As South Carolina awaits its bowl destination, we decided to start crunching the numbers from the No. 8 Gamecocks’ 10-2 regular season. USC will learn its bowl fate on Sunday night. Until then, here are 10 stats you might have missed:
1. The Gamecocks need 57 more yards to tie the school record of 5,499 yards established in 2010. USC’s average of 453.5 yards per game is the highest in school history, and this will be the eighth time the Gamecocks have finished a season averaging more than 400 yards per game.
2. USC had its highest scoring average (34.1 points per game) in the Steve Spurrier era but its lowest finish (7th) in the SEC because of the explosion of powerful offenses.
3. The defense finished third in the conference in points allowed (20 points per game), its best since at least 2006. Through the first five games of the season, the defense allowed an average of 25.8 points. It did not allow another opponent more than 24 points and held teams to an average of 17.3 points in the final seven games. South Carolina held 10 of its 12 opponents under their season scoring average.
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4. Freshman Skai Moore led USC in tackles with 51. Three of the team’s top four tacklers (Moore and linebackers Marcquis Roberts and Kaiwan Lewis) were underclassmen.
5. After leading the SEC in rushing much of the season, tailback Mike Davis finished the regular season fourth in the league with 103.1 yards per game. Davis’ average was hurt by a slow finish in which he gained 54 yards against Florida, sat out against Coastal Carolina and gained 22 against Clemson. He averaged 2.7 yards per carry in the final three games of the regular season. Davis’ 194 carries are more than all the other players on the team other than quarterback Connor Shaw combined.
6. Connor Shaw rushed for 40 first downs, 15 percent of USC’s total first downs (271). Twenty-three of those carries converted third or fourth down.
7. The Gamecocks committed 15 turnovers, their lowest number since 2006. USC finished second in the SEC in turnover margin.
8. Bruce Ellington was the only player with a 100-yard receiving game, and he did it twice, against Vanderbilt and Missouri.
9. Tight ends Rory Anderson, Jerell Adams and Drew Owens, the only tight ends to catch passes, combined for 29 catches for 418 yards.
10. Five of Shaq Roland’s 19 receptions went for touchdowns. Kane Whitehurst had an even better scoring percentage with two TDs on four catches.