South Carolina Gamecocks football

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South Carolina Gamecocks football
2013 South Carolina Gamecocks football team
South Carolina Gamecocks Block C logo.svg
First season1892
Head coachSteve Spurrier
8th year, 77–39  (.664)
Home stadiumWilliams-Brice Stadium
Stadium capacity80,250
Stadium surfaceGrass
LocationColumbia, South Carolina
ConferenceSEC (1992–present)
DivisionSEC Eastern Division
All-time record566–544–44 (.510)
Postseason bowl record6–12
Conference titles2 (1933 Southern Conference, 1969 ACC)
Division titles1 (2010 SEC East)
Heisman winners1
Consensus All-Americans15

Garnet and Black

Fight song"The Fighting Gamecocks Lead the Way"
Marching bandMighty Sound of the Southeast
Main RivalClemson Tigers
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South Carolina Gamecocks football
2013 South Carolina Gamecocks football team
South Carolina Gamecocks Block C logo.svg
First season1892
Head coachSteve Spurrier
8th year, 77–39  (.664)
Home stadiumWilliams-Brice Stadium
Stadium capacity80,250
Stadium surfaceGrass
LocationColumbia, South Carolina
ConferenceSEC (1992–present)
DivisionSEC Eastern Division
All-time record566–544–44 (.510)
Postseason bowl record6–12
Conference titles2 (1933 Southern Conference, 1969 ACC)
Division titles1 (2010 SEC East)
Heisman winners1
Consensus All-Americans15

Garnet and Black

Fight song"The Fighting Gamecocks Lead the Way"
Marching bandMighty Sound of the Southeast
Main RivalClemson Tigers

The South Carolina Gamecocks football team represents the University of South Carolina (USC) in the sport of American football. The Gamecocks compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Steve Spurrier is the current head coach, and the team plays its home games at Williams-Brice Stadium, also known as "The Cock Pit". Currently, it is the 20th largest stadium in college football.

USC's SEC tenure has been highlighted by an SEC East title in 2010, Final Top-25 rankings in 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011 and 2012 (AP No. 19, No. 13, No. 22, No. 9 and No. 8), and four wins over Top-5 SEC opponents (No. 4 Ole Miss in 2009, No. 1 Alabama in 2010, No. 5 Georgia in 2012) and No. 5 Missouri Tigers in 2013.

From 1953 through 1970, the Gamecocks played in the Atlantic Coast Conference, winning the 1969 ACC championship and finishing No. 15 in the 1958 final AP poll. From 1971 through 1991, they competed as a major independent, producing 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, six bowl appearances, and Final Top-25 rankings in 1984 and 1987 (AP No. 11 and No. 15).

The Gamecocks have produced a National Coach of the Year in Joe Morrison, three SEC coaches of the year in Lou Holtz (2000) and Steve Spurrier (2005, 2010), and one ACC coach of the year in Paul Dietzel (1969). They also have three members of the College Football Hall of Fame in Rogers, Holtz and Spurrier. Carolina has 18 bowl appearances, with a 6–12 record.

Program history[edit]

Early days of Carolina football[edit]

Carolina fielded its first football team on Christmas Eve, in Charleston, SC, in 1892 versus Furman. At that time the football team was not sanctioned by the University. They provided their own uniforms and paid their own train fare in order to participate in the game. They were nicknamed the "College Boys" by The News and Courier and their supporters wore garnet and black.[1]

USC won its first game in its third season, on November 2, 1895 against Columbia AA. The squad designated their first head coach, W.H. "Dixie" Whaley, the following year. The 1896 season also saw the inaugural game against arch-rival Clemson on November 12, which Carolina won 12–6. From 1902 to 1903, coach C. R. Williams led the Gamecocks to a 14–3 record. 1903 also heralded the program's first 8-win season with an overall record of 8–2. The Board of Trustees banned participation in football for the 1906 season after the faculty complained that the coarseness of chants and cheers, yelled by the students at football games, were not gentlemanly in nature. Within months The Board of Trustees reversed their decision after hearing pleas, and receiving petitions, from students and alumni alike. Play was allowed to resume in 1907. A hastily assembled football team, coached by Board of Trustees member Douglas McKay, competed in an abbreviated season that same year, and the squad won all three games.[2]

