The 2013 season was supposed to be one of big promise for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Head coach Steve Spurrier appeared to have his best team during his tenure in Columbia, with a defense that projected as one of the best in the Southeastern Conference, as well as an offense that could put points on the board.
However, the 2013 season itself has not worked out the way many had projected. South Carolina lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 41-30 in the second game of the season, a game in which the Gamecocks could have sent a message to the rest of the conference that they were the team to beat.
Then, in a 28-25 win at Central Florida, quarterback Connor Shaw went down with what appeared to be a serious shoulder injury. Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson had to fill in, which he did admirably, rallying the Gamecocks to victory.
The next week, against the Kentucky Wildcats, controversy erupted when standout defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney took himself out of the lineup for the game due to soreness in his ribs. This led to numerous questions about Clowney’s dedication to the team and whether he would ever play another game for South Carolina.
Clowney has made his way back into the lineup, and even looked good against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday. However, it wasn’t enough, as the Gamecocks were upset by the Volunteers, 23-21 in Knoxville. And to make things worse, Shaw was injured again, this time suffering a knee injury. The severity of the injury was not immediately known, but Shaw had ice on the knee after leaving the game.
Spurrier has traditionally been able to take a bad situation and fix it, but this one may be beyond fixing. The loss to Tennessee likely took South Carolina out of the SEC East race, and now, they must visit one of the SEC’s best teams, the Missouri Tigers, on Saturday. The situation at South Carolina may get worse before it gets better.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.