october 26, 2016 • Volume 38 • Issue 11 • $1.50
Gamecocks give keys to Bentley Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite
Bentley, balanced offense lead Gamecocks to win over UMass Publication mailed from Columbia on Monday, October 24
2 • Spurs & Feathers
Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.
October 26, 2016
Please Read: Editor’s note Please note that we are weekly for the rest of the football season. Please also make sure to email email@example.com whenever you have a meeting for inclusion in our editions and on SpursandFeathers.com. Per our contract with the Gamecock Club, below are our remaining edition dates for the 2016 year. Forever to Thee!
Contact Us: 326 Rutland Drive N.W. PO Box 456 Aiken, SC, 29801 To subscribe/questions: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Brian Hand Executive Editor firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Kyle Heck Reporter email@example.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 firstname.lastname@example.org Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 email@example.com Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 646-9807 Photographers Allen Sharpe and Jenny Dilworth Cover Design Brian Hand (Photo by Allen Sharpe) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 20 times annually. The frequency is monthly in January, April and July. The publication is weekly from September-November. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes two slick-paper magazine issues — one in August and one in December. 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
Looking ahead: Florida parking information
Spurs & Feathers schedule Oct. 26 newspaper Nov. 2 newspaper Nov. 9 newspaper Nov. 16 newspaper Nov. 23 newspaper Nov. 30 newspaper Dec. 21 magazine (end of year)
Dr. • From Garage IX there are ADA shuttles. The shuttles begin running 4 hours prior to kickoff and drop off at Gate 18 of the Football stadium. The Shuttles from Garage IX are running continuously until kickoff and then pick back up at the start of the fourth quarter. • Golf carts are available at Gate 18 to assist patrons who need further assistance to their gate.
General Public Parking: • Public parking lots are very limited around the stadium. All lots that are not reserved are available on a first-come, firstserved basis (see map). As always, parking on the grass and sidewalks is NOT permitted and any vehicles doing so are at risk of being towed. • In an effort to tighten security around the stadium, starting 2.5 hours prior to kickoff, no vehicular traffic will be allowed on Lemerand Drive between University Avenue and Stadium Road. The closure will remain in effect until the end of the game.
Parking Maps: http://sidearm.sites.s3.amazonaws.com/gatorzone.com/documents/2015/8/24/parking-mapfb-2015.pdf
Game Day Shuttle Information: Utilize the RTS Shuttle service to avoid the limited parking on campus on game days. Park at one of five convenient locations around Gainesville for a quick ride to the game: The Oaks Mall, Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, The Village Center in Haile Plantation, Tioga Town Center, and Downtown Parking Garage. The RTS Shuttle service costs $10/game or $50/season. Service is offered from 3 hours before the game until kickoff, with return shuttles beginning in the 4th quarter. For more information, call 352-334-2600 or visit go-rts.com. Handicap Parking: • Disabled Parking for Visitors is located at Garage IX, which is located on the south side of Archer Road on Gale Lemerand
RV Parking: • .Visiting team first-come, firstserve RV parking is located on Hull Road west of SW 34th Street behind the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center. Once you enter the parking area the road will fork and the free RV parking is to the left (south portion of the lot). • For more information please contact UF Transportation and Parking at (352) 3928048 • The lot opens at 6:30pm on Friday night and is open until Sunday at 12:00pm (Noon). Special thanks to Mike McManus and the Gamecock Cruisers, who provide us with this parking information to pass along. For more information on Gamecock Cruisers, visit their website at GamecockCruisers.com
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October 26, 2016
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4 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
Balanced offense leads Gamecocks to win over UMass by brian hand Executive Editor
in scoring position at the nine-yard line. David Williams finished off the scoring drive that took seven plays and went 68 COLUMBIA - It had been a tough few yards in 2:10 by scoring from one yard weeks for South Carolina football. out to make it 14-0 with 8:58 left in the That’s why shortly after South Caroinaugural quarter of action. lina’s 34-28 win over UMass in the media The Minutemen would cut the Gameroom, Gamecock football first-year head cocks’ lead in half on the first play of coach Will Muschamp pointed out just the second quarter when tight end Adam how important the win before a crowd of Breneman hauled in a 14-yard pass from 73,428 at Williams-Brice Stadium was Andrew Ford. The touchdown capped off coming off the bye week. a 14-play, 92-yard drive that lasted 6:09 “Proud of our guys,” Muschamp said. for the Minutemen. “It was a good win. We needed that.” The Gamecocks would extend their Muschamp knows with a crucial next advantage to 20-7 with 7:18 left in the few weeks ahead in the Gamecocks’ first half when Bentley dropped in an quest for a bowl spot every little bit of exceptional 16-yard touchdown pass on a confidence they can obtain is incredibly fade route to a diving K.C. Crosby. Bentimportant. ley’s first career touchdown pass finished “We’ll go back and work again, but it’s off an eight-play, 49-yard drive for the good to go back and work after a win, Gamecocks that took 4:06 off the clock. and that’s the positive thing I can tell South Carolina could not convert the you,” Muschamp said. extra-point on a botched snap. In making his first career start, true South Carolina’s third touchdown of freshman Jake Bentley led the Gamethe day was made plausible on another cocks to a touchdown in the opening Minutemen miscue where after the ball drive of his career with Rico Dowdle deflected off a UMass wide receiver, T.J. closing out the scoring drive with a Holloman opportunistically plucked the one-yard touchdown run. Dowdle’s run football out of the air for the interception finished off an impressive nine-play, and the ensuing Gamecock touchdown. 76-yard drive that lasted 2:41 for the The Gamecocks would make it 27-7 in Gamecocks. their favor with 3:45 left in the opening The Gamecocks (3-4) would make it half of action. The touchdown was made 14-0 on their next offensive possession. possible on another tremendously thrown After a UMass (1-7) fumble recovered football by Bentley on another fade route by Chris Lammons that gave the Gamethat fell into the waiting arms of Bryan cocks the football at their own 32-yard Edwards for a 24-yard touchdown that line it was a Bentley 47-yard screen pass ended a five-play, 44-yard scoring drive to Deebo Samuel that put South Carolina that lasted 1:35.
took 2:04. UMass would get even closer a few minutes later when a 18-yard touchdown pass from Ford to Breneman pulled the Minutemen to within six at 34-28 with 4:32 to play in the contest. The UMass touchdown finished off a 15-play, 74-yard drive that lasted 3:28. The Gamecocks would close things out from there though in holding on for the six-point win. South Carolina finished its win with 395 yards of total offense to UMass’ 389. South Carolina was incredibly balanced in the game with 194 total yards on the ground and 201 yards passing from Bentley. The Gamecocks won the time of posphoto by jenny dilworth session battle in the game at 31:56-28:04. Bentley overall was 17-of-26 with the UMass would respond quickly to South Carolina’s touchdown with one of its own 201 yards passing to go along with the two touchdown passes. Deebo Samuel with 3:22 to play in the first half with Ford connecting with Jalen Williams for was Bentley’s favorite target in hauling in eight catches for 106 yards. a 74-yard touchdown on the first play Dowdle led the Gamecocks on the of the drive. The touchdown pulled the ground with 87 yards rushing including Minutemen to within 13 at 27-14. the one touchdown run. In making the The first half would close at the same start, Williams ended his day just behind score with South Carolina ending half Dowdle with 69 yards rushing with the No. 1 with 290 yards of total offense to two touchdown runs. UMass’ 213. DJ Smith led the Gamecock defense The Gamecocks would push their lead to 34-14 with 7:53 left in the third quarter with 12 total tackles. Bryson Allenwhen Williams scored from one yard out Williams had nine tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. to finish off a five-play, 38-yard drive Ford ended the UMass loss throwing for that lasted 2:08 for the Gamecocks. 247 yards. He was 20-of-42 overall with The Minutemen would pull back to three touchdown passes to go along with within 13 points at 34-21 with 9:59 retwo interceptions. Breneman was the top maining in the game. Ford scored from target for Ford with nine catches for 94 eight yards out on a quarterback keeper yards and two touchdowns. to end a seven-play, 30-yard drive that
The view from the Massachusetts locker room
by kyle heck Reporter
COLUMBIA - Early in its game against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 22, Massachusetts found itself down 14-0 on the road. Later in the first half that deficit was 27-7, but the Minutemen found a way to bounce back, particularly in the second half. UMass trimmed a 20-point lead down to just six late in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t stop the Gamecocks on their final drive as they ran out the clock in the 34-28 South Carolina win. “We just got off to a poor start and kind of gave them confidence, especially when you have a new quarterback, we just couldn’t do that,” UMass head coach Mark Whipple said. That new quarterback was freshman Jake Bentley, who was making his first career start
utemen defense was unable to stop the Gamecocks, as Bentley made a nice run and a couple of precise throws that iced the game. “Everyone just needed to make one more play, and it just so happened that they made that play when they needed it,” Bailey-Smith said. Whipple said that his team knew Bentley was photo by jenny dilworth going to get the start during pregame warmups, when the freshman quarterback got a lot of for the Gamecocks. He finished the game com- the reps. Overall, he was pleased with the way pleting 17-of-26 passes for 201 yards and two his defense performed in the second half, but touchdowns to go with zero turnovers. would’ve liked a complete performance. “He ran the offense pretty well,” UMass “I thought in the second half they were safety Khary Bailey-Smith said of Bentley. “He good,” Whipple said. “They could’ve packed threw a couple passes that the receivers made it in. (South Carolina) had about 300 yards at really nice plays on, and he just did what he had halftime, and we held them. Our guys battled. to do today and came out with the win.” We just couldn’t make a stop on the last drive.” Down six points and needing to make a stop Tight end Adam Breneman, who led the Minto give the ball back to their offense, the Minutemen with nine receptions for 94 yards and
two touchdowns, noted that UMass has been in every game it’s played against SEC opponents, but lamented the fact that the team hasn’t been able to pull off an upset yet. UMass was in the game at Florida to begin the year before the Gators pulled away for a 247 win. Then, in a game at Mississippi State, the Minutemen almost pulled off the upset before falling by a final score of 45-37. Despite again falling short, quarterback Andrew Ford was proud of the team for continuing to fight after getting down by 20 points on multiple occasions against the Gamecocks. “Our defense did a really good job in the second half of really putting us in a position to make that comeback,” Ford said. “Really proud of the way that everyone fought. We were down 14 early on in the game, and some teams on the road would’ve folded. We just reset and really bounced back and fought to the end.”
Spurs & Feathers • 5
October 26, 2016
Fundraising momentum continues for Football Operations Center south carolina athletics media relations
practice fields. With hefty demands on the student-athletes’ time for athletics as well as academics, the FootMomentum is continuing to build for a football ball Operations Center centralizes all football operations center facility, the most aggressive activities to maximize preparations and allows capital project in recent years for University of for a more efficient way for student-athletes and South Carolina Athletics. coaches to conduct their daily responsibilities. The South Carolina Athletics Department “The football operations facility represents our has recently secured five commitments of more most ambitious project to date and we are hopethan $1 million each for the project as part of the ful of receiving state approval in the near future,” Athletics Department’s Expanding Our Vision said Gamecock Athletics Director Ray Tanner. Capital Initiative. “With a $50 million price tag, we continue to The 100,000 square foot Football Operations raise funds to make this a reality. The significant Center will provide the Gamecocks’ program commitments to date represent great momentum with a recruiting center, locker room, weight for this project and a strong commentary on the room, athletic training room, coaches’ offices, Gamecocks’ support for the direction Coach meeting rooms, dining room, equipment room Muschamp is leading the football program.” and player lounges; all in one convenient locaIn addition to these seven-figure pledges, there tion. It will be adjacent to the new Jerri and Steve have been 18 commitments of $100,000 or more Spurrier Indoor Practice Facility and outdoor to the project from faithful Gamecock donors.
Will Muschamp, “The Football Operations Center puts us at the forefront of facilities in college football. The Football Operations Center shows a commitment from the University to future student-athletes, as well as the student-athletes we currently have on campus.” The impact of leadership donors on the athletics department can be seen all around our football facilities and beyond. From the family names on the gates at Springs Brooks Plaza lead“A project of this magnitude takes a strong ing into Williams-Brice Stadium to the Tommy commitment and our donors are stepping up Suggs Garnet Way to the Spurrier Indoor Praconce again to make this new home for Gametice Facility, Gamecocks continue to display cock Football a reality,” said Jeff Crane, Senior their passion and loyalty for the program. Since Associate Athletics Director for Development 2012, donors have given over $150 million toand Gamecock Club. “Ray Tanner, Coach Mus- ward scholarships and facility improvements for champ and our fundraising team are working Gamecock Athletics. To learn more about the Expanding Our Vision hard to tell the story about the impact this facility Capital Initiative, please visit expandingourviwill have on our football program.” sion.com. Added South Carolina head football coach
University ‘paying it forward’ with flood relief initiative by kyle heck Reporter
Operations Kevin Grindstaff was out at BI-LO on Friday helping to load up the South Carolina football equipment truck with supplies. Over the past year, the state of South Carolina “A year ago folks from across the state and has been heavily impacted by severe storms that other states really helped our community out,” have caused major flooding on two separate ocGrindstaff said. “In fact from where we’re standcasions. The most recent event was Hurricane ing, you can see some of the impacted area from a Matthew, and several areas around the state were year ago. This is an opportunity to not pay it back, flooded and people lost homes and much more. but pay it forward. Help others in our state that are As they did after the historic floods in the state in great need.” last October, the University of South Carolina The items collected over the course of the two once again decided to step up big time to help days were loaded up on Monday, Oct. 24, at the those in need with a relief drive on Thursday, Oct. USC Alumni Center to be taken to the hard-hit 20, and Friday, Oct. 21. county of Marion, where the Little Pee Dee and At both the USC Alumni Center and the BI-LO Lumber rivers flooded the surrounding commuon Devine Street, volunteers accepted donations nities of Nichols and Mullins. that included bottled water, cleaning supplies, Volunteers from UofSC Relief, a student-led non-perishable food items and diapers. organization that was created after last October’s My Carolina Alumni Association Director of floods, helped load the trucks on Monday. Along
summer to help out people in Louisiana who were affected by severe floods. The state of Louisiana helped out South Carolina tremendously last October by sending supplies and donations, as well as accommodating the football game versus LSU that was originally supposed to take place in Columbia. Whenever there is a natural disaster around the photo by kyle heck area, the organizations involved with the University of South Carolina want to do whatever they with the athletics department, the South Carolina can to help. “As Gamecocks we are driven by a sense of Police Chiefs’ Association and Shealy Truck Center, the students at South Carolina have been a responsibility, instilled in us as students, that we live as alumni,” said Jack Claypoole, Executive tremendous help during this time of need. Director of My Carolina, in a release. “There are “The My Carolina Alumni Association, we’re about working with alums,” Grindstaff said. “It’s so many of our fellow alumni and friends impacted by this storm that it is only natural for us to great to see the student interest in helping others use our greatest strength - our alumni - to rally in as well.” The University also held a supply drive this past support of South Carolina.”
