Gamecocks stole signals during Bowden days


by - Assoc. Editor -
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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden shared to ESPN Charlotte on Tuesday that his Clemson was able to steal signs from the Gamecocks during his time as head coach.

Now, a former Gamecocks quarterback Erik Kimrey has fired back and said he did the same thing against Clemson in 2011 according to his Facebook page.

In a story today, former Clemson coach, Tommy Bowden, says he used to send coaches to the box to steal Charlie Strong's defensive signals when Chuck was the DC at USC.

Well, unbeknownst to Coach Bowden, in 2001 I was a backup QB at USC and signaled in our offensive plays...but also had a knack for picking opponent's signals. During the 1st quarter, when we were on defense, I watched their sideline intently, and after their first drive I was able to pick their base plays and could tell if it was run or pass over 95% of the time.

Let me tell you; it didn't take a rocket scientist. Making a "Z" was their zone play, touching their shoe was a bootleg, pointing at their QB was a QB run....again, not vector calculus.

So I stood behind Chuck in the first quarter and starting telling him their plays. Sometimes it helped and sometimes it didn't. (At half, Chuck had me coach up the defense on the signals I had picked, and we came up with a system to alert our players whether the play was a run or pass.)

We were in a tight game still in the first quarter. Clemson was around midfield, and it was 4th and short....usually a running situation. They substituted a heavy personnel, but I saw that the signal was very long and had learned the longer the signal, the stronger the indication it was a pass. I told Chuck it was and we both screamed at Sheldon Brown on our sideline to warn him.

The play was a lengthy well-executed play action pass, and Sheldon didn't take the bait. He positioned himself perfectly behind the receiver and broke under the Woody Dantzler post pass and intercepted it. We held on to win the game.

The Gamecocks ended up winning 20-15 over the Tigers in 2001.

Apparently, if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying when it comes to College Football and sign-stealing.

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