What has been an up and down year for the South Carolina Football team is not on an upswing heading into the Outback Bowl. Losers of their last two games, they’ve struggled mightily in both.
South Carolina (7-5) is making its third appearance in the Outback Bowl (2000, 2001).
Key Info– The University of South Carolina is located in the state capital of Columbia. Founded in 1801 USC has just over 27,000 students.
Key Random Alumni Member– All four members of the band “Hootie and the Blowfish.
Key Point of the Season– The key game for South Carolina this year was the brutal loss at Florida on November 15. Yes, the Gators are playing for a national title. But no New Year’s Day bowl team should lose a game 56-6. That loss was followed by a loss to arch-rival Clemson 31-14.
Key Player – It might be a guy who won’t be at the game. Safety Emanuel Cook has been the Gamecocks’ leading tackler in each of the last two seasons. The 2nd Team All-SEC player was ruled academically ineligible in mid-December.
Keys to a victory in Australia the Outback – What team is going to show up in Tampa? You can’t ever count out a Spurrier team, but the two losses at the end of the season make you wonder what direction this team is headed. Keep in mind, this is a team that lost by just a touchdown to both Georgia and LSU.
Can the Gamecock defense slow down Shonn Greene? Nobody’s held him under 100 yards rushing in a game this year and without Cook it becomes a much tougher task.
Offensively there are plenty of questions at quarterback. In late November Spurrier named redshirt fresman Stephen Garcia his starting quarterback for whatever bowl game South Carolina ended up in. Garcia has played in seven games this year, starting just two (he is 1-1). The Tampa area native is 56-104 for 753 yards, 6 TD’s and 5 INT’s. As Garcia goes, so go the Gamecock’s chances. Too much Mitch King and Matt Kroul in his face, and Spurrier may still be trying to figure out who is 2009 starting quarterback is when spring football rolls around.