Congrats to the South Carolina Gamecocks!! Yes, the blow out at Florida was tough. But, the prior wins, culminating with Arkansas, were enough to get them a winning season; 3rd place in the tough SEC East; and a bowl bid.
Unfortunately, South Carolina lost to the Big Ten's Iowa Hawkeyes in the Outback Bowl in Tampa Florida on New Year's Day 31-10.
Now it's time to get your 2009 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Tickets.
Prior Discussion: Big 31-24 win for South Carolina football at Ole Miss two weeks ago. That game settled the Gamecocks QB controversy as Chris Smelley was 22-of-32 for a career-high 327 yards passing and 3 huge TD's. Smelley was named the Offensive Player of the Week in the SEC!! Then, Spurrier and the boys followed that up with an even bigger win at Kentucky (24-17) this past Saturday. The victory keeps the Gamecocks alive in the SEC East race and very much alive for a winning season and bowl bid.
The loss at home to LSU was disappointing, but Saturday, South carolina has a huge game against Tennessee at home. If they can win, the Gamecocks secure 3rd place in the SEC East and Spurrier may inflict one last parting shot on old rival -- Phillip Fulmer. You can read more about that at Fire Phil Fulmer?
But, this year, we think they will challenge at the top of the SEC and finish no lower than 3rd in the SEC East. Why do we think that? Well, to start off, South Carolina is second only to Ole Miss as far as returning starters. The Gamecocks have 18 returning starters, including 10 on the defensive side of the ball. They have a solid returning QB in Chris Smelley and a strong senior running back in Mike Davis.
We predicted South Carolina would struggle last year because of a ferocious schedule. At first, I thought we'd blown it as South Carolina started off 2007 like gangbusters. But, injuries and lack of depth caught up with them as they ended with a five game losing streak and ended up 6-6; no bowl game; 5th in the SEC East.
South Carolina had some gut-wrenching losses last year. The loss at Tennessee was particularly devastating as South Carolina really outplayed the Vols, but a few unlucky bounces (and calls) turned the tide against them. Remember the 4th down Tennessee fumble recovered for a first down by the Vols? How bout the missed FG at the end; which resulted in a re-kick for a penalty and the win for the Vols.
This year (2008) we are predicting South Carolina will do well, and again, it is partly based on their schedule. They get to play 3 of their toughest games at home (GA, TN, and LSU). And, 3 of their easiest games on the road (Vandy, Ole Miss and Kentucky). I could see them easily winning all 3 of those SEC road games; as well as Arkansas at home and at least one of those 3 tough home games. That would give them 5 SEC wins. Wins against NC State, Wofford; and UAB would put the Gamecocks up to 8 wins. A win at Clemson could give them 9. Then a bowl win - heck, the '08 Gamecocks could get 10 wins!
2008 will be Spurrier's (the Mad (or Evil) Genius') 4th year at South Carolina. He's always recruited well and we expect that to begin to pay off this year. Some of the key Gamecock's will be Wide Receiver Kenny McKinley; Defensive Lineman Eric Norwood; Defensive Back Captain Munnerlyn (all 1st Team Preseason All-SEC select). Then there is Linebacker Jasper Brinkley; Defensive Back Emanuel Cook and Placekicker Ryan Succop (all 2nd Team All-SEC).
Prediction: We are picking the 2008 South Carolina Gamecocks to be a break-out team of sorts. We don't think they will finish ahead of either Georgia or Florida in the SEC East. But, we do think this is the year they finish ahead of the Vols; have a winning SEC record and make it to a nice bowl game. All of that would be a big step forward. 3rd in the SEC East.
Help the South Carolina Gamecocks on their way with Merchandise and Apparel, Tickets, and Baseball Caps to show that you're behind them.
2008 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Schedule
8/28 (Thurs) N.C. State
9/4 at Vandy
10/4 at Ole Miss
10/11 at Kentucky 10/18 LSU
11/15 at Florida
11/29 at Clemson
2008 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Roster:
2008 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Roster.
Head Coach: Steve Spurrier (163-56-2 .742); 19th season coaching, 4th at South Carolina Stadium: Williams-Brice (72 years old) (80,250)
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