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October 1, 2014 • Volume 36 • Issue 15 • $1.50

The one that

GOT AWAY

Gamecocks look to rebound with trip to Kentucky


2 • Spurs & Feathers

Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.

Contact Us: 301 Greystone Blvd. Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 335-1399 To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc. Tim O’Briant General Manager tobriant@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor bhand@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/Sales Account Executive ed@spursandfeathers.com (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 kboyette@spursandfeathers.com Brooks Rogers Account Representative (803) 446-4022 brooks@spursandfeathers.com Cover Design: Tim O’Briant (photo by Allen Sharpe) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 26 times annually. The frequency is monthly from December to July and weekly from the third Wednesday in August to the fourth Wednesday in November. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes three slick-paper magazine issues — one in January, one in July and one in August. The annual subscription price is $50 for non Gamecock Club members. Members of the Gamecock Club receive a discounted subscription as a member benefit. Spurs & Feathers is published by Aiken Communications, Inc., 326 Rutland Drive NW, Aiken, SC, 29801-4010. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC Postmaster: Send changes to SPURS & FEATHERS, PO Box 456, Aiken, SC, 29802.

October 1, 2014

What’s Inside? - Table of Contents Student-athlete promise Player of the game Swimming and diving preparing Standings/Schedule Late rally shocks Gamecocks Postgame notes/quotes Inside the Chart Compliance Corner Radio/Television information South Carolina roster Kentucky roster Depth Charts Previewing Kentucky Recruiting Roundup View from Missouri locker room Inside Look with Glenn Snyder Langston Moore column Upcoming Events Carquest Bowl dinner Unique Views from Ed Girardeau

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

The Kentucky Game Site: Lexington, Ky. (Commonwealth Stadium) Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: SEC Network (check local listings) Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network Series: South Carolina leads 17-7-1


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University of South Carolina introduces “The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise: A Championship Experience”

South Carolina Athletics Media RElations

The University of South Carolina is dedicated to providing a championship experience for its student-athletes in all phases of their time at the University. A newly-released document, “The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise: A Championship Experience,” showcases the depth and breadth of the commitments the South Carolina Athletics Department has made to the development of young people who don the garnet and black. “The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise: A Championship Experience” highlights the athletic department’s six major commitments– 1) cost of education; 2) commitment to academic excellence; 3) commitment to personal and career development; 4) commitment to athletics excellence; 5) comprehensive healthcare; and 6) a vital voice. “We are excited to announce this comprehensive commitment to our student-athletes to help them achieve the ultimate goal of a college degree,” said USC president Harris Pastides. “The forthcoming NCAA governance changes provide the autonomy we need to enhance our ability to support these students in their path toward graduation and success in life after college. I commend Ray Tanner, Fran Person, all of our coaches and our entire athletics department staff for their efforts to formalize South Carolina’s dedication to the overall well-being of our student-athletes.” “Intercollegiate athletics prepares our student-athletes for life after graduation,” added Gamecock director of athletics Ray Tanner. “We are committed to supporting them during their time at South Carolina. This document details the variety of commitments and services we provide to assist them in meeting their goals here.” Many of the items featured in the document, such as the “Gamecock Lifetime Degree Guarantee” and the “Gamecock Career Network” have previously been part of the services provided to Gamecock student-athletes. The newest commitment in the document is the “Four-Year Full Scholarship Commitment.” It states that the University is committed to providing full-scholarships to

student-athletes in head count sports commensurate to a four-year college degree. In addition, the University will increase scholarships to address the cost of attendance once these increases are approved by the NCAA. The scholarship can only be reduced if the student-athlete 1) decides to leave the team; 2) becomes ineligible; or 3) violates University or athletics department policies. “The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise can really be a difference maker for South Carolina,” said Thiago Pinheiro, a senior on the Gamecock men’s tennis team and president of the South Carolina Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. “It makes it clear to us as current student-athletes who we are and what we are about as a University and an athletics department. The commitments described in this document have made my experience as a Gamecock so amazing, and it’s an honor to represent a University that so formally promises them to all future student-athletes, too.” Under the “Gamecock Degree Completion Program,” South Carolina has welcomed back student-athletes, who have left the University in good academic standing to complete their undergraduate degree. In the last five years, 16 student-athletes have taken advantage of this program. The “Gamecock Career Network” matches potential employers with studentathletes to assist them in securing jobs and internships. The athletics department hosts seminars for student-athletes in topics such

denced by: · Five Gamecock athletics teams finished 2013-14 in the top 10 nationally and three more made the top 25. · 28 Gamecocks earned All-America status in 2013-14 while 20 earned AllSEC recognition. · Six South Carolina varsity sports (men’s basketball, cross country, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and volleyball) earned team national academic honors and 40 student-athletes earned individual national academic recognitions. · A conference-leading 336 studentathletes made the Southeastern Confersouth carolina athletics media relations ence Academic Honor Roll. South Carolina has led the SEC in each of the last as interviewing, resume and cover letter eight years. writing, networking skills, dress and pre· The 2013 football team was ranked sentation. first in the SEC in NCAA APR, fourth in “As Gamecocks, we relentlessly compete the nation on the field in final polls and for conference and national championextended its school-record home game ships,” said Tanner. “That commitment win streak to 18 games. to excellence also extends to everyone on · Nearly 8,000 hours of community our staff and all of the units in our athletics service were performed by Gamecock department. Our goal is for every student- student-athletes during the 2013-14 acaathlete to have a ‘championship experience’ demic year. The women’s soccer team when they come to South Carolina.” won the Gamecock Community Out“The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise: reach Team of the Year award in 2013-14. To learn more about the document, please A Championship Experience” document also details academic support services, life visit: http://www.gamecocksonline.com/ promise. skills and community service, facilities, coaches and support staff, healthcare and nutrition and representation in the leadership of the athletics department. “Throughout the process of developing ‘The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise,’ we were able to take an introspective view into the programs we provide our studentathletes,” said Fran Person, special assistant for student-athlete well-being at South Carolina. “This is a living document, designed to put South Carolina at the forefront in student-athlete welfare among the nation’s universities and colleges. We will be continually designing and implementing new programs with the intent of benefiting Gamecock student-athletes.” South Carolina’s holistic formula of athletic, academic and personal development of its student-athletes has proven that success on the field, in the classroom, and in the community go hand-in-hand as evi-


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Davis making sure that Gamecocks keep their heads up by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com Mike Davis knows there is a long season ahead. He also knows that South Carolina’s loss to Missouri means that things are going to be different the rest of the way in the 2014 season for the Gamecocks. The junior tailback wants to make sure that everyone in the Gamecock locker room understands that there is a great deal still to play for this season despite South Carolina taking its second loss of the year to Missouri. “I mean we lost, so a lot of guys’ heads are down,” Davis noted after the Missouri game. “I’m just trying to make sure those guys’ heads are up and they’re focused. I know we Mike Davis lost, but KeenanSuggs we’ve got Player of the Week to keep our heads up. We can’t get down on ourselves. I don’t even like seeing my teammates heads

down and I’ve seen three of my teammates crying in there (locker room), so I don’t like seeing stuff like that.” In addition to working to make sure his teammates regroup and get back to work in helping get the Gamecocks back to their winning ways, Davis will also continue to work on his own personal efforts that sometimes flourished in the Missouri game. Davis had a team-leading 135 all-purpose yards in the loss to Missouri. He rushed the football 22 times for 104 yards. Davis had the long run of the night on his 17-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He also had the third-longest catch of the evening on a 24-yard reception that led to one of his two catches for 31 yards. The 104 yards picked up on the ground by Davis in the Missouri game allowed him to move into the 19th spot on South Carolina’s career rushing list. He now has 1,826 yards on the ground as a Gamecock. In addition, his 104 yards rushing allowed photo by allen sharpe him to record his ninth career 100-yard Mike Davis picked up his ninth career 100-yard rushing game in the Missouri game. rushing game, which is good for sixth in Gamecock history. It was his second of the season as he also claimed 101 yards rushOverall, Davis is leading the Gamecocks three touchdowns on 80 carries. He is avering in the win over East Carolina. on the year with 368 yards rushing with aging 73.6 yards per game on the ground.


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Swimming & Diving preparing for early-season test by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com The South Carolina swimming and diving teams will open the season with an SEC opponent on the road at Kentucky on Oct. 10. Head swimming coach McGee Moody understands that they face a long season, but he knows that you cannot discount the early-season conference matchup. “It is a long season and you have to progress through, but the bottom line is every time that we set foot on a pool deck - whether it be ours or whether it be on the road - the expectation is to go win,” Moody commented. “I think that’s a big part of it. We’ll have some individual goals as a team that we’ll want to achieve when we go out there, but the bottom line is that we want to finish up the meet with more points than the other program has. We’re going to prepare them that way and each week we’ll design lineups and set up strategies for our program to put us in the best position to win.” Head diving coach Todd Sherritt said that he focuses on the championship competitions in the spring, but knows that they need to score points for the team at the other meets as well. “We want to dive well at the meet, but in diving you have to rebuild sometimes and that could take a couple of months sometimes. You keep it in the back of your mind that sometimes it takes a while to get up to speed,” Sherritt explained. “I do have some veterans on my team and they’re going to dive well at any time, so right now we’re really pushing conditioning and a lot of dry-land work to accelerate them in terms of correcting mechanical errors. I kind of go after the problems right away which is sometimes difficult on the athletes because it’s either something they’re not good at or a habit that they may have been doing for years “They want to be good and they push themselves. The really good athletes understand that when they’re doing something that is hard for them, they really have to use their vision to push through it … in my recruiting process that’s something I look at and all the kids I bring in have that kind of heart and vision,” Sherritt expounded. Moody said he feels the team has been working hard since returning to campus with dry-land and strength-training workouts as well before building volume of practice time in the pool. “We try to ease our way in the first couple of weeks. We’re just now getting where we’re starting to move into some pretty intense work in the pool. Everybody came back and was reasonably prepared,” Moody said. “They’ve been handling it pretty well.

south carolina athletics media relations

All- American Kevin Leithold is considered the most versatile swimmer for South Carolina. We’ve got a few folks with some minor injuries that we’re trying to work through and just all-in-all trying to get ready for Kentucky. I think we’re getting pretty close.” The swimming and diving teams both have good mixes of youth and experience with talent to spare this year. “We’ve got a big group. Right now I think we’ve got 22 freshmen. That’s a group that has come into an entirely different environment and an entirely new environment,” Moody said. “The upper class has the task of not only preparing themselves, but also preparing the new folks, introducing them to the culture of the team and introducing them to the expectations we have. They’re making sure that they newcomers are aware of how it is we operate and what it is that we do. “So there is a lot on our upper class this year to make sure that this very young team that we have gets acclimated quickly, gets used to the workload and become immediate contributors to our team. They’ve done a good job so far. The freshmen have done a good job of adjusting and the upper class has done a pretty good job of helping them out,” Moody continued. Sherritt said that he is excited about “some phenomenal freshmen” he has on the squad and likes the way the experienced divers have not become complacent and pushed the newcomers. “From a coaching standpoint, seeing the improvements from everybody since they’ve been back is motivating,” Sherritt noted. “At the end of the day, regardless of the talent level, if you make changes and take your physical talent level to its limit, as far as I’m concerned you’re a world champion. No one can ask any more from anyone than to reach their limits. “One of the things that I like about my team is that they always press forward.

They don’t have ‘senioritis,’ they don’t back off, they run all the way to the end and finish the course. I like that about this team and I like the chemistry they have and the way they’re diving,” Sherritt added. Moody said that he likes the somewhat early start to the season - particularly facing off against an SEC opponent - because it will help him learn about the team.

