- The Gamecock Nexus -
.:[Gamecock Nexus]:.
This is a site dedicated to keeping up with future Gamecocks, in the form of prospects or commits. We will keep you up-to-date with the three major sports (baseball, basketball, and football) recruiting for The University of South Carolina.

*December 29, 2008*
by Will Evans
Quick Notes:
_Added commitments and updated rankings.
_Updated football commitments and rankings.

Outback Bowl Preview:
Iowa Hawkeyes
Last year: 8-4 (5-3 Big Ten)

Key Players:
RB Shonn Greene - Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Doak Walker Award Winner
DT Mitch King - Big Ten First Team All-Conference, Big 10 Defensive Lineman of the Year
TE Brandon Myers - Big Ten First Team All-Conference (Coaches)
OG Seth Olsen - Big Ten First Team All-Conference
OT Kyle Calloway - Big Ten Second Team All-Conference
DT Matt Kroul - Big Ten Second Team All-Conference
LB Pat Angerer - Big Ten Second Team All-Conference

The University of South Carolina has a real test ahead of it in the form of their Outback Bowl opponents' Iowa Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes are coming into this game on a three game winning streak including a 55-0 beatdown of Minnnesota, a 22-17 win over Purdue, and an upset win over then number 3 Penn State. In the 55-0 shutout, Shonn Greene took over as Iowa's top single season rusher in history.

"He's gained a whole bunch of yards," USC Coach Steve Spurrier said of Greene. "We're going to have to get a whole bunch of guys in there to slow him down. If he's not the best running back we've faced, he's one of the best."

Greene's numbers in those last three games even rival Iowa's quarterbacks total yards. Greene gained 144 against Minnesota, 211 against Purdue, and 117 against Penn State (who has the seventh best rush defense in the nation).

"If (Greene) was in the SEC, he'd be a pretty good back," linebacker Eric Norwood said. "We faced Knowshon Moreno. We faced Charles Scott. We faced pretty good backs this year."

If the rush defense rankings mean anything, South Carolina should give up about 140 yards to Greene. Only Andre Brown of NC State and Percy Harvin of Florida rushed for more than 100 yards on the Gamecocks this year. The Gamecocks held James Davis (Clemson), C.J. Spiller (Clemson), Knowshon Moreno (Georgia), Michael Smith (Arkansas), Charles Scott (LSU), Arian Foster (Tennessee), and Cordera Eason (Ole Miss) to under 100 yards this year.

If the Gamecocks are looking to find that running game, it'll be a tough game to do so. Iowa is currently ranked as the ninth best rush defense in the nation, although Iowa is thirty ninth in pass defense. The Gamecocks have struggled in the passing game recently and have been looking for someone to turn it around...

Enter Stephen Garcia. Garcia played decently, but not great in his past three games. Spurrier is handing Garcia the keys to the offense in the Outback Bowl in hopes that Garcia can turn it around against the decent, but definitely not great pass defense of the Hawkeyes.

Iowa is used to quarterbacks who can run as there are many in the Big Ten. Of all the quarterbacks that Iowa faced, they only stopped Wisconsin's Dustin Sherer from gaining positive yards for the game. That may sound like good news, but it may not be. USC coach Steve Spurrier wants Garcia to make sure there is absolutely no one open before taking off and it's hard to imagine a field with no one open when Kenny McKinley, Jared Cook, Weslye Saunders, Joe Hills, Jason Barnes, and Eric Baker will be out there.

The Gamecocks will have their hands full with Shonn Greene, but should easily shut down the passing game. The Gamecocks look to have another rough day running the ball, but Stephen Garcia could put up some big numbers against that secondary if the offensive line can keep Mitch King and Matt Kroul out of his face. Stephen Garcia will have all of the pressure on him to start the New Year, but hey, he likes the attention.

Gamecock Keys To Win:

1. Tackle Shonn Greene - the common thought is that if the Gamecock defenders (Jasper Brinkley, Marvin Sapp, and Norwood in particular) can stop Greene from breaking tackles, it should be a lot easier to win the game.

2. Find offense - the Gamecocks needs to find some kind of offense in the game, but with Iowa having such a stout rush defense, it looks like everything lies squarely on Stephen Garcia's shoulders while he leads the offense in his hometown. How will he hold up under the pressure?

3. Special teams play - the Gamecocks need to limit the yards they give the Iowa offense to work with. Andy Brodell is an excellent punt returner. 140 yards to Shonn Greene wouldn't hurt as much if they started from their own 20 yards line...

2009 Commitments:
RB Jarvis Giles
RB Ben Axon
WR DeAngelo Smith
WR Charles Holmes
WR DeMario Bennett
TE/DE Justice Cunningham
OL Ronald Byrd
OL Nick Allison
OL Steven Singleton
OL Kevious Watkins
DE Aldrick Fordham
DE Chaz Sutton
DE Duane Chisolm
LB Damario Jeffery
LB Tony Straughter
LB Matt Coffee
LB Chaun Gresham
LB Quin Smith
LB Josh Dickerson
S Devonte Holloman
S Corey Addison
S Chris Payne
S D.J. Swearinger
S Jonathan Davis
CB Stephon Gilmore
CB Jimmy Legree

2010 Commitments:
WR Sean Tapley [Projected]
DT Kelcy Quarles [Projected]
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