Scott named men’s basketball and baseball radio play-by-play announcer south carolina athletics media relations Derek Scott, who has served two institutions as a play-by-play broadcaster for almost 20 years, has been named the radio play-by-play voice for University of South Carolina men’s basketball and baseball, announced recently by officials with the South Carolina Athletics Department and Gamecock IMG Sports Marketing. “While searching for the next play-by-play voice for men’s basketball and baseball, we came across many talented individuals,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “However, during the interview process and after talking with our coaches and staff, Derek emerged as our top candidate. I’m pleased that we can continue to have Derek as part of our Gamecock family.”
Since 2007, Scott has served as a television (Gamecock Athletics-produced games on SEC Network Plus) and radio play-by-play voice for various Gamecock teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and volleyball. He has also been the host of Gamecock Athletics’ weekly show, “Inside the Roost,” highlighting the programs of the Carolina athletics department. Scott will continue in his role as Senior Account Executive for Gamecock IMG Sports Marketing, working with corporate partnerships. “I am grateful for the opportunity to expand my role with the Gamecock IMG Sports Network and would like to thank Ray Tanner, the coaches and staff for their support,” said Scott. “I look forward to bringing the excitement of South Carolina men’s basketball and baseball to all of Gamecock Nation.”
During Scott’s tenure at South Carolina, he has built relationships with Gamecock coaches and staff as well as in the Columbia community. “Derek has been a part of our program for the past four years and he understands our fan base and the growth of our program,” said South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin. “Derek will do an unbelievable job and will continue to do a great job informing our fans about our team.” Added Gamecock baseball coach Chad Holbrook, “Over the last eight years, Derek and I have developed a great relationship through his involvement with our baseball program. He has been tremendously loyal to Gamecock Athletics and knows what our program is all about. I know our fans will enjoy hearing his calls on a daily basis and we look forward to continuing to work with him as the new radio voice of our team.”
From 1998-2007, Scott was an Assistant Athletics Director at Ohio University, where he hosted and produced the weekly coach’s show for football and men’s basketball while also handling play-byplay duties for both sports. He also managed the public relations staff, coordinated all radio and television broadcasts for the Ohio Sports Network and oversaw all licensing efforts for Bobcat athletics. Scott takes the microphone for the first time on a regular basis for Frank Martin’s men’s basketball team on Nov. 11, when the Gamecocks host Louisiana Tech at 6:30 p.m. WNKT-FM “107.5 The Game” serves as the flagship station of USC Athletics and carries all Gamecock men’s basketball games. Check GamecocksOnline.com for a complete list of Gamecock Sports Network radio affiliates.
6 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
Courageous former swimmer honored with locker dedication by kyle heck Reporter
In February of 2015, former South Carolina swimmer Chris Mercer was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. The prognosis was not good, but instead of giving up, Chris Mercer kept on enjoying life and his loved ones. Many treatments and three brain surgeries later, he’s still keeping that mindset, and on Tuesday, Oct. 11, Chris Mercer just expected to go into the office for an hour or so like he normally does. However, his wife, Sharon Mercer, had other plans. She planned to take him to Columbia and the University of South Carolina, where they met and fell in love. “I thought we were going to old places to reminisce about what we’ve done over the last 30 years,” Chris said. “The only thing I knew was that I was going to work, but (Sharon) said that, ‘no, I’m going to take you somewhere Tuesday.’” Of course, Sharon and some other family had another surprise up their sleeve. She took the former Gamecock swimmer to the Carolina Natatorium in the Blatt P.E. Center, the home of South Carolina swimming and diving. There, Chris was met by family, Gamecock Club Executive Director Patrick McFarland and head swimming coach McGee Moody. They took Chris into the locker room, where “Memories and smells and thoughts and they showed him a locker that was dedicated people are the things that make your heart so to him and his brother, E.J. Mercer, another full,” Sharon said. former Gamecock swimmer. Upon seeing that, Chris turned around and Because of the tumor in his brain, Chris sufhugged Moody and thanked everyone for the fers from aphasia, a condition that hinders the honor. However, it was the least anyone could ability for a person to communicate. Despite do after watching him battle cancer courathat and the three brain surgeries, people close geously for nearly two years. to Chris say he’s still the smartest person they Both Chris and E.J. walked on to the South know. Carolina swimming and diving team, and both “Probably the most blessed,” Chris responds have fond memories from their time with the to that. Gamecocks. As mentioned before, the UniverChris grew up destined to be a swimmer sity is where Chris met his wife. Sharon was because his father, Ed, encouraged the entire working as a South Carolina lifeguard, and family to swim. In fact, Ed and E.J. swam at met a classmate, Ellen, who South Carolina even before happened to be Chris’ brother. the Carolina Natatorium was Ellen introduced Sharon to around. Chris also has a twin Chris in the middle of a swim brother, Richard, who swam workout, and the rest is hiscollegiately at Clemson and tory. had great success during his On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Chris swimming career. was joined by several family All Gamecock swimming and “It was better than football members and close friends diving coverage because you break legs in who wanted to witness the sponsored by Aquarian football,” Ed said of swimspecial honor. Pools of Columbia ming.
photo by kyle heck
While he wasn’t the best student in high school, the love for swimming that Chris had made him a much better student at South Carolina. “He told me he enjoyed the swim team so much, even though he wasn’t a star, that he had to really study because if he got bad grades, I would make him quit the swim team,” Ed said. Older brother E.J. was probably the most talented swimmer in the family, but Chris made it his mission to make the swim team at South Carolina. Both brothers began their careers as walk-ons, and both ended it as team captains. “One of my proudest things was I was not the greatest swimmer on the team, but I was the captain of the team, and that meant a great deal to me,” Chris said. As E.J. was about to wrap up his career, Chris was a freshman walk-on. Being a walkon athlete is a tough job, as Chris quickly found out. “The second day I had practice we had to run at the football field, and I just wasn’t in shape,” Chris said. “E.J. was taking me home and I was about halfway home and I just threw
up the whole way back. I told E.J. ‘don’t tell anyone that I threw up.’ It was hard, but anyone who’s a swimmer knows what it’s like.” With everything else that Chris has gone through, it’s no surprise then that by the time he graduated from South Carolina, he held the team record for most push-ups and dips. E.J. remembers a particular moment where he realized that Chris was for real when it came to swimming. “I remember a Georgia meet that was in Athens, and I got a call from Chris and I think he had just gotten home and the first thing he said was ‘E.J. I scored points down in Georgia,’” E.J. recalled. “That was exciting for me when he called me and told me that.” Tuesday, Oct. 11, was obviously a special day for the Mercer family and their friends as Chris and E.J. were honored with a locker. Rocking the Gamecock gear, it was clear that Chris loved the University of South Carolina, and the family was just thankful for everything that happened. “This was just a real treasure they gave us today,” Sharon said.
Spurs & Feathers • 7
October 26, 2016
Gamecocks return to practice after fall break by kyle heck Reporter
ably has been one of our more impressive players in regard to extra-base hits.” Some rust is to be expected after a week After a week off for fall break, the off, but there were several standouts South Carolina baseball team returned to along with Cullen. John Jones, Alex DesFounders Park over the weekend to contino and Madison Stokes all performed tinue fall scrimmages. well, and Holbrook said veterans like After the players got some much-needed those players are putting themselves in rest, head coach Chad Holbrook was position to be the offensive leaders of the pleased with how his team came back this team. week. In addition, the pitching “We had a good week of staff stood out, particupractice,” Holbrook said. larly during the first two “I don’t know if the scrimscrimmages. mages were all that clean, “Our pitching staff was but some guys got some outstanding Friday and hits and we did some good Saturday,” Holbrook said. things defensively. (Chris) “Today we struggled a All Gamecock baseball Cullen played extremely little bit, but (Wil) Crowe coverage sponsored by well, and he’s had a very, and (Clarke) Schmidt both DiPrato’s very impressive fall. Probthrew the ball extremely
well. They both look like Friday night guys to me.” Along with smashing a three-run home run off Josh Reagan on Sunday, Oct. 23, Destino made a great defensive play out in left field. After getting a year last season to play in the outfield, he’s come into this fall a much better defensive player. “He’s much better,” Holbrook said of Destino. “He’s not going to wow you with his speed and run balls down in the gap like T.J. (Hopkins) and Danny (Blair) can, but he’s got a pretty good throwing arm. He’s very adequate out there and much improved. Last year I might have seen him and held my breath every time it was hit to him, but I feel very comfortable with Alex out there right now.” The Gamecocks have one more weekend left in fall practice, and it’s a big one. The annual Garnet and Black World Series
photo of danny blair by allen sharpe
will take place, and it’s something everyone always looks forward to. “They’ll be a little more excited this week,” Holbrook said of his players. “I think they’re going to be giddy about the draft tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 24). It’s always a lot of fun, and we have a big team meal tomorrow after the draft, and they always enjoy that. It’s going to be a fun, entertaining week for me.”
President’s Reception in Atlanta has local Gamecocks excited On Monday, Oct. 10, the Gamecocks over in Atlanta got a special treat when several high-profile members of the University of South Carolina made the trip west for the My Carolina Alumni Association President’s Reception. The reception was in conjunction with the Atlanta Alumni Association and the Atlanta Gamecock Club. For about the past year, the Atlanta Gamecock Club has been working closely with the My Carolina Alumni Association to get University President Harris Pastides in Atlanta for a President’s Reception. Those receptions are held in various places across South Carolina, but there hadn’t been one in Atlanta in four years. After getting the date approved, the Atlanta Gamecock Club and that area’s alumni association coordinated with the Gamecock Club to get Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Joan Gabel to attend. In addition to those three, My Carolina Alumni Association Executive Director Jack Claypoole made the trip to Atlanta to cap off the star-studded lineup. “They all spoke about the importance of Atlanta and kind of gave an overview of what’s going on with the Columbia campus as far as academics, athletics and growth,” said Michele BraddockBeagle, president of the Atlanta Gamecock Club. Nearly 100 people came out to the event, and they all left impressed by how many influential figures at the University were able to come out. “It was a great group of people to come, and it was very big for the alumni here because we had people there who graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1959 (and) 1964,” Braddock-
to be owned by a Gamecock, and the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Cumberland Mall. Combined, the locations bring in around 400 people every weekend to watch the Gamecocks play. “That’s unheard of,” Braddock-Beagle said. submitted photo
Beagle said. “So it wasn’t that we just had new graduates. We had a good mix. I think because we did have the President, we did have the Provost, we did have coach Tanner, we touched on every part of the University that people wanted to hear about.” The event was a good opportunity for the Gamecocks in Atlanta to come out and really hear about the great things going on with the University as well as how important Atlanta is to the cause. “I think it was a good boost in the morale of Atlanta because President Pastides said ‘Atlanta is not just the capital of Georgia, it is the capital of the southeast,’” Braddock-Beagle said. “Atlanta plays a very important role in the University because there’s a lot of large businesses here and there’s a lot of students that attend school at South Carolina from the state of Georgia.” Going along with the theme of continuing to make the University of South Carolina visible in Atlanta, Beagle noted that she is working with President Pastides and others to put up a billboard promoting the University of South Carolina and its athletics department along the always busy Interstate-285. In addition, Braddock-Beagle said that the attendance at the watch parties for Gamecock football games this year have been tremendous. There are two locations in Atlanta that hold the watch parties, the Dive Bar on Roswell Road that happens
“People seem excited about everything, so (hopefully) we can just keep the momentum going.” If you want to learn more about the Atlanta Gamecock Club, you can follow them on Twitter (@atlgamecockclub) or like them on Facebook.
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by kyle heck Reporter
8 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
Gamecock Basketball Madness at Fort Jackson an important evening by brian hand Executive Editor
Whether it is winning on the hardwood or in battle, it is the behind the scenes efforts that makes victories possible. That’s why the evening of Friday, Oct. 14, it was special to see three winning cultures celebrating the start of the basketball season as part of a Gamecock Basketball Madness event with both the South Carolina men’s and women’s teams in attendance at Fort Jackson. A United States Army installation operated for basic combat training, Fort Jackson has longed live by its motto of “Victory Starts Here.” In fact, Gamecock Basketball Madness at Fort Jackson commenced with Major General Pete Johnson making sure all of the soldiers in attendance at the Solomon Center on the evening understood the importance of this motto by emphatically stating, “Victory Starts Here” to the soldiers. “Right here,” the soldiers responded. The reflection on the important credo was a tremendous start to a unique evening that had the South Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams introduced to all in attendance as well as the two teams competing in various games with the soldiers over the course of the evening. Both teams closed the evening by signing autographs for all in attendance. A longtime supporter of the military, South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin appreciated the opportunity on the evening to interact with those doing so much evening, and for Staley she also made sure to for our country, while also giving both teams a chance to be reminded of the sacrifices those thank them for their sacrifices. “I think it’s extremely important,” Staley said individuals make for our country. “All these young guys and women in there of having both programs there on the evening. that are going through the basic training, they “What we do and what they do it’s a huge gap. don’t know what the next step of their journey The sacrifice that they experience every day is going to be, and it’s so important with Fort of their lives just with boot camp, doing tours, Jackson and South Carolina, the partnership nothing compares to that, but we can take and the relationship in this community,” Marexamples of their sacrifice and apply it to our tin said. “It’s a learning tool for our guys, and I team.” think for Dawn’s ladies too to understand that The idea for the Gamecock Basketball Madthere are their peers, people their age, that are ness event originated from the South Carolina having a different avenue to take marketing department, and it to try and find success in life was important for both Staley and how lucky we are that we and Martin that both teams be get to coach ball and play ball … there on the evening. because of the sacrifices of the “Dawn and I are united in members of our military, specifieverything that we do,” Martin cally here with the Army.” said. “I don’t need to sell you Both Martin and South on their program. They’re one Carolina women’s basketball All Gamecock basketball of the top two, three or four head coach Dawn Staley also coverage sponsored by programs in the country. I addressed the soldiers on the Yesterdays love watching them practice,
photo by jenny dilworth
I love watching them play. They’re awesome. Everything that we do, we communicate with each other to make sure it’s viable from a time standpoint at the same time.” On an evening where it was the South Carolina basketball programs who were entertaining the soldiers for the most part, the Gamecocks also had the roles reversed and undertook some basic training drills with the soldiers on the court. It was another important reminder, but also a fun part of the evening, which Staley like Martin considered important on what is still very early in the journey that is the 2016-17 seasons for both programs. “You want to make sure that you enjoy the journey because so much of it is that you’re caught up in trying to win basketball games,” Staley said. “It’s so pressure-packed, and to have something like this where you can kind of let your hair down and have fun with the people of the community, I think it’s a great thing.”
That aspect could also be said from a Fort Jackson standpoint according to Johnson. “I think it made them feel pretty good,” Johnson said of the soldiers taking some time off from training to enjoy having two top-notch programs at Fort Jackson. “They like the idea of departing basic training for a little bit of time just to get a little bit of pause from that just to be able to enjoy a little bit of recreation.” Johnson also could not have been more appreciative overall of the efforts of Martin, Staley and both basketball programs. “I think it’s a great acknowledgement of what these great soldiers are going through right now and what they’re about to join in the United States Army,” Johnson, who presented Martin and Staley with statues of Fort Jackson namesake Andrew Jackson at the end of the event, said. “The fact that they not only come out here to sort of physically represent, but also the fact that the coaches speak to that. I just watched the interaction of the basketball players with our soldiers. That’s really special.”
