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From the Student Section: South Carolina vs Clemson

The Gamecocks closed the year out on a familiar note: a second half rally that ended up being not quite enough.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

This is not how I envisioned my last season in the student section ending up. I'm sure the seniors on this team didn't envision a 3-9 season either. Our South Carolina Gamecocks fought hard and battled for 4 quarters against a vastly superior team talent wise, but just couldn't quite pull out the win. Here are my observations, for the last time, from the student section in Williams-Brice Stadium.

Old/New Lids

I really enjoyed the completely garnet look that we wore yesterday. The garnet helmet "throwbacks" really made the "Big Game Garnet" uniforms look complete. Don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't mind if the garnet helmets became a mainstay in our uniform outfits.

Thank You, Seniors

When these seniors committed to play football for the University of South Carolina we were in the midst of our greatest run ever in football. I seriously doubt that any of these guys imagined that Spurrier would leave in the middle of their senior year and that they would end up going 3-9 in their final season. They surely gave it their all yesterday against the #1 team in the country. The time for criticism of this group is over. There is nothing more that we, as fans, can do other than show how appreciative we are that they chose to don the Garnet & Black on the field. So thank you seniors. Your collective time at South Carolina has been a roller coaster ride. But without your contributions we would not have had some of those 11 win seasons. You will be missed.

Farewell, Sweet Pharoh

Your career here has been a magical one. After bursting onto the scene against Clemson your freshman year, you helped carry this team your junior year, and consistently brought a bright spot to us in a largely dark year. I have no doubt that you will have a successful career in the NFL. Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock. Thank you, Pharoh.

Time to See What Brandon McIlwain Can Do

Perry Orth did some good things for us this year and those contributions should not be forgotten. But he is simply just not talented enough to carry a SEC team. I have a feeling that the QB1 job is McIlwain's for the taking if he doesn't choose to go pro in baseball. If he enrolls early and learns the new offense (whatever it may be) I have a feeling he will beat out Lorenzo Nunez, Connor Mitch, and Perry for the long term job.

One Mo(o)re Year?

13 tackles (11 of which were solo) and 2 forced fumbles. Over 100 tackles on the year and the third straight year that he has led the team in tackles. It will be a hard decision for Skai Moore, but I will not blame him if he chooses to go pro. However I, for purely selfish reasons, hopes he will stick around and use his 4th year of eligibility. We could really use our anchor on that defense next year with presumably a new defensive staff in place.

I can't believe it's over. It's been one hell of a ride in the CockPit at Williams Brice. From ECU in 2012 to #1 Clemson in 2015, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Thanks again to all the seniors that chose to represent this great university on the gridiron.

Now our focus turns to the coaching search and basketball. Did you know our men's team is undefeated? The 6-0 Gamecocks takes on Western Carolina on Monday at 7 PM on SEC Network.

Go Cocks. Forever To Thee.