The Top 10 ranking in The Sports Network marks the highest ranking for the Gamecocks in the final poll in the school’s Division I history, and the No. 12 final ranking in the Coaches Poll ties the 2010 team for the highest final poll ranking.
The Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA Quarter-finals and posted an 11-4 overall record under first-year head coach Bill Clark, which set the Ohio Valley Conference record for most wins by a first-year head coach and tied the school record. The Gamecocks also set 49 school records, 13 OVC records and three NCAA records during the 2013 season.
Jacksonville State earned the school’s 14th NCAA Playoff Appearance with an at-large berth and defeated Samford 55-14 to earn the school’s first-ever Division I playoff win. The Gamecocks then defeated No. 6 McNeese State 35-10 in the second round to advance to play No. 2 Eastern Washington in the quarter-final round.
Senior Griffin Thomas and junior DaMarcus James both earned All-American honors, while Max Holcombe, Pierre Warren, Max Shortell, Caleb Lawrence, Chris Landrum and Josh Barge joined Thomas and James on the All-OVC football teams.
Thomas finished as one of the top kickers in the country after setting the OVC record for most field goals made (24), attempted (32) and most points scored by kicking in a season with 134. He also was a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Award, given to the top kicker in the FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA.
James had a record-breaking season, where he has rushed for 1,477 yards on 292 carries to set the school’s single-season rushing record. The junior running back also set the OVC record with 29 rushing touchdowns to finish second in the nation, and he scored a rushing touchdown in the final 12 games of the season to extend his school record.
Jacksonville State’s 2013 senior class finished as the winningest class in the school’s Division I history with a 33-16 record to lead the Gamecocks to their 11th straight winning season, which is the third longest active streak in the country.
The Gamecocks will begin spring football practice in March and will hold their annual J-Day Spring Game on Friday, April 18.