The changes were obvious inside the stadium this Saturday night in Columbia. Williams- Brice has incurred some improvements over the last several seasons to enhance both the Game day look and atmosphere of the venue. The loud speakers blaring “Sandstorm” is a great way to get the crowd going during timeouts and before kickoffs. Stadium ramps resurfaced with paint and commeritve banners showcasing the achievements of the program are sure nice to look at. These things, along with the play on the field have all helped make Williams-Brice stadium a formidable place to play for opposing teams. Throttling the Clemson Tigers Saturday night in Columbia to the tune of 34-13 has now improved the Gamecocks home record to 18-3 over the last three seasons. The Gamecock fans that have long been praised for “supporting” their football team through thick and thin are finally seeing their faithfulness pay off. Of all the visible changes made at the stadium since the arrival of head coach Steve Spurrier it’s the unseen changes that stand out to me most. That dark cloud that used to hover over the stadium waiting to drop rain on the Gamecock’s parade has been talked about for decades by those who have played, coached and covered this team through the years. I have seen countless seasons of faithful and supportive Gamecock fans just waiting for the other shoe to drop in the form of another Gamecock football team blowing a double digit lead. Opposing team’s players have mentioned many times that they could sense past Gamecock teams fold when things started to go bad for South Carolina. If bleachers could fold like a cheap chair then that’d be the case in the stands as well no matter whether the seat was empty or filled. Spurrier has done a lot of (coach’em up) the last seven years in Columbia and not just with the football players. You can examine one’s actions to gauge their expectations. After a loss to Auburn in 2006 coach Spurrier corrected some of the fans who applauded his team’s performance in the defeat. He mentioned his team having a chance to win and blowing it unworthy of compliments. Fans accustomed to losing don’t change over night and neither do football teams, but a lot has changed over the last seven years of Spurrier’s reign. After the Tigers tied the score Saturday night at ten a piece with just over six minutes left in the first half there was no looming black cloud and no sense of panic from the team or it’s fans. The “feeling” in the stands at Williams-Brice was one of confidence in its team’s chances to win other than find a way to lose. With the confidents came rally towels waving to the Sandstorm theme to prelude a quick 60 yd drive for a Gamecock touchdown to take the lead at 17-10. The Gamecocks would not look back, literally or figuratively. Williams-Brice has long been known for having one of the loudest and quietest crowds in the Nation. Reports of the stadium swaying from the press box and the west upper deck Saturday night in Columbia are not new to Williams-Brice Stadium. However, the attitudes of the culprits have. As I reflect on 30 plus years of watching this football program compete I come to realize that faithful fans are overrated. Fans full of faith in their football team however is a sign of a lot of changes that have taken place on the sideline, field and in the stands at Williams-Brice Stadium.