NCAA FB

2003 PREVIEW: South Carolina Gamecocks

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didn't have the mammoth breakout season predicted in the 2002 Preview, but the team wasn't as bad as the 5-7 record might seem. Injuries and a ridiculously bad timing kept the Gamecocks from getting out to a big start, while inconsistencies causes a collapse over the second half. Don't forget that USC had Georgia and Virginia on their heels before self-destructing in crunch time of both games. Even so, the team didn't get the performances it was hoping for from several key players and struggled to find any signs of life on offense. So how are things going to be better this season with only two returning starters on offense and six on defense? While the team might be young and inexperienced, there expectations are still sky high with some of the most exciting unknown talent in the SEC. From deep threat extraordinaire Troy Williamson to a loaded linebacking corps to great athleticism in the secondary, there's a chance the Gamecocks could end up surprising a lot of top teams. Expect several of the young players play up to their potential and the depth to come around to give Lou Holtz and company a bounce back season.

Team Information
Head coach: Lou Holtz
5th year at USC: 22-25
32nd year overall: 238-120-7
Returning O Lettermen: 14
Returning D Lettermen: 16
Returning ST Lettermen: 2
Lettermen Lost: 24
Ten Best Players
1. OT , Sr.
2. WR Troy Williamson, Soph.
3. LB Lance Laury, Soph.
4. DE , Jr.
5. RB Kenny Irons, Soph.
6. QB , Jr.
7. LB , Sr.
8. CB , Sr.
9. OT Na'ashan Goddard, Soph.
10. DE Moe Thompson, Soph.
2003 Schedule
8/30 UL Lafayette
9/6
9/13 at
9/20
9/27 at
10/4
10/11
10/25
11/1 at Ole Miss
11/8 at
11/15
11/22
The Schedule: Life in the SEC is never going to be easy and this year is no exception going on the road to play Georgia, , Ole Miss and Arkansas. Playing the Rebels, Hogs and from the West isn't going to give the Gamecocks any breaks. Closing out the season at Ole Miss, at Arkansas, Florida and might mean another rough end of the year if the young players don't come around. Playing Virginia won't be a picnic. Best Offensive Player: Senior OT . One of the best linemen in America, Wharton is a devastating run blocker and a tremendous leader on the offense. As the only returning starter on the line, he'll need to play an even bigger role than he did last year.. Best Defensive Player: Sophomore LB Lance Laury. He missed spring ball with problems with his knee. When healthy, he's one of the most productive defensive players in the SEC. A guided missile with a great nose for the ball, he made 90 tackles and four tackles for loss. Key player to a successful season: The offense died as last season went on only scoring 73 points over the final eight games. That's an average of just over nine points per game. Quarterback has a good receiving corps and a great, young backfield to work with. If he can become a consistent leader and build off a decent spring, the offense is going to be far better. The season will be a success if: gets back to a bowl game. It's not going to be easy playing eight bowl teams, but the Gamecocks have as much raw talent as anyone on their slate. While they don't have enough to win the SEC title, there's no reason they can't win at least seven games and play in the post-season. This team is so young that it should be using this year to as a springboard to a huge 2004 season. Key game: Sept. 13 at Georgia. The Gamecocks fumbled away a chance to beat Georgia in a 13-7 loss in the third game of the season. If USC can somehow pull off a huge performance and upset the defending SEC champs in the conference opener, this season could be a night and day turnaround from 2003. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Turnovers: USC 26 - Opponents 21
  • USC vs. 2002 bowl teams: 0-7. USC vs. 2002 non-bowl teams: 5-0
  • Quarterback hurries: USC 23 - Opponents 5
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Demetris Summers, RB 6-1 205 Lexington, SC (Lexington High)
    One of the top RB prospects in the nation, he rushed for 2,308 yards, 21 TDs as a senior averaging 10.3 yards per carry. Runs a 4.6 40 yard dash. ... Rated the No. 4 prospect in the nation, and the No. 1 RB in the nation by Tom Lemming. ... Is the high school all-time leader in career rushing yards and career touchdowns scored. ... Is fourth all time leading career rusher in high school football history. Fred Bennett B 6-2 180 Manning, S.C. (HS/Hargrave Military)
    Cory Boyd B 6-1 210 Orange, N.J. (HS)
    L 6-2 238 Moncks Corner, S.C. (Berkeley)
    L 6-5 275 Boonville, N.C. (Starmount HS)
    DeAdrian Coley L 6-3 240 Georgetown, S.C. (Carvers Bay HS/Georgia Military)
    Stanley Doughty L 6-2 315 Greensburg, La. (St. Helena Central HS)
    Ty Erving B 5-11 175 Batesburg, S.C. (Batesburg-LeesvilleHS)
    Derrick Harper B 6-3 185 Montclair, N.J. (HS)
    D'von Hill B 6-4 202 Greenwood, S.C. (Camden Military)
    Josh Johnson L 6-3 235 Gibsonton, Fla. (East Bay HS)
    David Laggis L 6-4 230 Conyers, Ga. (Heritage HS)
    *Marcus Lawrence LB 6-3 245 Aiken, S.C. (Silver Bluff HS/Butler County)
    Travis Lee B 6-1 182 Shelby, N.C. (Crest Senior HS)
    Blake Mitchell B 6-4 185 LaGrange, Ga. (HS)
    Syvelle Newton B 6-2 196 Bennettsville, S.C. (Marlboro Co. HS)
    Robert Pavlovic L 6-6 230 Mississauga, Ontario (St. Francis Xavier)
    Mike Rathe B 6-2 210 San Diego, Cal. (Rancho Bernardo HS/Mesa Comm Coll)
    Curtis L 6-2 210 , S.C. (HS)
    Tray Rogers B 6-0 190 Columbia, S.C. (Irmo HS)
    L 6-5 295 Brooklyn, N.Y. (Midwood HS/Dodge City CC)
    *Darrell Shropshire DT 6-2 285 Kershaw, S.C. (Andrew Jackson HS/Coffeyville)
    Charles Silas L 6-6 255 Swainsboro, Ga. (HS/Georgia Military)
    B 6-4 205 , S.C. (HS)
    L 6-8 330 Miami, Fla. (Dodge City CC)
    Cody Wells B 5-11 180 Belleview, Fla. (HS)
    Noah Whiteside B 6-0 170 Greenville, S.C. (HS)
    *Potential Instant Impact Players
  • Tagged: Clemson, Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Georgia, Rice, UAB

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