South Carolina (5-5-1) has had two years of hard luck. In '77 the Fighting Gamecocks outrushed, outpassed and outscored their opponents while losing seven games; in '78 they suffered four losses by a total of 13 points. Eighteen starters, including the entire backfield, are back from that team. Coach Jim Carlen has every right to expect his luck to change.
Another snakebitten team was Tulane, which went 4-7 last season, with five of the losses coming at the hands of bowl-bound teams. Among the 17 starters returning from '78 are Quarterback Roch Hontas, who has completed 58.5% of his passes over the last three years. Tennessee State (8-3) is counting on Joe (747) Adams to keep winging the ball. Last season the Tigers had the 10th most productive passing attack in the country. Still on hand is Adams' favorite target, Tight End McDonald Oden, who had 40 catches for 664 yards.
Holy Cross won seven games for the first time in 17 years, and the trio of rushers most responsible for that success, Crocky Nangle, Larry Ewald and Brian Doherty, are in uniform. So are 10 starters from the Crusader defense that had two shutouts in 1978. Temple has a tougher schedule than last year's, but Coach Wayne Hardin may not give a hoot, because his Owl defense is probably good enough to improve on the 1978 record of 7-3-1.
Cincinnati is counting on sophomore Allen Harvin, who ran for 1,283 yards as a freshman, to help the Bearcats achieve a winning season. Memphis State and Villanova are depending on experienced defenses to bring about the same result. Now in his second year as Boston College coach, Ed Chlebeck is still looking for his first win. He may still be searching come December.