David Cloninger

Camp Insider: Bowl win still has rejuvenating effect for Gamecocks

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. dmclemore@thestate.com

It’s hard to carry momentum from the last game to the next season. There are too many things that could, should and do happen that derail it.

At South Carolina, there have been no problems.

“We were very pleased and upbeat that we were able to have a winning season last year,” Steve Spurrier said at Sunday’s Media Day. “The finish of last year got us pumped up, rejuvenated and we’re ready to give it our best shot this year.”

The Gamecocks have said that nobody’s satisfied with a 7-6 campaign after a three-year 33-6 run, but going out with a bowl win was a great ending after so many demoralizing defeats. It’s been seven months and change since, but it still resonates.

USC fought to finish strong after losing four of five. The Gamecocks went to Shreveport knowing that game determined whether or not Spurrier would have his first losing season at USC, and made sure he wouldn’t. Energy and enthusiasm flooded into the program.

The Gamecocks aren’t promoting the bowl win as their finest triumph going into 2015 but are remembering, every day, how wonderful it felt to win that game. The predictions for this year, the numerous questions about the team’s youth and inexperience at key positions are out there but trumped by an all-for-one, one-for-all spirit.

Always easier to remember the good times. The Gamecocks are hoping for many more.