Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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30 JANUARY 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED GAME PREVIEW: SOUTH CAROLINA Sept. 3: South Carolina 35, Georgia State 14 The Gamecocks' special teams led the way for a season-opening victory over the Panthers. South Carolina returned 2 blocked punts for touchdowns, new placekicker Mitch Jeter debuted by knocking in 2 field goals of 50-plus yards and long snapper Hunter Rogers carried a fake field goal 5 yards for a first down that led to the Gamecocks' only first-half touchdown. Sept. 10: No. 16 Arkansas 44, South Carolina 30 Arkansas found the end zone on each of its first three possessions to build a 21-3 lead and cruised to the victory. South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler completed 24 of 39 throws for 377 yards and connected with receiver Antwane Wells Jr. (8 catches for 189 yards) on a 62-yard touchdown that cut the deficit to five in the third quarter, but the Gamecocks couldn't overcome the Razorbacks' 295-40 advantage in rushing yards. Sept. 17: No. 1 Georgia 48, South Carolina 7 The Gamecocks opened SEC play 0-2 for the fourth straight year, after allowing the top-ranked Bulldogs to score on eight of their first nine drives while racking up 551 total yards and nearly 10 yards per play. The 41-point victory was Georgia's biggest against the Gamecocks in their 75 meetings. South Carolina tossed 3 interceptions and did not score until less than a minute remained in the game. Sept. 24: South Carolina 56, Charlotte 20 Running back MarShawn Lloyd ran for a career-high 169 yards and 3 touch- downs (25, 14 and 7 yards), while South Carolina scored on its first eight possessions to snap its two-game losing streak. The Gamecocks finished with 545 total yards, including 295 on the ground, while notching 3 interceptions and limited the 49ers to 292 total yards. Sept. 29: South Carolina 50, South Carolina State 10 Rattler threw 2 touchdown passes and ran for a score to lead the Game- cocks to an easy win over the FCS foe. Rattler finished with 212 yards, com- pleting 21 of 27 passes with a 5-yard scoring strike to Lloyd and an 11-yarder to tight end Austin Stogner. The South Carolina defense intercepted 3 passes and limited the Bulldogs to 220 total yards. Oct. 8: South Carolina 24, No. 13 Kentucky 14 South Carolina scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to knock off the Wildcats, who were without starting quarterback Will Levis. Rattler overcame 2 early turnovers and threw the go-ahead 42-yard touchdown pass to Wells in the third quarter, while receiver Jalen Brooks ran for an insurance score midway through the fourth. Oct. 22: South Carolina 30, Texas A&M 24 The Gamecocks opened strong with 17 points in the first six minutes — sparked when Xavier Legette took the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touch- down — then held on to beat the Aggies for their first four-game win streak since 2013. Lloyd ran 18 times for 92 yards and had both of South Carolina's touchdowns in the second half to keep Texas A&M at bay. Oct. 29: Missouri 23, No. 25 South Carolina 10 After earning its first national ranking in four years, South Carolina was sty- mied by Missouri. The Tigers jumped out to a 17-0 lead and their defense made it hold up by racking up 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and holding the Gamecocks to 203 total yards. Rattler had an interception and a fumble deep in Tigers' territory, while Lloyd was limited to 30 yards on 7 carries. Nov. 5: South Carolina 38, Vanderbilt 27 Rattler completed 18 of 26 passes for 200 yards with 3 touchdowns to lead the Gamecocks to their 14th straight win over the Commodores. Rattler connected with Legette on a 29-yard touchdown, found receiver Josh Van for a 19-yarder and had a 17-yarder to Wells, while wideout Dakereon Joyner added a 68-yard scoring pass to Wells on a trick play. South Carolina forced 4 Vanderbilt turnovers and never trailed. Nov. 12: Florida 38, South Carolina 6 Florida dominated from the start, scoring on its first four drives and leading 24-0 before South Carolina even crossed midfield. The Gators rambled for 374 yards rushing on 54 attempts, highlighted by freshman Trevor Etienne's 85-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks lone highlight was a fake punt late in the second quarter, when punter Kai Kroeger took the snap and connected with Joyner for a 48-yard score. Nov. 19: South Carolina 63, No. 5 Tennessee 38 The Gamecocks exploded for their highest point total in an SEC game since 1995 and amassed 606 total yards after failing to eclipse 300 yards in three of their previous four outings. Rattler had a career day, completing 30 of 37 throws for 438 yards and 6 touchdowns. Wells had 11 receptions for 177 yards while Vann and tight end Jaheim Bell had 2 TD receptions apiece. Nov. 26: South Carolina 31, No. 7 Clemson 30 South Carolina rallied from 14-0 down 10 minutes in to end Clemson's seven-game series winning streak and 40-game home win streak that dated to 2016. It also marked the first time the Gamecocks had ever beaten top-10 opponents in back-to-back weeks. Rattler accounted for 3 touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing) and threw for 360 yards. Wells was on the receiving end of 4- and 72-yard scores, and he finished with 9 catches for 131 yards. Note: The Associated Press poll was used for rankings until the College Football Playoff rankings came out in Week 10. — Steve Downey Running back MarShawn Lloyd ran for a career-high 169 yards and 3 touchdowns in South Carolina's 56-20 win over Charlotte Sept. 24. PHOTO BY TIM COWIE/COURTESY SOUTH CAROLINA South Carolina's Season In Review

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