From 1928 to 1934, coach Billy Laval led the Gamecocks to seven consecutive winning seasons and a 39–26–6 overall record, which included a perfect 3–0 Southern Conference campaign in 1933. The undefeated conference record earned the Gamecocks the Southern Conference Co-Championship, along with Duke.[3] However, this championship is currently not recognized by either the school[4] or the Southern Conference.[5] Under coach Rex Enright, the Gamecocks produced another undefeated Southern Conference season, (4–0–1), in 1941. Enright gave-up his coaching duties in 1955 due to reasons related to poor health, however he continued to serve in a capacity as Athletic Director. Enright retired with the distinction of being both the winningest and losingest coach in school history (64–69–7), at the time. Warren Giese was hired as head coach in 1956, and he led the Gamecocks to a 28–21–1 overall record in his 5-year tenure. The Giese era included two 7–3 campaigns (1956 and 1958), an 18–15–1 ACC record, and a 27–21 victory over Darrell Royal's 1957 Texas squad in Austin. Marvin Bass was named head coach in 1961, and his 5-year tenure produced a 17–29–4 overall record.

Paul Dietzel era (1966–74)[edit]

Paul Dietzel arrived in Columbia prior to the 1966 season, having previously coached at LSU and Army. In 1969, he led the Gamecocks to an ACC championship and an appearance in the Peach Bowl. As a result, Dietzel was named ACC Coach of the Year that season. Soon after, South Carolina left the ACC and became an Independent program prior to the 1971 season.[6] Dietzel finished his USC tenure with a 42–53–1 overall record (18–10–1 ACC). In addition to the 1969 ACC title, Dietzel's legacies at Carolina include his improvement of athletic facilities and his penning of a new fight song, which is still used to this day ("The Fighting Gamecocks Lead the Way").

Jim Carlen era (1975–81)[edit]

Jim Carlen took over as coach in 1975, and under his leadership the program achieved a measure of national prominence. Carlen led the Gamecocks to three bowl games, coached 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, and produced a 45–36–1 record during his tenure.[6] The Carlen Era included consecutive 8–4 finishes (1979–1980) and only one losing season in seven years. In addition, the 1980 Gamecocks defeated a heavily favored Michigan squad coached by the legendary Bo Schembechler. The 17–14 victory in Ann Arbor, which made Rogers a household name, was one of the biggest wins in both the Carlen Era and the program's history.

Joe Morrison era (1983–88)[edit]

Joe Morrison was hired in 1983 following a one-year stint by Richard Bell. After a 5–6 mark in his first year, the "Man in Black" led South Carolina to a 10–2 record, No. 11 final AP Poll ranking, and a Gator Bowl appearance in 1984. It was also before the 1984 season began that the team removed the Astroturf that had been in place at Williams-Brice Stadium since the early 70's and put back in the natural grass that remains today. The 1984 season included victories over Georgia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Florida State, and Clemson. The 1984 defense was called the "Fire Ant" defense. In 1987, the Gamecocks posted an 8–4 record, No. 15 Final AP Poll ranking, and another Gator Bowl trip. The 1987 Gamecocks were led by the "Black Death" defense, which held seven opponents to 10 or fewer points and yielded just 141 points in 12 games played. Morrison coached his last game in the 1988 Liberty Bowl, as he died on February 5, 1989 at the age of 51. He finished his USC tenure with a 39–28–2 overall record, three bowl games, and three seasons with 8 or more wins.[6] Due to his on-field success and "Man in Black" image, Morrison remains a popular figure in Gamecock lore. Morrison also began the tradition at Carolina, with his first game in 1983, of the pre-game entrance of the football team to the song, "2001: A Space Odyssey". This is still part of the Carolina football game day experience over 30 years later.[citation needed]