“Having this meet with Kentucky right out of the gate is going to be a good indication of where we are with our training and how are athletes are responding to what we’re doing and really kind of setting the tone for the entire first semester,” Moody said. “We’ve got Kentucky on the 10th and having another SEC team to have to step up and race is definitely something that we’ve got to be prepared for. It’s also on the road, so having to go to Kentucky and drive to Lexington to race there is a challenge in itself. “Our job as coaches is to make sure that everybody knows what to expect and that physically they’re ready to go race. As we progress through the semester we’ll find out more and more about who we are as a team and what our SEC Championship group is going to look like. While it is a long season - it’s not a sprint, it’s definitely a marathon - at the same time you’ve got to be ready to go week-in and week-out and be ready to swim fast because the other teams are going to do the same. If we’re not at our best in that first meet, we’ll lose to Kentucky. That’s not what we’re going out there for, so our job is to make sure that they’re ready to go,” Moody concluded.


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South Carolina Gamecocks

2014

football Schedule 08/28/14 ..........vs. #21 Texas A&M # ........... Columbia, S.C. ..................... L, 52-28 09/06/14 ..........vs. East Carolina .................. Columbia, S.C. ....................W, 33-23 09/13/14 ..........vs. #6 Georgia # ................... Columbia, S.C. ....................W, 38-35 09/20/14 ..........at Vanderbilt # ...................... Nashville, Tenn. ..................W, 48-34 09/27/14 ..........vs. Missouri # ......................... Columbia, S.C. ..................... L, 21-20 10/04/14 ..........at Kentucky # ........................ Lexington, Ky. ....................7:30 p.m. 10/18/14 ..........vs. Furman ............................. Columbia, S.C. .............................TBA 10/25/14 ..........at Auburn # ........................... Auburn, Ala. .................................TBA 11/01/14 ..........vs. Tennessee # ..................... Columbia, S.C. .............................TBA 11/15/14 ..........at Florida # ............................. Gainesville, Fla. ...........................TBA 11/22/14 ..........vs. South Alabama .............. Columbia, S.C. .............................TBA 11/29/14 ..........at Clemson ............................ Clemson, S.C. ...............................TBA

Standings SEC East

W-L PF

PA W-L PF PA

STRK

Missouri

1-0 21

20 4-1 173 103 W1

Florida

1-1 57

72 2-1 122 72

South Carolina

2-2 134 142 3-2 167 165 L1

Georgia

1-1 70

L1

70 3-1 181 91 W2

Kentucky

1-1 47

43 3-1 126 60 W1

Tennessee

0-1 32

35 2-2 114 95 L2

Vanderbilt

0-3 44 106 1-4 85 174 L2

SEC West

W-L PF

PA W-L PF PA

Texas A&M

2-0 87

56 5-0 256 75 W5

STRK

Alabama

1-0 42

21 4-0 168 56 W4

Mississippi State

1-0 34

29 4-0 165 66 W4

Auburn

1-0 45

21 4-0 169 65 W4

Ole Miss

1-0 41

3 4-0 156 34 W4

LSU

0-1 29

34 4-1 207 65 W1

Arkansas

0-2 49

80 3-2 223 129 L1


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Late rally allows Missouri to shock Gamecocks by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Missouri scored 14 points in the final minutes of the game to come from behind and shock 13th-ranked South Carolina, 21-20, before a crowd of 83,493 at WilliamsBrice Stadium. South Carolina (3-2, 2-2 SEC) owned a 20-7 lead with 7:25 to play in the contest, but Missouri’s 14 unanswered points from there allowed them to take the narrow one-point victory. “Missouri hung in there,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said after the Gamecock loss. “They were struggling on offense like we were most of the night, but put a couple drives together at the end.” Missouri (4-1, 1-0 SEC) scored the first seven points of the contest on an 18-yard run by Russell Hansbrough that capped a four-play, 1:02 drive for Missouri that left 12:06 remaining in the opening quarter. The Gamecocks would cut the Missouri lead to four points almost exactly 10 minutes later when Elliott Fry connected on a 43-yard field goal with 2:07 left in the first quarter. The field goal concluded a six-play, 54-yard drive that lasted 2:41 for the Gamecocks. The big play of the drive was a 27-yard pass from South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson to wide receiver Pharoh Cooper. The 27-yard pass allowed Thompson to surpass 3,000 yards

passing in his career. Thompson is the 13th Gamecock to accomplish the feat. South Carolina would collect its first lead of the game with 1:36 to play until the halftime break. Mike Davis captured the Gamecock touchdown when he scored from 17 yards out to give South Carolina a 10-7 lead after Fry’s extra point. Davis accounted for 55 of South Carolina’s 59 yards on the drive that took five plays and lasted 1:36 as he rushed for 31 yards including the score to go along with his 24-yard reception on the scoring drive for the Gamecocks. South Carolina closed out the first half owning a 179 (40 plays)-117 (38 yards) advantage in total yards. Missouri had just 20 yards as a team in its final six possessions of the first half. The Gamecocks ended the opening half with a distinct edge in regards to time of possession at 17:12-12:48. Davis led the Gamecocks in the first half with 73 yards on the ground on 12 carries. He also had 31 yards receiving on two catches. Thompson was 12-for-19 for 119 yards passing in the first half. South Carolina would strike first in the second half with Fry hitting a 41-yard field goal with 6:38 left in the third quarter to give the Gamecocks a 13-7 lead. Fry’s field goal was the culmination of a nine-play, 47-yard drive that took 4:09 off the clock. The South Carolina lead would be 13 points with 7:25 to play in the game as Thompson

found Cooper up the middle for a tough 23-yard touchdown that garnered the Gamecocks a 20-7 lead after Fry’s extra point. Surrounded by Missouri defenders, Cooper was somehow able to hang on to the football. The prolific catch by Cooper finished a 63-yard scoring drive on eight plays that encompassed 4:13. The 13-point lead would not last long as less than a minute later the Tigers would be back to within six points after Hansbrough’s one-yard touchdown run finished off a three-play, 68-yard drive that only took 36 seconds. The Tigers would take a 21-20 lead shortly thereafter as Hansbrough scored on fourth and one from one yard out for his third touchdown of the game. The touchdown tied the game at 20-all, but Baggett knocked in the ensuing extra point to give Missouri a one-point lead they would not relinquish with 1:36 to play. The touchdown was the end of a nine-play, 51-yard drive that took 3:04 off the clock. The Gamecocks would have one final chance with the football after that, but they could not get anything going and turned the ball over on downs. South Carolina ended its loss to Missouri with a 338-280 advantage in total yards. The Gamecocks finished the game owning the advantage in time of possession at 35:55-24:05. Davis ended his day with 135 all-purpose yards and 104 yards rushing and 31 yards receiving. He had the one rushing touchdown. Davis’ 104

Photo by jenny dilworth

yards rushing allowed him to claim his ninth career 100-yard rushing game. Nick Jones was the leading receiver for the Gamecocks with five catches for 72 yards. Cooper concluded the Gamecock loss with three catches for 52 yards. He also had the touchdown reception. Thompson threw for 219 yards and a touchdown in the game. He was 21-for-37 overall. Mauk had just 132 yards passing and was 12for-34. J.T. Surratt led the Gamecocks in tackles with seven (five solo). He had one sack and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. The Gamecocks will next travel to Lexington, Ky. to face off against Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 4. The contest will be televised by the SEC Network. It will also be available on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.


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South Carolina-Missouri postgame notes/quotes

SOuth Carolina Athletics Media Relations

a career-best seven tackles, including his first sack of the year and 1.5 tackles for loss. • Making his first start of the year, sophomore GENERAL NOTES linebacker Marcquis Roberts recorded five • South Carolina fell to Missouri 21-20, solo tackles, including one for loss, as well as a the Gamecocks’ second loss of 2014, both in quarterback hurry. Southeastern Conference play. • Sophomore defensive end Gerald Dixon • Captains for South Carolina were senior made three of his four tackles for loss, a new quarterback Dylan Thompson, sophomore career high, with one going for a sack. linebacker Marcquis Roberts, senior offensive • Freshman linebacker Bryson Allen-Wilguard A.J. Cann and senior defensive tackle liams doubled his career quarterback hurries J.T. Surratt. with two, adding to his three tackles. • Attendance for the game at Williams-Brice • Senior spur Sharrod Golightly tallied two Stadium: 83,493. It was the18th largest crowd in pass breakups, a new career best, to go with facility history. two tackles. • Senior left guard A.J. Cann made his 43rd • While junior defensive end Mason Harris career start, tying him for sixth on the career did not make a tackle, he was credited with two starts list with Todd Ellis (1986-89). quarterback hurries. • South Carolina held the ball for 35:55 compared to 24:05 for Missouri. Head Coach Steve Spurrier • The Gamecocks’ eight penalties and 71 Opening Statement yards on those were the most this season. “Missouri hung in there. They were strug• The loss is South Carolina’s first this season gling on offense like we were most of the when leading at the half and after three quarnight, but put a couple of drives together at the ters and when leading the time of possession. end. We weren’t able to do much offensively. I OFFENSIVE NOTES messed up on the two-point conversion, should • Senior quarterback Dylan Thompson behave gone for it. I wasn’t even thinking about came the 13th Gamecock to throw for 3,000 it until I looked up and saw it was 20-7. I had yards in his career, breaking the barrier with something in my mind that 16-7 might be real his third completion of the night, a 27-yard pass good the way our defense was playing. All to sophomore Pharoh Cooper. of a sudden Pharoh [Cooper] caught that [the • Thompson completed 21-of-37 passes for touchdown pass] and nobody even on the bench 219 yards and one touchdown. thought about it [going for two points]. I looked • Junior tailback Mike Davis ran for 104 up and said you know what we should have yards, moving into 19th on South Carolina’s ca- gone for two, too late now. That was a mistake reer rushing yards list. He passed Rob DeBoer on my part. It was a tough night for us. Protec(1990-93) in the contest and now has 1,826 tion wasn’t very good. Dylan [Thompson] has yards, 26 yards shy of tying Duce Staley (1995- had better games; he got hit a lot tonight. They 96) and Andrew Pinnock (1999-2002) for 17th [Missouri] were only rushing four or five guys with 1,852 yards. most of the time, nothing more than that. We • Davis recorded the ninth 100-yard rushing just didn’t pass block all that well. Give Misgame of his career, tied for sixth in Gamecock souri credit, they hung in there. They didn’t history, and his second of the season (101 vs. play all that well either on offense but they East Carolina). He also added 31 receiving did at the end of the game to beat us. Pharoh yards. Cooper again had an unbelievable catch for the • Senior wide receiver Nick Jones led South touchdown and he had another excellent game. Carolina with five catches for 72 yards, includ- I wish we could have gotten more balls at him ing a 47-yard reception. some way or another. Missouri has a good DEFENSIVE NOTES defensive pass rush and they play their zone • South Carolina forced Missouri into 10 coverage pretty dog gone good. A few times we punts on the night. The Gamecocks’ foes had got a ball down there, well Pharoh had two big punted eight times total in the first four games. catches, but we just didn’t hit anything. It didn’t • The Tigers only went 2-for-16 on third work out for us. Sometimes you get beat.” downs against South Carolina’s defense. Missouri did go 3-for-3 on fourth-down tries. Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward • The eight tackles for loss by South Carolina On what this can do to a defense’s confidence doubles the previous high by the Gamecocks “I think we’ll be high and confident. We’re that came in the Georgia win. going to get better every week. We’ve gotten • The Gamecocks’ eight quarterback hurries better every week. We just have to learn to finand four pass breakups are the most recorded ish. We have to play four quarters. We didn’t by the team this season. play well in the fourth quarter. We still have to • Senior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt posted finish.”

