Boyd puts rush in USC attack


Published: Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 9, 2007 at 9:20 p.m.

Cory Boyd has bridged two eras in South Carolina football.

Boyd was brought to the Gamecocks in 2003 under Lou Holtz, who had big plans for the 6-foot-1, 214-pound running back from Orange, N.J.

Holtz resigned after Boyd's sophomore year. Enter head ball coach Steve Spurrier. After sitting out 2005 on a medical redshirt, Boyd has spent the past two years developing into an integral part of Spurrier's offense.

Boyd comes into tonight's matchup against Florida leading South Carolina in rushing yards (785) and rushing touchdowns (six). But that means little to the fifth-year senior. What's more important to Boyd is finding a way to break South Carolina's current three-game losing streak.

The streak has just about knocked South Carolina out of SEC title contention, but wins over ranked opponents Florida and/or Clemson to close the season can secure a bowl bid.

"We're not going to say it's a super season, a great season," Boyd said. "It's definitely been a good season. Hopefully we can finish things strong and keep it from being a mediocre season."

Boyd made some big catches out of the backfield last year during a late South Carolina drive at the The Swamp that nearly resulted in a game-winning field goal. But former Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss blocked Ryan Succop's attempt as time expired, preserving a 17-16 victory.

Boyd said he was not looking to last year's narrow loss for motivation.

"Last year was last year," Boyd said. "We have a different group of guys. It was a devastating loss, but it's in the past."

A 17-6 upset loss at home against Vanderbilt started South Carolina's recent tailspin, which has included a 27-24 overtime loss at Tennessee and a 48-36 loss at Arkansas last week.

Boyd rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown at Arkansas, but the Gamecocks gave up an astounding 541 yards rushing.

"Some of our losses, it hasn't been anything special that the other teams have been doing," Boyd said. "It's been ourselves self-destructing. We need to come out and play with poise and not be as tense as we have been."

With his college career winding down, Boyd said he's noticed a change in attitude and talent at South Carolina under Spurrier. Boyd also dispelled the notion of Spurrier being strictly a pass-happy coach.

"A lot of people look at the receivers and the quarterbacks he had at Florida that went to the NFL, but he also produced Fred Taylor and Earnest Graham," Boyd said. "I would say that he's a balanced coach. He can put games away with the pass and he can put games away with the run."

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