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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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View from the other sideline

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Photo by Hannah Cleaveland
 

Tyler Stafford, sports editor, spoke with Danny Garrison, the sports editor of The Daily Gamecock, South Carolina’s student newspaper.
THE BATTALION: What are the expectations this year for South Carolina football?
DG: Well, the expectations are pretty high. We got picked to win the SEC East by the coaches during Media Day. The whole campus is pretty much familiar with our starting quarterbacks – we’re one of the few SEC teams that has a solid guy that’s going to step in this year. It’s pretty much SEC East Championship or bust.
THE BATTALION: How do you replace a guy like defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who went first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft?
DG: That’s pretty much the question surrounding the defense. Even more so than [former quarterback] Conner Shaw leaving, the defense got hit a lot with departures of not just Clowney, but [defensive tackle] Kelcy Quarles and [corner back] Victor Hampton. It will be interesting on the defensive line.
THE BATTALION: What is head coach Steve Spurrier like and what do people at South Carolina think of him?
DG: I always tell people that Spurrier is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. He makes my job so much easier. He is very open with everyone and is pretty much the face of our team, even when Clowney was here. To the student body Spurrier was the guy. He’s very popular; we actually just put up a giant statue of him outside our stadium.
THE BATTALION: What is the Gamecock’s viewpoint of Texas A&M football?
DG: To the casual fan, I think Texas A&M is Johnny Manziel. A lot of people probably don’t know what to expect with you guys. It’s also pretty common knowledge that the defense is not good. People are going to expect us to put up a lot of points. I’d say most people are cautiously optimistic of the matchup because people don’t know what to expect of Texas A&M.
THE BATTALION: Who are some players to watch for South Carolina?
DG: One of the obvious ones is Mike Davis. He’s kind of the guy that everyone is touting as our Heisman candidate. We have not just him, but a big stable of running backs – Shon Carson and David Williams. On the defense there will be a lot of new faces. There is a little freshman linebacker named Bryson Allen-Williams who is coming out of Georgia. He’s been impressing everyone in practice. Also, there is Sharrod Golightly, who’s filling the “Spur” position on defense, which is a line backer.
THE BATTALION: What is your prediction for the game?
DG: On offense, South Carolina returns a number of starters from last year’s 11-win team. And even though senior quarterback Dylan Thompson will be the unquestioned No. 1 for the first time in his career, he’s had plenty of experience. However, the new-look Gamecock defense will be tested by Kevin Sumlin’s dynamic offense and there could be some growing pains. I’ll take South Carolina to win 34-24.

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