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Spurs & Feathers • 9

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Sorry, Pharoh Cooper. Good nicknames don’t stay a secret for long. Cooper’s teammates have begun to refer to the sophomore by an alias this season. The Gamecocks wide receiver broke into a sheepish smile when confronted with the evidence. “Yeah, they call me ‘Gold,’” Cooper confessed. “They think I’m the chosen one, I guess. I don’t know.” Or maybe it’s because everything Cooper Andy Demetra has touched Contributing lately has turned Writer into gold. The 5’11,” 201-pound Cooper leads all USC receivers with 24 receptions. He set new career highs in catches (10) and receiving yards (114) in South Carolina’s 48-34 win over Vanderbilt. He’s also given the Gamecocks a dangerous weapon at Wildcat quarterback. With his game-sealing, 70-yard dash against Vanderbilt, Cooper became one of a handful of Gamecocks with multiple 70-yard runs in his career, joining the likes of George Rogers, Steve Wadiak, and Carl Brazell. His 246 snaps far outpace any other offensive skill player. “I asked him [last Monday], ‘We’re not using you too much, are we?’ And he said, ‘Coach, I’ll be ready.’ When he gets his

hands on it, he is a very good player. We need to find ways to make sure he’s running with it,” head coach Steve Spurrier said of Pharoh. (Or “FAY-row,” when run through Spurrier’s east Tennessee twang). That versatility almost never happened. Despite playing quarterback on a state championship-winning team at Havelock High School in Havelock, N.C., Cooper came to South Carolina with designs on becoming a defensive back. Think Stephon Gilmore more than Bruce Ellington. That changed a week into preseason camp, when Spurrier noticed Cooper making plays whenever he touched the ball. “I was catching punts at the time. He saw me catching punts and he put me on offense,” Cooper recalls. To formalize the switch, he changed his Twitter handle from @Pick6Cooper to @KingTutt_chdown. Cooper came on slowly as a freshman, not catching a pass until the fifth game of the season against Kentucky. He didn’t see the field against Georgia or Vanderbilt. Still, Cooper earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team for his work running, receiving, and returning kicks. His fourthdown, Wildcat touchdown pass to Brandon Wilds provided one of the seminal moments in South Carolina’s 31-17 win over Clemson. The expectations continued to rise in Spring drills, when Cooper was named the Gamecocks’ Joe Morrison Offensive Player of the Spring. Still, it’s easy to forget that Cooper only caught three passes in 2013. He hadn’t been a dedicated wide receiver since his junior year of high school. He says he’s adapted quickly to the nuances of the position. “Route running and just knowing where

photo by allen sharpe

to be. Mainly knowing coverages. In our football player. Cooper was named to the offense, you’ve got to know the coverages award’s preseason watch list. at all times – Cover 2, Cover 3,” he said. It figures. Hornung’s nickname was Cooper is quick to distinguish that he’s “Golden Boy.” a Wildcat quarterback, not USC’s backup quarterback. But with the success he’s had in that formation, he wouldn’t mind seeing more snaps. “We have a great offensive line. We do a great job pulling. Everybody knows the ball is going to be run to the left or the right. That’s we practice against the ‘D.’ We go out and execute and do our job, and they make it easy,” Cooper said. Wherever he lines up, Cooper is most excited about taking snaps in November. That’s when his older brother Dequan, a member of the United States Marine Corps, is scheduled to be transferred from Yuma, Ariz., to the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, S.C. Dequan Cooper hasn’t seen his brother play at USC. By that point, Pharoh could become a contender for the Paul Hornung Award, which honors the nation’s most versatile college


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Gamecock Radio/Television Information

The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 23 affiliate stations for the 2014-15 season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the Gamecock Radio Twitter (@GamecockRadio) page for weekly updates on channel information for Gamecock broadcasts. The weekly Carolina Calls show will air from 7-8 p.m. on the flagship station of the Gamecocks, WNKT-FM (107.5 FM), and over the Internet at www. GamecocksOnline.com. The show takes place each week at Wild Wing Café, located at 729 Lady Street in the Vista.

Inside the Roost South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Derek Scott from the Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College host an hour long radio show every Monday night at 7 p.m. from Hilton Columbia Center in the Vista. The show is broadcast on 107.5 FM and features discussions on current issues with Ray Tanner and interviews with coaches and athletics department staff. In-Stadium Frequency For those traveling to Kentucky, you can listen to the Gamecock IMG Sports Network inside Commonwealth Stadium on 93.5 (primary) and 89.5 (secondary). South Carolina-Kentucky television The game will be televised by the SEC Network. Please check local listings.

2014-15 Radio Affiliates

City Call Letters Frequency Football Abbeville WZLA-FM 92.9 X Johnston/Aiken WKSX-FM 92.7 X Allendale WDOG-FM 93.5 X Anderson WRIX-FM 103.1 X Camden WPUB-FM 102.7 X Camden WCAM-AM 1590 X Charleston WWIK-FM 98.9 X Chesterfield WVSZ-FM 107.3 X Columbia WNKT-FM 107.5 X Florence WHYM-AM 1260 X Florence WFRK-FM 95.3 X Gaffney WZZQ-FM 104.3 X Gaffney WZZQ-AM 1500 X Greenville/Spartanburg WROO-FM 104.9 X Hilton Head WVGB-AM 1490 X Hilton Head WVGB-FM 94.5 X Myrtle Beach WSYN-FM 103.1 X Newberry WKDK-AM 1240 X Rock Hill WRHM-FM 107.1 X Seneca WSNW-AM 1150 X Seneca WSNW-FM 94.1 X Sumter WIBZ-FM 95.5 X


12 • Spurs & Feathers

October 1, 2014

South Carolina Gamecocks Football Roster # Name Pos. 1 Damiere Byrd WR 1 Rico McWilliams CB 3 Nick Jones WR 3 Chris Lammons CB 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 4 Shaq Roland WR 5 Darius English DE 5 Brendan Nosovitch QB 6 Connor Mitch QB 6 Chris Moody SS 7 Shon Carson TB 7 Wesley Green CB 8 Shamier Jeffery WR 8 Kaiwan Lewis LB 9 Deebo Samuel WR 9 Sharrod Golightly SPR 10 Skai Moore LB 10 Perry Orth QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 11 Pharoh Cooper WR 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 12 Brison Williams SS 13 Tyler Hull P 13 Grant Davitte QB 14 Shaq Davidson WR 14 Ali Groves CB 15 Austin Hails QB 16 Zack Cimaglia K/P 17 Chaz Elder FS 17 Dylan Thompson QB 18 Cedrick Cooper DE 18 Patrick Fish P 19 Terry Googer WR 19 Landon Ard PK 20 T.J. Gurley SS 21 Marcquis Roberts LB 21 Andrew Bunch WR 22 Brandon Wilds TB 22 Jamari Smith CB 23 Larenz Bryant SPR 24 D.J. Smith DB 25 Kadetrix Marcus FS 26 Jasper Sasser FS 28 Mike Davis TB 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 29 Matrick Belton WR 30 Darius Paulk FB 30 Sidney Rhodes CB 31 Al Harris Jr. CB 31 Jordan Diaz FB 32 Rod Talley TB 33 David Williams TB 34 Jonas Price K/P 34 Mason Harris DE

Hgt. 5-9 5-11 5-7 5-10 6-1 6-1 6-6 6-1 6-3 6-1 5-8 5-10 6-1 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-11 6-4 5-11 6-2 6-3 5-11 5-10 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-0 6-4 5-9 5-10 6-1 5-11 6-2 5-10 6-0 5-11 6-1 6-0 5-9 6-0 6-0 6-4 5-8 5-10 5-11 6-1 5-10 6-1 6-2 6-3

Wgt. 170 184 168 172 231 176 241 221 211 210 201 176 198 228 192 187 213 204 234 201 189 208 207 180 170 187 220 170 195 218 225 194 210 178 194 216 173 222 197 220 189 194 203 223 228 165 215 199 182 162 236 201 214 165 235

Cl. SR RS SO RS SR FR FR JR RS SO RS SO RS FR RS SO RS JR FR RS JR JR FR RS SR SO RS SO RS SO SO FR SR RS SR RS FR FR RS FR RS JR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS JR RS SR FR RS JR JR RS SO RS SO RS JR SO SO FR SR RS FR JR SO SO RS SO RS SO RS SR FR RS SR RS SO RS FR RS FR RS JR

Hometown/High School/Last College Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy Moore, S.C./Byrnes Sunrise, Fla./Plantation Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Lexington, S.C./Lexington Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Allentown, Pa./Central Catholic Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield McDonough, Ga./Henry County Scranton, S.C./Lake City Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King St. Matthews, S.C./Calhoun County Pleasantville, N.J./St. Joseph Inman, S.C./Chapman Decatur, Ga./Southwest DeKalb Cooper City, Fla./University Ponde Verda, Fla./Ponte Verda/Florida State College Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Havelock, NC./Havelock Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Warner Robins, Ga./Northside/Fork Union Military Mount Airy, N.C./Mount Airy/Guilford College Columbia, S.C./Irmo Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Collinsville, Ill./Collinsville Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park/North Carolina A&T Union City, Ga./Banneker Boiling Springs, S.C./Boiling Springs Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Shelby, N.C./Burns Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Cairo, Ga./Cairo Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Bishop England/Presbyterian Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Tx./Prince of Peace Christian Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast/North Greenville Easley, S.C./Wren/Western Carolina Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas Hamilton, N.J./Hamilton West Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter Cockeysville, Md./St. Paul’s Fort Oglethorpe, Ga./Ridgeland

Coaches Steve Spurrier - Head Coach Deke Adams - Defensive Line Kirk Botkin - Linebackers/Spurs Grady Brown - Secondary/Assistant Special Teams Coordinator Shawn Elliott - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive LIne G.A. Mangus - Quarterbacks/Tight Ends Joe Robinson - Special Teams Coordinator Everette Sands - Running Backs Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Steve Spurrier Jr. - Co-Offensive Coord/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator Lorenzo Ward - Defensive Coordinator Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Robbie Liles - Director - Recruiting Operations Patrick Shine - Administrative Coordinator - Recruiting Scott Spurrier - Quality Control Coordinator (Offense) Shaq Wilson - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense)

# Name Pos. 35 Shannon James DB 39 Demetrius Smalls DB 40 Jacob August TE 41 Kyle Morini LB 41 Connor McLaurin FB 42 Jordan Diggs SPR 43 Benjamin Russell DB 43 Garrison Gist FB 44 Gerald Turner FB 44 Gerald Dixon DE 45 Brandon Sturdivant FB 46 Cedrick Malone SPR 47 Drew Williams LS 48 Nick McGriff TE 49 Garrett Shank SS 49 Devin Potter TB 50 A.J. Cann OG 51 Cody Waldrop OC 51 Devin Washington DE 52 Phillip Dukes DT 53 Corey Robinson OT 54 Clayton Stadnik OC 55 David Johnson DE 55 Na’Ty Rodgers OT 58 Ryland Culbertson LS 59 Coleman Harley LS 65 Brock Stadnik OG 69 D.J. Park OT 70 Alan Knott OC 71 Brandon Shell OT 72 Donell Stanley OL 74 Mason Zandi OT 75 Will Sport OG 76 Mike Matulis OT 77 Malik Young OL 80 K.J. Brent WR 81 Rory Anderson TE 82 Caleb Hines WR 83 Carlton Heard WR 84 Matthew Harvey WR 85 Kane Whitehurst WR 86 Kevin Crosby TE 87 Sean Odom WR 88 Drew Owens TE 89 Jerell Adams TE 90 Cody Gibson TE 90 Taylor Stallworth DT 91 Blake McClain DE 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. DT 93 Deon Green DT 94 Kelsey Griffin DT 95 Michael Washington DE 97 J.T. Surratt DT 99 Abu Lamin DT

Hgt. 5-7 5-11 6-6 5-10 6-0 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-8 6-3 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-9 6-5 6-5 6-3 6-4 6-5 5-11 6-0 6-8 5-11 6-1 6-0 6-6 6-6 6-7 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-4

Wgt. 153 170 247 221 243 217 175 260 250 274 218 201 201 220 203 203 311 309 221 323 344 273 275 280 267 246 287 328 280 333 346 301 291 307 318 192 227 160 188 22 8 169 230 190 238 242 278 293 265 323 289 310 237 310 302

Cl. RS SO RS FR FR RS SR RS SR RS SO RS FR RS JR RS FR RS SO RS SO RS SO SO FR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS SO RS FR RS JR RS SR RS SO RS FR RS FR RS SR RS JR RS SO RS FR RS FR RS JR FR RS SO RS JR RS JR FR RS JR SR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR FR SO RS JR JR RS SR FR FR RS JR RS SO SO RS JR RS SR RS SO

Hometown/High School/Last College Florence, S.C./South Florence Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Columbia, S.C./Cardinal Newman/Fork Union Warner Robins, Ga./White Knoll/Gray Military Raleigh, N.C./Garner Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./Northwesterm Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Fort Mill, S.C./Nation Ford/York Tech Camden, S.C./Camden/Coastal Carolina Irmo, S.C/Dutch Fork Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Marietta, Ga./Lassiter Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Seffner, Fla./Armwood Orlando, Fla./Jones Manning, S.C./Manning Havelock, N.C./Havelock Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Waldorf, Md./McDonough Laurens, S.C./Laurens Academy Aiken, S.C./South Aiken Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Irmo, S.C./Chapin Milton, Fla./Pace Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Cornelius, N.C./Hough Athens, Ga./Clarke Central/Gardner-Webb Rock Hill, S.C./Rock Hill Duluth, Ga./Chattahoochee/Arkansas Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Orangeburg, S.C./Orangeburg Prep Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell Pinewood, S.C./Scott’s Branch Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln Mobile, Ala./Murphy Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern Windermere, Fla./Olympia Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Allendale, S.C./Allendale-Fairfax/S.C. State Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian/Fort Scott C.C.


