Gamecocks hold nation's longest home winning streak

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COLUMBIA — College football’s longest home winning streak doesn’t reside in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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South Carolina kicker Elliott Fry (29) attempts a field goal during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in Columbia, S.C. Fry scored on the play. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)  RAINIER EHRHARDT
RAINIER EHRHARDT
South Carolina kicker Elliott Fry (29) attempts a field goal during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in Columbia, S.C. Fry scored on the play. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Nor does it exist in Columbus, Ohio, or Tallahassee, Fla.

Try Columbia – South Carolina, not Missouri – and the home of the Gamecocks.

South Carolina has amassed a 15-game winning streak at Williams-Brice Stadium that dates to the middle of the 2011 season. All of college football’s powerhouse teams – Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and others – have lost at home during that time span.

The Gamecocks will go for a school-record 16th consecutive home win this Saturday against Florida (7 p.m., ESPN2), and the stakes could be pretty high.

If Georgia loses to Auburn on Saturday, South Carolina can win the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division if it beats Florida and Missouri loses one of its final two SEC games. (Georgia must win its final two SEC games, at Auburn and at home against Kentucky, to have a chance.)

“We need our fans screaming and yelling,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said at his Tuesday news conference. “We all realize our home win streak is on the line.”

The Gamecocks defeated Mississippi State on Nov. 2 to match the school record of 15 in a row set from 1978-80. Michigan’s home loss Saturday snapped the Wolverines’ 19-game streak, giving South Carolina the longest active home winning streak in the nation. Ohio State and Stanford are tied for second with 14.

“The schedule has to favor you a little bit, but for 2½ years worth, we’ve played well at home,” Spurrier said after the win against Mississippi State.

“Our guys play well, the fans are very helpful, we practice here every Monday night. You get comfortable here at home.”

While the 1978-80 Gamecocks feasted mainly on a variety of Atlantic Coast Conference, Southern Conference and independent foes, the more recent squads have won against their SEC brethren. Nine of the 15 wins came at the hands of SEC opponents, and two more came against Atlantic Coast Conference foes.

While South Carolina struggled to put away unranked opponents at home earlier this year, a closer look at the streak shows that the Gamecocks have won by double digits in 12 of the 15 contests.

The closest call came in 2012 when South Carolina nipped Tennessee
38-35.

With a rabid South Carolina fan base, playing at Williams-Brice is no bargain for opponents. Capacity for the stadium is listed at 80,250, but the Gamecocks regularly play in front of more than that at home.

South Carolina’s players point to the fans as the principal reason for the success at home.

“Our players love to play at home, there’s no place like it,” said Connor Shaw, a senior quarterback who has played in all but one of the home wins. “Our fan base is the best in the country.”

Sidney Rhodes, a member of the special teams, agreed.

“Definitely playing at the stadium gives us confidence,” Rhodes said. “Going out here knowing we’ve got the support of everyone here, it gives us a good bit of confidence going into the game.”

The last time South Carolina lost at home was Oct. 1, 2011. The 16-13 loss to Auburn also was the last time troubled quarterback Stephen Garcia played for the Gamecocks.

Garcia was ineffective against Auburn, and Spurrier benched him for the following week’s game against Kentucky.

With Shaw taking the snaps, South Carolina cruised to a 54-3 win and the start of the home winning streak. Three days later, the school announced that Garcia had been dismissed after breaching another rule.

Now, the Gamecocks are looking forward to breaking the record and adding a couple of more. South Carolina ends the regular season with home games against Coastal Carolina and Clemson.

“Our team has played well and we got some good breaks, got some very good breaks, and hopefully that will continue for the next three weeks,” Spurrier said.