Woods and Scott eras (1989–93, 1994–98)[edit]

Following Morrison's death, Sparky Woods was hired as head coach in 1989 and coached the Gamecocks until the end of the 1993 season. He posted winning seasons in 1989 and 1990, but could not produce another winning campaign during his tenure. Woods has the distinction of being South Carolina's first head coach in SEC play, as the Gamecocks entered the conference in 1992. Brad Scott took over as head coach in 1994 and led USC to a 7–5 record and a Carquest Bowl victory in his first season. The bowl win was the first post-season victory in the program's history. Scott was unable to capitalize on his early success, however, as USC won only six games during his final two seasons in Columbia.[6]

Lou Holtz era (1999–2004)[edit]

Lou Holtz was hired as USC's head coach in 1999. He inherited a relatively young SEC program (joined in 1992) that posted only three winning seasons from 1990 to 1998. USC won just a single game the year before Holtz's arrival and, subsequently, went 0–11 in his inaugural campaign. It didn't take long for Holtz to improve the Gamecocks' fortunes, however, as he engineered 8–4 and 9–3 records in the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In addition, USC won consecutive Outback Bowls over Ohio State and produced the most successful two-year run in program history (at the time), going 17–7 overall and 10–6 in SEC play. The 2000 and 2001 campaigns also saw USC's return to the polls, as the Gamecocks turned in No. 19 and No. 13 rankings in the Final AP ballotings for those years. After consecutive 5–7 finishes in 2002 and 2003 (during which the team was ranked in the Top 25 during the season both years), Holtz ended his USC tenure on a winning note with a 6–5 record in 2004. Holtz finished with a 33–37 overall record at South Carolina, going 33–26 after his first season.[6]

In 2005, USC was placed on 3-year probation by the NCAA for actions during the coaching tenure of Lou Holtz, all of which were self-reported by the school. Five of these actions were considered major violations, and included such activities as impermissible tutoring and non-voluntary summer workouts as well as a "lack of institutional control".[7] Coach Holtz pointed out following the close of the investigation, "There was no money involved. No athletes were paid. There were no recruiting inducements. No cars. No jobs offered. No ticket scandal, etc."[8]

Steve Spurrier Era (2005–present)[edit]

Steve Spurrier was hired in 2005 to replace the departing Holtz, and he led the Gamecocks to a 7–5 record and Independence Bowl appearance in his first season. As a result, Spurrier was named the 2005 SEC Coach of the Year. The 2006 season saw continued success under Spurrier, as the Gamecocks posted an 8–5 record and a victory over Houston in the Liberty Bowl. South Carolina posted consecutive 7–6 records in 2008 and 2009, returning to postseason play with appearances in the Outback Bowl and Bowl.

In 2010, Spurrier scored another first with the first SEC Eastern Division Championship in school history. On November 13, 2010, the Gamecocks defeated Florida 36–14 to clinch the division. Prior to this contest, USC had an all-time record of 0–12 at The Swamp. Freshman RB Marcus Lattimore rushed for 212 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game. Spurrier got his first win in Gainesville as a Gamecock, received a "Gatorade Bath" from his players, and became the first coach to win the SEC East with two different teams. Earlier in the season, the Gamecocks posted the first win over a No. 1 team in program history, with a 35–21 victory over top-ranked, defending national champion Alabama.

In 2011, Spurrier led USC to its most successful season in program history. The Gamecocks posted an 11–2 overall record, went 6–2 in SEC play, and defeated No. 20 Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl to earn Final Top 10 rankings in the AP and Coaches' Polls (No. 9 and No. 8, respectively). Along the way, USC defeated Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Clemson, the first time in program history that the Gamecocks beat the "Big 4" in consecutive seasons.

