South Carolina Notes
South Carolina in 2012: The Gamecocks enter the Outback Bowl with a 10-2 record, only the third 10-win season in school history. They are ranked 10th in the BCS Rankings. SC ranks in the top four of the SEC in 12 statistical categories, including Total Defense, Red Zone Defense and Scoring Defense. They lead the SEC and rank 5th nationally in Sacks with 40.
Welcome Back: This will be the fourth appearance by the Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl where they are 2-1. South Carolina defeated Ohio State in the 2001 and again in 2002 on a field goal as time ran out, then lost to Iowa 31-14 in 2009.
Gamecock Tradition: This is 118th year of football at South Carolina, compiling an overall record of 564-545-44. Gamecocks have won major awards such as the Heisman Trophy (George Rogers, 1980) and had two SEC Coach of the Year titles.
Gamecocks in the Bowls: This is the 18th bowl appearance for the Gamecocks. They hold a 5-12 record in bowls. This is Steve Spurriers third appearance in a January bowl as coach of the Gamecocks.
Feature Players: The South Carolina defense is one of the best in the SEC and in the Top 15 in the nation in numerous categories. They are led by DE Jadeveon Clowney who is a finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi and Nagurski Awards notching 13 sacks, 21.5 tackles for a loss and 50 total tackles. DE Devin Taylor added 8 TFL and 3 sacks. LB Shaq Wilson leads the team with 77 tackles while FS DJ Swearinger added 70.
The Gamecock offense is directed by QB Connor Shaw has thrown for 1,732 yards and 15 TDs in just 10 games. A running threat as well, he has rushed for 339 yards and 3 TDs. WR Bruce Ellington is his favorite target with 38 receptions for 564 yards and 6 TDs while WR Ace Sanders has 36 catches for 439 yards and 7 TDs including 6 for 119 yards against Clemson. Backup QB Dylan Thompson started for an injured Shaw in the Clemson game completing 23-41 passes for 310 yards and 3 TDs.
After star RB Marcus Lattimore suffered a season ending injury late in the season much of the work load was shifted to TB Kenny Miles who has carried 99 times for 358 yards and 3 TDs. Mark Davis has 55 carries for 275 yards for a 5.3 yard per carry average.
Coach Spurrier: Steve Spurrier is in his eighth season at South Carolina where he is 65-37 and the winningest coach in Carolina history. He joins Bear Bryant as the only coaches to have the winningest records at two different SEC schools.
Over his coaching career he has won a national championship, seven SEC titles and won nearly three-fourths of his college games with a 207-77-2 record. He has been named SEC Coach of the Year seven times. Spurrier also coached professional football with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL from 1983-85, and the Washington Redskins from 2002-2003. As a college player he won the 1966 Heisman Trophy and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.