South Carolina football: Ghosts of Gamecocks past return to Columbia

The South Carolina football program takes on Auburn this weekend as they look to land that elusive sixth win. While the storyline for the Gamecocks will certainly be one regarding the team’s bowl status heading into the last two weeks of the season, there is another plot to keep an eye on.

To keep with the upcoming holiday spirit, this game will represent the “Ghosts of Gamecocks’ Past” making a return to Williams-Brice Stadium.

Auburn landed a couple of additions over the offseason that will play a major role in the outcome of Saturday’s meeting. One is a name that all South Carolina football fans are familiar with while the other is a bit less obvious.

Who’s coming back to Columbia this weekend and can the Gamecocks overcome the return of these apparitions to land a huge SEC win?

South Carolina football to face familiar foes

QB TJ Finley

Folks might not remember Finley’s name at first but he was instrumental in a loss that wound up being the demise of the Gamecocks’ season. Coming off a big victory over these same Auburn Tigers last October, South Carolina travelled to face LSU in Death Valley.

The Gamecocks had a ton of momentum riding a two-game winning streak while the Tigers were nursing injuries at quarterback and had lost two of their first three games.

As has been the case so many times before, a backup signal caller would crush the Gamecocks’ hopes.

TJ Finley took over under center to make his first career start in SEC play. The freshman went on to throw for 265 yards and two scores, completing 81% of his passes. He added a rushing touchdown, too, as the Tigers routed South Carolina 52-24. South Carolina wouldn’t win another game after the loss to LSU.

Finley transferred to division foe Auburn following the conclusion of last year and now is being thrust back into a starting role with Bo Nix breaking his ankle last week. South Carolina cannot afford a repeat performance or they can all but kiss those bowl hopes goodbye.

OC Mike Bobo

Bobo quickly became the most hated man in Columbia this offseason as he bolted for Auburn just two days after signing an extension to stay on as offensive coordinator with Shane Beamer.

Not only did Bobo leave the Gamecocks’ new head coach high and dry, he also took with him South Carolina’s offensive line coach. That duo had helped Kevin Harris lead the SEC in rushing the year prior.

With Bobo’s departure, Beamer scrambled to find a new play caller, eventually settling on Marcus Satterfield. The offensive unit has taken a significant step back in 2021 while the upcoming recruiting class took a major hit from the decommitment of Gunner Stockton following Bobo’s exit.

Beamer took a couple of jabs at Bobo after everything transpired and you can bet that he still holds some animosity for how things ended with his “former” staffer. Getting a win over Bobo and Co. would be very satisfying for all Gamecock supporters.