October 26, 2016
Spurs & Feathers • 9
Women’s basketball treats fans to experience like none other in Greenville by brian hand Executive Editor T. Wayne Poole said that his phone had been “blowing up over the last few days” because the Upstate area Gamecocks were thrilled that they were coming to “my house.” That’s how excited that Gamecock fans in the Upstate were that Dawn Staley and the South Carolina women’s basketball team were visiting, and that was readily apparent as hundreds of fans filled the Southside High School gymnasium in Greenville, South Carolina the evening of Thursday, Oct. 13. “This has been amazing,” Poole, the Vice President of the Greenville Gamecock Club, said. “I haven’t seen anything like this in the Greenville area. Everybody has been so excited.” Staley and the Gamecocks were just as exphoto by brian hand cited to be there with the fans as they were to have them there, particularly since Greenville will play host to the 2017 SEC Women’s Basbit different. Some of them are better, some given women’s basketball is like no other. we go, we always feel the love of everybody, ketball Tournament at the Bon Secours Wellof them are worse. It’s ours, so they’ve got to Other arenas they can’t fill up their arenas like whether they are sports fans or not. They really ness Arena March 1-5, 2017. understand that and these program retreats we can fill up our arena up. No matter where enjoy being around our team.” “We like to touch our fans all around the sur- are important for us to gain some more team rounding areas of where we play,” Staley said. chemistry to get to know each other outside of “Greenville is a place in which I haven’t been basketball to make basketball a more special here a whole lot and wanted to come. Obvious- place when we’re on the court.” ly, the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament is One of the hundreds in attendance on the evehere. What a great way into coming down and ning was the President of VisitGreenvilleSC in sharing this moment, this visit in Greenville Chris Stone, who was incredibly pleased with with our players and getting them acclimated the turnout and everyone in attendance getting to the surrounding area. We went over to the an early reminder that the SEC Women’s Basarena today and saw where we would defend ketball Tournament will be played in that area. our SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament “We’re really excited about the SEC Chamchampionship. We’ve got a new team. They pionship in the spring, so that’s just around the need to experience some of the things and get corner and it’s great for them to come to town them in front of the crowd and get them an un- to remind people here that they’re going to be derstanding that there is a responsibility to our playing here in a few short months,” Stone said. fans because they have been very supportive In addition to the unique opportunity for fans to our program and they’re part of the fabric of in the area to catch South Carolina women’s our program.” basketball in action on the evening, the GameObviously the Gamecocks return a wealth cocks also held special team-building activities of talent this season, but at the same time they in Greenville. also have a bevy of newcomers to incorporate “It was great just to be around the people of into their system, and bringing them out in Greenville and talk to them and take pictures,” front of fans is critical. Staley said of the unique day. “I think it’s important because Of course, Staley expected the state of our program is a lot nothing less from the fans who Quality material, fine craftsmanship, innovative different from where they’ve provide her program inarguably technology: SEDONA by LYNX come from, whether that is high with the best fan base in all of school, whether that’s Georgia women’s college basketball. Tech, whether that’s UNC, “It’s awesome,” Staley said. whether that’s Kentucky with “To have people in the stands Alexis Jennings, so they have to waiting for us to get here (is All Gamecock basketball special). And it’s women’s basget a taste of what we’re about, 1421 Atlas Road d • Collumb bia, SC 29209 coverage sponsored by ketball. The state of South Carowhat our responsibilities are,” “Serving the Midlands for over 50 years” Yesterdays Staley said. “And they’re a little lina and the support that they’ve www.jeffersmcgill.com • (803) 776-4466 AS14-1490524-1
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10 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
Moore: Here are six main keys for the Gamecocks
With five games remaining, here are six main keys the Gamecocks need to achieve to win six games this season. The emphasis of this list is on winning games, and not about who’s starting or style points. The predictable wins left on the schedule seem “few and far,” but this is “why you play Langston Moore the game” as Contributing Herm Edward Writer put it so eloquently.
Stop the run- the Gamecocks haven’t held a opposing team to under 115-yard rushing this season. Giving up 200+ yards a game on average is “bad.” The pass defense is improved, especially considering last season is “good.” Obviously when teams run for so many yards the pass defense should be good on paper. In the words of Muschamp, “teams don’t have to throw it.” Run the ball- The UMass game was by far the best rushing day by the Gamecocks even though David Williams and Rico Dowdle didn’t individually eclipse the century mark. With both players splitting 31 carries and combining for 156 yards it proved to be the right mix. Rushing success again all depends on the offensive line and their ability to be consistent. As the line goes so does our running game. Turnovers- The Gamecock defense has done a good job of making up for its deficiencies by getting turnovers and getting
photo by jenny dilworth
them in bunches. A defense that gets multiple turnovers in a game coupled with an offense that converts those TO into points makes for a winning combination against anybody! TJ Holloman as well as Chris Lammons continue to make big plays in the form of turnovers. We need them to continue this trend because this can be contagious. It will also provide extra possessions for our offense. Hamstring health- It’s obvious if Deebo Samuel had been healthy all season the offense would be further along. But early hamstring problems hampered Samuel as well as fellow wide out Bryan Edwards. If both players can remain healthy this of-
fense can open up more and put pressure on opposing defenses. The health of other Gamecocks is paramount as well. Already thin in the defensive backend and having gone through losing two offensive linemen proves that. Building continuity at all positions, especially the offensive line improves our chances of winning six. Plain English- With a team-leading 6.5 sacks on the season, Darius English seems to have found his swag. After years of position changes and doubts of his ability to be an every down DE in the SEC, Darius has prospered in the “Buck” roll. Along with Bryson Allen-Williams, who seems to be warming up his big play ability, can
help provide stops on first and third down. Not having a Skai Moore this season left a vacancy in the identity department the Gamecocks needed this season. These players can fill that void with their play if they continue to make impact plays. Fair catch every punt- Seriously ... Punting has cost the Gamecocks wins or chances to win this season. Not securing possession after stopping an opposing offense is a punch to the gut. Against UGA, not fielding a punt late and letting it “roll” towards our goal line repeatedly set up long drives for a struggling offense. Fumbling at least three punts if memory services me correct (it usually doesn’t) including one against UMass isn’t good. We’ve had admirable special teams play this season except for this blight as of late. It’s disheartening because the Gamecocks have shown big return ability with AJ Turner’s 95-yard return against ECU earlier this season. Rashad Fenton’s kick return at the “real Death Valley” last year also leads one to think we have ability in this phase. Getting to six wins would do wonders for the growth and maturation of the Gamecock program. With so many young players in so many prominent positions, getting to any bowl game with the extra allotted practices is the real reward. Of course, other byproducts of the bowl game itself, TV exposure, doubling the win total in Muschamp’s first season, all adds to the “pitch” to recruits about the program’s direction towards Atlanta. It’s been said from the beginning the games won won’t be pretty. The emphasis on execution from each player on the field each play coupled with ETD gives the Gamecocks a chance to win six.
Gamecocks impressed by Bentley’s performance by brian hand Executive Editor
COLUMBIA - During the postgame press conference, Will Muschamp was asked if he thought Jake Bentley would have a career to the level that Connor Shaw had at South Carolina. “Let’s take it one day at a time,” Muschamp said chuckling. “We beat UMass.” Muschamp’s thoughts were definitely not against UMass or whether or not Bentley has that ability, but Connor Shaw is a Gamecock legend. A true freshman, Bentley nevertheless did perform extremely well in his first
career game, passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He was 17-of-26 overall. Once again though, Muschamp points out it is just step No. 1 of a long journey ahead for the Gamecock quarterback. “Jake did some nice things,” Muschamp said. “Obviously there are some things he can improve on.” Gamecock junior running back David Williams made the start in the backfield for the Gamecocks, and after South Carolina’s 34-28 win over UMass on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Williams-Brice Stadium he pointed out Bentley is a special individual. “I’ve just been impressed since I met
photo by allen sharpe
him with just his IQ on the field and how comfortable he is,” Williams said before relaying later, “he doesn’t have an ego. He plays his role, and he’s just a calm, cool, collected dude. Whatever the coaches ask him to do, he’s willing to do it.” South Carolina sophomore tight end Hayden Hurst agreed with Williams. “We see that (his performance in Gamecock win) in practice every day,” Hurst said. “As we all saw today, he’s not afraid to stretch the field with the football, which is impressive for an 18-year-old. I was very impressed with Jake’s composure and how he attacked the game today.”
Spurs & Feathers â€¢ 11
October 26, 2016
South Carolina Gamecocks
football Schedule 09/01/16...........at Vanderbilt# ....................... Nashville, Tenn....................W, 13-10
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09/10/16...........at Mississippi State#............ Starkville, Miss...................... L, 27-14
09/17/16........ East Carolina....................Columbia, S.C............... W, 20-15
10/01/16........ Texas A&M#.....................Columbia, S.C................ L, 24-13
10/09/16........ Georgia#..........................Columbia, S.C................ L, 28-14
South Carolina 1-4
10/29/16........ Tennessee#......................Columbia, S.C.............. 7:15 p.m.
PA W-L PF PA STRK
11/05/16........ Missouri#.........................Columbia, S.C.......................TBA
09/24/16...........at Kentucky#.......................... Lexington, Ky........................ L, 17-10
10/22/16........ Massachusetts.................Columbia, S.C............... W, 34-28
11/12/16...........at Florida#............................... Gainesville, Fla.............................TBA 11/19/16........ Western Carolina.............Columbia, S.C.......................TBA 11/26/16...........at Clemson.............................. Clemson, S.C.................................TBA Bold=Home Game #=SEC
Mississippi State 1-3
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12 • Spurs & Feathers October 26, 2016
Spurs & Feathers • 13
October 26, 2016
Ray Tanner Foundation once again hits it out of park with Home Run fundraiser by brian hand Executive Editor It’s no secret that South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin and his players embrace the community, but on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 15, it was incredibly easy for all to see. Instead of just watching during the Marco’s Mile where children from the community were taking part just minutes after South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin kicked things off as the celebrity starter, two South Carolina men’s basketball freshmen were running with a child and pushing a wheelchair to make sure that all could enjoy the milerun. All of the South Carolina men’s basketball players in attendance on the day were helping out and running in the one-mile run, but the huge smiles on the child in the wheelchair and the two Gamecocks pushing the wheelchair was a unique moment on a special day as part of the 11th annual Ray Tanner Foundation Home Run at Founders Park. The Home Run is a fundraiser of The Ray Tanner Foundation, a 501(c)(3) taxexempt, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving economically and medically disadvantaged children and their families. The Ray Tanner Foundation, established in 2005, began its signature run a year later as part of a four-pronged approach to serving an underserved segment of the South Carolina Midlands area. The unique event is presented by Strictly Running and features a 12K Run, a 5K Run/Walk, a 1-Mile Run and a Kids’ Fun Run. The 12K event is certified by USA Track & Field and presented in conjunction with the Columbia Running Club. “When we started the Ray Tanner Home Run in 2006, we had about 200 runners who joined us at the old Sarge Frye field (on USC’s campus),” said Karen Tanner, co-founder of The Ray Tanner Foundation in a release. “Since then, we have seen our numbers increase significantly.” Proceeds from the Home Run have been contributed to Families Helping Families, the Family Shelter, Oliver Gospel Mission and the Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter, among others. “Our foundation’s mission is focused on improving the quality of life for those in this community who are medically or economically challenged,” Karen Tanner said.
photo by Brian hand
Once again, well over 1,000 runners took part in this year’s event that raised over $60,000, and for South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner it was special to see so many out there running for a great cause. “It’s fantastic,” Tanner said. “This is year No. 11 now, and to have so many people put this on their calendars every year (is special). It’s about running, it’s about walking, but mainly it’s about giving back to the community and giving back to the Midlands and the city of Columbia. It’s been great that we’ve been able to raise money all these years and give back to people right here who need it the most. Our mission is about children and their families and keeping them together and taking care of them as best we can. It’s really about a team. We’re in athletics all the
time, and being a part of this race is a team coming together to give back.” In addition to South Carolina men’s basketball helping out with the event, other Gamecock student-athletes were in attendance, including the South Carolina cross country team and the Gamecock softball team. Martin and Ray Tanner as always took the time to interact with the crowd with one runner even stopping to take a selife with Ray Tanner during one of the races. The Ray Tanner Foundation Home Run was less than 12 hours after the South Carolina basketball programs held their Gamecock Basketball Madness event at Fort Jackson, but to Martin it was incredibly important that his team take part. “Doing something for the community is something that’s real important to me,
personally, and getting our players to understand that big responsibility of theirs,” Martin said. “And that’s what is great since I’ve been here because that’s what I like to do, and to know that is what Ray and Karen are all about and after four years to see how much time they have invested in making this community better, and helping people that maybe others don’t pay attention to, that’s what I love. That’s why I’ve got so much respect for Ray and Karen, and that’s why I’m so happy and so willing to be a part of all of this.” To learn more about the Ray Tanner Foundation, you can visit the official website at www.theraytannerfoundation.org. You can also like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/raytannerhomerun and follow the organization on twitter at @ raytannergives.
