but played in just one- and the top returning tackler from 2011 is Free Safety DJ Swearinger.  And while this group isn’t in as good of shape as they were last year, with the defensive line in even better shape, the pressure the linemen put on the opposing quarterback should help them out.
  • Last year South Carolina was supposed to get a break because both Auburn and Arkansas were breaking in new quarterbacks. But it didn’t help and they fell to them once again. This year it’s the coaches that will change on those teams.  Auburn loses offensive coordinate Gus Malzahn and Arkansas lost (by way of firing) head coach Bobby Petrino.  The real break they got last year was that both Alabama and LSU were off the schedule.  This year LSU is back on.  The toughest games should be vs Georgia and at LSU.