DE Jadeveon Clowney
9-7-13 at Georgia
9-28-13 at UCF
10-5-13 KENTUCKY
10-12-13 at Arkansas
10-19-13 at Tennessee
10-26-13 at Missouri
11-16-13 FLORIDA
11-30-13 CLEMSON
Head Coach: Steve Spurrier
66-37, 8 years

2012 Statistics

2012 RESULTS: 11-2
at Vanderbilt WON 17-13
UAB WON 49-6
at Kentucky WON 38-17
at Louisiana State LOST 21-23
at Florida LOST 11-44
at Clemson WON 27-17
Michigan WON 33-28

2012 Final Rankings
AP-8, Coaches-7, BCS-10



Co-Off. Coordinator/OL Coach: Shawn Elliott (4th season)
Previous: Appalachian State OL Coach

Co-Off. Coordinator/WR Coach: Steve Spurrier Jr. (9th season)
Previous: Arizona TE Coach

Def. Coordinator: Lorenzo Ward (5th season)
Previous: Arkansas DB Coach

Quarterbacks: G.A. Mangus (5th season)
Previous: Middle Tennessee Off. Coor./QB Coach

Running Backs: Everette Sands (2nd season)
Previous: NC State RB Coach

Tight Ends/Special Teams: Joe Robinson (2nd season)
Previous: North Carolina DL Coach

Defensive Line: Deke Adams (1st season)
Previous: North Carolina DL Coach

Linebackers: Kirk Botkin (2nd season)
Previous: Texarkana HS Asst. Coach

Defensive Backs: Grady Brown (2nd season)
Previous: Southern Miss CB Coach


OK, so the history of South Carolina football isn't littered with championships, the last being a 1969 ACC title. While most will continue to question head coach Steve Spurrier's ability to get this team to the promised land there's no denying the fact he marks the greatest football era in school history. With a 64% winning percentage - the best of any South Carolina coach whose tenure is more than two seasons - he continues to keep this program just a step away from the SEC golden gates.

The bad news is that with the resurgence of Alabama and the strength of the SEC West Division, the elusive Conference Championship will remain a step away. Oh, the 2013 Gamecocks will put together just as good of an array of great athletes built on speed and aggressive defense but it likely won't be enough to get them over the hump. Why? Because amazingly this Spurrier offense continues to hold them back whether it be through inconsistent quarterback issues that usually transcend into a musical chair guessing game as to which one will start this week or come off the bench to an offensive line that despite multiple coaching attempts and great talent never seems able to grasp the concept of domination.

The problem is that all SEC programs have great athletes and generally play great defense with a load of NFL talent. Inconsistency will cost you in this league and it's that inconsistency, especially on the offensive side, that bites you in the end when the golden gate seems within reach. The key to this gate has been right there for the taking the last two seasons. A stunning 16-13 loss to Auburn in 2011 and the inability to hold off LSU in a 23-21 loss last year could have been the difference between wishing and having.

The formula is not much different heading into 2013. The defense will hold the rope starting with one of the nation's premier sack producing units up front while the secondary can man up with anyone. The talent at receiver and on the offensive line is quite spectacular. Coaches just need to find a way to bring it all together for once.

Getting the right breaks will be crucial as it is for any team in this league and this process starts with the schedule as South Carolina has their ducks lined up. They avoid having to play Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M from the other side and get Florida at home. The first two games will likely determine this team's fate. A home game with unranked but dangerous neighboring North Carolina followed by a huge road trip to Athens, GA is not easy task. That Georgia game will be huge, as it always is, for setting the East Division tone.

If there is one area that has to be fixed immediately it's the offensive line. This group is indescribably huge and gifted. No reason exists anymore as to why they can't overcome the issues that have been plaguing them for so long. This is the key to the whole season in many people-in-the-know's minds.

A decade ago going to the Outback and Capital One bowls might have been worth celebrating, but now South Carolina has to come up with something more. Close will no longer cut it. The only place to go from 11-2 the past two seasons is 12-1, which gets you to an SEC title shot. And as recent history has shown...maybe more.