14 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut
DB Naytron Culpepper of Miami took his first official visit to USC Saturday for the UMass game. Along with Maryland, Mississippi State, Utah and Michigan State, Culpepper has USC in his top five. Culpepper said he’s been hearing from the USC coaching staff “pretty often” and heard from defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson earlier this week. “I should be hanging out with coach T-Rob and hopefully, get a chance to talk to one of the teammates who used to play for Carol City,” Culpepper said. “We talked a lot. When I took my unofficial to South Carolina, I got a chance to talk to him and we hung out with each other for a little Phil Kornblut bit and stuff.” As Contributing for his other officials, Writer Culpepper is finalizing plans to visit Michigan State in November and Maryland in December. He said he hears from both of those schools regularly. Culpepper has not planned his other two officials to Utah and Mississippi State at this point. He hopes to have his decision by the end of the season. DE Aaron Sterling of Tucker, GA had been to USC before but the Georgia game was his first time seeing the Gamecocks play inside Williams-Brice Stadium. Sterling made the day trip to Columbia with his parents. He had seen the campus and football related facilities before, so the visit gave him the chance to feel the gameday atmosphere and watch the coaches work in a game setting. Sterling also got the chance to talk with Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson and hear more from them from a recruiting standpoint. “They want me here, they need me there,” Sterling said. “They’ve got a good plan for me. It left a good impression.” Sterling is also considering Georgia and NC State and they will get official visits along with USC. He’s also been to NC State unofficially. And he’s also considering Tennessee. Sterling said he doesn’t have a favorite at this point. USC and Oregon are the final two for WR Chad Terrell of Dallas, GA Terrell had NC State listed in his top three but eliminated it as one of his favorites. “They just dropped down a bit lower for me. The other two seemed more into it,”
Terrell said. “I just had to narrow it down a little bit more and they were just the one I eliminated out of the three.” Terrell hopes to visit USC for a game this season, but does not know which one yet. He last spoke with USC head coach Will Muschamp and wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon “about a week ago” via text and phone calls. He last heard from Oregon’s coaching staff one week ago as well and said one school was not recruiting him harder than the other. He does not know when he will make his decision, but knows it will be sometime before the season ends. OL TJ Moore of Charlotte decommitted from USC last week but Gamecocks still factor into his thinking and they have never stopped recruiting him. Moore said he never felt totally solid with his commitment and decided to reopen things so he could check other options. “I just had doubts about it and felt it wasn’t the best choice,” Moore said. “Everything was good, though. The coaches treated me very nice. The players did. Everything was good. It’s just that I felt like it wasn’t the right decision for me right now. I still had doubts that it was the right school for me.” Moore said he received text messages from Will Muschamp and Shawn Elliott prior to his decommitment as they were checking in with him. He last talked with Elliott earlier in the month. “Before I committed I talked to him like every day,” Moore said. “But after that, it didn’t go downhill, we were still talking, but not as much as we were.” Since his decommitment Moore said he’s received a text from Elliott who told him he will continue to recruit him. Moore was at Tennessee for the Alabama game. He’s considering official visits with USC, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Tennessee. “The process had gotten kind of crazy and I think that’s why I committed so fast and was in a hurry to get it over with,” Moore said. “This is a big decision for my life so I’ve got to take it a day at a time and make sure I’m making the right decision.” Moore said he does not have a current favorite. DE Brad Johnson of Pendleton had planned to visit USC for the Saturday night game with Georgia but when the game was moved to Sunday he couldn’t make it so he will try to get to a game later in the season. He went to Tennessee for the Alabama game and has also been to Virginia Tech. One recruiter coming on strong with Johnson is John Chavis of Texas A&M and that could lead to an of-
ficial visit to College Station. Mississippi State has also worked its way into a position for a possible official visit. Johnson had planned to set a visit to Notre Dame but the contact from the Irish has dropped off since the firing of his recruiter and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder late last month. Johnson is looking at USC, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Texas A&M for official visits unless he makes his decision before he gets around to making the visits. OL K’Rojhn Calbert (6-5 295) of McMinnville, TN has set an official visit to USC for October 29th. He visited USC unofficially for the Texas A&M game. He also has offers from Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State and Missouri. DB Rennard Bozeman of Lauderdale Lakes, FL continues to hear from USC defensive coordinator and secondary coach Travaris Robinson and he remains strongly interested in the Gamecocks. Bozeman said he and Robinson talk every couple of weeks and the two are looking at him making a visit later this month. Bozeman said he’s also talking to Central Florida, South Florida, Syracuse, Mississippi State, Indiana, West Virginia, Florida State and others. He has set an official visit to UCF for October 22nd and has been there for a game this season. He has a top three of USC, Mississippi State and Central Florida at this point. USC target DB Johnathan Abram of Jones County JC, MS has set official visits to Louisville December 2nd and Ole Miss December 10th. He’s also looking at USC for an official visit but no date has been set. Abram, a former Georgia cornerback, has missed a couple of games after suffering a concussion. He will be a December signee. Former Tennessee OL commit Jordan Tucker of Roswell, GA said USC is one of the schools he’s now considering but he is considering all available options at this point. Tucker said he was decommitting from the Vols to have the chance to look at some other schools. USC remains in touch with OL Austin Pyne of Ashburnham, MA. Pyne visited during the summer. His season is only four games old and USC is waiting on his senior film next week to be able to take a closer look at him. 2018 LB Channing Tindall (6-2 206) of Spring Valley landed an offer from USC last week. “I grew up attending games at South Carolina so it is mindblowing that
I have been blessed with the opportunity to play at the same stadium where I attended games when I was younger,” said Tindall who also plays tight end. “They really like that I’m aggressive. When running backs come thru the middle, they like how I fill the gap. I read plays well and react quickly.” Tindall was at USC for the Georgia game. He also visited for the East Carolina game. Tindall also has offers from Coastal Carolina and Mercer and he’s drawing other interest from Clemson, Purdue, Penn State, Georgia Tech, NC State, Colorado State, Eastern Michigan and Cal. 2018 Ben Lippen LB Kyle Wright visited Notre Dame over the weekend. He was at Clemson for the Louisville game. He’s also drawing interest from USC and plans to visit Saturday. Basketball news: 6-10 Nick Claxton of Greenville has taken official visits to USC, Georgia and Florida State and Baylor and visited NC State this weekend. All five schools remain in the hunt for Claxton who plans to sign in the early period which begins November 9th. Claxton’s father said they hear regularly from USC coach Frank Martin and he and assistant coach Matt Figger come up to visit with Claxton and watch him work out when they can. But that’s the case with all the schools and Charles Claxton said no one has emerged as a front runner. Mr. Claxton said his son might not announce his choice until the first day of the signing period in November. 6-4 Clyde Trapp Jr. of Lower Richland has taken an official visit to Rice and was scheduled to visit Georgia until Hurricane Matthew forced him to change his plans. That visit has not been rescheduled. But Trapp has set up three more official visits. He is going to USC this weekend followed by Charlotte and Georgia Tech the next two weekends. He made an unofficial visit to Clemson last weekend. USC coach Frank Martin offered Trapp in late September and has kept up his recruiting efforts with him. “Coach Martin has been real interested in me,” Trapp said. “He likes me. He said I’d fit real well in the program. We talk about every day and I might get to a practice this week. The whole coaching staff really believes in me and that’s a big thing.” He does not have a favorite at this point and he’s planning to sign in November.
October 26, 2016
Spurs & Feathers • 15
Gourmet Gents Grub of the Week Creamy Bacon Shrimp Dip
Ingredients · 2 – 8 ounce bars cream cheese, softened · 1 cup sour cream · 1 lb or more of bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled · ½ cup + 1 tablespoon chives, chopped · 12 ounces shrimp cooked & chopped · 1 cup + 1 tablespoon finely shredded cheddar cheese · 1 cup + 1 tablespoon finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook & crumble the bacon. Set aside 2 tablespoons and place in a separate bowl for later. Add the remaining bacon into a medium-sized bowl. Add in softened cream cheese and sour cream. Mix until well combined, I used a hand mixer. Once well combined stir in 1/2 cup chives, set aside. Prepare your shrimp either on the grill (preferred), steam or boil . Once cooked, roughly chop up the shrimp into medium chunks, add shrimp to cream cheese mixture and stir it in along with 1 cup of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese and mix well. Spoon into serving pan, you could really use anything you have just make sure dip is about 1 inch deep, or you may need to adjust cooking time. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and add remaining cheese and chives then bake for another 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the cheese had a golden edge around the pan. Remove from oven and serve with baguette, crackers, chips or vegetables. About the Gourmet Gents Who are we? A few families who randomly met at Williams-Brice Stadium that enjoy doing it big (and just for fun) in the parking lot for the Gamecocks. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @Gourmet_Gents.
16 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
South Carolina Gamecocks # Name Pos. 1 Deebo Samuel WR 3 K.C. Crosby TE 3 Chris Lammons DB 4 Jake Bentley QB 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 5 Darius English DL 5 Terry Googer WR 6 Chris Moody LB 7 Korey Banks WR 7 Jamarcus King DB 8 Randrecous Davis WR 8 Marquavius Lewis DL 9 Jerad Washington WR 9 Sherrod Pittman LB 10 Perry Orth QB 10 Skai Moore LB 11 Brandon McIlwain QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 13 Sean Kelly P 13 Jalen Dread LB 14 Jamari Smith WR 15 Matrick Belton WR 16 Rashad Fenton DB 16 Bailey Hart QB 17 Chaz Elder DB 18 Danny Gordon QB 18 Keir Thomas DL 19 Lorenzo Nunez WR 20 Joseph Charlton K/P 21 Antoine Wilder DB 22 Steven Montac DB 22 Montray Feaster WR 23 Rico Dowdle RB 23 Larenz Bryant LB 24 D.J. Smith DB 24 Garrett Frederick WR 25 A.J. Turner RB 26 Jasper Sasser DB 27 Ty’Son Williams RB 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 30 Shannon James DB 30 Darius Paulk RB 31 Chris Smith DB 32 Brett Shore LB 32 Rod Talley RB 33 David Williams RB 34 Mon Denson RB 34 Scott Grant DB 35 Daniel Fennell DL 36 C.J. Freeman RB 36 Morgan Vest DB 39 Demetrius Smalls DB 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh TE 40 Jacob August TE 40 Jason Senn DB 41 Tyler Ragsdale LB
Hgt. 6-0 6-1 5-10 6-3 6-0 6-6 6-4 6-1 5-11 6-2 5-10 6-3 5-8 6-0 6-1 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-4 5-10 5-10 5-10 6-3 5-10 6-2 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-3 6-5 5-10 5-11 6-4 5-11 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-0 6-0 6-0 6-0 5-7 5-8 5-10 5-11 5-10 6-1 5-10 5-10 6-3 5-11 6-0 5-9 6-2 6-6 5-8 6-0
Wgt. 205 227 190 223 230 245 220 220 180 180 181 270 175 225 200 220 205 230 215 190 220 210 215 190 175 200 210 265 205 185 185 190 205 211 225 195 180 195 210 220 230 170 160 205 180 210 205 220 215 185 235 200 190 170 256 248 195 220
Cl. RS SO RS SO JR FR JR RS SR RS SO RS SR FR JR FR SR RS FR RS FR RS SR SR FR RS SR RS SO RS SR SO RS JR RS SR SO FR RS SR RS SO FR SO RS FR RS FR SO FR FR SR JR FR RS FR RS JR SO SR SR RS SR RS SR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR RS FR RS SO RS FR FR FR RS JR RS JR RS SO RS FR RS FR
Hometown/High School/Last College Inman, S.C./Chapman Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Lauderhill, Fla./Plantation Opelika, Ala./Opelika Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy McDonough, Ga./Henry County Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Mobile, Ala./Blount Atlanta, Ga./Mays Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Hutchinson Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Ponte Vedra, Fla./Florida State College Cooper City, Fla./University Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Oakland, Fla./West Orange/FAU/Tallahassee Foley, Ala./Foley Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Miami, Fla./Miami Carol City Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando Union City, Ga./Banneker Worthington, Ohio/Miami (Ohio) Miami, Fla./Miami Central Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora Riverdale, Ga./Hapeville Charter Covington, Ga./Newton/Coffeyville C.C. Union, S.C./Union County Asheville, N.C./A.C. Reynolds Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Plano, Texas/Plano Clifton, Va./Centreville Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Sumter, S.C./Crestwood/North Carolina Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Texas/Prince of Peace Christian Florence, S.C./South Florence Columbia, S.C./North Greenville Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork/Tyler JC Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange Laurens, S.C./Laurens Loganville, Ga./Grayson Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford Leander, Texas/Rouse Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Leesville, S.C./Lexington/Georgia Southern Columbia, S.C./Fork Union Military Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando
Will Muschamp - Head Coach Bobby Bentley - Running Backs Shawn Elliott - Offensive Line Coleman Hutzler - Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Bryan McClendon - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Mike Peterson - Outside Linebackers Travaris Robinson - Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Kurt Roper - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Lance Thompson - Asst. Head Coach - Defense/Defensive Line Pat Washington - Tight Ends Jeff Dillman - Director of Strength & Conditioning Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Robbie Liles - Director of Player Personnel Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Andre Goodman - Director of Football Development Larry Waters - Director of Football Equipment Operations Clyde Wrenn - Director of High School Relations
