By: Drew Marshall
Recently, South Carolina has had a lot to be proud of when it comes to their two state colleges’ football teams. The University of South Carolina was picked as the preseason favorite to win the SEC East and is currently ranked 12th in the nation. Clemson University is coming off a big win over Auburn which has moved them to 21st in the nation. Both teams show promise in the upcoming season, and the state of South Carolina should be proud.
USC is 4-0 through the first part of the season, with wins over Georgia and Vanderbilt. Two of the past three wins, however, have been by the meager amount of three points, in the Georgia game and against Navy. Coach Steve Spurrier still thinks the Gamecocks can perform better, despite their perfect record. “We want to see if we can throw the ball around better, see if we can stop people a little more, and see if we can be the team we were advertised to be in the preseason,” Spurrier said. The talent of the Gamecock team is measurably larger this season, and they are expected to achieve much more than the average season. USC has three NFL-caliber players on the roster this season: running back Marcus Lattimore, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive end Devin Taylor. This does not include true Freshman Jadeveon Clowney, who was the number one high school recruit in the nation last season. Quarterback Stephen Garcia, however, is still struggling, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns this season. Coach Spurrier hopes the team can get it together before they take on Auburn on Saturday.
Clemson, with lower expectations than the highly touted Gamecocks, have over-performed this season so far. The Tigers have broken into the top 10 in total offense in the nation this year, compared to their 88 ranking last season. The team also had a big win over Florida State last weekend. “We just have to keep on improving each week and see what happens at the end of the season,” Dabo Sweeney, Clemson’s head coach, said. The Tigers hope to keep their momentum rolling through the rest of the season, until they take on the Gamecocks.
Though both teams admit they have things to work on, fans could not be more proud. Both teams are playing well and are undefeated through four games. Clemson has a few wins against big name schools like Auburn and Florida State, but South Carolina will learn from their recent close wins. Both teams will be under a large amount of pressure in the coming weeks, but their fans will be behind them and the entire state of South Carolina hopes they both succeed.