From 2010 through 2013, South Carolina’s football team won 42 games, posted an 18-game home winning streak, won the school’s first SEC Eastern Division championship and played in a string of Sunshine State bowl games.
It was the glory days of the Gamecocks football program, and it wasn’t that long ago.
The three teams that South Carolina beat in bowl games following their three straight 11-win seasons – Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin – are currently ranked in the nation’s Top 10. The Gamecocks, meanwhile, are 2-4 at the midpoint of this season.
So what happened? Let’s take a look at some of the things that have happened “Since The Streak” that might explain why South Carolina is where it is today.
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1. The Gamecocks are 5-16 in SEC games. Three of those wins came against Vanderbilt. One came against current South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp when Muschamp was Florida’s head coach. He was fired the next day. The other was a 38-35 victory over Georgia. South Carolina was 23-9 in the SEC from 2010-2013.
2. The Gamecocks have allowed six teams to rush for more than 300 yards in a game. Georgia became the most recent last week, gaining 326 yards on the ground and just 29 through the air in a 28-14 win over South Carolina. Prior to the start of the 2014 season, it had taken 17 years for South Carolina to give up that many 300-yard games on the ground.
3. The Gamecocks have started five different quarterbacks. Dylan Thompson held things down at the position in 2014, throwing for a school-record 3,574 yards, but it got dicey after that. Connor Mitch, Lorenzo Nunez and Perry Orth all took a turn in the 2015 season, and Orth and freshman Brandon McIlwain have swapped the job back and forth this year. Since the start of the 2015 season, South Carolina quarterbacks have completed 56 percent of their passes with 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Gamecocks fans miss Connor Shaw more and more every day.
4. The Gamecocks have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for five weeks. All five of those came to start the 2014 season. South Carolina fell out of the rankings after a 21-20 home loss to Missouri on Sept. 27, 2014, and hasn’t returned. The Gamecocks were ranked for 52 straight weeks from 2010-2014.
5. The Gamecocks are 6-8 in Williams-Brice Stadium. The last time South Carolina beat an SEC opponent other than Vanderbilt at home was Sept. 13, 2014, when they beat Georgia 38-35.
6. The Gamecocks have signed zero five-star prospects, 26 four-star prospects and 50 three-star prospects, according to 247Sports’ composite ranking system. South Carolina has been ranked an average of 21st in the nation for its last three recruiting classes.
7. The Gamecocks are 5-10 in games decided by a touchdown or less. From 2011-2014, they were 11-3 in such games.
8. The Gamecocks have started six walk-ons or former walk-ons multiple games – Orth, wide receivers Carlton Heard and Matrick Belton, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Jacob August and fullback Connor McLaurin.
9. The Gamecocks have been outgained in total yardage in 19 of their 31 games.
10. The Gamecocks are 12-19 overall.