# Name Pos. 42 Alexander Woznick PK 42 Jordan Diggs DB 43 Benji Russell DB 44 T.J. Brunson LB 44 Adrian McGee RB 45 Spencer Eason-Riddle LB 45 Ben Asbury LS 46 Trey Mitchell LB 46 Harrison Freeman LS 47 Drew Williams LS 48 Nick McGriff LS 48 Dexter Wideman DL 49 Boosie Whitlow DL 50 Griffin Gentry DL 50 Sadarius Hutcherson OL 51 Cory Helms OL 52 Jajuan Blankenship DL 55 Christian Pellage OL 57 Hassan Belton LB 59 Logan Crane LS 60 Chandler Farrell OL 61 Cameron Johnson OL 61 Javion Duncan DL 63 Blake Camper OL 65 Pika Leota OL 66 Will Putnam OL 67 Ryan Green OL 69 D.J. Park OL 70 Alan Knott OL 72 Donell Stanley OL 74 Mason Zandi OL 75 Darius Whitfield OL 77 Malik Young OL 78 Zack Bailey OL 79 Trey Derouen OL 80 Shemar Glenn WR 81 Hayden Hurst TE 82 Evan Hinson TE 83 Chavis Dawkins WR 84 Kyle Markway TE 85 Devin Dingle WR 85 Michael Almond K/P 86 Robert Tucker III TE 87 Kiel Pollard TE 88 Javon Charleston WR 89 Bryan Edwards WR 90 Wyman Baxley LS 90 Taylor Stallworth DL 91 Shameik Blackshear DL 92 D.J. Wonnum DL 93 Ulric Jones DL 94 Kelsey Griffin DL 95 Dante Sawyer DL 96 Aaron Thompson DL 97 Kobe Smith DL 98 Stephon Taylor DL 99 Abu Lamin DL
Hgt. 5-11 6-0 6-0 6-1 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-2 6-4 6-2 6-0 6-4 6-3 6-1 6-4 6-4 6-0 6-6 6-0 6-3 6-2 6-8 6-0 6-8 6-4 6-5 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-9 6-2 6-3 6-6 6-3 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-2 6-5 5-10 6-3 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-3 6-2 6-2 6-4 6-4 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-4
Wgt. 160 205 200 225 185 226 210 210 235 215 225 280 240 246 273 310 265 305 215 245 280 300 260 300 315 282 265 330 290 325 315 286 300 315 310 175 250 238 200 245 180 222 238 230 195 210 195 310 265 240 300 295 275 271 305 293 310
Cl. FR RS SR RS JR FR FR FR RS SO FR FR SR RS SO RS FR SO FR FR RS JR FR SO SO RS FR FR FR RS SO SO FR FR SO RS JR RS JR RS SO RS SR FR RS SO SO RS FR RS FR SO FR FR SO RS FR RS FR FR FR RS FR FR FR JR RS FR FR RS JR SR JR FR FR FR RS SR
Hometown/High School/Last College Greenville, S.C./Eastside Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast Greer, S.C./Greer Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road Atlanta, Ga./Berry College Lexington, S.C./Lexington Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Saluda, S.C./Saluda/Camden Military Opelika, Ala./Opelika Birmingham, Ala./Homewood Huntingdon,Tenn./Huntingdon Alpharetta, Ga./Milton/Wake Forest Anderson, S.C./T.L. Hanna Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech Blythewood, S.C./Western Carolina Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth Summerville, S.C./Summerville Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County Simpsonville, S.C./Woodmont/Citadel Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox Asheville, N.C./Asheville Harrisburg, N.C./Hickory Ridge James Island, S.C./James Island/Presbyterian Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Chapin, S.C./Chapin Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s Episcopal Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Summerville, S.C./Summerville Lilburn, Ga./Parkview Union, S.C./Union County/USC-Union Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School Deltona, Fla./Deltona Duncan, S.C./Byrnes St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney Summerville, S.C./Cane Bay North Augusta, S.C./Westminster Atlanta, Ga./B.E.S.T. Academy Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County Gurnee, Ill./Warren Conway, S.C./Conway Athens, Ga./Athens Academy Mobile, Ala./Murphy Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Oxford, Ala./Butler (Community College Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Suwanee, Ga./East Mississippi C.C. Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer New Orleans, La./McDonogh 35 Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian/Fort Scott
Jessica Jackson - Director of On-Campus Recruiting Kristin Sheetz - Director of External Communications Ellis Johnson - Analyst Kyle Krantz - Analyst Demarco McNeil - Analyst Scott Spurrier - Analyst Seth Strickland - Analyst Brian Turk - Assistant Director - Recruiting - Offense Shaq Wilson - Assistant Director - Recruiting - Defense Omar Young - Analyst David Feeley - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Corey Jenkins - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Roy Upchurch - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Cedric Williams - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Shuler Hayes - Assistant Director of Football Equipment Operations Kim Fields - Assistant to Head Football Coach Charity Grady - Coordinator of Offensive Operations Carina Hargreaves - Coordinator of Defensive Operations
Spurs & Feathers • 17
October 26, 2016
Tennessee Volunteers # Name Pos. 1 Jalen Hurd RB 1 Jonathan Kongbo DL 2 Jarrett Guarantano QB 2 Shy Tuttle DL 3 Josh Malone WR 3 Marquill Osborne DB 4 John Kelly RB 4 LaTroy Lewis DL 5 Kyle Phillips DL 6 Alvin Kamara RB 7 Rashaan Gaulden DB 8 Justin Martin DB 8 Latrell Williams WR 9 Derek Barnett DE 9 Marquez Callaway WR 10 Tyler Byrd WR 10 D.J. Henderson DB 11 Joshua Dobbs QB 11 Austin Smith DL 12 Quinten Dormady QB 12 Emmanuel Moseley DB 13 Malik Foreman DB 13 Sheriron Jones QB 14 Zac Jancek QB 14 Quart’e Sapp LB 15 Jauan Jennings WR 17 Dillon Bates LB 17 Brandon Johnson WR 18 Jason Croom TE 18 Nigel Warrior DB 19 Jeff George WR 19 Darrell Taylor DL 20 Cortez McDowell LB 20 Vincent Perry WR 21 Jalen Reeves-Maybin LB 22 Micah Abernathy DB 23 Cameron Sutton DB 24 Todd Kelly Jr. DB 24 Michael Lacey WR 25 Aaron Medley PK 25 Josh Smith WR 26 Stephen Griffin DB 26 Ben Powlas WR 27 Carlin Fils-Aime RB 28 Baylen Buchanan DB 28 Will Martinez WR 29 Evan Berry DB 30 Holden Foster PK 30 Devin Williams DB 31 Parker Henry H 31 Stedman Love RB 33 MaLeik Gatewood DB 33 Jeremy Lewis RB 34 Darrin Kirkland Jr. LB 35 Daniel Bituli LB 35 Taeler Dowdy RB 36 Gavin Bryant LB 36 Grayson Linde P
Ht. 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-2 6-3 5-11 5-9 6-4 6-4 5-10 6-1 6-1 5-11 6-3 6-2 6-0 6-1 6-3 6-3 6-4 5-11 5-10 6-2 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-5 6-0 6-6 6-4 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-7 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-5 5-11 5-11 5-8 5-11 6-0 5-8 6-1 5-8 5-10 6-1 6-1 6-3 6-1 6-0 6-1
Wt. 240 270 205 311 200 188 212 256 259 215 185 183 175 265 190 195 180 210 236 216 180 190 208 214 220 205 220 180 246 186 195 240 235 175 230 195 186 208 178 194 213 205 205 175 190 184 207 205 184 185 175 193 195 230 235 185 238 180
Yr. JR RS SO FR SO JR FR SO RS SR SO RS JR RS SO JR FR JR FR FR JR SR SO SO JR SR RS FR RS FR RS FR SO RS SO FR RS SR FR RS JR RS FR JR RS FR SR SO SR JR RS FR JR RS JR SO FR FR FR SO JR RS JR RS JR RS SO FR RS FR FR SO FR FR RS SO FR
Hometown/Previous School Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior Surrey, B.C./Arizona Western Lodi, N.J./Bergen Catholic Midway, N.C./North Davidson Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp Cornelius, N.C./William Amos Hough Detroit, Mich./Oak Park Akron, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro Norcross, Ga./Alabama/Hutchinson C.C. Spring Hill, Tenn./Independence Antioch, Tenn./Northeast Oklahoma A&M Lake City, Fla./Columbia Nashville, Tenn./Brentwood Academy Warner Robins, Ga./Warner Robins Naples, Fla./Naples Lyman, S.C./Dodge City C.C. (Kansas) Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta Buford, Ga./Buford Boerne, Texas/Boerne Greensboro, N.C./Dudley Kingsport, Tenn./Sewanee Perris, Calif./Rancho Verde Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic Alpharetta, Ga./Milton Murfreesboro, Tenn./Blackman Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra Plantation, Fla./American Heritage Norcross, Ga./Norcross Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge Leavenworth, Kan./Dodge City C.C. Waverly, Va./Hopewell Locust Grove, Ga./Locust Grove Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast Atlanta, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian Jonesboro, Ga./Jonesboro Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy Lewisburg, Tenn./Marshall County Knoxville,Tenn./Christian Academy of Knoxville Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg Dickson, Tenn./Dickson County Naples, Fla./Naples Lawrenceville, Ga./Peachtree Ridge Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic Fairburn, Ga./Creekside Dickson, Tenn./Dickson County/Sewanee Knoxville, Tenn./Austin-East Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior Knoxville, Tenn./Karns Memphis,Tenn./Memphis University School Lone Grove, Okla./Lone Grove HS Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central Antioch, Tenn./Nashville Christian Murfreesboro, Tenn./Blackman Jackson, Ala./Jackson Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood
Coaches/Staff Butch Jones - Head Coach Steve Stripling - Associate Head Coach /Defensive Line Coach Mike DeBord - Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach Bob Shoop - Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez - Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Backs Coach Robert Gillespie - Assistant Head Coach / Running Backs / Recruiting Coordinator Zach Azzanni - Wide Receivers / Passing Game Coordinator Tommy Thigpen - Linebackers / Defensive Run Game Coordinator Larry Scott - Tight Ends / Special Teams Coordinator Don Mahoney - Offensive Line Coach Mike Vollmar - Sr. Associate AD, Football Administration Chris Spognardi - Director of Football Operations Bob Welton - Director of Player Personnel
# Name Pos. 37 Jayson Sparks RB 37 Charles West DB 38 Jaye Rochell WR 39 Alex Jones H 39 Kendal Vickers DL 40 Dimarya Mixon DL 41 Elliott Berry LB 42 Chip Omer RB 43 Matt Ballard LB 43 Laszlo Toser PK 44 Jakob Johnson TE 46 Riley Lovingood LS 46 DaJour Maddox LB 47 Landon Knoll LB 48 Ja’Quain Blakely LB 50 Venzell Boulware OL 50 Corey Vereen DL 51 Kenny Bynum LB 51 Drew Richmond OL 52 Andrew Butcher DL 52 Elijah Medford LS 53 Colton Jumper LB 55 Quay Picou DL 55 Coleman Thomas OL 57 Nathan Niehaus OL 59 Jake Yelich LS 60 Austin Sanders OL 63 Brett Kendrick OL 64 Logan Punch LS 64 Tommy Sprague OL 66 Jack Jones OL 67 Joe Keeler OL 68 Marcus Tatum OL 69 Brian Garvey OL 70 Ryan Johnson OL 71 Dylan Wiesman OL 75 Jashon Robertson OL 76 Chance Hall OL 78 Charles Mosley OL 79 Thomas Edwards OL 80 Eli Wolf TE 81 Austin Pope TE 82 EthanWolf TE 83 BJ Bishop WR 84 Devante Brooks TE 85 Thomas Orradre WR 86 Andrew Craig TE 87 Logan Fetzner WR 88 Brandon Benedict DL 89 Will Jumper TE 90 Charles Folger DL 93 Trevor Daniel P 94 Mykelle McDaniel DL 96 Joey Cave DL 97 Paul Bain DL 97 Jackson Morris PK 98 Alexis Johnson DL 99 Kahlil McKenzie DL
Ht. 5-7 6-2 6-2 5-5 6-3 6-4 5-11 6-0 6-1 5-8 6-3 6-0 5-11 6-3 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-1 6-5 6-2 5-9 6-2 6-1 6-5 6-6 6-2 6-5 6-6 6-0 6-3 6-4 6-6 6-6 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-6 5-10 6-5 6-2 6-5 5-9 6-2 6-2 6-4 6-1 6-3 6-5 6-5 5-9 6-4 6-3
Wt. 187 170 210 139 295 260 222 200 215 181 250 209 210 217 230 306 249 235 301 257 203 224 277 301 295 225 310 318 230 295 307 275 265 295 275 310 305 318 340 315 216 230 245 180 255 205 245 182 260 206 265 248 220 285 290 165 295 325
Yr. RS SO FR RS JR RS FR RS JR JR JR FR FR RS FR JR RS FR RS FR RS FR FR RS FR SR RS SR RS FR RS FR RS SO JR SO JR FR FR RS JR RS JR FR FR SO RS FR FR FR FR SR JR SO RS SO RS JR RS FR FR JR FR FR RS SO FR RS JR FR RS FR RS SR RS JR FR FR RS SO FR JR SO
Hometown/Previous School Loganville, Ga./Grayson Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy Duluth, Ga./Wesleyan School Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic Havelock, N.C./Havelock Compton, Calif./West Mesquite (Texas) Fairburn, Ga./Creekside Nashville, Tenn./Christ Presbyterian Academy Clarksville, Tenn./Clarksville Ooltewah, Tenn./Ooltewah Stuttgart, Germany/Jean Ribault (Fla.) Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior Stone Mountain, Ga./Druid Hills Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County Union City, Ga./Creekside Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange Jacksonville, Fla./Raines Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta Burlington, N.C./Walter Williams Lookout Mountain, Tenn./The Hun School Sugar Hill, Ga./Buford Max Meadows, Va./Fort Chiswell Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point Cleveland, Tenn./Bradley Central Knoxville,Tenn./Christian Academy of Knoxville Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta HS Murfreesboro, Tenn./Oakland Arden, N.C./Christ School Ormond Beach, Fla./Mainland Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy Roanoke, Va./Northside Brighton, Tenn./Brighton Kingsport, Tenn./Dobyns-Bennett Minster, Ohio/Minster Knoxville,Tenn./Christian Academy of Knoxville Minster, Ohio/Minster Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan Bowie, Md./St. John’s College (D.C.) HS San Luis Obispo, Calif./San Luis Obispo Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School Cleveland, Tenn./Bradley Central Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan Lookout Mountain, Tenn./Baylor School Augusta, Ga./Lincoln County Dickson, Tenn./Dickson County Loganville, Ga./Grayson Knoxville, Tenn./Hardin Valley Academy Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove/Tusculum Hendersonville, Tenn./Pope John Paul II Atlanta, Ga./Mount Zion/Fort Scott C.C. Walnut Creek, Calif./ClaytonValley Charter School
18 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
Depth Charts for October 29 South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: -OR- LT: LG: OC: RG: RT: TE: QB: -OR- RB: -OR-
1 Deebo Samuel 83 Chavis Dawkins 14 Jamari Smith 7 Korey Banks 89 Bryan Edwards 5 Terry Googer 8 Randrecous Davis 74 Mason Zandi 77 Malik Young 78 Zack Bailey 70 Alan Knott 51 Cory Helms 70 Alan Knott 72 Donell Stanley 69 D.J. Park 69 D.J. Park 63 Blake Camper 81 Hayden Hurst 3 K.C. Crosby 11 Brandon McIlwain 10 Perry Orth 4 Jake Bentley 25 A.J. Turner 33 David Williams 32 Rod Talley
6-0, 205, So. 6-2, 200, Fr. 5-10, 210, Jr. 5-11, 180, Fr. 6-3, 210, Fr. 6-4, 220, So. 5-10, 181, Fr. 6-9, 315, Sr. 6-3, 300, So. 6-6, 315, So. 6-4, 290, Jr. 6-4, 310, Jr. 6-4, 290, Jr. 6-4, 325, So. 6-4, 330, Jr. 6-4, 330, Jr. 6-8, 300, So. 6-5, 250, So. 6-1, 227, So. 6-0, 205, Fr. 6-1, 200, Sr. 6-3, 223, Fr. 5-10, 195, RFr. 6-1, 220, Jr. 5-10, 205, Jr.
DEFENSE Inman, S.C. Duncan, S.C. Jacksonville, Fla. Tyrone, Ga. Conway, S.C. Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta, Ga. Chapin, S.C. Pelzer, S.C. Summerville, S.C. Tyrone, Ga. Alpharetta, Ga. Tyrone, Ga. Floydale, S.C. Dillon, S.C. Dillon, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Jacksonville, Fla. Bamberg, S.C. Newtown, Pa. Ponte Verda, Fla. Opelika, Ala. Clifton, Va. Philadelphia, Pa. Laurens, S.C.
DE: 8 Marquavius Lewis 92 D.J. Wonnum -OR- 91 Shameik Blackshear DT: 90 Taylor Stallworth 18 Keir Thomas DT: 94 Kelsey Griffin 93 Ulric Jones DE: 95 Dante Sawyer 5 Darius English SLB: 11 T.J. Holloman -OR- 6 Chris Moody MLB: 28 Jonathan Walton -OR- 11 T.J. Holloman WLB: 4 B. Allen-Williams -OR- 11 T.J. Holloman CB: 16 Rashad Fenton 22 Steven Montac S: 24 D.J. Smith 42 Jordan Diggs S: 17 Chaz Elder 22 Steven Montac CB: 3 Chris Lammons 7 Jamarcus King N: 42 Jordan Diggs 16 Rashad Fenton
82 Ethan Wolf 18 Jason Croom 63 Brett Kendrick 51 Drew Richmond 68 Marcus Tatum 75 Jashon Robertson 50 Venzell Boulware 71 Dylan Wiesman 55 Coleman Thomas 66 Jack Jones 71 Dylan Wiesman 55 Coleman Thomas 76 Chance Hall 3 Josh Malone 9 Marquez Callaway 15 Jauan Jennings 7 Preston Williams 25 Josh Smith 10 Tyler Byrd 11 Joshua Dobbs 12 Quinten Dormady 1 Jalen Hurd 6 Alvin Kamara
6-6, 245, Jr. Minster, Ohio 6-5, 246, Sr. Norcross, Ga. 6-6, 318, Jr. Knoxville, Tenn. 6-5, 301, RFr. Memphis, Tenn. 6-6, 265, Fr. Ormond Beach, Fla. 6-3, 305, Jr. Nashville, Tenn. 6-3, 306, RFr. Union City, Ga. 6-4, 310, Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio 6-5, 301, Jr. Max Meadows, Va. 6-4, 307, So. Murfreesboro, Tenn. 6-4, 310, Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio 6-5, 301, Jr. Max Meadows, Va. 6-4, 318, So. Roanoke, Va. 6-3, 200, Jr. Gallatin, Tenn. 6-2, 190, Fr. Warner Robins, Ga. 6-3, 205, So. Murfreesboro, Tenn. 6-4, 209, So. Hampton, Ga. 6-1, 213, Jr. Knoxville, Tenn. 6-0, 195, Fr. Naples, Fla. 6-3, 210, Sr. Alpharetta, Ga. 6-4, 216, So. Boerne, Texas 6-4, 240, Jr. Hendersonville, Tenn. 5-10, 215, Jr. Norcross, Ga.