USC was investigated in 2011–12 by the NCAA after it came to light that student-athletes (including some football players) had received an estimated $59,000 in impermissible benefits, mainly the result of discounted living expenses at a local hotel. The school imposed its own punishment, paying $18,500 in fines and cutting three football scholarships in each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons.[9] The school also reduced its official visits for the 2012–13 year, from 56 to 30. The NCAA ruled this self-imposed punishment as adequate, stating that “the violations were limited in scope” and “there was no unethical conduct in this case”, and went on to praise the school's handling of the affair, with the chairman of the NCAA infractions committee stating, “This has been one of the best cases I have seen from a process standpoint...In this case, it was obvious to the committee that the university wanted to get to the truth." The commissioner went on to state that USC “wanted to ask all the hard questions of all the right people and, in some cases, they even went beyond what the NCAA staff was doing."[10]

In 2012 Steve Spurrier, once again, led his USC football team to double-digit wins during the course of the regular season campaign. The 2012 regular season culminated with the annual season-ending game against arch rival Clemson at Clemson's Memorial Stadium. Spurrier and his Gamecocks emerged with a fourth consecutive double-digit victory over the Tigers – a victory marked by Spurrier winning his 65th game at Carolina and, in doing so, becoming the winningest coach in Gamecock football history surpassing Rex Enright's 64 win total. Spurrier led the Gamecocks to a thrilling 33–28 victory in the Outback Bowl against the winningest program in college football, the Michigan Wolverines. The victory elevated the Gamecocks to an 11–2 record for the 2nd consecutive season. Additionally, by finishing 8th in the Associated Press poll and 7th in the Coaches poll, South Carolina finished in Top 10 of both polls for a 2nd consecutive campaign.

Current coaching staff[edit]

Steve SpurrierHead Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Lorenzo WardDefensive Coordinator
Kirk BotkinLinebackers Coach
Grady BrownSecondary Coach
Shawn ElliottRun Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach
Deke AdamsDefensive Line Coach
G.A. MangusQuarterbacks Coach
Joe RobinsonSpecial Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach
Everette SandsRunning Backs Coach
Steve Spurrier, Jr.Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Joe ConnollyStrength & Conditioning Coach

Primary rival[edit]

Secondary rivalries[edit]

Bowl games[edit]

DateBowlW/LOpponentPFPAHead Coach
January 1, 1946Gator BowlLWake Forest1426McMillan
December 30, 1969PeachLWest Virginia314Dietzel
December 20, 1975TangerineLMiami (OH)720Carlen
December 20, 1979Hall of Fame ClassicLMissouri1424Carlen
December 29, 1980Gator BowlLPittsburgh937Carlen
December 28, 1984Gator BowlLOklahoma State1421Morrison
December 31, 1987Gator BowlLLSU1331Morrison
December 28, 1988LibertyLIndiana1034Morrison
January 2, 1995CarquestWWest Virginia2421Scott
January 1, 2001OutbackWOhio State247Holtz
January 1, 2002OutbackWOhio State3128Holtz
December 30, 2005IndependenceLMissouri3138Spurrier
December 29, 2006LibertyWHouston4436Spurrier
January 1, 2009OutbackLIowa1031Spurrier
January 2, 2010PapaJohns.comLConnecticut720Spurrier
December 31, 2010Chick-fil-ALFlorida State1726Spurrier
January 2, 2012Capital OneWNebraska3013Spurrier
January 1, 2013OutbackWMichigan3328Spurrier
January 1, 2014Capital OneWisconsinSpurrier
Total18 Bowl Games6–12302427

Championships and notable seasons[edit]

Notable seasons[edit]

1933 Southern Conference champions[edit]

In 1933, under the direction of the legendary Billy Laval, the Gamecocks went undefeated in conference play to win the school's first conference championship. They would share the honor with Duke, which also went undefeated in conference play. Part of the championship season included shutout victories over Wofford, Clemson, Virginia Tech and NC State. This championship is currently not recognized by either the school[4] or the Southern Conference.[5]

1969 ACC champions[edit]

In 1969, the Gamecocks won the ACC Championship by going undefeated in conference play. In its six ACC matchups, USC outscored its opponents by a 130–61 margin. The squad posted a 7–4 overall record with a Peach Bowl appearance against West Virginia to close the season (14–3 loss). Two years later, South Carolina left the ACC and competed as an Independent for two decades before joining the SEC in 1992.

