South Carolina football: 5 records that could be broken in 2020 ... and 2 that will never be touched
As individual records go, 2019 was a banner year for South Carolina, most notably with WR Bryan Edwards, who set a slew of records despite the disappointing season.
Among Edwards’ records were he set the school records for consecutive games with a catch (48), making a catch in every game in which he appeared, career receptions (234) and career receiving yards (3,045). In a decorated career, Edwards had 8 career 100-yard receiving games and had 25 career games, including 9 in 2019, with 5 or more catches.
Here are 5 more individual or team records that could fall in 2020 … and 2 records that will never be broken:
Total offense in a game (775 yards)
This record went down in 2019, as the Gamecocks piled up 775 yards against Charleston Southern, which topped the previous mark of 679 yards against Louisiana Tech in 1995. In that record-setting game last year, South Carolina also churned out 495 rushing yards, a record in its own right. Bryan Edwards, Rico Dowdle, Mon Denson and Kevin Harris all chipped in to fill up the box score.
This year, candidates to be on the other side of a record-breaking performance are Coastal Carolina, East Carolina and Wofford.
Consecutive SEC wins (5)
This mark is held by the 2005 team. This is all about the schedule alignment, and this year, it has a chance to pan out. Not only is there a stretch of 6 games where 3 are at home, but an open date is also in the mix. With the back end of the schedule again among the toughest in the country, the stretch would need to come beginning with Missouri on Sept. 19, then going at Kentucky, at Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M and at Vanderbilt. If the Gamecocks come out with momentum to start the season with wins over Coastal Carolina and East Carolina, these 5 SEC games are winnable. One of the more frustrating outcomes in 2019 was the very winnable Florida game that is most remembered for multiple missed or blown calls by the officials.
For perspective, that 2005 team did it against a similar slate of opponents: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, at No. 23 Tennessee, at Arkansas, and No. 12 Florida.
Passing yards (510)
One of the great moral victories in South Carolina football history came with Jake Bentley at the wheel in 2018 when he threw for 510 yards in the loss to Clemson.
The reason this has a chance to get toppled is that the new Mike Bobo-led offense with the second year for Ryan Hilinski has a lot to prove. No better time to reveal the improvement than in the opener against Coastal Carolina. Hilinski has already shown he can put up big numbers against an overmatched opponent. Coastal last year gave up more than 330 yards in 3 different games against Sun Belt opponents.
Field goals attempted (6)
This would likely need overtime or an incredible defensive struggle where coach Will Muschamp feels confident in his defense to keep sending Parker White out there. This is helped by the fact that White is one of the more veteran and productive kickers in the SEC.
Keep in mind that in the Georgia upset that went to overtime, White attempted 4 field goals and the Gamecocks also converted a fourth down conversion.
This would mean there would be an awfully quirky game to record 2 safeties. The last time even one happened was against Central Florida in 2015. Usually, when something like this happens multiple times, there are other bizarre plays in a game. It’s similar to last year’s Florida game. Once an obvious bad call happens, there are usually 2 or 3 others.
… 2 records that will never be broken
Fewest opponent yards rushing (-39)
This was a completely different era, but one that had to snowball from the outset. The game was against Pacific in 1980 when the Gamecocks held Pacific to negative 39 yards rushing. It was a 37-0 win for South Carolina. The Gamecocks went on to 8-4 that season, which ended with a 37-9 defeat to No. 4 Pitt in the Gator Bowl. According to the Gamecocks, South Carolina was ranked No. 17. In addition, two of the nation’s best athletes, South Carolina’s George Rogers and Pitt’s Hugh Green, were showcased. Rogers, who rushed for 113 yards, had won the Heisman Trophy while Green, who recorded five tackles, was honored as the nation’s finest lineman with the Outland Trophy.
Consecutive games shutout (4)
This streak of 4 games came in 1911, again, a completely different era that is far from the style of offenses today, and the officiating. For perspective, South Carolina has only been involved in 2 games where there was a shutout since 2008.