Greenwood, S.C. Stone Mountain, Ga. Bluffton, S.C. Mobile, Ala. Miami, Fla. Buford, Ga. Oxford, Ala. Suwanee, Ga. Powder Springs, Ga. Stone Mountain, Ga. McDonough, Ga. Daphne, Ala. Stone Mountain, Ga. Ellenwood, Ga. Stone Mountain, Ga. Miami, Fla. Covington, Ga. Marietta, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Union City, Ga. Covington, Ga. Lauderhill, Fla. Mobile, Ala. Fort Myers, Fla. Miami, Fla.
SPECIALISTS K: P: LS: KOR: PR: H:
29 Elliott Fry 20 Joseph Charlton 13 Sean Kelly 20 Joseph Charlton 47 Drew Williams 48 Nick McGriff 25 A.J. Turner 16 Rashad Fenton 16 Rashad Fenton 3 Chris Lammons 13 Sean Kelly
6-0, 170, Sr. 6-5, 185, RFr. 5-10, 190, Sr. 6-5, 185, RFr. 6-2, 215, Sr. 6-0, 225, So. 5-10, 195, RFr. 5-10, 190, So. 5-10, 190, So. 5-10, 190, Jr. 5-10, 189, Jr.
Frisco, Texas Columbia, S.C. Oakland, Fla. Columbia, S.C. Irmo, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Clifton, Va. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Lauderhill, Fla. Oakland, Fla.
OFFENSE TE: LT: LG: C: -OR- RG: RT: WR: WR: WR:
6-3, 270, Sr. 6-4, 240, Fr. 6-4, 265, RFr. 6-2, 310, Jr. 6-2, 265, Fr. 6-2, 295, Sr. 6-5, 300, Jr. 6-3, 275, Jr. 6-6, 245, Sr. 6-2, 230, Sr. 6-1, 220, Sr. 6-0, 230, Sr. 6-2, 230, Sr. 6-0, 230, Jr. 6-2, 230, Sr. 5-10, 190, So. 5-11, 190, So. 5-11, 195, Jr. 6-0, 205, Sr. 6-2, 200, Sr. 5-11, 190, So. 5-10, 190, Jr. 6-2, 180, Jr. 6-0, 205, Sr. 5-10, 190, So.
LE: DT: DT: -OR- RE: WLB: MLB: -OR- -OR- LCB: -OR- RCB: SS: -OR- FS:
50 Corey Vereen 6-2, 249, Sr. Winter Garden, Fla. 4 Latroy Lewis 6-4, 256, Sr. Akron, Ohio 39 Kendal Vickers 6-3, 295, Jr. Havelock, N.C. 2 Shy Tuttle 6-2, 311, So. Midway, N.C. 99 Kahlil McKenzie 6-3, 325, So. Walnut Creek, Calif. 2 Shy Tuttle 6-2, 311, So. Midway, N.C. 52 Andrew Butcher 6-2, 257, RFr. Alpharetta, Ga. 9 Derek Barnett 6-3, 265, Jr. Nashville, Tenn. 1 Jonathan Kongbo 6-6, 270, So. Surrey, B.C. 20 Cortez McDowell 6-0, 235, So. Locust Grove, Ga. 41 Elliott Berry 5-11, 222, Jr. Fairburn, Ga. 34 Darrin Kirkland Jr. 6-1, 230, So. Indianapolis, Ind. 53 Colton Jumper 6-2, 224, Jr. Lookout Mountain, Tenn. 36 Gavin Bryant 6-0, 238, So. Jackson, Ala. 17 Dillon Bates 6-3, 220, So. Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. 13 Malik Foreman 5-10, 178, Sr. Kingsport, Tenn. 8 Justin Martin 6-1, 183, Jr. Antioch, Tenn. 28 Baylen Buchanan 5-11, 190, Fr. Lawrenceville, Ga. 12 Emmanuel Moseley 5-11, 180, Jr. Greensboro, N.C. 8 Justin Martin 6-1, 183, Jr. Antioch, Tenn. 24 Todd Kelly Jr. 5-11, 208, Jr. Knoxville, Tenn. 26 Stephen Griffin 6-2, 205, So. Charlotte, N.C. 29 Evan Berry 5-11, 207, Jr. Fairburn, Ga. 22 Micah Abernathy 6-0, 195, So. Atlanta, Ga.
18 Nigel Warrior 7 Rashaan Gaulden 13 Malik Foreman
6-0, 186, Fr. 6-1, 185, So. 5-10, 178, Sr.
Duluth, Ga. Spring Hill, Tenn. Kingsport, Tenn.
SPECIALISTS PK: 25 Aaron Medley 6-2, 194, Jr. Lewisburg, Tenn. 43 Laszlo Toser 5-8, 181, RFr. Ooltewah, Tenn. P: 93 Trevor Daniel 6-1, 248, Jr. Dickson, Tenn. KO: 25 Aaron Medley 6-2, 194, Jr. Lewisburg, Tenn. 43 Laszlo Toser 5-8, 181, RFr. Ooltewah, Tenn. LS: 46 Riley Lovingood 6-0, 209, RFr. Hendersonville, Tenn. 52 Elijah Medford 5-9, 203, So. Burlington, N.C. H: 31 Parker Henry 6-1, 185, So. Hendersonville, Tenn. KR: 29 Evan Berry 5-11, 207, Jr. Fairburn, Ga. 6 Alvin Kamara 5-10, 215, Jr. Norcross, Ga. PR: 6 Alvin Kamara 5-10, 215, Jr. Norcross, Ga.
*These depth charts are taken from the listings from each team’s previous game. Spurs & Feathers goes to print shortly after the conclusion of each game. Please visit www.spursandfeathers.com over the course of the week for updated depth charts.
Spurs & Feathers • 19
October 26, 2016
photo by allen sharpe
Memorable evening part of special experience for Hall of Fame inductees by kyle heck Reporter
For anyone who is a former student-athlete or coach at South Carolina, they all understand how much it means to be a Gamecock. So on Thursday, Oct. 20, when nine former Gamecocks were inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, it was obviously an extremely special and memorable evening for those individuals. Baseball greats Ryan Bordenick and Justin Smoak, volleyball great Shonda Cole, men’s golf great David Seawell and football greats Bo Davies, Jimmy Mitchell and Sidney Rice were the athletes inducted. In addition, coaching greats Jim Carlen and Billy Laval rounded out the group of nine. For a lot of the inductees, just learning that they were going to be inducted into the Hall
of Fame was a huge surprise. “I was kind of in shock,” said football great Sidney Rice of his reaction when he heard the news. “It wasn’t something that I was expecting at all, and it totally hit me from left field when I heard about it. I’m obviously super excited and super grateful for the opportunity to even have the opportunity to attend the University of South Carolina, let alone live out my dream and play football and be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I am very, very grateful to be a part of their history.” For Jim Carlen’s son, Jamie Carlen, it was an incredible evening to be able to watch his dad posthumously honored by the University. Jamie Carlen knows his father would have been excited to be on such an exclusive list, but would have passed the praise on to everyone he worked with. “If he got up to speak, surely he would
have said, ‘listen, I didn’t do anything. It was all the people around me. I just kind of managed,’ ” Jamie Carlen said. “He would have said that ‘it was an honor for him, but it would have really been about his coaches and his players.’ He would have said, ‘you surround yourself with good people and good things happen.’ The coaching staff and the players were all one big family. I know growing up around it, it was a different feel, and I’ve been around enough other football now to know it was different.” While he wasn’t able to be in attendance because of duties with the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, Gamecock baseball great Justin Smoak said beforehand that he was honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. “I was really excited honestly,” Smoak said of learning that he had been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletics
Hall of Fame. “Only nine years later, you don’t expect to be put in the Hall of Fame that quickly, but it’s definitely an honor, and something that I will cherish the rest of my life.” Many of the athletes inducted know each other, but the honor is even more special when you are able to be inducted with those who hold a special place in your heart, which is the case with football great Bo Davies. “It truly is an honor,” Davies said. “What makes this extra special is that I will be going in the same class that Jimmy Mitchell and Coach Carlen are in. Jimmy Mitchell was in my incoming freshmen class and coach Carlen coached the West Virginia team we played in the Peach Bowl in 1969. You add that to the long list of greats that are already in the Hall, and it is a dream come true for me.”
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Martin not worried about projections, just task ahead by brian hand Executive Editor NASHVILLE - It’s no coincidence that Frank Martin’s weight has dropped coming off a 2015-16 regular-season where the Gamecocks set a school record with 24 wins. Overall, the Gamecocks finished last year with a school record-tying 25 wins, and this offseason Martin has made a concerted effort to lose some weight. His ability to lose weight has a lot to do with the fact that now entering his fifth season at the helm of the Gamecock men’s basketball program he has a core group of guys that know what it means to be a part of a winning culture. That was definitely not the case when he took over the South Carolina men’s basketball program. “When you have 4,000 people in an 18,000-seat building the first time you play, you realize you better go shake a lot of hands,” Martin mused. “When you have to upgrade your team to be able to play Kentucky, you have to upgrade your talent, so you have to go out and recruit. When you’re recruiting at a school that hasn’t had suc-
cess basketball-wise recruiting is hard. It’s always hard, but that makes it even harder. It was a lot of nights shaking hands, doing dinners, having late night conversations, eating junk food at midnight, trying to turn every stone, watch every minute of tape, make every phone call to bring fans back in the building, to recruit a better player, to be better as a coach to help your present players and that beats you up a little bit. And I stopped working out, and my eating habits kind of soured. I want to be a father to my children. That’s the most important thing to me in my life, and I want to see them grow and I don’t want to deprive myself of that because I don’t take care of myself. So, I cut out the two things I love the most outside of my wife - bread and rice. And I started working out pretty hard again.” Martin has lost right at 35 pounds with his ultimate goal now to reach 250 pounds. Currently, he is approximately 10 pounds away from his goal. All of this above is pointed out because Martin is extremely excited about this year’s team even if the Gamecocks were suprisingly picked eighth in the media SEC preseason poll released on Wednesday, Oct. 19,
photo by brian hand
at SEC Media Days at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. “For the most part, I don’t even look at them, I don’t even know half the time, and that’s not coach speak. That’s the truth,” Martin said. In addition to the preseason poll, after finishing in third place in the SEC last season and both garnering postseason laurels from the SEC, neither senior guard Duane Notice or senior guard Sindarius Thornwell were selected to the preseason All-SEC team by the media.
“I was disappointed that the media members didn’t give those two guys credit in their preseason voting, and both of them have received awards from this conference over the years for their career for their actions and their ability to win in this conference,” Martin said. “I was disappointed for Sindarius and Duane. I wasn’t disappointed for our team. Disappointed for them because I think they’ve proven that they’re two of the better players in this conference. At the end of the day, I promise that they’re not losing sleep over that, and neither am I. We’ve got a hard road ahead of us. We know it. We’re just going to go out there and believe in one another. I’m happy they’re on my team. That’s all I know.” Once again, Martin is quick to relay the preseason projections do not matter, and that right now he is just focused on getting his team ready for the upcoming season. “They’re all irrelevant,” Martin said of the preseason polls. “Every team is different. Every year is different. Not just for us, but for every team in this conference. What matters is when the season ends. To me, that’s the only thing that’s ever mattered. We’ll see what happens when we get there.”
National perspective on the South Carolina men’s basketball team by kyle heck Reporter
NASHVILLE - With the 2016-17 men’s basketball season about to get underway, SEC Media Days were held in Nashville on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to preview the upcoming league season. Spurs & Feathers asked three national figures their opinions on what the Gamecocks can or will do this year. South Carolina is coming off a record season last year where it finished with a 25-9 record. The Gamecocks barely missed the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the second round of the NIT Tournament. The 25 wins tied a program record for most in a season.
photo by brian hand
What are your expectations for South Carolina when it comes to this season? Andy Katz, senior college basketball They’re lower, based on the fact that they journalist for ESPN have a lot of new guys. But the beauty of this league on one side is that outside of What are the initial thoughts that come Kentucky, there’s such a rotation below to your mind when you think about South them that you can move up pretty quickly. Carolina basketball? I think that’s the thing. It’s easy to surprise My impression is that (head coach Frank in this league, even if you’re picked low. I Martin) has changed the culture, and it’s don’t put a lot of stock in who’s picked in just a matter of time. It’s unfortunate that the lower part because there’s so much balthey couldn’t close the deal last year, just ance. because they had a really good team. He just has such a positive vibe that you just Barry Booker, SEC Network basketball get the feeling that things will turn - I think analyst they already have turned.
What are the initial thoughts that come to your mind when you think about South Carolina basketball? That they’re building, but think about those big guys that were lost - two Lithuanian guys and Michael Carrera. That’s going to be tough to get the rebounding and everything that those guys brought to the team going forward. But I always think of coach Martin as the first thing. He’s a leader, he’s a tough guy and he brings a lot to the table, so you know that things are going to go well because he’s driving the ship.
mind when you think about South Carolina basketball? I think of a program on the rise. I think Frank is one of the better coaches in the league, and I felt terribly for him last year. I thought they had done enough, and I talked to him a couple times as you have a million times about his scheduling and it looked actually pretty good and it fell apart. Teams didn’t come through. But I really like what he’s doing. I met him once or twice when he was out in Kansas, and I think he’s just a great coach. I love his message, and I wouldn’t be shocked if South Carolina starts making a lot of noise in the tournament.