Spurs & Feathers • 13

October 1, 2014

Kentucky Football Roster # Name Pos. 1 A.J. Stamps S 1 Ryan Timmons WR 2 Alvin Dupree DE 2 Dorian Baker WR 3 Jojo Kemp RB 3 Fred Tiller CB 4 Mikel Horton RB 5 Ashely Lowery S 5 Braylon Heard RB 6 Blake Bone WR 6 Jason Hatcher DE 7 Daron Blaylock LB 7 Drew Barker QB 8 Javess Blue WR 8 Kobie Walker LB 9 Landon Foster P 9 Demarco Robinson WR 10 Tyler Brause LB 10 Thaddeus Snodgrass WR 11 J.D. Harmon CB 11 Maxwell Smith QB 12 Reese Phillips QB 13 Jared Leet H 13 Jeff Badet WR 14 Patrick Towles QB 14 Dorian Hendrix LB 15 Marcus McWilson S 16 Cody Quinn CB 17 AlexanderMontgomery WR 17 Zack Blaylock S 18 Glenn Faulkner S 18 StanleyBoomWilliams RB 19 Garrett Johnson WR 19 Jaleel Hytchye CB 20 Ryan Kendall WR 21 Nate Willis CB 21 Josh Clemons RB 22 Khalid Henderson LB 23 Rodney Cox CB 23 Jared Tucker CB 24 Blake McClain CB 25 Patrick Sermersheim S 25 Darius West S 26 Tre’ Dunn LB 28 Eric Dixon S 29 Kendall Randolph CB 30 Rhomel Fields S 31 Keron Wakefield CB 31 David Bouvier WR 32 William Mahone RB 33 Ryan Flannigan LB 34 Thaddeus Kazunas TE 35 Jerry McCray S 39 Darrell D.J. Warren FB 40 Nico Firios LB 41 TraVaughn Paschal LB

Ht. 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-3 5-10 6-0 6-1 6-1 5-11 6-5 6-3 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-3 6-1 5-10 6-4 6-1 6-2 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-0 6-5 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-2 6-0 6-2 5-9 5-11 5-10 5-10 6-0 5-10 6-1 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-11 6-0 6-2 5-11 6-0 6-2 5-10 5-9 5-9 6-2 6-2 6-0 6-0 6-2 6-4

Wt. 199 195 264 197 192 170 230 220 189 198 242 214 216 191 201 198 158 240 178 201 238 218 196 169 238 230 210 172 210 191 195 200 176 167 184 168 223 228 179 159 194 170 193 225 193 168 180 161 160 196 225 219 210 251 221 257

Yr. JR-JC SO-1L SR-3L FR-HS SO-1L JR-2L FR-HS SR-3L JR-Tr FR-HS SO-1L JR-2L FR-HS SR-1L FR-HS JR-2L SR-3L SR-3L FR-HS SO-1L JR-2L FR-RS JR-2L SO-1L SO-1L FR-HS SO-1L JR-2L SO-1L SO-1L JR-2L FR-HS FR-HS SO-1L FR-HS SR-1L JR-1L JR-2L JR-Sq FR-HS SO-1L FR-RS FR-HS SR-1L SR-3L FR-HS FR-HS FR-RS FR-HS FR-RS JR-JC FR-RS SO-Sq SR-3L FR-HS SR-2L

Hometown/Previous School Vicksburg, Miss./East Mississippi CC Frankfort, Ky./Franklin County Irwinton, Ga./Wilkinson County Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights DeLand, Fla./DeLand Homerville, Ga./Clinch County West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West Cleveland, Ga./White County Youngstown, Ohio/Nebraska Woodruff, S.C./Woodruff Louisville, Ky./Trinity Marietta, Ga./Walton Burlington, Ky./Conner Babson Park, Fla./Lake Wales/Butler CC Baltimore, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel Franklin, Tenn./Independence Ellenwood, Ga./Martin Luther King Sycamore, Ohio/Wynford Springfield, Ohio/Springfield Paducah, Ky./Tilghman Granada Hills, Calif./Birmingham Signal Mountain, Tenn./Signal Mountain Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Orange Orlando, Fla./Freedom Ft. Thomas, Ky./Highlands Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney Middletown, Ohio/Middletown Weston,Fla./CypressBay Marietta, Ga./Walton East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis Monroe, Ga./George Walton Academy Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle Charlotte, N.C./Cuthbertson Pahokee, Fla./Arizona Western College Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater Mableton, Ga./Pebblebrook Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier Lima, Ohio/Central Catholic Harrodsburg, Ky./Campbellsville Mobile, Ala./Vigor Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln Chicago, Ill./Kenwood Academy Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota East Missouri City, Texas/Marshall/Blinn College Louisville, Ky./Trinity Detroit, Mich./Romulus Alcoa, Tenn./Alcoa Longwood, Fla./Lyman Odenton, Md./Arundel

Coaches Mark Stoops - Head Coach Neal Brown - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach D.J. Eliot - Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach Derrick Ansley - Cornerbacks Jimmy Brumbaugh - Defensive Line Tommy Mainord - Wide Receivers Vince Marrow - Tight Ends, Recruiting Coordinator, NFL Liaison Craig Naivar - Special Teams Coordinator and Safeties John Schlarman - Offensive Line Chad Scott - Running Backs, Running Game Coordinator Dan Carrel - Graduate Asst. - Defense Max Drisko - Graduate Asst. - Offense Josh Pruitt - Graduate Asst. - Offense Sam Simpson - Graduate Asst. - Defense

# Name Pos. 43 Logan Blue LB/LS 44 Max Strong K 44 Grant Aumiller LB 45 Josh Forrest LB 46 Jeff Witthuhn FB 47 Jabari Johnson DE 48 Will Thomas Collins FB 50 Mike Douglas DT 51 Connor Itani LS 55 David Baumer OG 55 Denzil Ware DE 56 Matt Howard LS 57 Zach Myers C 59 Kelly Mason LS 59 Adrian Middleton DT 62 Dylan Greenberg C 64 Max Godby C/G 65 Jervontius Stallings OL 66 Jacob Hyde DT 67 Jarrett LaRubbio OL 67 Cory Johnson DT 68 Nick Haynes OG 69 Matt Elam DT 69 Ramsey Meyers OG 70 Jordan Swindle OT 71 John Gruenschlaeger OG 72 Jon Toth C 73 Kyle Meadows OT 74 Cole Mosier OG 75 Zach West OG 76 Teven Eatmon-Nared OT 77 Darrian Miller OT 78 Zane Williams DT 78 Nick Richardson OL 79 Josh Krok OL 80 Ronnie Shields TE 81 Rashad Cunningham WR 82 T.V. Williams WR 83 Cameron Fogle WR 84 Miles Thompson WR 85 Steven Borden TE 86 Darryl Long TE 87 Joey Herrick WR 88 Charles Walker WR 89 Conor Pilch WR 90 Melvin Lewis DT 91 Farrington Huguenin DE 92 Christian Coleman DT 93 Lloyd Tubman DE 93 Bryan Kirshe P 94 Za’Darius Smith DE 95 Miles Butler K 96 Regie Meant DT 98 Tymere Dubose DE 99 Austin MacGinnis K

Ht. 6-4 5-11 6-0 6-3 6-3 6-1 5-11 6-4 6-0 6-5 6-2 5-10 6-3 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-2 6-8 6-3 6-3 6-7 6-4 6-7 6-11 6-5 6-5 6-6 6-4 6-7 6-5 6-4 6-4 6-8 6-5 6-4 5-10 5-11 6-1 6-3 6-4 6-1 5-11 6-2 6-4 6-4 6-3 6-5 6-0 6-6 5-9 6-4 6-5 5-10

Wt. 240 183 210 236 246 276 222 288 195 295 228 208 287 223 297 295 298 330 333 282 299 319 375 300 306 363 301 294 348 318 339 292 283 272 303 254 225 160 203 171 246 224 197 195 200 320 275 288 225 155 263 160 286 294 168

Yr. FR-HS SO-Sq SR-Sq JR-2L SO-Sq JR-1L SO-TR SR-3L FR-RS FR-HS FR-HS FR-RS SO-Sq JR-2L FR-HS FR-Tr SR-1L FR-HS FR-RS FR-HS JR-JC FR-RS FR-HS FR-RS JR-2L JR-2L SO-1L FR-RS FR-RS JR-2L SR-2L SR-3L SO-Sq FR-HS FR-HS SR-3L JR-1L FR-HS FR-RS FR-RS SR-1L FR-HS JR-1L FR-HS FR-HS JR-JC JR-2L SR-3L FR-HS FR-HS SR-1L FR-HS FR-RS FR-HS FR-RS

Hometown/Previous School Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Louisville, Ky./Trinity HS Danville, Ky./Boyle County/Campbellsville Paducah, Ky./Tilghman Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Jackson, Ky./Pikeville Largo, Fla./Largo Vienna, Va./McLean Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle Crestview, Fla./Senior Berea, Ky./Madison Southern Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg Rockton, Ill./Hononegah Bowling Green, Ky./South Warren Tucson, Ariz./Youngstown State Louisville, Ky./Christian Academy of Louisville Hoover, Ala./Spain Park Manchester, Ky./Clay County Middletown, Ohio/Lakota East Columbia, S.C./ASA College Niceville, Fla./Niceville Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin Orange Park, Fla./Ridgeview St. Johns, Fla./Creekside Fort Thomas, Ky./Newport Central Catholic Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West Walton, Ky./Walton-Verona Lexington, Ky./Lexington Christian Academy Bucyrus, Ohio/Wynford Lexington, Ky./Bryan Station Lexington, Ky./Dunbar Westerville, Ohio/Central Niles, Ohio/McKinley Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Mobile, Ala./Davidson McKinney, Texas/McKinney Hebron, Ky./Conner Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual Waxahachie, Texas/Waxahachie/Kilgore Westerville, Ohio/South Maynard, Mass./Kilgore College Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Compton, Calif./Compton/Fullerton College Columbia, S.C./North Carolina Tech Milan, Tenn./Milan Louisville, Ky./Seneca Sarasota, Fla./Out of Door Academy Greenville, Ala./East Mississippi CC Paducah, Ky./Tilghman Cape Coral, Fla./Baker Youngstown, Ohio/Youngstown Christian Wedowee, Ala./Prattville


14 • Spurs & Feathers

October 1, 2014

Depth Charts for October 4, 7:30 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE WR: -OR- WR: WR: LT: LG: C: RG: -OR- RT: TE: QB: -OR- FB:

4 Shaq Roland 1 Damiere Byrd 8 Shamier Jeffery 11 Pharoh Cooper 80 K.J. Brent 3 Nick Jones 85 Kane Whitehurst 83 Carlton Heard 53 Corey Robinson 74 Mason Zandi 50 A.J. Cann 65 Brock Stadnik 70 Alan Knott 54 Clayton Stadnik 51 Cody Waldrop 75 Will Sport 71 Brandon Shell 55 Na’Ty Rodgers 81 Rory Anderson 89 Jerell Adams 90 Cody Gibson 17 Dylan Thompson 10 Perry Orth 6 Connor Mitch 41 Connor McLaurin 31 Jordan Diaz

6-1, 176, Jr. 5-9, 170, Sr. 6-1, 198, Jr. 5-11, 201, So. 6-4, 192, Jr. 5-7, 168, Sr. 5-11, 169, Jr. 6-0, 188, Jr. 6-8, 344, Sr. 6-9, 301, So. 6-4, 311, Sr. 6-5, 287, So. 6-4, 280, RFr. 6-3, 273, So. 6-2, 309, So. 6-5, 291, Jr. 6-6, 333, Jr. 6-5, 280, RFr. 6-5, 227, Sr. 6-6, 242, Jr. 6-7, 278, Sr. 6-3, 218, Sr. 6-1, 204, So. 6-3, 211, RFr. 6-0, 243, Sr. 6-1, 236, Sr.

