USC Gamecocks Football

‘That Black Magic is something special.’ What Gamecocks players think of new uniforms

Jake Bentley digs ‘Back in Black’

University of South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley noodles out an air-guitar riff while stretching to the AC/DC tune, "Back in Black". The Gamecocks announced recently a tribute to the 1984 football team and a black jersey for the season.
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University of South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley noodles out an air-guitar riff while stretching to the AC/DC tune, "Back in Black". The Gamecocks announced recently a tribute to the 1984 football team and a black jersey for the season.

The opening scene to South Carolina’s Wednesday football practice was a fitting one. The Gamecocks wore helmets that matched the music pumping through the speakers. AC/DC’s “Back in Black” is what Jake Bentley rocked an air guitar to as he led the quarterbacks’ stretching line.

Sense a theme yet?

Less than 24 hours earlier, USC officially debuted the throwback uniforms it’ll be wearing for an unknown game this season. The look pays homage to Carolina’s 1984 season when Joe Morrison and “Black Magic” took Columbia by storm, winning 10 games and reaching as high as No. 2 in the national rankings.

The 2019 Gamecocks enter the season unranked, but at some point they’ll look like one of the more famous teams in program history.

“That Black Magic is something special,” junior safety Jamyest Williams said Wednesday, “you know what I’m saying? Magical things are coming soon.”

Senior linebacker Eldridge Thompson said the Gamecocks have yet to see the new uniforms in person. Just like the fans, they were excited Tuesday when the school-produced video was released on social media.

“We haven’t even seen them,” Thompson said. “We’ve just seen them on the internet. But I do like the stripes on the outside. It’s different from our other black ones.”

South Carolina’s previous black jerseys — worn twice last season — feature garnet and white stripes on the shoulders. The new black jerseys have stripes on the sleeves.

“I’m ready to switch it up a little bit,” Thompson said. “I can’t wait.”

Though it’s yet to be determined when the Gamecocks will wear their throwbacks, both Williams and Thompson have suggestions.

“The first game,” Williams said of the Aug. 31 opener with North Carolina in Charlotte, “come out striking. ... Hopefully we get to wear that Black Magic suit the first game.”

“A night game,” Thompson said.

USC has played five night home games under Will Muschamp. It’s worn black jerseys in three of those games, winning two of them — vs. Tennessee in 2016 and 2018.

Charleston Southern (noon) and Alabama (3:30 p.m.) are the only 2019 home games with a scheduled kickoff time to date.

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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