2009: the elements of the Gamecock football schedule
By Lee W.
Welcome to the 2009 preview of the University of South Carolina’s schedule. I will review the top six big games to mark on your calendar this season.
The Gamecocks leap into action on April 11th as the Gamecocks spring game, but the real gridiron grit comes along on Thursday, Sept. 3, against cross state rival North Carolina State.
The game versus the ACC-bred Wolfpack will be a 238-mile journey for South Carolina, presented on ESPN. Steve Spurrier’s team is returning 12 starters.
Like normal, Carolina will play one of the toughest schedules in the nation. South Carolina in fact, might play the nations toughest first two weeks of the season.
The Cocks face two consecutive away games against BCS foes, the Dogs, of Georgia and NC State.
Next; the Gamecocks get a warm-up against the Florida Atlantic Owls. The Owls of Boca Raton participated in the Motor City Bowl last year.
Next, the Ole Miss Rebels come to town, which will only get better this year. The Rebels could be in the Top 5 when ESPN’s Thursday crew comes to Columbia.
I expect South Carolina to come out fired up for the Ole Miss game. The final non-conference warm-up comes against the South Carolina State Bulldogs of Orangeburg, S.C.
The Bulldogs participated in the Division 1-AA Playoffs last year. Kentucky comes to town on Oct. 10, which we have not lost to since 1999, the turn of the century.
Kentucky will be ready to play a hard-core game versus our Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia.
The Gamecocks game against Kentucky is a game we must win because the next week we are playing the Alabama Crimson Tide at Tuscaloosa in front of 92,000 screaming fans.
The Crimson Tide received a Sugar Bowl bid last year and Nick Saban is looking for a quarterback this year.
The week after Alabama we must be very prepared because Vanderbilt has beaten us two years in a row. Vanderbilt has only beaten us 4-of-16 years we have been in the conference.
We need to correct our play against the Commodores because Vanderbilt has sent us into losing streaks the past 2 years. Vanderbilt is a very important game and Coach Spurrier must prepare the team very well for us to win against Bobby Johnson’s well-coached Commodores.
The next four games following Vanderbilt our very crucial to the team. The final 4 games is mostly the main cause for our death to bowl games, Conference titles, and national rankings.
The first comes against the Tennessee Vols in Knoxville. The Vols crowd will be rough but I do not expect very much from the Vols this season.
But Tennessee also could be conference contenders this season, and the Vols will be tough to beat.
Arkansas, on the other hand, I expect to be much better this season. The Cocks will travel to Fayetteville to face the Pigs of Arkansas.
Arkansas could be fighting for a middle class bowl, or could even be in the Top 20. Arkansas will be tough customers with Running back, Michael Smith.
The Hogs will have a year more of experience under their belts after last year’s 5-7 season. The Razorbacks finished the season on a strong note, winning the golden boot from LSU.
Next is the Florida Gators, who love Steve Spurrier; but run the score up on the Gamecocks. The combined score of the last two years is 107-37. The Gamecocks at least need to play close with the MIGHTY Gators of Florida
The last game of the season is against the hated Clemson Tigers. Spurrier has to realize Clemson is a game he must win for Carolina to compete in the conference, because beating Clemson gives us hope in the bowl game and the next season.
We hate Clemson. We must defeat and destroy Clemson!
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