December 19, 2014

Just like you, it din’t take Lorenzo Ward long to realize his defense was in trouble (AUDIO)

Lorenzo Ward admits he overestimated his talent.

Lorenzo Ward admits he overestimated his talent.

During the offseason Lorenzo Ward said confidently that he thought the 2014 USC defense had a chance to be better than the ’13 unit.  He seemed unconcerned about losing key cogs up front, like Jadeveon Clowney Chaz Sutton and Kelcy Quarles, and experience in his secondary, like Vic Hampton and Jimmy Legree. To help absorb the losses, Ward shifted to more 3-4 looks and was confident they would be fine. He was wrong. It didn’t take him long to figure that out, either.

“First game,” Ward said bluntly. “Yeah when [Texas A&M] put us in space and we didn’t react.”

AUDIO: Lorenzo Ward [5:40]

Ward said the scheme is fine, personnel was the issue. He pointed out “help is on the way” and said he isn’t paying any mind to the speculation that Spurrier should make changes to the defensive staff.

Speaking of Spurrier, he stopped by to update the Gamecocks latest signees and reel off some fun facts about Shreveport.

AUDIO: Steve Spurrier [1:00]

USC is preparing to face Miami in the Duck Commander Bowl in Shreveport on December 27th.






Steve Spurrier says he’s back on the 4-5 year plan (AUDIO)

Steve Spurrier

Steve Spurrier

Shortly after practice Wednesday, Steve Spurrier addressed a few of the major issues that have been lingering over his program. The Gamecocks have lost six commitments over the past several weeks amid speculation of coaching staff changes and the HBC’s coaching future. Spurrier said last month that he planned to coach two or three more years, a comment that has haunted the Gamecocks on the recruiting trail. Wednesday, Spurrier backed away from that comment and said he was back on the four to five year coaching plan.

Listen to what Spurrier had to say below:

AUDIO: Steve Spurrier [6:00]


USC tuning out the outside noise as it begins bowl practice (AUDIO)

Sharrod Golightly (#9) will play his final game against Miami.

Sharrod Golightly (#9) will play his final game against Miami.

The University of South Carolina football team held the first practice of its bowl mini-camp on Tuesday at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds.” The Gamecocks (6-6, 3-5 SEC) are preparing for the Saturday, December 27, Duck Commander Independence Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes (6-6, 3-5 ACC). Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. ET and the contest will be televised nationally on ABC.

Defensive line coach Deke Adams knows his unit will be challenged to slow down the Miami running attack, led by Duke Johnson. “He’s a phenomenal player,” said Adams of Johnson. “He’s fast, he’s physical, he can make cuts on the dime. He’s just a dynamic player. We’ve got to maintain our gaps up front and give our linebackers a chance to run and we’ve got to tackle.”

Adams feels good about the attitude of the team as it starts bowl practice. “There are no quitters in this group,” said the defensive line coach. “The guys have showed up. They’ve worked hard. Everybody is disappointed in the outcome of how things have happened this year, but these kids are coming out here working and trying to get better every day.”

Adams says he tunes out the negativity surrounding the program. “I don’t deal with it,” said Adams. “I come out here every day to coach football and coach these kids. What’s being said outside doesn’t bother me. We’re going to do our jobs. We’re all professionals. We’re going to stay focused on our task at hand and get ready for Duke Johnson and Miami.

“That’s the business,” continued Adams of the rumors that have circulated. “Some of the salaries of some of the guys that are getting jobs now make it that type of business. It is what it is. We know what it is when we get it in. I still wouldn’t rather be doing anything right now than coaching football.”

In other news, redshirt freshman fullback Gerald Turner is no longer on the squad and is expected to transfer. Senior offensive guard A.J. Cann can add Sports Illustrated’s second-team All-America honors to his list of postseason accolades.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. All practices in Columbia are closed.

AUDIO: Deke Adams

AUDIO: Sharrod Golightly

Gamecocks give Holbrook contract extension

Holbrook is locked up thru 2019

Holbrook is locked up thru 2019

The Board of Trustees at the University of South Carolina has approved a two-year contract extension for head baseball coach Chad Holbrook. The contract extension puts Holbrook under contract through the end of the 2019 season.

“It is an honor to be the head baseball coach at the University of South Carolina,” said Chad Holbrook. I want to thank the Board of Trustees, Dr. Pastides and Coach Tanner for their unwavering commitment to the entire Gamecock baseball program and me. It is really neat and comforting to be surrounded by such great leadership. South Carolina is a special place with the best fans in the country and I am fortunate to work with an incredible staff and a group of great players that continue to represent this university the right way. We look forward to getting back out on the field soon and are excited for the upcoming season and the years ahead.”

Chad Holbrook is in his third year as head coach of the South Carolina program after directing the Gamecocks in 2014 to a 15th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Holbrook is the only head coach in South Carolina history to have led a team to the NCAA Regionals in his first two years as head coach. His SEC winning percentage of .593 is the highest of any South Carolina coach in the first two seasons of the league and his overall winning percentage of .696 is the second-highest of any South Carolina coach in his first two seasons at the helm of the program.

Last season, the Gamecocks finished 44-18 and finished ranked as high as No. 22 by the USA Today coaches’ poll. South Carolina went 18-12 in the SEC and is one of only two schools in the conference to finish among the top four teams in the league in both 2013 and 2014 and one of four schools in the SEC to win at least 40 games in both 2013 and 2014. South Carolina is also one of only nine schools in the nation to host a NCAA Regional in 2013 and 2014.

Among the highlights in 2014 included a series sweep of instate rival Clemson, the eighth consecutive year the Gamecocks have won more games than the Tigers on the baseball diamond. Holbrook’s team would claim six SEC series including a pair of wins at eventual national champion Vanderbilt as well as a series victory vs. CWS participant Ole Miss. South Carolina hosted a NCAA Regional for the fifth-straight year marking the Gamecocks as one of only two schools in the nation to claim that distinction. Gamecock Nation flocked to Carolina Stadium as South Carolina set a total attendance record at 305,564 in 2014, the first time South Carolina eclipsed the 300,000-plus mark. South Carolina also set a record with 5,957 season tickets sold.

The 2014 Gamecocks led the SEC with a 2.43 earned run average that ranked ninth in the nation. The pitching staff was among the best in the country with 13 shutouts, fifth-highest in the nation, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.03, sixth-best in the country and a 1.12 WHIP that was eighth overall. South Carolina hit .281 as a team with a .361 team on-base percentage and fielded .975 as well.

South Carolina would have seven players selected in the 2014 MLB Draft including five players in the first 11 rounds. Highlighting that group was junior catcher Grayson Greiner, who was a third round pick and the No. 99 overall selection by the Detroit Tigers. Greiner was a second-team All-America honoree by Baseball America and Perfect Game and was named he 2013-14 USC Co-Male Student-Athlete of the Year alongside Gamecock football/basketball standout Bruce Ellington.

Muschamp reportedly decides to return to Auburn

How would Muschamp look in garnet?

How would Muschamp look in garnet?

Former Florida head coach Will Muschamp apparently wants to see if the third time at Auburn will be a charm for him.

According to multiple reports in Alabama and nationally Friday night, Muschamp has decided to return to Auburn as defensive coordinator, his third stint at the school.  He will replace Ellis Johnson who was fired last  month after two seasons.

Muschamp, or his representatives, had conversations with USC but was never offered a job with the Gamecocks.  He reportedly was offered the defensive coordinator’s job at Texas A&M, and he interviewed earlier this week for the head coaching job at Houston.

Auburn reportedly will hold a news conference this weekend to officially introduce Muschamp.