Life in the SEC means games in some of the most hostile environments in the nation.
Players are taught to keep their minds on the task at hand, but several Gamecocks admitted at Media Day that some trips stand out.
“It was crazy when we went to UCF last year,” said Brison Williams. “The Tennessee game was like that too, they were talking to us the whole game.”
Others agreed that the game in Knoxville was a wild experience.
“Tennessee fans, they were saying some pretty bad stuff, but it was really funny,” said Elliott Fry.
Quarterback Connor Mitch pointed out that it’s not just adults that can get to players.
“Last year at Tennessee, we were about to run out of the tunnel and these little kids asked for a high five,” said Mitch. “I went to give it to him and did the little pull back move and slicked his hair back. That was probably was the worst thing I got last year.”
Several players still recall the trip to LSU in 2012.
“My redshirt freshman year, we were at LSU and that crowd was unbelievable,” Brendan Nosovitch said. “A bunch of them were chucking us the middle finger.”
“They yelled at us as soon as we entered the state of Louisiana,” added Kaiwan Lewis.
Opposing fans aren’t the only ones that can get a reaction. Cedrick Cooper says one Gamecock fan kept him chuckling last season when he complimented him on his social media skills.
“One of the fans when I was getting ready for [the Mississippi State] game yelled ‘Cedrick, I love your Vines!’ That made me laugh the entire game,” said Cooper.
Several players use the same tactic to deal with the shouts from the stands.
“We always just laugh and shrug it off,” said Damiere Byrd. “We get it pretty much every away game.”
“You’re going to have some hand signals when you run towards the student section,” added Jonathan Walton. “All you can do is laugh at them.”
No matter what the crowd atmosphere is like, players agreed that they have to keep their minds on the field.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to the fans,” said Corey Robinson. “I don’t let the fans get to me too much.”
Defensive end Darius English pointed out that, no matter what is said, the Gamecocks can’t let if affect their play.
“When you’re out there,” he said, “it all goes in one ear and out the other.”