1984 – "Black Magic"[edit]

Led by Coach Morrison, the 1984 Gamecocks became the first team in school history to win 10 games (10–2 record) and were ranked as high as No. 2 in the polls.. The Gamecocks finished No. 11 in the Final AP Poll. Along the way, they defeated Georgia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Florida State, and Clemson to earn an appearance in the Gator Bowl against Oklahoma State (21–14 loss). At the time, the No. 11 final ranking was the highest ever achieved by South Carolina.

2010 SEC East champions[edit]

In 2010, the Gamecocks won their first SEC Eastern Division Championship, going 5–3 in conference play.[15] For the first time in school history, they defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the country (Alabama) and won at Florida in the division-clinching game.[15] The season also included victories over division foes Georgia, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt as well as instate Atlantic Coast Conference rival Clemson.[15]

2011 – "First 11 Win Season"[edit]

Led by Coach Spurrier, the 2011 Gamecocks achieved its most wins in a single season and finished in the Top 10 for the first time in program history. USC posted an 11–2 overall record, went 6–2 in SEC play, and won the Capital One Bowl to finish No. 9/8 in the Final AP and Coaches' Polls (respectively). Along the way, USC defeated Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Clemson to extend its winning streak over its biggest rivals to 3 games. This was also the first season that USC posted a 5–0 record against their Eastern division opponents.

2012 – "Back-to-Back" 11 Win Seasons[edit]

Again led by Coach Spurrier, the 2012–13 Gamecocks squad went 11–2, with their only losses coming at LSU and at Florida in consecutive weeks. USC finished 2012 by defeating rival Clemson 27–17, in Death valley, to end the regular season. They were invited to play in the Outback Bowl, with the Gamecocks defeating the Michigan Wolverines, 33–28, in a close game decided by a 28-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Thompson to Bruce Ellington with under a minute to go. The Gamecocks finished the season ranked No. 8/7 in the Final AP and Coaches' Polls (respectively)

Conference championships[edit]

SeasonConferenceCoachOverall RecordConference Record
1969ACCPaul Dietzel7–46–0
Conference Championships1

Divisional championships[edit]

The SEC has been split into two divisions since the 1992 season with USC competing in the SEC East since that time.

SeasonDivisionSEC CG ResultOpponentPFPA
2010SEC EastLAuburn1756
Division Championships1

Program achievements[edit]

SEC East Champions2010
ACC Champions1969
Southern Conference Champions1933
Heisman Trophy1980
Final Top 25 (AP)1958, 1984, 1987, 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011, 2012
Final Top 25 (Coaches)1984, 1987, 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011, 2012
Bowl Victories*1994, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2012

Award winners[edit]

College Football Hall of Famers[edit]

George RogersRunning back19971977–1980
Lou HoltzHead coach20081999–2004
Steve SpurrierHead coach19862005–present

George Rogers wins the Heisman[edit]

USC's 1980 season was headlined by senior running back George Rogers ("Big George"), who led the nation in rushing with 1,894 yards. For his efforts, the Downtown Athletic Club named Rogers the winner of the 1980 Heisman Trophy award. Rogers beat out a strong group of players, including Georgia running back Herschel Walker. Rogers also earned spots on eight All-American teams, all First-team honors. Behind the Rogers-led rushing attack, the Gamecocks went 8–4 overall and earned an appearance in the Gator Bowl. Rogers is also the recipient of the 1980 Chic Harley Award, the 2004 Walter Camp Alumni of the Year award, a Pro-Bowl selection, an SEC Football Legend, a Super Bowl champion and an NFL Rookie of the Year.

