Mike Hold quarterbacked the South Carolina Gamecocks in the legendary “Black Magic” season of 1984, when the Gamecocks came arguably the closest they’ve ever been to a national title in football. An out of the blue upset to Navy spoiled these hopes, but this season would remain South Carolina’s best until 2011.
Garnet and Cocky: Why did you choose the University of South Carolina?
Mike Hold: That’s a complicated answer because there were a lot of moving parts to my decision. But at the end of the day, it boiled down to the fact that they wanted me and never waivered from that.
Garnet and Cocky: Who was your favorite receiver to throw to?
Mike Hold: Of course the most sensible answer would be Sterling. He was amazing after he caught the ball and turned 5 yard passes into 50 yard gains. I could name Eric Poole, Chris Wade, Danny Smith, Bill Bradshaw or Chris Corley. I had all the confidence in the world in all of them. But Ira Hillary is who comes to mind right off the bat. The long pass he caught against Georgia is the play that kind of put me on the map.
Garnet and Cocky: Just how mad was Coach Morrison after the loss to Navy?
Mike Hold: He was upset. No more than we were at ourselves though.
Garnet and Cocky: Of the teams we regularly played in your day, who was typically the toughest?
Mike Hold: I was a JUCO transfer so really only had 2 seasons to judge from. I will tell you that Michigan was the toughest I played against. They were good! We couldn’t do anything offensively. They were big and fast.
Garnet and Cocky: Who was easiest?
Mike Hold: We could never take a team lightly and had to be at our best every week. Example is Navy. I would say East Carolina though only because we beat them soundly in ’84 and ’85.
Garnet and Cocky: What was your favorite game?
Mike Hold: Favorite game was Notre Dame. I grew up in the age of three channels on the tv so that was a team that I grew up watching. They had tradition so to go to South Bend and win is kind of one of those bucket list things.
Garnet and Cocky: What was the funniest thing you heard Coach Morrison say?
Mike Hold: Coach Morrison was a man of few words so that’s a tough question. Looking back this was funny now, not then. Right before halftime against Clemson we were driving and needing six points not a field goal. I don’t remember the exact down and distance but it was inside the 5 and we had to score. We ran a trap play and there was a penalty. Time was called and I went to the sideline. Coach Morrison to my knowledge never called a play but OC Coach Sadler couldn’t seem to come up with a call. Coach Morrison asked what he was going to run and Coach asked what he thought. Coach Morrison asked what we ran the play before and coach Sadler told him. Coach Morrison’s response was priceless with his southern drawl. “Well hell, run it again.” We did and scored. You really had to be there!