Published August 24, 2010 - 10:34am
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The South Carolina Gamecocks open the 2010 season against Southern Mississippi in the first game of the year on ESPN. The Gamecocks are figured to be in thick of it for the SEC Eastern division but they will have to get by a tough Conference USA foe. Here are five things you need to know, and none of them include Brett Favre:
1. The most ready NFL player on either team plays for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in DeAndre Brown. Brown, a 6’6” 239 pound wide receiver, is the most gifted player on the field for either team. Brown, a Mississippi native, could have gone anywhere in the country, but chose Southern Miss. He suffered a nasty broken leg at the end of 2008 and has come back strong since. He looks to further hone his skills before moving on to the NFL next season. DeAndre will have his hands full with Stephon Gilmore at corner for the Gamecocks.
2. Steve Spurrier enters his 6th year as head coach for the Gamecocks. The ‘Ole Ball Coach wants to desperately establish what he had in Gainesville but has found it difficult to do so in Columbia. Early rumors out of Columbia all point to Spurrier calling the plays for the Gamecocks in this one. While his style was noted for the Fun ‘N Gun at Florida, he had a really potent run game and needs to establish it in this game in Cocktown.
3. Southern Miss lost their career leading rusher last season to graduation in Damion Fletcher. The Golden Eagles also lost four starters on the offensive line from last year. It will be hard for Southern Miss to establish anything on the offensive line against a legitimate SEC contender.
4. Last year the Gamecocks were pretty bad along the offensive front. They allowed the most sacks and were dead last in rushing yards in the SEC for the third consecutive year. In response, Spurrier hired Appalachian State offensive line coach Shawn Elliot to help establish something in the trenches for 2010.
5. South Carolina had a great recruiting class in 2010 and headlining that class is Marcus Lattimore, the South Carolina native. Lattimore was the number one ranked running back and was the number ten player overall according to rivals.com. It will be interesting to see if he gets a lot of carries in this game. The Gamecocks future is bright in the backfield. Lattimore will team up with Jarvis Giles, who showed great potential last year as a freshman to help take down the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.