Garnet and Cocky’s Preseason Roundtable


Fall football practices have been going on all around college campuses for the last two weeks, with veterans getting back into the swing of things and talented youngsters trying to make an impact.  However, with 14 days until the Gamecock’s September 3rd opener in Charlotte against the UNC Tar Heels, we are still in what the Head Ball Coach calls the talking season.  With that in mind, the staff here at Garnet and Cocky got together to put out some season predictions and some things we are looking forward to in the 2015 campaign.  First we’ll take a look at what each team member is predicting for this season’s record, and where the losses will come from.

Merrick Harding (editor) – 9-3 ; with losses to Georgia, LSU, and Clemson.

Diana Browder Owens (editor) – 10-2 ; with losses to LSU and Texas A&M.

Tristan Dixon (staff writer) – 9-3 ; with losses to Tennessee, LSU, and Georgia.

Sanders Early (staff writer) – 8-4 ; with losses to Georgia, Tennessee, LSU and Texas A&M.

Ryan Fleming (staff writer) – 11-1 ; with the loss to either LSU, UGA, or Clemson

Ashley Kay Stark (staff writer) – 10-2 ; with losses to LSU and Georgia.

Chris Carey (staff writer) – 8-4 ; with losses to Missouri, LSU, Texas A&M, and ugh Clemson (direct quote)

David Knight (staff writer) – 8-4 ; With losses to Missouri, Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU.

Vincent Brewer (staff writer) 10-2, losses to UGA and Texas A&M

It appears that amongst our staffers, there is optimism leading into the Gamecock’s 2015 season.  New Defensive Co-Coordinator John Hoke has brought a renewed focus and toughness to that side of the ball, and hopefully a few of wins that got away last year will not slip away again.  Newcomers to the defensive line will add talent and depth to an underperforming group from a year ago, and last year’s young DBs will now be more seasoned and better prepared for SEC play.  The linebacker tandem of Skai Moore and Jonathon Walton will look to lead the defense as the most experienced and productive position group returning from last season’s team.

Nov 29, 2014; Clemson, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Pharoh Cooper (11) runs for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

On offense, a new QB and a young receiving corps are worrisome on that side of the ball, but with Steve Spurrier at the helm, it’s hard to see him not finding a way to produce points.  All-American wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and the running back tandem of Brandon Wilds and David Williams should help ease burden for the rest of the youngsters on offense.  Connor Mitch looks to be the man to take over under center, but freshman Lorenzo Nunez will surely get some opportunities.  Redshirt-freshman Deebo Samuel and senior Jerrell Adams will be leaned on to support Cooper in the passing game, while a mixture of both young and experienced talent across the offensive line will look to protect the new QB and open holes for the talent running back corps.

Unlike last year, there is absolutely no hype surrounding this team heading into the season opener, nationally they have been all but written off as an afterthought, and locally the sting of last year’s failures still resonates.  It is hard to know what to expect when Gamecocks kick off the season in two weeks versus the Tar Heels, but one thing is for sure; talking season is almost done.  Once again it is time for football season to fill our Saturdays with a roller coaster of emotions.