College football season is well within reach!
With less than 100 days until kickoff, we here at Team Speed Kills are introducing a brand-new, quotidian countdown series to help you prepare for the first slate of college football action on August 26th.
In this series, we will post a daily SEC-related fact and/or story that corresponds to the number of the day in the countdown. Hopefully, you’ll find this series enlightening and entertaining. If you do, click that ‘share’ button we all know and love. If you do not, quit lying to yourself.
88: Alshon Jeffery’s receptions in 2010
Under Steve Spurrier’s time at the helm, the 2010 season was the first in which South Carolina actually saw a large deal of success leading up to their run of three consecutive 11-win seasons from 2011-2014. Now, the Gamecocks, only went 9-5 in 2010, but their regular season was an incredibly successful one (save for a loss to Kentucky; I’m sorry, I had to do it).
Throughout the season, South Carolina pulled off some fantastic wins over ranked teams, including a massive win over top-ranked Alabama in Columbia. It was a 35-21 win—a rather large margin for a team to topple Alabama by in the Saban era. In an upset full of star performances, it was Alshon Jeffery’s that stood quite tall.
Hauling in 7 receptions for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns, Jeffery could not be stopped by the always-stout Crimson Tide defense. Just in case you don’t recall that game or his performance in it, refresh your memory with the video below:
However, it wasn’t just the Alabama game where Jeffery’s performance stood out to viewers nationwide. In what would be the Gamecocks’ first of two losses to Auburn in 2010, Jeffery caught 2 touchdowns and 9 passes for 192 yards. In a game that featured one of Cam Newton’s signature Auburn comebacks, the Gamecocks still had the star performance.
Then, in the last game of the regular season, Jeffery did it again. Facing off against Clemson in the Palmetto Bowl, Jeffery was able to net 141 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Gamecocks’ 29-7 drubbing of the Tigers. It was the perfect way to cap off a 9-3 season that was brimming with success.
Therein lied the theme of the 2010 season for South Carolina: throw it up, and Jeffery was going to come down with it. It was a fact that led to Jeffery coming through for the Gamecocks game in and game out. It was a fact that made him the SEC’s leading receiver in every major statistical category.
Receptions (88). Yards (1,517). Touchdowns (9).
In those categories, Alshon Jeffery had no equal in the Southeastern Conference, which was still busy dominating the college football landscape at that time. Therefore, it was no surprise that Jeffery was named to both the First-team All-SEC and All-America teams, and coming up just short in the Biletnikoff voting to Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon.
Now, the season may not have ended ideally for South Carolina, which lost both the SEC Championship Game and the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Regardless, it was the start of what would be a run that South Carolina fans had never seen before, and Gamecock fans will always remember that marvelous season where Jeffery could do no wrong on the football field.