South Carolina Football: Defensive Play Is Key to Gamecocks Winning the East

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South Carolina Football: Defensive Play Is Key to Gamecocks Winning the East
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As they say, defense wins championships. 

South Carolina heads into the 2012 season with one of the best returning defenses in the nation thanks to players like Jadeveon Clowney, Devin Taylor and D.J. Swearinger. South Carolina finished third in the nation last season in total defense with an average of 267.69 yards allowed per game. 

That's an impressive number. 

The Gamecocks lose defensive stalwarts like Melvin Ingram, Stephon Gilmore and Travian Robertson but there is plenty of talent ready to step up and make their mark this season. 

These are a few reasons as to why the Gamecocks' defensive play is key to winning the SEC East.

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