Syvelle Newton joins the "600 Club"[edit]

From 2003 to 2006, Syvelle Newton played multiple positions for the Gamecocks and left his mark on the national record books in the process. He became one of only four players in college football history to record 600+ yards passing, rushing, and receiving (each) in a collegiate career.[16] In Newton's four seasons, he posted 2,474 passing yards (20 TD, 13 INT), 786 rushing yards (10 TD), and 673 receiving yards (3 TD). He also returned 6 kickoffs for 115 yards (19.2 average) and made 18 tackles and an assisted sack in limited defensive action.

Gamecock traditions[edit]

Logos and uniforms[edit]

In the 2009 season, USC wore a special uniform against Florida in support of the Wounded Warrior Project.[26]

In the 2011 season, USC wore special uniforms against Auburn in support of the Wounded Warrior Project.[26]

In the 2012 season, USC wore special uniforms against LSU in support of the Wounded Warrior Project.[26] They were worn in primetime on ESPN and had a unique gray and military styling.

Before the start of the 2013 season, USC debuted new uniforms made by Under Armour. The stripes on the front of the shoulders were moved to the top of the shoulder. The uniforms contain 11 total stripes – the same number of buildings as the national historic landmark that is The Horseshoe on the campus of the university. As of now, the new uniforms consist of garnet jerseys and pants, and white jerseys and pants – with the combinations interchangeable. There was no announcement of a black uniform.

Retired numbers[edit]

Sterling Sharpe Ret Number.png
2 – Sterling Sharpe
Steve Wadiak Ret Number.png
37 – Steve Wadiak
George Rogers Ret Number.png
38 – George Rogers
Mike Johnson Ret Number.png
56 – Mike Johnson

Gamecocks in the NFL[edit]

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

vs North Carolinavs East Carolinaat North Carolinavs Georgia Techat Georgia Tech
vs Coastal Carolinavs Furmanvs Central Floridavs East Carolina
at Central Floridavs Troyvs The Citadel
vs Clemsonat Clemsonvs Clemsonat Clemsonvs Clemsonat Clemsonvs Clemsonat Clemsonvs Clemsonat Clemson



  1. ^ Hollis, Daniel Walker (1956). University of South Carolina II. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 189–190 
  2. ^ Hollis, Daniel Walker (1956). University of South Carolina II. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 229–230 
  3. ^,368320&dq=south+carolina+1933+southern+conference+champs&hl=en
  4. ^ a b South Carolina Athletics History
  5. ^ a b SoCon Media Guide
  6. ^ a b c d e South Carolina Gamecocks 2010 Football Media Guide
  7. ^
  8. ^ Three years of probation for South Carolina
  9. ^
  10. ^ USC’s self-imposed sanctions satisfy NCAA
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ South Carolina vs Clemson
  13. ^ South Carolina vs Georgia
  14. ^ South Carolina vs Florida
  15. ^ a b c Haney, Travis (4 December 2010). "Surprise season continues for Gamecocks and their fans". Herald Online. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  16. ^ Newton putting up numbers in AFL, eyes shot in NFL
  17. ^ Helmet Project – Southeastern Conference
  18. ^ Gamecock Traditions
  19. ^ 2013 Princeton Review
  20. ^ Quantum Change Agenda
  21. ^ Ousted SC board member offers $5M gift to school
  22. ^ Black Progress in Graduation Rates at Flagship State Universities
  23. ^ Gamecock Traditions
  24. ^ History and Biography of Cocky
  25. ^ USC students, fans make "Sandstorm" their unofficial anthem
  26. ^ a b c Gamecocks support wounded warriors
  27. ^ "South Carolina Gamecocks Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2012-02-26. 

External links[edit]