What are your expectations for South Carolina when it comes to this season? I think the expectations, picked in the middle of the pack, I think that is the expec- What are your expectations for South tation. But it’s certainly possible that they Carolina when it comes to this season? can leap up and compete for the No. 4 spot I think this is a program that expects to be and get a bye for the SEC Tournament. I in the (NCAA) tournament and do somethink that’s probably the ceilthing. I fully expect that to ing for this team if everything happen. I think he’s the kind of coach that, once you get in, really goes well. you can go someplace. I know that sounds like a ridiculous Paul Finebaum, nationally statement in October, because acclaimed radio personality no one really knows. If you and host of the Paul Finesaid, ‘Okay, you get to draft baum Show All Gamecock basketball three coaches from the SEC,’ coverage sponsored by he would be on my list. I What are the initial Yesterdays think he’s that good. thoughts that come to your
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Unequaled attention to program has become reality for Gamecocks by brian hand Executive Editor
ibly thankful for the support, but she also recognize them, and I’m proud that people knows it’s not really a surprise anymore. can walk up to them and they feel like they “It’s become our reality, really,” Staley know them because that’s the kind of outNASHVILLE - Earlier this summer, South said. “It’s the thing where we can now share look that we want.” Carolina junior standout A’ja Wilson was at with our recruits and their families. It’s difWilson points out that Staley talks with the a Columbia gas station and the fact that she ferent. You’re a big fish in a small pond when Gamecocks all of the time about what they was there had everyone buzzing. you come to South Carolina, and it’s differare representing. “Did you see A’ja Wilson? A’ja Wilson is ent. It has its perks and it has its drawbacks.” “With a lot of fans and a lot of fame, you’ve got to understand that you’re not representinside. Did you see?” Staley uses Wilson as an example of the These types of moments are regular occurdrawbacks that are dwarfed by the positives. ing just yourself, you’re representing your University,” the preseason All-American rences for Wilson and members of the South “I think sometimes A’ja’s plate gets full said. Carolina women’s basketball team. with having to serve her reputation, but it’s Staley knows it is incredibly important to They would not have it any other way, but a great thing,” Staley said. “I think a lot of photo by brian hand programs - probably 90 percent of programs have these types of conversations. they also would have never thought they “We have those conversations because they would be a part of a program that was lead- walk around in their towns in obscurity, ing the country in attendance and having Player of the Year, said. “You would go to and that’s not always a good place to be, but sometimes forget people are watching,” Staley said. “Although they think they’re walkfans come watch their practices in Charlesgames because it’s there, but now being a because people recognize our players and ing down the mall and they’re ton and Greenville over the past couple of part of where you can’t go anywhere because our program, I just think it’s a just shopping, people are years with close to a thousand people in atpeople know you, I never would have imag- great thing. It’s what college watching. Some are a little bit tendance each time. ined South Carolina turning into a basketball athletics is supposed to be all nervous to come up and talk “I never would have imagined this,” Wilstate.” about where you’re giving with them, and then you have son told Spurs & Feathers while she was sitCoates completely agreed with her teamthem something and you’re some that are brave enough ting at a table with fellow preseason All-SEC mate. developing their ability to netand want to have a conversaselection Alaina Coates at SEC Media Days “I never really expected it to happen, but work and their ability to comtion or want to share their at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Thurs- I’m grateful for the fact that we have the municate because a lot of them hoop dreams with them. Yes, day, Oct. 20. opportunity to see our fans,” Coates, a predon’t want to communicate “We were raised in South Carolina, and season All-American, said. besides on the phone. It allows All Gamecock basketball I have those conversations coverage sponsored by because they represent us, and you didn’t really hear about women’s basketSouth Carolina women’s basketball head them to spread their wings a Yesterdays they represent our brand.” ball like that,” Wilson, the preseason SEC coach Dawn Staley like her players is incred- little bit. I’m proud that people
Former Fever head coach on Mitchell: ‘I think Tiff’s going to be a superstar’ by brian hand Executive Editor
on her wall, so it made all the sense in the world once it was time to choose a college destination that she would decide to join NASHVILLE - When Tiffany Mitchell up with her favorite player, who was now was originally drafted on Tuesday, April working to turn South Carolina women’s 14, 2016, with the ninth pick of the WNBA basketball into one of the best programs in Draft by the Indiana Fever, Spurs & Feath- the country. ers was told on the phone that evening by Mitchell definitely helped establish then Fever head coach Stephanie White Staley’s Gamecock women’s basketball that they “were very lucky that she was program as one of the elite programs in the there.” nation during her time at South Carolina. “When you look at the guards that were All of this is why White knew they were in the draft, she was certainly one of the getting a gem in a player like Mitchell who ones that was on our radar that we weren’t had been coached the right way offensively quite sure that we were going to be able to and defensively by Hall of Famer Staley get,” White said at the time. and her staff. One of the reasons behind White’s Now a head coach going against Staley’s thoughts was the unique bond between back-to-back-to-back SEC regular-season South Carolina women’s basketball head champion South Carolina women’s basketcoach Dawn Staley and Mitchell. ball team at Vanderbilt, White could not Mitchell’s favorite player growing up was be prouder of what Mitchell was able to Staley, who was then starring for Mitchell’s accomplish during her rookie year she told hometown team at the time of the Charlotte Spurs & Feathers at SEC Media Days from Sting. Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on ThursMitchell even had a Staley jersey hanging day, Oct. 20.
Photo of tiffany Mitchell with WNBA president Lisa Borders provided by NBA Photos/Getty Images
“Tiff was ready on the defensive end of the floor,” White said. “There’s no question about that. And she’s ready from a work ethic. She’s a gym rat. Dawn had probably spoken about this before too, but one of the things that you learn in the pros is that ‘OK, by the second half, they’re going to take away your shot. What are you going to do then? Now when you’re in the gym working, let’s work smarter instead
of working harder.’ So it was understanding the different things that she had to be aware of. Every rookie sort of hits a wall in the WNBA with the exception of the very few that aren’t Maya Moore or Breanna Stewart, and then it becomes a confidence thing of how do I get myself back into the routine and then it becomes second-guessing of ‘well, I want to do this. I need to do that,’ or that type of thing.” Mitchell closed out her first year in the WNBA by being named to the WNBA AllRookie team. The two-time SEC Player of the Year averaged 8.6 points per game for the Fever this past season. White believes Mitchell has an incredibly bright future ahead. “I think Tiff’s going to be a superstar in the league,” White said. “I think she is going to play for a long, long time, and there is no question in year two, you’re going to see more of what you saw the first 20 games (of last season), and every year she is going to continue to get better because that’s her mentality.”
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Gunter: Expectations continue to change I have talked several times in this spot over the past three months regarding the future of South Carolina football. I understand how this season can be tough as the Gamecocks move through a transition season from one coach and one period of time to the next coach and next period. On my radio show I have compared it to a root Bill Gunter canal. You can Contributing prepare yourself Writer for what is com-
ing and what to expect however that doesn’t mean it becomes bearable when you have to sit through it. I personally have had a hard time putting expectations on this season. In July, I thought winning seven games was a realistic goal that the Gamecocks could achieve. After the Kentucky loss, my realistic expectations changed a little and now that we have passed the midway point of the 2016 campaign I am still not sure what I feel is a quality year for the Gamecocks. With the exception of the Mississippi State game, the Gamecocks have had a chance in each of their losses. Against Kentucky and Georgia the Gamecocks had the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie. Against Texas A&M a fumbled punt cost a chance to gain possession to go and try and tie
the game. This all brings me back to my point that the Gamecocks under Will Muschamp have been competitive. It has not been perfect and there are certainly some flaws this current team has as they enter the final five games of the 2016 campaign. My expectation as of today is for at least a season win total of five games. I think that is reasonable given that Missouri and Western Carolina are home games. However, that leaves three very difficult games that are likely to see the Gamecocks underdogs of a touchdown or more. How competitive can this team be in those games and can they pull off an upset is something that should keep fans coming back each week. It is my opinion this program is definitely
heading in the right direction. There is a lot of young talent that is playing significant snaps and gaining valuable experience. Players such as Brandon McIIwain, Jake Bentley, Bryan Edwards and Rico Dowdle provide hope for the future of the offense and based on the past history of Muschamp the defense will be just fine. Back to the original question of what was fair expectations entering and what is fair now? Even after writing this article I am not sure I have an answer as it is entirely opinion based. Your answer could be different than mine, however I do think the Gamecocks have been competitive, have improved and look like a team heading in the right direction. With all that said, the last five games are very important in helping define the 2016 Gamecock football team.
BI-LO, Gamecocks announce partnership to benefit local children by kyle heck Reporter
BI-LO and its parent company, Southeastern Grocers, have long had a great relationship with the University of South Carolina, and on Tuesday, Oct. 18, the two announced a partnership that would benefit local children and their families. Southeastern Grocers and BI-LO will donate nearly 150 tickets to Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter, Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia for South Carolina’s home game against Western Carolina on Nov. 19. The tickets will go to the young fans in the three organizations so that they and their families can experience game day, thanks to SEG Sports and their partnership with South Carolina athletics. “We are proud of our history in Columbia and our passion for this region extends beyond the grocery business,” said Calvin Rash, District Manager for BI-LO, in a statement. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to give these families the special experience of premier athletic events to help inspire and uplift them during difficult times.” During the special ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 18, the children and representatives from BI-LO and South Carolina gathered in the Jerri and Steve Spurrier Indoor Practice Facility and were joined by Cocky and Gamecock cheerleaders. The children were able to throw around some footballs and received a tour of the facility afterward. Having the opportunity to attend a college football game is something that everyone involved is looking forward to,
them that if you work hard and set goals, you can do anything, and that’s what Big Brothers Big Sisters is all about.” Charles Waddell, USC Deputy Athletics Director, was present at the event, and knows firsthand the impact an initiative like this can have on young people. He told the crowd about the first time he at-
tended a college football game when he was 11 or 12 years old and the vivid memories he still has from that experience. “You young people, enjoy yourselves, but remember that you have to come back here in about 10 years because we’re going to hold a spot for you here at South Carolina,” Waddell said.
photo by kyle heck
said Jennifer Hodges, Overreach Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters. “This is a huge experience for so many of the littles and bigs,” Hodges said. “So many kids don’t have an opportunity to really experience outside of what they would typically experience. It’s great. It broadens their horizons and shows them that there’s life beyond.” While it’s obviously going to be exciting for the children and their families to experience a game in person, the lessons learned from it could last much longer than four quarters. “Any time you have a child and you put them in a positive environment surrounded by positive role models, the only place to go is up,” Hodges said. “This shows
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D’Angelo: ‘It’s not every day that you get to check off all your goals on your list’ by kyle heck Reporter At the beginning of the year, former South Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo set out a couple goals that, at the time, seemed hard to attain. She wanted to make the Canadian national team for the Olympics, as well as win a league title with her professional team, the Western New York Flash. Check and check. First, D’Angelo was the backup goalkeeper for a Canada team that won the Bronze medal in the Olympics and just recently, she played a pivotal role in helping the Flash to win the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship. The title match between Western New York and Washington went to penalty kicks, where D’Angelo made three saves in leading her team to the upset win. Coming into the year, the Flash were picked near the bottom of the league, but D’Angelo and her teammates didn’t care about that. “It was amazing,” D’Angelo said. “A lot of teams and people kind of overlooked us and wrote us off all throughout the season, even as we started to do better. So to be able to go out there in the championship game, and mind you it wasn’t our prettiest game, and get the championship was unbelievable.” Different goalkeepers have different emotions when it comes to penalty kicks. It’s obviously a pressure-packed situation, but D’Angelo was actually looking forward to it. “I really like PK’s,” D’Angelo said. “Before the ref blew the whistle in extra time, I kind of looked over at my parents and smiled because I knew it was going to be okay. I go with my gut on PK’s, and it worked out in my favor this time.” Her tremendous performance earned her the MVP award in the championship match, and it capped off an extremely special year for one of the best goalkeepers in South Carolina history. “I was looking at my goals I set out at the beginning of the year in January, and at the time I wasn’t most likely going to be rostered for the Olympic team, so I had a goal to just make the roster,” D’Angelo said. “I was able to check that one off, and another goal was to be able to win the championship. To do that and win the
photo by allen sharpe
Sabrina D’Angelo , seen here with associate head coach Jamie Smith (left) and head coach Shelley Smith, showed off her medal prior to No. 2 South Carolina’s thrilling 1-0 double overtime win over No. 17 Florida at Stone Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 16. league and check that off, it’s not every day that you get to check off all your goals on your list for the year. At the time when I set them, it was far-fetched to me, but to be able to actually accomplish them is amazing.”
D’Angelo celebrated her team’s win, and after closing meetings she returned back to South Carolina where she is excited to not only get some rest and recover, but watch her beloved Gamecocks in the midst of what could be a historic year.
“I’m just so excited to see (associate head coach) Jamie (Smith) and (head coach) Shelley (Smith),” D’Angelo said. “The team is doing phenomenal. To see them ranked second is unbelievable, and I’m so proud of them.”
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photo by allen sharpe
Legendary Fan Ed Bignon is a ‘Gamecock for life’ by kyle heck Reporter
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lina. As a lifelong fan, there was no question which school he was going to help out. “That’s my major thing that I donate to Ed Bignon had been on the field at is the University,” Bignon said. “I grew Williams-Brice Stadium before, but on up in Columbia and I was always a GameSunday, Oct. 16, it was a bit different for cock fan. Never even considered going him and his family. That day, before the to school anywhere else. That’s been part Gamecocks took on rival Georgia in a of my life all my life. It’s important. I’ve game that was delayed a day due to Hurri- given to other things in the University, but cane Matthew, Bignon was honored as the the athletic department is the main thing I Legendary Fan of the Game for his dedica- give to.” tion and service to the University of South Bignon has many memories from GameCarolina. cock athletic events that go back many Bignon grew up as a Gamecock fan, and years. He remembers the Frank McGuire his family has been part of the Gamecock basketball days as well as games in the old Club for 57 years. He found out about the USC Fieldhouse. Bignon has also had the honor around a month before it happened, opportunity to go to every SEC stadium and was surprised by the honor. while watching the Gamecock football “My reaction was I didn’t realize I was team play. that old,” Bignon joked. There are many reasons why Bignon Once it registered that he was going to loves the Gamecocks, one of which is the be honored as the Legendary Fan of the family atmosphere that is in and around Game, it became something that he started Columbia. anticipating. “Just the fact of getting to know people,” “I had been on the field several times be- Bignon said. “Being in Columbia is really fore, but the difference was they presented good for being a Gamecock fan.” me with the coat and then the plaque,” Bignon grew up in Columbia, so it was Bignon said. “It was quite unique. We were obvious which school he would pull for. really looking forward to it.” The majority of his family are Gamecock The Bignon Gameday Center located be- fans as well, and all of the lasting memoside Williams-Brice Stadium is named in ries they’ve created over the years are exBignon’s honor, thanks to his tremendous tremely special. dedication to the University of South Caro- “Gamecocks for life,” Bignon said.
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October 26, 2016
Gamecocks unveil new basketball floor at Colonial Life Arena by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content
South Carolina basketball fans will soon notice a brand new court inside the Colonial Life Arena, but it’s what they can’t see that could have the greatest effect on the student-athletes competing on that floor. While a new floor was needed, a new design isn’t the only exciting aspect of the project, as improved player safety is also involved. “One of the features with this new floor is that it has power shock pads,” Assistant Director of Operations and Event Management Tim Strunk said. “These are more shock absorbent and provide an additional layer of cushioning that we didn’t have with the old floor. It’s a noticeable difference when you are walking on it.
