Setting The Stage

The South Carolina Gamecocks (1-2, 0-2 SEC) are back in action on Saturday, Sept. 24, when they step out of conference for the middle game of a three-game homestand as the Charlotte 49ers (1-3, 0-1 Conference USA) make their first trip ever to Columbia and Williams-Brice Stadium (77,557). Game time is set for 7:30 pm ET.

ESPNU has the national television coverage with Jay Alter handling the play-by-play. Former Florida State offensive lineman Forrest Conoly provides the analysis while Tamara Brown works the sidelines.

The Gamecocks come into the contest with a 1-2 mark, defeating Georgia State by a 35-14 count in the season and home opener on Sept. 3, before suffering a pair of setbacks to ranked opponents, first falling at No. 16/17 Arkansas by a 44-30 score in the SEC opener for both squads, then dropping a 48-7 decision to top-ranked Georgia last week in Columbia. Each of the Gamecocks’ first two home games of the season were sold out.

The Gamecocks have dropped two-straight after a season-opening win, while Charlotte won last week for the first time in four tries this season, snapping a six-game losing streak that extended back to 2021. South Carolina has not dropped three in a row since the end of the 2020 season when they lost their final six games.

This is the second of four scheduled non-conference games for South Carolina during the 2022 season. The Gamecocks opened with a 35-14 win over Georgia State out of the Sun Belt Conference. Next week, South Carolina will host FCS South Carolina State out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The regular season wraps up on November 26 when the Gamecocks travel to the Upstate to face the Clemson Tigers out of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Georgia State provides a bit of a measuring stick, as both South Carolina and Charlotte have played Shawn Elliott’s Panthers from Atlanta this season. South Carolina used a pair of blocked punts that were returned for touchdowns to pull away from Georgia State on Sept. 3 in the season opener for both squads and the home opener for the Gamecocks. Charlotte traveled to Atlanta last Saturday where they escaped with a 42-41 win, scoring the winning touchdown with just seconds remaining. Chris Reynolds threw for 401 yards and five touchdowns, including the final one with just 17 seconds left in the contest to pull out the victory and send Georgia State to its third loss in as many games.

The Gamecocks have 13 players on their roster who are from the state of North Carolina, including three from Charlotte. Interestingly, all three players who list the Queen City as their hometown are starters on the offensive line – center Eric Douglas (Mallard Creek HS), right guard Jovaughn Gwyn (Harding University) and left tackle Jaylen Nichols (Myers Park). Others who hail from the Tar Heel State include Nick Barrett (Goldsboro), Christian Beal-Smith (Winston-Salem), Jalen Brooks (Harrisburg), Terrell Dawkins (Concord), Sherrod Greene (Rocky Mount), Mitch Jeter (Salisbury), Mohamed Kaba (Clinton), Traevon Kenion (Monroe), D’Andre Martin (Durham) and Dante Miller (Rockingham).