Projected 2013 record: 10-2

QB Connor Shaw
2012 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Connor Shaw, 154-228-7, 1956 yds., 17 TD

Rushing: Connor Shaw, 131 att., 435 yds., 3 TD

Receiving: Bruce Ellington, 40 rec., 600 yds. 7 TD

Scoring: Bruce Ellington, 7 TD, 42 pts.

Punting: Tyler Hall, 54 punts, 39.4 avg.

Kicking: Landon Ard, 0-0 FG, 2-2 PAT, 2 pts.

Tackles: Jadeveon Clowney, 54 tot., 40 solo

Sacks: Jadeveon Clowney, 13 sacks

Interceptions: Jimmy Legree, 3 for 101 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Bruce Ellington, 18 ret., 22.6 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Victor Hampton, 2 ret., -2 yds., 0 TD


2013 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: Kenny Miles-TB, D.L. Moore-WR, Justice Cunningham-TE, T.J. Johnson-C, Adam Yates-K, Marcus Lattimore-TB (NFL), Ace Sanders-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Devin Taylor-DE, Aldrick Fordham-DE, Byron Jerideau-DT, Shaq Wilson-LB, Quin Smith-LB, Reginald Bowens-LB, DeVonte Holloman-LB, Damario Jeffery-LB, Akeem Auguste-CB, D.J. Swearinger-FS


  • It's been a roller coaster ride for now-senior Connor Shaw, a big time high school talent who at times does a real fine job throwing the ball and running with it. He is the team's leading returning rusher. On the other hand Shaw has a problem with interceptions.
  • The Spurrier QB circus isn't over by a long shot. There are many who feel Dylan Thompson should still run the show, an argument that continues to linger in Columbia...nothing new for a Spurrier coached team. With Shaw nursing a foot injury this spring Thompson got his chance and looked good. He isn't the runner that Shaw is but Thompson is a better down field passer who can stretch the field. At the same time he is not near as accurate as Shaw. Hence, it looks like it's Connor Shaw to start the 2013 season.
  • Redshirt frosh Brendan Nosovitch can both run and throw and looks to have a bright future here. Barring injury his time on the stage to play musical QBs will be in 2014. The Pennsylvania prep product holds the state's career record for total yards and is second all-time in state passing yards.


  • This was the SEC's next-to-last ranked rushing outfit in 2012. Not a good sign for a team that is so-so at throwing the ball.
  • A compact Mike Davis (5'9, 215) is a bruising back who can carry the pigskin inside or out. Stepping in for the departed and oft-injured Marcus Lattimore, he looks like he could be the next great running back for the Gamecocks. He also has really nice hands making him a substantial weapon in the open field of the passing game.
  • Brandon Wilds is going to get a share of the carries. Another physical rusher who got a few chances two years ago when getting thrown into the ring as the star Lattimore was out with injury. Wilds put up substantial numbers (137 yards vs. Tennessee and 120 yards vs. Florida) that season but decided to sit out last fall to keep his eligibility.
  • Keep an eye on true freshman David Williams out of Philadelphia, PA. He can be a home run hitter and looks great in open space scoring 23 touchdowns and rushing for 1,904 as a high school senior.
  • The depth department is well stocked. Much like at QB don't be surprised if the running game becomes a committee approach.


  • Despite the speed this has to be an area of concern. Like most SEC teams the receivers have some top rated talents but are way short on the production and proven playmakers. However, this may be the fasted group of receivers in the conference.
  • With reception leader Ace Sanders declaring for the NFL, Bruce Ellington is the veteran of group who hauled in a team best 600 yards catching the rock. The 5'9 point guard on the basketball team is also the team's top man at going deep on the gridiron.
  • Damiere Byrd is another speed burner who can go deep, one of the team's fastest players and a member of the track team, Byrd's production fell off in the second half of last season. He will fight for playing time with elite soph Shaq Roland, a top recruit a year ago coming in as South Carolina's Mr. Football.
  • The tall and small package at the other spot is 6'4 Kwinton Smith (tall) and 5'7 Nick Jones (small). With good hands to match his size Smith could have gone anywhere to play ball. Jones is not quite as talented but has proven to be reliable.


