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The South Carolina Gamecocks football program has produced a Heisman Trophy award winner, national coaches of the year and a long list of players that have made a strong impact in the NFL.
The South Carolina Gamecocks football program has had a storied history that continues to gain momentum in the SEC and beyond.
•The University's first football game was in 1892 when the team nicknamed the “College Boys” played Furman in a
Christmas Eve contest that was played in Charleston.
•The Gamecocks earned their first bowl game appearance when Coach McMillan’s squad was invited to play in the Gator
Bowl following the 1945 season. South Carolina lost that game 26-14 to Wake Forest. The Cocks first bowl victory was
earned with a 24-21 win over West Virginia in the Carquest Bowl that followed the 1994 campaign.
•The school's biggest Rival: USC Gamecocks fans get most fired up about their annual contest that’s called the “Palmetto
Bowl.” Up until 1959, the South Carolina vs. Clemson game was played in Columbia each year and was known as “Big
Thursday.” These two instate rivals first met in 1896.
•Gamecocks home football games are played at Williams-Brice Stadium. The 80,250 seat stadium is traditionally
packed with fans proudly wearing their USC Garnet and Black Colors. The stadium’s nickname is “The Cockpit.” The
stadium was built in 1934 and originally seated 17,600 people. One of college football’s best traditions takes place at
Williams-Brice Stadium when the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey is played as the team runs onto the field at the start
of every game.
•South Carolina Heisman Winners: Gamecocks running back George Rogers won college football’s top award in 1980.
The bruising tailback gained 1,781 yards rushing on his way to the Heisman Trophy winning season. Rogers beat out an
impressive group of Heisman finalist that included Hugh Green and Herschel Walker. During halftime ceremonies of
South Carolina’s final 1980 home game, Rogers #38 jersey was retired. Rogers later became the first pick of the 1981
NFL Draft when the New Orleans Saints selected him. The former Gamecock became the 1981 NFL Offensive Rookie of
the Year and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection (1981, 1982).
•University of South Carolina retired football jerseys: Along with George Rogers retired #38, three additional individuals
have had their number honored. The group includes the #37 worn by Steve Wadiak (1948-51), #56 donned by Mike
Johnson (1964), and the #2 Gamecocks jersey worn by Sterling Sharpe (1983, 85-87).
•South Carolina conference affiliations: Prior to the Cocks joining the SEC in 1992, the program have participated in other
athletic conferences. The school played in the ACC Conference from 1953 through 1970. The university competed as a
major independent from 1971 through 1991.
•National Coaches of the Year: Two former coaches earned first place national coaching honors while wearing USC
Garnet and Black. Morrison was the Walter Camp Foundation’s National College Football Coach of the Year when he
coached his squad to a 10-2 record. Head Coach Lou Holtz won National Coach of the Year honors in 2000 from the
American Football Coaches Quarterly and Football news when he engineered a tremendous turnaround is the
Gamecocks football program. After his first USC squad went 1-10 in 1999, Holtz guided the 2000 team to an 8-4 record.
That turnaround is one of the most dramatic ones in college football history.
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