South Carolina Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

South Carolina Gamecocks


South Carolina has become one of the SEC’s most prominent teams. This year was no different as they won 10 of their 12 contents. Their losses came on back to back weeks, battling LSU to the wire in Death Valley and then going to the Swamp where they were embarrassed by Florida. There probably is not a team in college football that could win at Florida and at LSU on back to back weeks. The Gamecocks rebounded nicely and have reeled off four straight wins to end regular season play and earn another bowl berth.

2012 Record: 10-2, 6-2
Coach: Steve Spurrier
Coach Bowl Record: 8-10

Big Wins: 8/30 at Vanderbilt (17-13), 10/6 Georgia (35-7)
Bad Losses: 10/13 at LSU (21-23), 10/20 at Florida (11-44)

Like the majority of the SEC teams, South Carolina relies on an outstanding defensive unit. This ferocious unit made it difficult for opponents to run, thanks to their defensive line, which is one of the best in the nation, coached by Brad Lawing. This proved to be one of the Gamecocks best assets throughout the season. As a unit the defense allowed just 119 yards per game on the ground, 16th best in the nation. Even more impressive, this aggressive defense averaged 3.3 sacks per game, 5th best in the nation. With that dominate of a defensive line it is no surprise that teams struggled to move the ball at all against them. Furthermore, this defense racked up over seven tackles for a loss per game, placing them in the top 20 in the nation. In the passing game teams fared about as well as they did on the ground, averaging under 200 yards per game, giving South Carolina the 18th best defense in passing yards allowed per game. The stingy defense only conceded a shade over 17 points per game. It is difficult for opponents to win when they cannot move the ball on the ground, through the air, or punch the ball into the end zone.  This defense deserves to be credited as one of the premier defensive units in the nation.

The offense has struggled, particularly along the offensive line. This unit has relinquished nearly three sacks per game which is 104th in the nation.  Their offensive line issues have likely been the source of their only major offensive problems as this unit has gained just 372 yards of total offense, 88th in the nation. Both the running game and their passing game have suffered. In the running game the Gamecocks rank 84th in the nation, mustering up less than 145 yards per game. Through the air South Carolina ranks 62nd in the nation averaging a mediocre 229 passing yards per game. Making matters worse, the Gamecocks struggle to score points, averaging a pedestrian 31.5 points per contest. Lastly, in one of the most important stats in all of football, the turnover margin, the Gamecocks also struggle. They rank 47th in the nation because their offense turns the ball over too much and the defense cannot create enough turnovers to keep up.  It becomes difficult to win games when you are not winning the turnover battle, however South Carolina has come out on top overall in this stat. Although asking the defense to generate more turnovers may seem unfair for how much they already do for this team. They need to make some big plays and the offense needs to do a better job protecting the football. This will be a key factor for them.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Marcus Lattimore, RB, 662 yards
Passing: Connor Shaw, QB, 1,732 yards
Receiving: Bruce Ellington, WR, 564 yards
Tackles: Shaq Wilson, LB, 72
Sacks: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, 8.5
Interceptions: 4 tied with 2

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 142.92 (84th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 229.50 (62, 7)
Total Offense: 372.42 (88, 10)
Scoring Offense: 31.42 (43, 5)
Rushing Defense: 119.00 (16, 4)
Pass Defense: 193.25 (18, 5)
Total Defense: 312.25 (13, 4)
Scoring Defense: 17.42 (14, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.25 (47, 6)
Sacks: 3.33 (5, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 2.92 (104, 12)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Capital One Bowl    Nebraska (30-13)
2010    Chick-fil-A Bowl    Florida State (17-26)
2009 Bowl    Connecticut (7-20)
2008    Outback Bowl        Iowa (10-31)
2006    Liberty Bowl        Houston (44-36)

*all team stats through 11/24


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