Lexington, S.C. Sicklerville, N.J. St. Matthews, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Waxhaw, N.C. Moore, S.C. Duluth, Ga. Athens, Ga. Havelock, N.C. Irmo, S.C. Bamberg, S.C. Greensboro, N.C. Tyrone, Ga. Greensboro, N.C. Seffner, Fla. Milton, Fla. Goose Creek, S.C. Waldorf, Md. PowderSprings,Ga. Pinewood, S.C. Tallahassee, Fla. BoilingSprings,S.C. Ponte Vedra, Fla. Raleigh, N.C. Raleigh, N.C. Hamilton, N.J.

85 Steven Borden 80 Ronnie Shields 77 Darrian Miller 68 Nick Haynes 74 Cole Mosier 75 Zach West 72 Jon Toth 57 Zach Myers 69 Ramsey Meyers 64 Max Godby 70 Jordan Swindle 73 Kyle Meadows 9 Demarco Robinson 6 Blake Bone 1 Ryan Timmons 82 T.V. Williams 8 Javess Blue 2 Dorian Baker 81 Rashad Cunningham 87 Joey Herrick 19 Garrett Johnson 14 Patrick Towles 12 Reese Phillips 7 Drew Barker 39 D.J. Warren 10 Jeff Witthuhn 5 Braylon Heard, 3 Jojo Kemp

28 Mike Davis 22 Brandon Wilds 33 David Williams 7 Shon Carson

5-9, 223, Jr. 6-2, 230, Jr. 6-1, 222, RFr. 5-8, 201, Jr.

Atlanta, Ga. Blythewood, S.C. Philadelphia, Pa. Scranton, S.C.

44 Gerald Dixon 6-2, 274, SO. 34 Mason Harris 6-3, 235, JR. 97 J.T. Surratt 6-2, 310, Sr. 99 Abu Lamin 6-4, 302, So. 93 Deon Green 6-4, 289, So. 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 6-3, 323, Jr. 52 Phillip Dukes 6-3, 323, Jr. 94 Kelsey Griffin 6-2, 310, So. 90 Taylor Stallworth 6-2, 293, Fr. 5 Darius English 6-6, 241, So. 18 Cedrick Cooper 6-2, 225, Jr. 8 Kaiwan Lewis 6-0, 228, Jr. 11 T.J. Holloman 6-2, 234, So. 21 Marcquis Roberts 6-1, 216, So. 10 Skai Moore 6-2, 213, So. 28 Jonathan Walton 6-0, 228, So. 4 Bryson Allen-Williams 6-1, 231, Fr. 9 Sharrod Golightly 5-10, 187, Sr. 42 Jordan Diggs 6-0, 217, So. 23 Larenz Bryant 6-0, 220, So. 31 Al Harris, Jr. 5-11, 162, Fr.

Rock Hill, S.C. FortOglethorpe,Ga. Winston-Salem,N.C. Fayetteville, N.C. Windermere, Fla. Rock Hill, S.C. Manning, S.C. Buford, Ga. Mobile, Ala. PowderSprings,Ga. Lithonia, Ga. Mays Landing, N.J. StoneMountain,Ga. PowderSprings,Ga. Cooper City, Fla. Daphne, Ala. Ellenwood, Ga. Decatur, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Charlotte, N.C. FortLauderdale,Fla.

DEFENSE DE: DT: DT: DE: MLB: WLB: SPUR: CB:

DEFENSE

OFFENSE TE: LT: LG: C: RG: RT: WR: WR: WR: -OR- WR: QB: -OR- FB: RB: -OR-

TB: -OR-

6-3, 246, Sr. 6-5, 254, Sr. 6-5, 292, Sr. 6-5, 319, RFr. 6-6, 348, RFr. 6-4, 318, Jr. 6-5, 301, So. 6-3, 287, So. 6-5, 300, RFr. 6-4, 298, Sr. 6-7, 306, Jr. 6-5, 294, RFr. 5-10, 158, Sr. 6-5, 198, Fr. 5-10, 195, So. 5-10, 160, Fr. 6-0, 191, Sr. 6-3, 197, Fr. 6-4, 225, Jr. 6-1, 197, Jr. 5-11, 176, Fr. 6-5, 238, So. 6-2, 218, RFr. 6-3, 216, Fr. 6-0, 251, Sr. 6-3, 246, So. 5-11, 189, Jr. 5-10, 194, So.

Waxahachie, Texas Stone Mountain, Ga. Lexington, Ky. Niceville, Fla. Walton, Ky. Lexington, Ky. Indianapolis, Ind. Miamisburg, Ohio Miamisburg, Ohio Louisville, Ky. St. Johns, Fla. West Chester, Ohio Ellenwood, Ga. Woodruff, S.C. Frankfort, Ky. McKinney, Texas Babson Park, Fla. ClevelandHeights,Ohio Mobile, Ala. Maynard, Mass. Winter Garden, Fla. Ft. Thomas, Ky. SignalMountain,Tenn. Burlington, Ky. Alcoa, Tenn. Bowling Green, Ky. Youngstown, Ohio DeLand, Fla.

DE: DT: DT: -OR- DE/LB: DE/LB: MLB: WLB: NCB: CB: S: S: CB:

Kentucky

94 Za’Darius Smith 91 Farrington Huguenin 90 Melvin Lewis 69 Matt Elam 50 Mike Douglas 67 Cory Johnson 96 Regie Meant 6 Jason Hatcher 47 Jabari Johnson 2 Alvin Dupree 41 TraVaughn Paschal 45 Josh Forrest 41 TraVaughn Paschal 22 Khalid Henderson 33 Ryan Flannigan 24 Blake McClain 29 Kendall Randolph 3 Fred Tiller 11 J.D. Harmon 5 Ashely Lowery 15 Marcus McWilson 1 A.J. Stamps 28 Eric Dixon 16 Cody Quinn 21 Nate Willis

6-6, 263, Sr. 6-4, 275, Jr. 6-4, 320, Jr. 6-7, 375, Fr. 6-4, 288, Sr. 6-3, 299, Jr. 6-4, 286, RFr. 6-3, 242, So. 6-1, 276, Jr. 6-4, 264, Sr. 6-4, 257, Sr. 6-3, 236, Jr. 6-4, 257, Sr. 6-1, 228, Jr. 6-2, 225, Jr. 5-11, 194, So. 6-0, 168, Fr. 6-0, 170, Jr. 6-2, 201, So. 6-1, 220, Sr. 6-0, 210, So. 6-0, 199, Jr. 5-11, 193, Sr. 5-10, 172, Jr. 6-0, 168, Sr.

Greenville, Ala. Columbia, S.C. Compton, Calif. Elizabethtown, Ky. Largo, Fla. Columbia, S.C. Cape Coral, Fla. Louisville, Ky. Stone Mountain, Ga. Irwinton, Ga. Odenton, Md. Paducah, Ky. Odenton, Md. Mableton, Ga. Missouri City, Texas Winter Park, Fla. Tallahassee, Fla. Homerville, Ga. Paducah, Ky. Cleveland, Ga. Youngstown, Ohio Vicksburg, Miss. Mobile, Ala. Middletown, Ohio Pahokee, Fla.

6-3, 223, Jr.

Rockton, Ill.

SPECIALISTS LS:

59 Kelly Mason

SS: FS: CB:

3 Chris Lammons 30 Sidney Rhodes 12 Brison Williams 6 Chris Moody 25 Kadetrix Marcus 20 T.J. Gurley 17 Chaz Elder 26 Jasper Sasser 1 Rico McWilliams 24 D.J. Smith

5-10, 172, Fr. 5-10, 182, Sr. 5-11, 208, Sr. 6-1, 210, So. 6-1, 194, Sr. 5-10, 194, Jr. 6-2, 195, So. 6-0, 203, RFr. 5-11, 184, So. 5-11, 189, Fr.

Sunrise, Fla. Easley, S.C. Warner Robins, Ga. McDonough, Ga. StoneMountain,Ga. Cairo, Ga. Union City, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. Hampton, Ga. Marietta, Ga.

SPECIALISTS KO: PK: P: KR: PR: SSN: LSN: H:

19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard 13 Tyler Hull 18 Patrick Fish 7 Shon Carson 11 Pharoh Cooper 11 Pharoh Cooper 58 Ryland Culbertson 47 Drew Williams 18 Patrick Fish 13 Tyler Hull

5-9, 178, Jr. 6-0, 165, So. 6-0, 165, So. 5-9, 178, Jr. 6-2, 207, Sr. 6-0, 194, Sr. 5-8, 201, Jr. 5-11, 201, So. 5-11, 201, So. 6-4, 267, Sr. 6-2, 201, So. 6-0, 194, Sr. 6-2, 207, Sr.

Rock Hill, S.C. Frisco, Texas Frisco, Texas Rock Hill, S.C. Mount Airy, N.C. Shelby, N.C. Scranton, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Havelock, N.C. Laurens, S.C. Irmo, S.C. Shelby, N.C. Mount Airy, N.C.

H: K: P: KR: -OR- PR:

13 Jared Leet 99 Austin MacGinnis 9 Landon Foster 18 Stanley Williams 5 Braylon Heard 11 J.D. Harmon 9 Demarco Robinson 1 Ryan Timmons

6-3, 196, Jr. 5-10, 168, RFr. 6-1, 198, Jr. 5-9, 200, Fr. 5-11, 189, Jr. 6-2, 201, So. 5-10, 158, Sr. 5-10, 195, So.

Powell, Ohio Wedowee, Ala. Franklin, Tenn. Monroe, Ga. Youngstown, Ohio Paducah, Ky. Ellenwood, Ga. Frankfort, Ky.


