College Football Preview: The 2015 South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina Gamecocks Preview 2014 Record: 7-6 Won Duck Commander Independence Bowl 24-21 vs Miami
Overview: South Carolina had an up and down 2014 season. They had some big wins and some bad losses finishing with a record of 7-6. South Carolina finished the year beating Miami in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl 24-21. Defense was one of the biggest problems for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks last season. So this offseason Steve Spurrier has hired defensive coordinator Jon Hoke to try to fix their problems.
Offense: Replacing their quarterback will be South Carolina’s biggest challenge this year. Last year senior quarterback Dylan Thompson passed for 3564 yards 26 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Sophomore quarterback Connor Mitch seems to be the front-runner coming into this year. Senior running back Brandon Wilds will likely take over as the lead back. He rushed for 570 yards and 4 touchdowns as a back up last season. They return their leading receiver in Pharoh Cooper, he caught 69 passes for 1136 yards and 9 touchdowns. If South Carolina can replace their quarterback they will have no problem putting up points.
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Defense: South Carolina had a rough year on defense. They allowed an average of 30 points a game last year. They have recently hired Jon Hoke to help fix these problems. South Carolina returns their top two tacklers from last year. Linebacker Skai Moore who recorded 93 total tackles and Safety T.J Gurley who recorded 83 tackles. These two will need to be the leaders of this defense. South Carolina’s biggest problem is their defense of line, they were unable to put pressure on quarterbacks allowing them to pick apart their defense. Jon Hoke will have to fix this defense of front if South Carolina wants to have a chance to win.
Special Teams: Kicker Elliot Fry returns after making 18 out of 25 field goals. South Carolina will need a new punter this year. Pharaoh Cooper will likely be the punt returner and Shon Carson will likely be the kick returner.
Overall: The fate of South Carolina’s season will rely in the play of their defense. If Jon Hoke can get this defense back on track, it will give their offense chances to win games. South Carolina will also need to find a new quarterback. South Carolina has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but a lot of people predict them to have a down year. I think Steve Spurrier is to good of a coach to let this happen. I think South Carolina will finish the season 8-4.