  • With starter Justice Cunningham moving on Rory Anderson will be called upon. Anderson physically looks more like a wide receiver having recorded five touchdowns in 14 receptions. Backup Jerell Adams has the skills to see time. Neither have the weight to push around defensive linemen in the running game.


  • This line has the potential to be a devastating force. Yet everyone in Columbia knows the drill...decent run blocking, poor pass protection many times and screams for a new line coach. Other than the musical quarterback debates this unit has haunted Spurrier's career.
  • The unit if full of veterans but has to find a new leader at center to replace T.J. Johnson. Redshirt freshman Cody Waldrop takes over and has the versatility to play both guard and center.
  • Massive Corey Robinson (6'8, 341) is a former defensive lineman who brings a physical attitude to the group. Extremely strong and a great run blocker but he has trouble with the quicker pass rushers. On the other side is NFL-caliber Brandon Shell, a big time recruit who earned Freshman All-American honors last fall.
  • Guard A.J. Cann is back for his third year as a starter at one guard spot while the other will be manned by senior Ronald Patrick, who started every game last year. All these guys in the middle of the line are versatile and can play any position.
  • This is a really huge wall and that's an understatement. No reason exists why this group cannot become a force even against the great SEC defenses. They just need to find an attitude and figure out a way to develop some pass protection skills.


WR Bruce Ellington


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Connor Shaw-Sr (6-1, 209) Dylan Thompson-Jr (6-3, 218)
TB Mike Davis-So (5-9, 215) Brandon Wilds-So (6-2, 223)
WR Nick Jones-Jr (5-7, 174) Kwinton Smith-RFr (6-4, 212)
WR Bruce Ellington-Jr (5-9, 196) K.J. Brent-So (6-4, 188)
WR Damiere Byrd-Jr (5-9, 166) Shaq Roland-So (6-1, 190)
TE Rory Anderson-Jr (6-5, 242) Jerell Adams-So (6-6, 237)
OT Corey Robinson-Jr (6-8, 341) Mike Matulis-Jr (6-5, 266)
OG A.J. Cann-Jr (6-4, 314) Brock Stadnik-RFr (6-5, 286)
C Cody Waldrop-RFr (6-2, 319) Clayton Stadnik-RFr (6-3, 281)
OG Ronald Patrick-Sr (6-2, 315) Will Sport-So (6-5, 294)
OT Brandon Shell-So (6-6, 323) Cody Gibson-Jr (6-7, 286)
K Landon Ard-So (5-9, 172) Nick St. Germain-RFr (5-9, 175)



- This front four should make life a nightmare for opposing offenses. There is speed, size and athleticism across the board to be dominant at both stuffing the run and getting after the passer. Three of these starters have NFL potential. One named Clowney could already be playing at that level.
- This was the nation's fifth ranked sack producer (first in the SEC). Those numbers won't change in 2013.
- Jadeveon Clowney - that is really all that needs to be said. The potential first overall NFL future draft pick will do all he can not to get injured while getting double and triple teamed. Yet that still may not be enough to stop this physical freak of nature from single-handedly beating opponents from his defensive end position.
- Getting the first shot at taking over on the other side is senior Chaz Sutton. One of the team's former top recruits Sutton has the size and burst to become another NFL prospect from this unit.
- Kelcy Quarles will be called upon to clog the middle again after an outstanding sophomore campaign last fall that helped this team become a typical SEC top level run stuffer. He's quick and can take the pounding against the run. He too has the tools to develop into an NFL prospect.
- Keep an eye on incoming recruit Kelsey Griffin. The four-star defensive tackle has the pass rush skills to become a shooting star.
- If there is to be a weakness picked out maybe the lack of depth could be a concern. With three top contributors moving on it may take a while for coaches to come up with the combination they feel most comfortable with.