October 1, 2014

Spurs & Feathers • 15


16 • Spurs & Feathers

October 1, 2014

Previewing the Kentucky football team by Kyle heck Contributing Writer

share of the quarterbacking duties last season. Both recorded 1,000 yard seasons in 2013. In year two of the Mark Stoops era, the However, the successor appears to be PatKentucky football team looks much imrick Towles, a redshirt sophomore. Towles proved from years past. Solid wins over two does bring a bit of experience, appearing in nonconference opponents, a narrow threefive games as a true freshman before redovertime loss at Florida and a league win shirting last year. So far this year, Towles is over Vanderbilt have the Wildcats pointing in averaging just under 300 passing yards per the right direction. game. It was needed for Kentucky, who went 2-10 The tailback position is one area that Kenand 0-8 in the SEC in Stoops’ first year in tucky is just as talented in as anybody else in 2013, in their quest to get out of the bottom of the SEC. Braylon Heard, a transfer from Nethe league. braska, and sophomore JoJo Kemp highlight Stoops and his staff have furiously recruited the group. However, the Wildcats already over the last two years and it paid off in Feb- have four backs that have at least 10 carriers ruary with a class that was ranked in the top- this season, showing they have real depth at 20 and included 10 four-star recruits. That the position. matched the amount of four-star recruits that Helping out Towles is the return of three South Carolina had for the 2014 class. offensive lineman and most of the receiving Still, after back-to-back 10 loss seasons, the corps from last season, highlighted by Javess Wildcats appear to have a lot of work to do Blue, who had nearly 600 receiving yards and this season. They do return 16 starters, eight four touchdowns last year. each on offense and defense. Kentucky did not lose many starters on One of the major question marks entering defense, but the ones they did lose were very the season for Kentucky was at quarterback, valuable. Particularly last year’s leading tackwhere they had to replace Maxwell Smith ler, linebacker Avery Williamson. However, and Jalen Whitlow, who handled the lion’s the Wildcats bring back at a lot of talent at de-

fensive end. Returning is Alvin Dupree and Za’Darius Smith. Dupree was second on the team last season with 61 tackles, 9.5 for loss and seven sacks, which led the squad. Smith added 59 tackles, 6.5 for loss and six sacks of his own. The secondary appears to be strong as well, starting with defensive back Blake McClain, who had 59 tackles and five pass breakups last year. Safety Eric Dixon is also back after a 55 tackle campaign in 2013. All-in-all, the Wildcats return four of their top five leading tacklers from last year. However, along with the 102 tackles he brought, Williamson’s leadership will also be missed on the Kentucky defense. Still, because of the fantastic job that Stoops has done on the recruiting trail, the Wildcats are building depth at every position, meaning that they’ll have an easier job of replacing guys with some that are more than capable of stepping up. The Gamecocks currently own a threegame winning streak over Kentucky. However, South Carolina fans will vividly remember the Wildcats’ 2010 31-28 upset in Lexington the week after the Gamecocks knocked off No. 1 Alabama at home.

photo by allen sharpe

The last trip up to Kentucky saw South Carolina come away with a 38-17 victory. In Stoops’ first game against the Gamecocks last year in Columbia, the Wildcats found themselves in a 20-point, third quarter deficit. A furious Kentucky rally in the second half was nearly enough to pull off the upset, but South Carolina held on for the 35-28 win.


Spurs & Feathers • 17

October 1, 2014

South Carolina Gamecocks

Recruiting Round-up

Sponsored by:

By Phil Kornblut

The South Carolina basketball program landed their first commitment for the 2015 class last week from 6-9 Chris Silva, a native of Gabon, Africa who attends Roselle Catholic School in New Jersey. Silva picked the Gamecocks over Seton Hall and Rhode Island, the other two schools he visited. He also considered Kansas State and Villanova. The announcement came on his 18th birthday. “It’s a great school and coaches,” Silva said during his press conference. “I like everything about it. The education. The support they give to players after their career. Everything.” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff has close ties to the USC staff, in particular with assistant coach Matt Figger, and said the chance to play early in a major conference like the SEC was a big attraction to Silva. “The biggest factor in the final decision to go to South Carolina was the opportunity to compete in the SEC day in and day out,” Boff said. “He wanted to play with great players, he wanted to play against great players and he wanted to be in a place where he thought he would really develop to his fullest potential. He thought that South Carolina offered the best of those three things.” Silva averaged 9 points and 10 rebounds per game last season and Boff feels he’s only scratched the surface of his talents. “They are going to get one of the elite athletes in the counPhil Kornblut try,” Boff said. “Chris is Contributing as good a run and jump Writer athlete as there is in the country, especially at 6-9, 240. They are also going to get a player that’s developing his skills on the perimeter. He can step out and shoot it to 22 feet and also handles the ball pretty well for a kid of his size. Overall they are getting a kid that’s going to have a bright future.” PG PJ Dozier of Spring Valley is set to begin his official visits after meeting will all of the head coaches of the schools he’s considering. The head coaches from USC, North Carolina, Michigan, Georgetown and Louisville were in earlier this month. “All of them (visits) went extremely well,” Perry Dozier said. “None was any better than the other. All were good which is what we expected. We’re looking forward to the (official) visits that will be the determining factor.” And there’s been a couple of changes on that schedule. Michigan is still September 26th but North Carolina has been moved up to October 3rd. Georgetown remains October 17th but USC has been moved up a week to October 24th. And Louisville will get the final visit October 20th. As the official visits approach, there is no favor-

ite. “I’m his dad and I can’t even feel him out,” Dozier said. “He said, ‘I’ll know when I know.’ He likes all of them.” USC coach Frank Martin was in to watch 7-0 center Rozelle Nix of Pensacola JC, FL work out recently. “Everything went great,” Nix said. “He really likes my game. He wants me to come in and see the family atmosphere at South Carolina. I’m looking forward to it.” Nix said he did his best to show Martin his complete game as a true post man and he feels he accomplished that. “I showed him my post moves and how I set screens,” he said. “He loves how hard I work and he wants to be my next coach. We’re just building on that relationship. I feel great and he’s excited about me. I’m really looking forward to visiting South Carolina and see what’s going on in Columbia.” Nix made his official visit to USC this past weekend. Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon was in to see Nix last week and he now has the Panthers on his offer list. Loyola Marymount and Arkansas also have been in to see him. Nix, who has three years to play two, doesn’t plan to sign until the spring and doesn’t have favorites. USC reportedly also has offered 7-0 center Legend Robertin of Chipola JC, FL. Some of his other reported offers are Memphis, Florida State, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, West Virginia and Tennessee. 6-5 Tevin Mack of Dreher was back at USC last Tuesday for an unofficial visit. Mack made his first official visit over the weekend to Georgia and got the chance to take a closer look at the Bulldog program under Mark Fox. He toured the campus and spent a lot of time with the players. “They showed me some film on the wings, especially Caldwell Pope and how they used him, and I kind of got a feel for how I’d be able to play.” Mack’s mother went with him on the visit. This past weekend he went to VCU and he will visit Clemson next weekend. Connecticut is a recent offer for Mack and he will take a visit there October 10th. He is scheduled to visit USC October 17th. USC also was in last week and they showed him film of one of Frank Martin’s players at Kansas State. Mack said there is no favorite and he plans to sign in November. 6-6 Jacob Evans of Baton Rouge visited Cincinnati last weekend. He’s also been to USC, Tulane and Auburn. Football News: LB Roquan Smith of Montezuma, GA made an unofficial visit to USC for the Georgia game and now plans to take an official visit later this season. “They showed me that I am a priority,” Smith said. “Coach Ward told me they he loves playmakers in his defense and that I could be that playmaker. They like me at the Spur position and I’d like to play (at that position). Coach Spurrier just told me they would love to have me at Caro-

lina.” Smith does not plan to narrow his list until the season ends. He named Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida as other schools he plans to visit this season. “I’m still pretty wide open.” DB Darin Smalls, a 2014 USC signee from Summerville who could not enroll in August because the ACT people flagged his last score, will need to retake and pass the test again, to be able to enroll in January. Smalls said he was recently informed that his qualifying score was invalid. “I took it at another school with about 20 other kids,” Smalls said. “I’m not sure why it was flagged. Either my answers or someone else’s were close. A proctor was there.” Smalls said his score did improve a lot from the previous test but he credits that to the preparation he put into the test. Smalls is waiting to hear back from the ACT regarding the proctors for his next test. Once he gets that letter, he will set the date for what will be his fifth test. He is also taking an on-line class in which he says if he makes an ‘A’ that, too, will aid him in qualifying. But, if he gets a qualifying test score, he said he can drop the on-line class. Smalls tore his ACL and LCL in the third game of last season and has been rehabbing ever since. “I’m just starting to get back to the gym,” he said. “The knee is better, making a lot of progress. I can run, jump and cut.” But he hasn’t had contact on the knee. Smalls has kept in contact with the Gamecocks and has been in for all three home games. “Everything is good with USC,” he said. Juniors: USC is the current frontrunner for LB Jamie Skalski (6-1 222) of Newnan, GA who was among the prospects in Columbia for the Georgia game. “It’s a pretty big lead,” Skalski said, “but I’m going to give it some time and wait until next year to commit.” Skalski has USC #1 on this list and Clemson and Ole Miss tied for second. Skalski currently is sidelined for three weeks with a broken thumb. Last season he was in on 120 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He camped at USC this summer and that’s when he picked up the offer from the Gamecocks. His visit for the Georgia game was his first since then and he got a good feel for the atmosphere. Skalski also spent time talking with recruiter Joe Robinson and linebackers coach Kirk Botkin. That was his first visit and he said he probably will visit Clemson, Georgia and Auburn as well. Skalski also has offers from North Carolina, Ole Miss, Central Florida, Marshall, Louisville and Wake Forest. WR Divine Deablo (6-3 195) of WinstonSalem, NC was at the USC season-opener this year and is showing interest in the Gamecocks. His only other visits this season have been to North Carolina and Virginia Tech, and he’s going to Clemson this weekend and Tennessee next

weekend. His offers include USC, Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio State, NC State, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville and West Virginia among others. As a sophomore, Deablo had over 700 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. Whale Branch DL Nyles Pinckney (6-3 280) has offers from USC, Clemson, Florida State, Florida, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami and Georgia with any favorites. He’s also drawing interest from Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia Tech. Pinckney has not been to any games this season but he went to Clemson this past weekend. He will be at North Carolina October 4th and also at the USC at Clemson game. He went to games at USC and Clemson last season. Academics will be a major factor for Pinckney in his decision and he wants to major in business. Last season Pinckney had 96 tackles, 26 for loss, and 8 sacks. “He’s a dominant player,” said his coach Jerry Hatcher. “You can’t single block him. He’s exceptionally quick. And he’s a competitor. He hates losing with a passion.” QB Brandon McIlwain of Newtown, PA is by no means a stranger around Columbia. His father is a USC graduate and he has family who live in Columbia so he’s around town frequently. He was back for the Georgia game. “It was an awesome visit,” McIlwain said. “Seeing the game atmosphere was amazing. It was such a great game. I’ve always loved South Carolina. I loved the environment, the place, the coaches. I was at the Clemson game last year and it was good to see they get that environment against other teams.” McIlwain didn’t have much of a chance to talk to Steve Spurrier on this visit but he was in the ear of quarterbacks coach and recruiter GA Mangus. And he also paid close attention to the offensive game Spurrier and Mangus cooked up. “They threw the ball around well,” he said. McIlwain was at Penn State this past weekend and he plans to get to games of the other teams on his short list: Auburn, Virginia Tech, Duke and Florida. He does not have a favorite. OL Sean Pollard (6-6 310) of Southern Pines, NC has offers from USC, Clemson, East Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, Miami and Penn State. “I’m interested in all the schools that have offered,” he said. “My first visit as a recruit was to South Carolina last season for the Mississippi State game.” Earlier this month Pollard made plans to make a commitment but after talking it over with his dad, he decided to wait. Now, he’s not sure when he’ll make his decision. “I’ve wiped the slate clean but you always have in the back of your mind a favorite.” Pollard was at Clemson last Saturday. He’s also been to Duke and NC State for recent games. He’d also like to get back to USC but hasn’t made plans to do so.


