5 Reasons Why South Carolina Football Fans Should Be Excited For 2014 Season

5 Reasons South Carolina Fans Should Be Excited for 2014

South Carolina Football
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Gamecocks' season has arrived as they kickoff tonight against the Texas A&M Aggies. Optimism abounds in Columbia as most have the Gamecocks pegged as the likely SEC East division champions, earning a berth to the big game in the Georgia Dome. There are many reasons for South Carolina fans to have this excitement, but here are five in particular that Gamecocks everywhere should be pumped about.

5. Young Talent

Chaz Elder, South Carolina Gamecocks S
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

5. Young Talent

Chaz Elder, South Carolina Gamecocks S
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Having many youngsters in prominent roles is a nightmare for coaches, but for fans it's exciting. The Gamecocks have quite a few young guys taking over, especially on defense. In today's world where high school recruits become instant celebrities before ever stepping foot on a field, nothing but optimism surrounds young players. Fans this year will enjoy guys like Gerald Dixon, Chaz Elder, Darius English and Skai Moore claiming starting roles.

4. Offensive Line

A.J. Cann, South Carolina Gamecocks OG
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

4. Offensive Line

A.J. Cann, South Carolina Gamecocks OG
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

A definite strength of the Gamecocks this season will be the offensive line, where four starters return and the one new starter is a junior. Experience abounds on the offensive front which will help their offense click on all cylinders. Anchored in the middle by guard A.J. Cann, expect the Gamecocks' offense to carry the this season by dominating the point of attack.

3. Schedule

Shaq Roland, South Carolina Gamecocks WR
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

3. Schedule

Shaq Roland, South Carolina Gamecocks WR
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The schedule sets up nicely for the Gamecocks in 2014. They open with three home games, drawing rival Georgia at home in their third game. The toughest road games are all at the tail end, which will give the young defense a chance to mature before going on the road in a hostile environment. If they can do enough to beat Georgia at home the Gamecocks could be in for a special season.

2. Dylan Thompson

Dylan Thompson, South Carolina Gamecocks QB
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. Dylan Thompson

Dylan Thompson, South Carolina Gamecocks QB
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Normally teams would be a little apprehensive when a starter like Connor Shaw leaves, but Dylan Thompson isn't your typical first-year starter. Due to injuries in Shaw's career, Thompson has gained good experience playing as the backup and should be ready to step into the spotlight in 2014. He will be an effective leader for the Gamecocks and run the offense well, providing a lot of excitement and confidence for fans.

1. Mike Davis

Mike Davis, South Carolina Gamecocks RB
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mike Davis

Mike Davis, South Carolina Gamecocks RB
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Make no mistake, the best player the Gamecocks boast in 2014 is running back Mike Davis. A dark-horse Heisman candidate, Davis has a chance to turn in a special year. With the talented offensive line in front of him and enough skill on the outside to keep teams honest, Davis has a legitimate chance to lead the SEC in rushing. All he needs to do is stay healthy for the season and he should provide an impressive highlight reel by the end of 2014.