This week we look inside of the football numbers of the upcoming Gamecocks football game against the East Carolina Pirates. Each week before the game, we’ll take a look at some of the numbers to think about for the game later in the week.
12-5 – South Carolina’s all time record against East Carolina. The Gamecocks have won the last two in 2011 and 2012, and East Carolina last won in 1999 when Lou Holtz was the coach here.
330 – the number of yards Dylan Thompson threw for against East Carolina in 2012. Dylan started the game because of an injury to Connor Shaw and with Marcus Lattimore led the Gamecocks to a dominating 48-10 victory. Also, Thompson’s top two receivers in that game just happened to be Rory Anderson and Damiere Byrd, who are expected to be two big targets for Thompson again two years later.
2 - jersey number of Justin Hardy, the senior wide receiver for East Carolina, who had eight catches for 111 yards in that 2012 game. Hardy has become one of the nation’s top receivers and will certainly be a threat Saturday night.
582 – total yards for East Carolina in their season opening win last week. They not only threw for 374 yards, but also ran for 208 more, so they are clearly a potent offense. Although last week was against a lesser opponent, don’t let that fool you, as ECU averaged 468 yards and 40 points per game last season.
70.5 – Shane Carden is FBS leader in completion percentage for returning quarterbacks. He has set many school records, and considering the Gamecocks’ struggle against Texas A&M last week in passing, he is definitely going to be a concern. He got the starting job coming off the bench against South Carolina in 2012, going 12-18 for 140 yards, and has never looked back.
67 – rushing yards for South Carolina last week. Ultimately, the Gamecocks have to establish a running game, even without leader Mike Davis, who could miss because of a rib injury. They also need to not fall behind early which happened last week, which will make it hard to get the running game going.
The good news this week is that the Gamecocks won’t take East Carolina lightly, which they cannot afford to do considering how potent their offense is, just like Texas A&M’s. I’m sure the entire team feels they have something to prove after their loss Thursday, and maybe that chip on their shoulder is exactly what they need.