18 • Spurs & Feathers

October 1, 2014

View from the Missouri locker room by kyle heck Contributing Writer

Pinkel said that he was positive that Baggett was thinking back to last year, but Baggett was still able to split the uprights. Last season, South Carolina went to Mis“I trusted him to go make it,” Pinkel said. “I souri and pulled out a come-from-behind wasn’t like, ‘don’t hit the goal post, don’t hit 27-24 double-overtime victory. It was a the goal post.’” jubilating victory for the Gamecocks and an The first thing that Pinkel did in his postexcruciating loss for the Tigers. game press conference was compliment the On Saturday night at Williams-Brice StaGamecock program. dium, Missouri returned the favor, overcom“South Carolina is a great football team,” ing a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Pinkel said. “It was just a crazy day out there South Carolina, 21-20. and I’m just proud of our team and how we The Tigers’ Russell Hansbrough squeezed battled and fought.” into the endzone from a yard out with 1:36 The win puts the Tigers in the driver’s seat remaining in the game to give Missouri in the SEC East with a 1-0 record. However, the win. It was Hansbrough’s third rushing Pinkel said that midway through the fourth touchdown of the game. quarter he was very skeptical about Mis“It was the opposite of a year ago when souri’s chances to pull out the win. South Carolina had a great comeback win,” The Tigers had been shut down by the Tiger coach Gary Pinkel said. “We were South Carolina defense for most of the game. fortunate enough to get that done ourselves Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk’s completonight.” tion percentage was well under 50 percent Last season in Columbia, Mo. it was a and he had thrown for less than 100 yards missed field goal by the Tigers’ Andrew midway through the fourth quarter. Baggett in the double-overtime that proved to However, a 41-yard completion from Mauk be the difference. to wide receiver Bud Sasser gave the Tigers With the score knotted at 20 after Hansthe spark that they needed. Missouri scored a brough recorded the touchdown, it was touchdown two plays after that pass compleBaggett who lined up for the deciding PAT. tion to cut the deficit to six with a little less

than seven minutes remaining. Before that Sasser completion, Mauk was 9-for-28 for 62 yards. He finished the game going 3-for-6 for 70 yards. After a three and out by the Gamecocks, the Tigers went on their eventual gamewinning drive. Mauk’s final stat line was an unimpressive 12-for-34 for 132 yards and no touchdowns. The Gamecocks outgained the Tigers, 338280, in total yardage. Pinkel admitted he was very frustrated with his offense throughout the night, but his team was able to seize the momentum and pull out the win despite being outplayed for the majority of the night. The Missouri defense was able to contain a South Carolina offense that looked impressive in the first four games of the season. The Gamecocks could never really get a rhythm going and quarterback Dylan Thompson was under pressure for most of the night. “Their offense is really, really good,” Pinkel said. “I thought our defense just kept battling.” For the Gamecocks, it was just the third time they’ve lost at home in the last four years, a stretch that covers 23 home games. So Mitch Morse, a senior offensive lineman

photo by allen sharpe

Surratt (97) had a career-best seven tackles.

for the Tigers, knows how special it is to win at Williams-Brice and enjoys visiting. “It’s such a great place to play,” Morse said. “I describe it as a party with a football game kind of happening in the middle of it.”


Spurs & Feathers • 19

October 1, 2014

The pieces for the Gamecocks to be a good team are in place Remember as a kid sitting around a card table with your family for hours, putting together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and how invariably near the end one or two pieces would be missing? It was no big deal, you had pieced together the other 998 and even without the missing ones it looked like the picture on the box, but the reality is it’s not a complete puzzle without all the pieces. That’s my view of South Carolina’s football team. The Gamecocks do not look like the picture on the box because there are some pieces missing and unlike a jigsaw puzzle where you know exactly where the missing pieces fit, USC’s issues are about finding the corner pieces of its puzzle. This one has to go in the “payback is hell” category. After last season’s remarkable comefrom-behind double-overtime victory in the other Columbia, Missouri came to Williams-Brice Glenn Snyder to return the Inside favor. Look The fact that it was a one-point

game goes back to what I said earlier about this being a “transition” year for Coach Steve Spurrier’s program, as it is for Coach Gary Pinkel’s squad. As a reminder, the Tigers went 12-2 last season, won the Cotton Bowl, and lost a lot of good players. The Gamecocks finished their third-straight 11win campaign, won their bowl game, and lost a LOT of the players who had helped make that happen. The simple fact is, Missouri “out-transitioned” Carolina by one point. I will also remind you that while the Gamecocks were struggling to beat Vanderbilt last week the Tigers were being upset by Indiana, and I think that’s the way the rest of the season could go for both teams. I’m disappointed, heartbroken over the, woulda, coulda, shoulda opportunity the Gamecocks missed, but I’m not wringing my hands just yet. There were encouraging signs. The defense had unquestionably its best performance of the season. The guys were focused, prepared and played with intensity. J.T. Surratt continued to show his leadership with a team-leading seven total tackles and a sack. The offense had its moments. Mike Davis had a 104-yard rushing day, Dylan Thomp-

son was a very respectable 21-of-37 passing for 219 yards and a touchdown and there were no turnovers. Special teams didn’t give up the big play. What I’m trying to say here is, I believe the pieces for the Gamecocks to be a good team are in place they just need to keep their heads up and keep working. This was a team loss. The defense didn’t do quite enough, and the offense missed some opportunities. What I believe is that this is a Gamecock team brimming with good talent and good character young men who are wellcoached. They just need to continue believing in themselves. Playing at Kentucky has never been easy for USC, but this is a game that can put the season back on track. The Gamecocks have yet to put a complete game together. Saturday would be a good day for that first one.

“Family atmosphere” I would be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about the reunion of the 1995 Carquest Bowl Championship team. The banquet at Seawell’s Friday night was an incredible walk down memory lane. I hesitate to get into the names because there were so many players who made an impact on that

photo by allen sharpe

Thompson was 21-of-37 passing for 219 yards. season, but Steve Taneyhill and Brandon Bennett are USC Hall of Fame members. They were honored again at halftime as USC’s first bowl-winning team and over 80 of the 110-man roster was on hand. I think it was another great opportunity for the program to continue to build on its “family” atmosphere. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!


20 • Spurs & Feathers

October 1, 2014

The anatomy of the pass rush

The Gamecocks are five games into the 2014 football season and one glaring question that everyone want to know: “pass rush, what’s that?!?!” Steve Spurrier said just that at this past week’s press conference. Of course he’s joking, but the Gamecocks have only mustered up six sacks on the season so far (compared to 12 at this point last year) so Steve might be a little serious! Since I probably have more sacks than the whole team combined at this moment, I can play “exLangston Moore pert” and break Contributing down the three Writer phases of a pass rush. “Get Off the Rock Everyday” - Rod Maranelli, Defensive Coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys This is the mantra you live by if you want to be considered an elite rush man on the football field. Anyone who’s all the all-time leading sack list in the NFL or college had an above

average “get off,” at times possibly a lethal one (Eric Norwood, enough said). The “get off” is the delivery of everything. Think of a pitcher who has no “fastball” or “go-to pitch.” If his main “pitch” is weak or ineffective no other “pitch” (pass rush move or stunt) will work either. When you think about the Gamecock woes in the pass rushing arena some of it can be attributed to inconsistent “get off,” be it as a group or as individuals.

move.

“Sacks are made in the STRAIN!!!” - Joe Cullen, Defensive Line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers “The Finish” or the “Strain” is the last phase of a pass rush and equally important as the previous two phases. After you’ve beaten those slow lineman “off the rock,” and gave him your best Bruce Lee quick hands move we have to fight the offensive lineman’s last ditch effort to fall on you or push you past the passer. We can’t forget these QBs are like little deers that can prance and jut out the way (they practice this daily), so they won’t be standing there waiting for you to clobber them. You’ll have to strain, flip your hips (another way of saying getting you hips pointed back in the right direction), and continue to chase down “Bambi with the pigskin.” The Gamecocks had some opportunities last Saturday night to affect the young doe from Missouri. We saw Matty Mauk fade away, and rush some throws to help the Gamecock D hold the Tigers to 2-of-16 on third down.

“God gave you two hands, use them” -Jay Hayes, Defensive Line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals The second phase of rushing the passer is the “engagement phase” or where you work a move. We’ve all heard those football pass rush phrases “club n rip,” “swim move,” “armover,” and “hump” before. This is where you would see these moves executed. Right after you have a great “GET OFF,” you should have the offensive lineman offbalance or in “panic mode” perfect to execute a move. The key to this phase of the pass rush is to not be too “high” to give an OL a target to punch as well as to not “stall your feet.” I like to equate this to 1-on-1 basketball without the ball, giving the “You Only Block Yourself” rush-men an opportunity to do their favorite If this seems like a lot to remember, let’s not Allen Iverson or Dawn Staley “crossover” forget that this all happens in the blink of an

eye. A football play usually last 6-7 secs, and quarterbacks are trained to get the ball out in 3-3.6 seconds or less when you play “spread” teams. Plus you must also take into account the possibility of the offenses “change up,” a screen or a “draw” play. All used as ploy to slow down the defense especially when your “getting off the rock.” Dylan Thompson was sacked a season high four times in the game. That was mostly attributed to Shane Ray & Markus Golden employing these three phases of the pass rush. On the Clowney-less, Suttonless, Quarles-less D-Line our boys were effective, but they’re learning a valuable lesson that all rush men must learn: “You Only Block Yourself!” Once you understand that you only “give in” to allowing yourself to be blocked or you failed in executing the points mentioned above. As our boys travel up to Lexington to take on the kittens from Kentucky they will need to live this mantra. The defense must continue to improve on the effort from last Saturday and be a factor in the Gamecocks getting their next win. Follow Langston Moore on Twitter at: @reMovetheChains #justachicken #eat2win #yoby


Spurs & Feathers • 21

October 1, 2014

Upcoming Events: Gamecock Club NYC Gamecocks Game Watching Party When: Every time the Gamecocks play football this season Where: The NYC Gamecock Club home, The Mason Jar, at the intersection of 30th St. and Park Ave. Come out and enjoy Gamecock Football with the best NYC Gamecock fans you will ever meet. Enjoy drink specials, giveaway items, cool raffle items, great food and dozens of TV’s with only Gamecock Football! Wear your gameday gear, take a photo with our inflatable Cocky mascot and be proud to be a Gamecock in NYC! If you are not at Williams-Brice, you want to be here! Charlotte Gamecock Club Watch Party When: Every time the Gamecocks play football this season Where: Icehouse in Southend; 2100 South Blvd., Charlotte, N.C. 28203 Guaranteed to watch the game, listen to the audio with free parking, free entry and right off the light rail. Come watch the game with plenty of Gamecocks with Gamecock trivia, specials and a revenue share to help the University! DC Gamecocks Game Watch Party When: Every time the Gamecock play football this season Where: Greene Turtle Ballston: 900 N Glebe Rd., Arlington, Va. or Redline DC: 707 G Street, NW Washington, D.C. Join your fellow Gamecocks at Greene Turtle Ballston for “2001,” “Sandstorm,” the Game-Cocks chant and the other great traditions you miss so much from Columbia. As always, we will host a raffle, provide free Gamecock swag, and offer great food and drink specials. Food: $5.00 Chicken Quesadillas, Hog Hammers, Chicken Tenders, Sweet Potato Fries, and Fried Pickles. Drinks:$3.00 for 16 oz. Coors Light, Bud Light, Miller Lite Yuengling, Budweiser, Bloody Mary, and Mimosas; $5.00 for Firefly, Fireball, and Jager Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you all there or at our D.C. game watch location, Redline DC. Kentucky Parking Information Visitors are encouraged to utilize the UK Football Express - Downtown Route due to the limited nature of non-reserved parking on or near campus. The Downtown Shuttle picks up at the following locations: Shops at Civic Center; 430 W. Vine (shuttle tickets available for purchase at this location). LexTran Transit Center; 200 W. Vine (shuttle tickets available for purchase at this location), Ramsey’s; Woodland/High/Maxwell.

