Josh Kendall

September 16, 2013

Kendall's Morning Meeting: Why is South Carolina playing UCF in Orlando?

SEC teams rarely travel to play road games against non-BCS teams like UCF, so we looked into why South Carolina will do just that in two weeks.

Josh Kendall

News and views about Gamecocks football

    Are you wondering why in the world South Carolina is playing AT Central Florida in two weeks?

    Let’s look back. In 2010, the Gamecocks announced this home-and-home series with the Knights. Next week’s game is the first installment, and Central Florida will play in Williams-Brice in 2015. When the contract was signed, deputy athletics director Charles Waddell indicated it was, in part, a budget move. Although the contracts are starting to get smaller, some teams in 2010 were commanding $1 million to go on the road and pad a larger school’s win record without the promise of a home game in return. Under this set up, South Carolina will receiver $300,000 from UCF this year to help cover travel expenses and give the Knights the same sum in 2015.

    “It’s a good regional matchup, and you don’t have to pay that $1 million to get someone in,” Waddell said then.

    UCF plays in Bright House Networks Stadium, which seats 45,323, and I’m guessing it’ll be a sellout for the Gamecocks, which means it won’t be the smallest crowd South Carolina has played in front of recently. Only 38,393 showed up in Nashville when the Gamecocks opened the season against Vanderbilt last year.

    The Knights are coming off a 34-31 win over Penn State, and we’ll have plenty more about them next week as the game gets closer.

    Around the SEC:

    The Gainesville Sun breaks down Florida’s inability to continue what was a very impressive run of starting quarterbacks in the 1990s and through the 2000s. This year’s starter, junior Jeff Driskel, has more turnovers (four) than touchdowns (three) this season. Driskel was one of the recruiting class of 2011’s top quarterbacks, but thus far it’s not working out for him in Gainesville.

    Here’s an interview with a Georgia player who frankly admits the Bulldogs are looking past this weekend’s game against North Texas to the game against LSU. Gamecock fans need the Tigers to beat the Bulldogs in Athens to help get South Carolian back in the SEC East race.

    In Tennessee, Jimmy Hyams, a Knoxville radio host who is plugged in tweeted this morning that he expects Rock Hill native Justin Worley to have some competition again for the starting quarterback job after a shaky start to the season.

    Ole Miss has won five games in a row after beating hapless Texas in Austin this weekend. None of the Rebels players were alive the last time the Rebels were 3-0, but head coach Hugh Freeze still is trying to provide some perspective.

     “We’re better than we were when I got here, and we’ve won five games in a row right now,” Freeze said. “Our kids have some confidence, but we still make a lot of mistakes. We’re playing a lot of young kids.

    Mississippi State is playing games with starting quarterback Tyler Russell. Despite not being cleared for contact after a concussion, Russell dressed out of last week’s game against Auburn, took first-team snaps with the offense during warmups and went to midfield as a captain. That seems silly, but that being said, good for MSU for letting Russell take his time getting back. He’s been out two weeks now and there’s just no one to know when he will return. The Gamecocks play the Bulldogs on Nov. 2.


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