THE STREAK IN COLUMBIA

South Carolina has won 15 consecutive games at Williams-Brice Stadium:

DATE OPPONENT SCORE

Oct. 8, 2011 Kentucky 54-3

Nov. 12, 2011 Florida 17-12

Nov. 19, 2011 The Citadel 41-20

Nov. 26, 2011 Clemson 34-13

Sept. 8, 2012 East Carolina 48-10

Sept. 15, 2012 UAB 49-6

Sept. 22, 2012 Missouri 31-10

Oct. 6, 2012 Georgia 35-7

Oct. 27, 2012 Tennessee 38-35

Nov. 10, 2012 Arkansas 38-20

Nov. 17, 2012 Wofford 24-7

Aug. 29, 2013 North Carolina 27-10

Sept. 14, 2013 Vanderbilt 35-25

Oct. 5, 2013 Kentucky 35-28

Nov. 2, 2013 Mississippi State 34-16

Comments (10) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/13/13 - 07:05 am
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Not If UGA Beats Auburn

Realize if UGA wins out and MO loses to Texas A&M, it's a three way tie. In that case, MO would still be the east champion because they have fewer division losses and the three tied teams...UGA, MO and USC all have a loss against one of the three.

etlinks
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etlinks 11/13/13 - 08:13 am
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Big game!

Go Gamecocks!

db16
95
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db16 11/13/13 - 09:22 am
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Check Again Riverman...???

I think there would be a tiebreaker if your scenario plays out...not sure how that works?
If UGA wins out...which is doubtful...they will have 3 losses (2 to SEC...Mizzou and Vandy)
If Mizzou loses to Ole Miss or A&M...they will have 2 losses (2 to SEC...A&M/OleMiss and SC)
If Carolina Wins out...They would have 2 Losses (2 to SEC...GA & Tennessee)...
Do they use the DIVISION RECORD as the TIEBREAKER?
The SEC Championship Game will have BCS BOWL GAME IMPLICATIONS as well AS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IMPLICATIONS.
Both teams who play in that game will be playing after January 1st!!!
Wooo Hooo...

Scott Michaux
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Scott Michaux 11/13/13 - 02:08 pm
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For the record

Northern Illinois has won 24 consecutive games inside Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill., dating back to 34-31 defeat to Idaho on Sept. 26, 2009. NCAA overlooks Huskie streak because a loss to Wisconsin at Soldier Field in Chicago when it was considered the "home" team. So Gamecocks actually have some work to do to catch up.

Scott Michaux
165
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Scott Michaux 11/13/13 - 02:13 pm
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Tiebreaker

Best I can tell, the only hope UGA has of going to SEC Championship game is if Mizzou loses 2 more conference games. If UGA, S.C. and Mizzou all tie with 2 losses, Mizzou goes based on division record. If UGA loses to Auburn while S.C. and Mizzou finish with 2 SEC losses, the Gamecocks go based on head-to-head.
None of them will beat Alabama.

Riverman1
79841
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Riverman1 11/13/13 - 02:26 pm
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Division Losses is Key

DB16, as Scott says if they have the same record MO goes because it has fewer DIVISION losses. But the likely event is what I said. MO loses to A&M. Georgia wins out and USC wins out. They would all have a loss against one of the tied teams, but MO would have fewer division losses. I don't agree with this division thing since it is all one conference, but that's the rule.

By the way early bowl predicted line-ups.

UGA vs Miami in Chick-fi-A
South Carolina vs UCF in Sugar Bowl
Clemson vs Oregon in Orange Bowl...wowza

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/13/13 - 02:23 pm
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From SB Nation

In the event of a two-team tie, head-to-head competition will determine the winner. In the event of a three-way (or greater) tie, here's the order of criteria:
1.Head-to-head record among the tied teams.
2.Division record.
3.Head-to-head record vs. other teams in the division, in descending order in the standings.
4.Record vs. other division.
5.Combined record vs. common non-divisional teams
6.Head-to-head record vs. common non-divisional teams, in descending order in the standings.
7.Highest BCS ranking.

Scott Michaux
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Scott Michaux 11/13/13 - 02:26 pm
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Division

The division rule is the best breakdown because it's the only one on equal footing since they all play each other within the division. The crossover games can have a large disparity in terms of competition. (Georgia playing LSU and Auburn this year is significant compared to S.C. playing Arkansas and Miss. State, for instance).

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 11/13/13 - 04:30 pm
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While
Unpublished

South Carolina may not have played as tough a schedule this year as in previous seasons, Georgia finally played somewhat of a schedule made for grown-ups. Go Gamecocks.

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