On-campus parking is available: Parking Structure #2 - accessible from University Dr. near the WT Young Library, Parking Structure #3 - Kentucky Clinic parking off Virginia Ave., Parking Structure #6 On the corner of Virginia Ave. and Press Ave. The ‘R3’ surface lots on the corner of Cooper Drive and Sports Center Drive will open at 8 a.m. on game day for a fee of $30 per vehicle, they are operated by UK Parking.  When the surface lots fill or four hours prior to kickoff, Parking Structure #7 will open, this structure is also operated by UK Parking. Each vehicle will be charged a fee of $30 instead of the regular hourly rate. Tailgate setups and vehicle parking may begin no earlier than noon on Fridays prior to game day. Beginning noon on Friday, two vehicles will be permitted to parallel park outside/along painted 6’ restraining line, within each designated tailgate area. Vehicles will be restricted from parking in any ditches, flood areas, sidewalks and otherwise marked areas. RV’s without permits may park in: the Non-Reserved (Limited Availability) lot located on Virginia Ave. between South Limestone and Press Ave. Virginia Ave. RV Lot is the primary Non-Reserved RV Lot. Accommodates approximately 30 RV’s and is first-come first-serve. Opens at 6 p.m. Friday evenings prior to game day. Please do not park in any University lots designated for RV’s until 6 p.m. on Friday evening prior to game day. This lot is free of charge, but no RV Hookups in this lot. The Game Day Campus Shuttle picks up on Nicholasville Rd. in front of the Kentucky Clinic. Guests parking in the Virginia Ave. RV Lot may walk east on Virginia Avenue to access the UK Football Express Campus Shuttle. Triangle Gamecock Club hosts Athletics Director Ray Tanner When: Friday, Oct. 10; 12 p.m. Where: Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, 222 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, N.C. Gamecock Athletics Director Ray Tanner will visit the Triangle Gamecock Club. Tanner will address those in attendance starting at 12:30 p.m. Spartanburg Gamecock Club October Meeting When: Thursday, October 16th, 7:00PM Where: Spartanburg Downtown Marriott Convention Center Topic: Annual “mid-season review and player update” Guest Speaker: Chris Clark (Gamecock Central Recruiting Analyst) All Gamecock fans are welcome and Admission is FREE!

South Carolina Athletic Events: This Week

Friday, Oct. 3

zz Equestrian vs. Georgia...................................................................................... 2 p.m. zz Volleyball at Mississippi State..............................................................................8 p.m. zz Women’s soccer at Alabama.................................................................................8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 4

zz Cross Country at Paul Short Invitational........................................................... 11 a.m. zz Men’s soccer vs. Charlotte................................................................................ 7 p.m. zz Football at Kentucky........................................................................................7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 5

zz Women’s soccer vs. LSU......................................................................................1 p.m. zz Volleyball at Auburn.........................................................................................2:30 p.m

Friday - Monday

zz Men’s Tennis at ITA All-American Championships........................................All Day

Friday - Sunday

zz Women’s Tennis at Princeton Tournament.......................................................All Day

Wednesday, Oct. 8

zz Cross Country USC Open #2 ..............................................................................6 p.m. zz Men’s Soccer at Florida International.............................................................7:30 p.m. Bold................................................................................................................. Home game **For more South Carolina schedule information, visit: http://www.gamecocksonline.com/calendar/events/ for a complete master calendar.** Jacksonville Gamecock Club Florida The Gamecock Club remembers a Weekend member of Gamecock Nation who has When: Nov. 14-15 (Bus Tickets sales recently passed away... cutoff is Oct. 15) The Jacksonville Gamecock Club invites Klein B. Beach, Jr. - Born in Enfield, NC, all Carolina fans to Jacksonville to prepare Mr. Klein graduated from North Charleston to beat the Gators again! November 14 High School before attending the University & 15, 2014. Reserve your bus tickets of South Carolina, receiving a degree in and party tickets now! Friday night party Electrical Engineering. He was a member of starting at 7 p.m. at Jacksonville Marriott the men’s boxing team while at the Univer@ Southpoint; cost is $20 per person with sity. After serving in the United States Army, The Sensational Epics performing. he settled in Walterboro and began working Game day bus ride on Nov. 15 five hours for the radio station WALD. He eventually prior to kickoff; leaving from Jacksonville served as owner/operator for nearly thirty Marriott @ Southpoint with a coast of years and had several other business ventures $40 per person, does not include ticket to in Colleton County before retirement. An game. avid Carolina football fan, Klein enjoyed Hotel accommodations at Jacksonville offshore fishing, golfing, and participating in Marriott @ Southpoint, Gamecock Club the local Rotary. rate $79/night. (904) 296-2222. Make checks payable to Jacksonville Gamecock Club, 2948 3rd Street South #328, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250-5847. Please include email for confirmation. Any questions call: Belk Ingram: (904) 254-5969, bingram@pbclubrealty.com; Rod Brace (904) 755-4041, rrbrace@gmail.com; Dane Hall (904) 591-4877, dhall88@comcast.net; Rick Williamson (904) 699-7952, rwilliamson1301@yahoo.com. Fairfield County November Meeting When: Tuesday, Nov. 18; 6 p.m. Where: Fairfield Cove Restaurant, 1418 US Hwy. 321, S. Winnsboro, S.C. There will be door prizes and drawing for prizes at the meeting. All Gamecock Club members and fans are invited. For more information call Gene Schofield - 803337-8850 or Chris Blackwelder - 803-7183276.


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October 1, 2014

Carquest Bowl dinner celebrates breakthrough win by kyle heck Contributing Writer

The first time is always the best. That was the major theme for the nearly 80 teammates who gathered this past weekend to celebrate a special moment in South Carolina athletics history. For 100 years, the Gamecocks had failed to win a bowl game. They had appeared in eight bowl games before the 1994 season, but fell short each time. That all changed on January 2, 1995, when South Carolina knocked off West Virginia, 24-21, in the Carquest Bowl to capture the school’s first football postseason win. Twenty years later, the team was back in Columbia celebrating the anniversary of the breakthrough win. The festivities started on Friday, Sept. 26 with a dinner at Seawell’s that allowed teammates to reunite and reflect on what they were able to do that no one before them could accomplish. They were also honored at halftime of South Carolina’s game against Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 27. The memorable season started in early 1994 with the hiring of first-year coach Brad Scott, who had come over from Bobby Bowden-led Florida State and who was determined to turn around a program that was struggling. Marty Simpson, a kicker on that 1994 team, remembers deciding to give up his fifth year of eligibility before that fateful season because playing football “wasn’t fun anymore.” However, coach Scott brought Simpson into his office to give him a message. “He called me in the day he got to campus and he said, ‘I need you to come back in for your fifth year, Marty, because I want good leaders on the team,” said Simpson, who is now a wellknown Christian comedian. Scott then told Simpson about a conversation they had together four years earlier when Simpson told Scott that he was staying home and playing for the Gamecocks. Simpson had said that he wanted to do something special at his home school. He wanted to be a part of the first team to ever win a bowl game at South Carolina. “I promise you, if you stick it out with me for 10 or 15 more months, you’ll wear a ring and be the first team that ever won a bowl game at South Carolina,” Simpson recalls Scott telling him. With that promise in mind, Simpson decided to come back. Steve Taneyhill, the quarterback of that team and the MVP of the Carquest Bowl, remembers that season as being a very up-and-down season. The team started 4-0 before stumbling down the stretch. Needing a victory at Clemson to make a bowl game, Taneyhill and the Gamecocks whipped the Tigers, 33-7. Then, Taneyhill threw and ran for a touchdown and the defense was able to hold off the Mountaineers for the monumental win in the Carquest Bowl.

get,” Foster said. “It’s something that has helped me a lot in my life. People remember that, because I didn’t do much else,” Foster joked. Foster, Wrenn and his staff received a lot of the credit for getting so many people back together. However, Libby Anne Inabinet, whose son Walker was a long snapper for the Gamecocks, and head coach Steve Spurrier’s wife, Jerri, both played major roles in the development of the special weekend. Foster particularly remembers the role that Jerri Spurrier played. “(She’s) somebody who, really, probably should care less about us, (but) she had an idea,” Foster said. “She wanted to bring us back because we set a record that you can’t break.” photo by brian hand Scott wasn’t able to attend Friday’s dinner. Foster talks to his former teammates at the dinner honoring the Carquest Bowl winners. He works in the Clemson athletics department and stayed in the Upstate in preparation for the It was the adversity the team faced that year each other,” Foster said. “It means a lot to a lot Tigers’ game against North Carolina. However, that really brought everyone together, says of people.” Simpson had a lengthy conversation with the Taneyhill. That bowl win was a special one for Foster, as coach, who wanted everyone in attendance to That togetherness showed this past Friday, as he caught a two-yard touchdown pass to start the know one thing. the majority of the bowl-winning team was in scoring that day. For him, that is something that “No matter what happened after the season attendance. no one can ever take away from him. of 1994, coach Scott always held this team very “It would be hard to get 80 players from last “Catching a touchdown in a bowl game and dear to his heart,” Simpson said. “It was his first year’s team, but you made a commitment,” ultimately winning the game; it was a significant team as a head coach in college. None of the athletics director Ray Tanner told those in atexperience for me and something I’ll never for- other stuff matters; that’s a big deal.” tendance. “I think it’s great that 80 guys came,” Taneyhill added. “It’s important and I’m glad I’m a part of it.” Boomer Foster, a tight end on the team, remembers a call he got from Clyde Wrenn, a special assistant to development at South Carolina, asking if he could help lead the charge to get everyone back together to celebrate the anniversary. The original plan was to get 50 members of the team back. They exceeded those expectations, thanks to a lot of hard work. “It just shows how much these guys mean to


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Unique views sponsored by Unique Expressions As I have mentioned in the past, I am part of a broadcast team in Aiken that covers a high school “Game of the Week” every Friday night. This is our sixth season and pretty much each week we go to a different location and see a different team play. In high school football you see it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. From complete blowouts to dramatic come from behind wins, you really never know what you are going to get from one week to another. But once a season, maybe twice, there will be one team that is clearly better than the other team and for whatever reason will not put points on the board. The fourth quarter comes along and miraculously, out of nowhere, the inferior team will get a break and the next thing Ed Girardeau you know, the Contributing team that looked Editor like they couldn’t find their way out

of the locker room finds a way to win the game.. You can see it coming, too. It’s just a feeling you get that sooner or later this is going to come back to haunt this team that isn’t scoring points or at least enough of them to put the game out of jeopardy. Then for no particular reason a turnover is returned for a touchdown, or a crazy run that reverses field, or a pop-up pass that somehow is caught by a receiver who happens to be in the right place at the right time. Such was the case this past Saturday night. I had this feeling of impending doom the entire game. From the missed fourth down play in the opening drive and the interception that wasn’t a few plays later, I just had the feeling that it was not going to be our night. The exception to that was when Pharoh Cooper made a highlight reel catch for a touchdown with 7:35 left in the game, I had an exhale moment that we were okay and would get out with the win. The defense was playing outstanding (at least I think that is what made Maty Mauk play so poorly) and based on the way Missouri had played all night, surely the Gamecocks at home had this one.

30 seconds or so later, the Tigers (that’s tough to say) were in the endzone, something they had not sniffed since the 12:00 mark of the 1st quarter. The killer was a pop-up pass to what appeared to be no one in particular and somehow was caught for a long gain. It was the beginning of the end. What’s most disappointing, aside from losing a conference game from within the division that appeared to be won, is the fact that the defense really played well. Coming in I had envisioned Missouri tossing the ball all over the field, scoring at will ala the opener. That was not to be. For three and half quarters the defense was very good. Unfortunately, it takes four quarters and that last seven minutes were a flashback. Beyond that, the offense was not particularly good. Davis did manage to pick up 104 yards rushing which is usually good and Thompson had 219 yards passing, but the last two drives left the crowd wanting. Needing to pick up a few first downs at least, USC went three and out with three lackluster plays. And then with 1:36 left in the game, needing to get down the field for a field goal attempt, four passes, all four

incomplete and none of them were really even close to completions. There was a chance for a dramatic, come from behind, last second field goal to save the day and go down in history as a remember when moment, but instead it was about as forgettable as it gets. So the white-knuckle trip continues. I said last week that sooner or later the play would catch up with us and sooner came quicker than any of us wanted. The good news is the defense has definitely made strides to playing better. Obviously there is still a ways to go. However, there is still a lot in which to play. Two losses equals the number of loses each of the last three seasons. At this point, there is no reason to look past Kentucky. Do that and we’ll get that third loss. It’s a long season. South Carolina can still come out of this season holding our head high and the SEC looks like a slaughterhouse this year. No one will come out of this unscathed. The team that wins the East, much less the West, will be the one who hangs in there and gets better every week and finds a way to win more games than the other guys. Why not us? See you in Lexington.


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October 1, 2014


Spurs & Feathers 101