- A whopping five linebackers from last year graduated. If there is an unknown factor on this team here is where the concern lies.
- Tradition dictates that no matter the personnel losses the Gamecocks will be fine on this side of the ball. With some luck in the health department all should turn out well once coaches settle in on a starting rotation and the players get their feet wet.
- The big jump this spring was the play of Kaiwan Lewis in the middle. Lewis only garnered time with the special teams last fall as a true freshman. He has the range but has to prove he can continue the same spring pace through an entire season. T.J. Holloman will battle Lewis at this spot. The former high school quarterback has the tremendous speed to blossom into a premier defender.
- The health of Cedrick Cooper, who is still trying to come back from a knee injury suffered in the bowl game, is a crucial element. He is expected to be one of the team's leading tacklers from the weakside.
- The Spur position is a hybrid safety and strongside linebacker. The smallish Sharrod Golightly covers well and can also play the nickel spot. Jordan Diggs is the more purest of the two when it comes to tackling.
- These linebackers can best be described as The Fly Boys...they are small but can fly. They just need some experience.

- This secondary was extraordinary a year ago and didn't give up the big play. With three starters coming back to go with a great pass rush the production should continue.
- Cornerback is where the story begins. Veteran studs Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree can hang with anything the SEC throws at them. Both have All-SEC potential.
- Brison Williams takes over full-time at strong safety after overcoming a broken arm that cost him the bulk of the 2011 season. He is like an extra linebacker on the field.
- Replacing free safety D.J. Swearinger was the first order of business. Kadetrix Marcus gets the nod. He's a great tackler and could also play the strong safety spot. The good news is that Marcus was considered the Most Improved defensive back during the spring.


CB Victor Hampton


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Chaz Sutton-Sr (6-5, 263) Mason Harris-So (6-3, 218)
DT J.T. Surratt-Jr (6-2, 307) Gerald Dixon-So (6-3, 318)
DT Kelcy Quarles-Jr (6-4, 298) Phillip Dukes-So (6-3, 315)
DE Jadeveon Clowney-Jr (6-6, 274) Darius English-RFr (6-6, 226)
SPUR Sharrod Golightly-Jr (5-10, 195) Jordan Diggs-RFr (6-0, 214)
MLB Kaiwan Lewis-So (6-0, 221) T.J. Holloman-RFr (6-2, 228)
WLB Cedrick Cooper-So (6-2, 213) Marcquis Roberts-So (6-1, 225)
CB Victor Hampton-Jr (5-10, 202) Ahmad Christian-So (5-10, 189)
CB Jimmy Legree-Sr (6-0, 187) Rico McWilliams-RFr (5-11, 187)
SS Brison Williams-Jr (5-11, 218) Chaz Elder-RFr (6-2, 199)
FS Kadetrix Marcus-Jr (6-1, 195) T.J. Gurley-So (5-10, 196)
P Tyler Hull-Jr (6-2, 206) Patrick Fish-Jr (6-0, 195)



  • Walk-on Landon Ard takes over at kicker for the departed Adam Yates. Kicking has not been exactly a strong suite for this team lately. Ard has a big leg but has to prove he can be consistent from midrange.
  • Redshirt freshman Nick St. Germain is the scholarship kicker who will get every opportunity to wrestle the job away from Ard. St. Germain recorded 121 career touchbacks on kickoffs while playing high school football in Georgia.
  • The punting game needs improvement. Starter Tyler Hill returns after mustering a paltry 39.4 yards per punt. His longest boot recorded was just 55 yards.
  • Bruce Ellington has the speed to be an all-star kick returner. He has handled the duties the past two seasons.
  • The huge loss is that of Ace Sanders as a remarkable punt return star. Sanders was a game changer from this spot. Look for cornerback Victor Hampton to get first crack at filling his shoes although it's doubtful anyone on this roster can duplicate what Sanders meant to this team as a return specialist.
  • Two seasons ago the special teams were a nightmare. While this area has improved enough to not be considered a negative the Gamecocks still have yet to locate a consistent kicker, punter and a replacement for Sanders.