There is just more support, or ‘give’ to it. In the long run, it means less wear and tear on players’ knees, and ideally will help alleviate some of the toll it takes on their legs. Hopefully they will be less sore after playing on it.” Connor Sports of Michigan was chosen to produce the floor, which was the same company that had produced the floors used in the Carolina Coliseum practice facility and also produced the floor for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. “The current floor we have went in in 2007,” Strunk said. “When it comes to floors there are a certain number of sandings that can be made on the floor that affects the life expectancy of it. Every time you want to change the graphics, change the paint, or if there are rule changings for markings of the three point line or anything
like that, you have to sand it. That takes some of the ‘meat’ off of that floor. It thins out the wood. We’ve gone through several of those, so we knew it was time and that this is something that was inevitable.” South Carolina’s head basketball coaches, Frank Martin and Dawn Staley, had input into the design, in addition to senior administrative staff. The floor design that was chosen represents a classic and clean look.
“We looked at a lot of different designs,” Strunk said. “It has all of the traditional elements with what we define as our brand. It has the Block C at midcourt. The Palmetto Trees are worked into the corners, and it’s primarily garnet. One of the things I like is that the woodgrain that is used for the majority of the court is lighter, so it appears to be a more natural finish as opposed to the old court which was a little but more ‘yellowish.’ ” The floor will arrive on pallets and the individual pieces will fit together like a jigsaw puzzle from the center of the court, branching outward. The old floor will be taken to campus surplus where it will be sold at a State auction. If you haven’t already purchased your season tickets to watch Gamecock basketball, go to gamecocksonline.com/tickets.
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South Carolina/UMass postgame notes and quotes south carolina athletics media relations
GENERAL NOTES • Today’s Attendance: 73,428 (Updated season total: 309, 278; 77,320 average per game) • Freshman quarterback Jake Bentley got the starting nod for the Gamecocks on Saturday, making him the fifth true freshman signal-caller to start a game for Carolina since joining the SEC. He’s also the 13th true freshman to see playing time this season, as well as the seventh to make a start. • With the victory, South Carolina has now won 23 of its last 26 non-conference contests. Additionally, it matches last season’s win total with five games left to play.
we’ll continue to build on that and Brandon is certainly going to be involved in that.”
On evaluation of Bentley starting… “On Sundays the guys that rep a lot, 30-plus snaps in the game. We take them through a fundamental period, we take them through some things that we think we need to see again. So we take them through all those type of scenarios and things. At the end, we take about 45 minutes to an hour for guys who have played less than 30 snaps and they’re in shells and we scrimmage and we go practice. Football is a developmental game and the only way you can improve the bottom half of your roster is to play the game of football. You can simulate the drill work and go 2-on-1, inside drill and 7-on-7, and that’s all great, but you have to put the ball down and play. Since the beginning of the season on Sundays we’ve done that with guys who didn’t play a whole OFFENSIVE NOTES lot. And obviously Jake [Bentley] has been involved with that, • Bentley’s first career completion came on the opening drive and we thought he did a really nice job and we opened up pracof the game, when he connected with classmate Bryan Edwards tice on Tuesday, and a lot of the guys that had been taking a lot of on a 14-yard first down. snaps in our first six games, let them go about mid-way through • Freshman running back Rico Dowdle collected his second practice and then we put the ball down and move the ball. There rushing touchdown in as many games when he scored on a 1-yard plunge, giving the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead after the game’s photo by allen sharpe are a lot of guys that are playing football for us but they’re not playing 60 snaps in a game. We put them out there and played opening possession. with them. We saw a lot of positive things in those opportunities • Carolina’s second drive of the game ended with another • Senior kicker Elliot Fry extended his school record for conthat we had. Then Tuesday and Thursday in the open week we 1-yard rushing touchdown, this time by junior running back Da- secutive extra points made with a 4-for-4 day. He has now conlet all three guys get equal reps with the team in the reps with vid Williams. The score was Williams’ first since Nov. 22, 2014 verted 137 straight attempts. the 7-on-7’s and the 1-on-1’s and we didn’t read a lot that week against South Alabama. Williams added another 1-yard rushing we just put the ball down and played. There were some positive touchdown in the third quarter, giving him a career-high two South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp things involved in that and I’ve said this before but Perry [Orth] scores on the day. Opening Statement: • Bentley’s first-career touchdown toss came with 7:18 remain“We’re proud of our guys it was a good win, we needed that. It and Brandon are probably ahead of Jake if you look at reps, as ing in the first half when he timed up a 16-yard fade route to certainly made it interesting when we had the 20-point lead there they’re guys who have a very good command of what they do, and as we go through the season he’s just done a great job.” sophomore tight end K.C. Crosby. in the third quarter since we hadn’t been in that position before. • On the next drive, Edwards hauled in his first career touchWe obviously didn’t handle it very well, we just have to continue Category UMass SC down pass courtesy of a 24-yard toss from Bentley. to clean some things up. The offense did a nice job finishing the 1st Downs 23 21 • South Carolina’s 27 points at halftime was its most through drive and finishing the game with the ending drive, there were Total Yards 389 395 30 minutes since putting up 28 against Furman on Oct. 18, 2014. some real critical plays made on that drive that were good, we Passing 247 201 The Gamecocks also eclipsed 20 total points for the first time were much better on third down, which was a positive. DefenRushing 142 194 this season. The prior season-high was 20 against East Carolina. sively in the game we had four turnovers and a fourth-down Penalties-Yards 8-77 6-67 • South Carolina finished with 194 yards rushing, it’s highest stop, you like to feel pretty good about it. We busted a coverage 3rd Down Conversions 8-17 6-12 output on the ground this season. The previous high was 161 there on that long touchdown, 74-yards before half. You can’t get 4th Down Conversions 3-4 0-1 yards against Texas A&M. It also marks the first time this season in that situation when you have a 20-point lead and you bust the Turnovers 4 2 that the Gamecocks have out-rushed an opponent. coverage, but we just didn’t play that well defensively. A lot of Time of Possession 28:04 31:56 stuff we have repped and gone over, so I was a little frustrated DEFENSIVE NOTES with our performance defensively. But overall, we’ll go back to Passing Leaders • Senior linebacker Larenz Bryant, returning from a hamstring work again, but it’s good to go back to work after a win.” Umass COM ATT YDS TD INT injury, made his first start of the season for the Gamecocks. Ford 20 42 247 3 2 • The Carolina defense was stiff early on as they caused a On quarterback position for the rest of the season… South Carolina COM ATT YDS TD INT turnover on each of UMass’ first two drives. Senior T.J. Hollo“Brandon [McIlwain] will continue to challenge him at the Bentley 17 26 201 2 0 man and freshman Keir Thomas both collected their first career position, just like every other position on our football team. We forced fumble. went into the open weekend and evaluated all of our positions Rushing Leaders • Holloman also notched his second interception of the season, and felt like we needed more production at the position. So the UMass CAR YDS AVG TD LG the seventh of his career. next question you ask yourself is the alternative better than Young 28 123 4.4 0 16 • For the second time in 2016, the South Carolina defense surwhat you have. We’re not going to make a change for the sake Lindsay 2 8 4.0 0 7 rendered zero points in the opening quarter. The last time was on of change that’s not the point. There are some situations on our South Carolina CAR YDS AVG TD LG Sept. 24 at Kentucky. team right now quite frankly I’d like to change but we don’t have Dowdle 16 87 5.4 1 16 • The Gamecocks held the Minutemen to just 142 yards rushthat option, what we have is what we got and that’s what we’re Williams 15 69 4.6 2 33 ing, making it the second time this season the defense has held going to do. It felt like Jake [Bentley] did some nice things today the opponent under 150 yards on the ground. The other was and obviously some things he can improve on and will. Brandon Receiving Leaders against ECU, when Carolina surrendered only 119. will continue to improve, I’m very proud of Brandon and the job UMass REC YDS AVG TD LG that he has done. What they’re doing is very difficult, they are Breneman 9 94 10.4 2 18 SPECIAL TEAM NOTES playing as true freshman in the Southeastern Conference, much Isabella 5 37 7.4 0 12 • Junior defensive back Chris Lammons’ 19-yard punt return less at the quarterback position which makes it triple important. South Carolina REC YDS AVG TD LG in the second quarter was the Gamecocks’ longest of the season. What they’re doing is very difficult and we’re working through Samuel 8 106 13.3 0 47 Carolina had 18 total punt return yards heading into Saturday’s it and we’ll continue to improve. I think we did improve, regardEdwards 3 42 14.0 1 24 contest. less of our opponent today offensively with some things, and
Spurs & Feathers • 29
October 26, 2016
Gamecock Radio/Television Information
The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 25 affiliate stations for the 2016 football season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the Gamecock Radio Twitter 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. Wild Wing Café, which is South Carolina’s home for the best wings south of Buffalo, has 12 locations in the Palmetto State. 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. South Carolina-Tennessee television The South Carolina-Tennessee game will be televised by ESPN2.
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30 • Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
Looking ahead to the Tennessee football team by kyle heck Reporter In game four of South Carolina’s five-game homestand, the Gamecocks welcome in division rival Tennessee, the preseason pick to win the SEC East, on Saturday, Oct. 29. The Vols are currently 5-2, 2-2 SEC and will be coming off a bye week to face South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium. After a 5-0 start, Tennessee has dropped two straight games to Texas A&M and Alabama heading into the matchup. As they have been for most of the season, the Vols will be a beat up group when they head into Columbia. They’ve suffered injuries on both sides of the ball. On defense, Tennessee will be without star linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and star defensive back Cameron Sutton. On offense, the Vols will likely be without backup tailback Alvin Kamara, and have also had to deal with injuries to starter Jalen Hurd. However, Hurd returned in the Vols’ loss to Alabama before the bye week. Despite the injuries, Tennessee has still had a solid season thus far, and have plenty of talent, starting with quarterback Joshua Dobbs. The dual-threat star has thrown for over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he
photo by allen sharpe
does have nine interceptions on the year. On the ground Dobbs has recorded five rushing touchdowns and nearly 300 rushing yards.
Receiver Josh Malone has been Dobbs’ go-to guy for big plays, as Malone has a teamleading 402 receiving yards and five touch-
down receptions. Jauan Jennings has added 301 yards and three touchdowns, and Ethan Wolf is a talented tight end who could also do some damage. On defense, defensive back Todd Kelly Jr. is Tennessee’s leading tackler with 50 stops to go with a team-high two interceptions. Fellow defensive back Micah Abernathy has added 34 tackles, and has a whopping three fumble recoveries on the year already. Derek Barnett is a force off the edge of the defensive line, as he has been his entire career. The junior has team highs of six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. He has four more sacks than the next highest on the team, and seven more tackles for loss. On special teams, the Vols have one of the best kickoff returners in the country in Evan Berry, who is averaging nearly 28 yards per kick return. Aaron Medley has made 6-of-8 field goals on the year, but only has a long of 39 yards. The Gamecocks will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak to Tennessee. In the last meeting at Williams-Brice Stadium in 2014, the Vols erased a late deficit to force overtime, and eventually came away with a 45-42 victory in the extra period. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m., and the game will be televised by ESPN2.
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Spurs & Feathers • 31
October 26, 2016
Girardeau: There has been improvement
It didn’t take long to realize Saturday that things had changed. Roughly two hours before game time, we parked at the Armory and got out of the car. It was cold! Not freezing, but honestly, a little bit uncomfortable with the wind. As a southerner, you’re never quite prepared for it when that first “real” cold front comes through, but it was a beautiful day nonetheless. Sitting in the stands with the sun beating down, it was perfect. That changed at the half as the shadows moved across the west stands. It’s hard to believe that two weeks ago what would have been a welcomed change was now a chilly experience. The first half of the season, I felt sorry for the folks sitting in the east stands being roasted sitting in the hot sun. Now for the second half, we’ll wish that we were over there Ed Girardeau keeping warm. Contributing Things have a way Editor of evening out. Perhaps the Gamecocks can even things out in the second half of the season. Things changed for the football team. The biggest change was a win. After losing three in a row, USC was back in the winner’s circle equaling the three wins of last season. It might have come easier, but it was a good win despite losing a 20-point lead in the second half. After two weeks of wondering if he would play, Jake Bentley made his debut at quarterback. His performance was good, going 17-of26 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. Not too shabby. One of the touchdown passes to Bryan Edwards brought back memories of Stephen Garcia to Alshon Jeffrey, as Edwards went up high against the defender in the end zone to make the catch. It was a good start. Certainly not spectacular, but he got the job done. Of all the plays and all the passes, probably the most impressive play came in the first play of the final drive. After Umass had pulled to within six with 4:30 left in the game and muffing the kickoff, South Carolina faced first and 10 from its own ten. This was a spot for a disaster. Memories of blown games from two years ago flooded back. Here we had a true freshman, a freshman who could very well have been playing his senior year in high school instead, now facing the pressure of a major college football game hanging by a thread in his first game
photo by jenny dilworth
ever. Throw an interception here and he might possibly be ruined. Keep in mind, the easy thing to do here for the coaches, the “play it by the book rule,” was to give it to a running back and hope for the best. Instead Bentley dropped back to pass and here came the pass rush. Bentley moved to his right avoided the defenders, scrambled to the edge and picked up six yards. He didn’t fall down at the five, he didn’t throw the ball 20 yards out of bounds, he picked up positive yardage. He followed that with a strike to Deebo Samuel, who makes a huge difference on offense, on a seam route for a big gain for a first down to get out of the hole. South Carolina went on to run the clock out and win the game, 34-28. It may not show up as a big play in a box score, but that six-yard scramble, at least in my mind, was the play of the game. Amongst the others who had good days, David Williams returned to the field and made the most of it by running hard for 69 yards
and two touchdowns. Rico Dowdle had 87 yards rushing and added a touchdown as well and Samuel caught eight passes for 106 yards and rushed twice for 31. The game was far from perfect. After going up 27-7, the Carolina defense gave up a 74-yard touchdown pass as a UMass player was able to get behind the secondary all by himself. There were two fumbles lost with one being another dropped punt and there was a missed extra point. As Coach Muschamp pointed out after the game, there is still a lot of work to do, but the good thing is he and his players recognize it. The effort is there and there has been improvement and at this point that is all anyone could ask. The next game is a big one. In the quest to win six games, this one is a must. Tennessee is a good football team with a fine quarterback. South Carolina will have to play an error free game and make some plays. Stranger things have happened.
If the Cubs can win and go to the World Series for the first time in 71 years and have the possibility of winning the championship for the first time in 108 years, then maybe the Gamecocks can pull off the upset. If Penn State, who didn’t have a prayer and was a 24point underdog at home, can upset No. 2 Ohio State, then all things are possible for South Carolina. You could feel it in the air Saturday. Gamecock basketball is around the corner. Dawn Staley will have her Gamecocks looking for their fourth SEC championship season in a row and possibly another trip to the Final Four and a National Championship, while Frank Martin will lead his men after winning a record-tying 25 games last year. All we need to do is pack Williams-Brice next Saturday night to the brim and make a lot of noise. The hurricanes of the past are behind us, and now it’s time to turn the tide to our side. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!
32 â€˘ Spurs & Feathers
October 26, 2016
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