South Carolina football atmosphere draws rave reviews ... from Mississippi State folks

Joshua Boucher/

It’s been a decade since Mississippi State football played at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Bulldogs’ fans, media members came away impressed.

Social media posts on X (formerly known as Twitter) gave high marks to the atmosphere they witnessed during the Gamecocks’ 37-30 win over Mississippi State on Saturday night in front of the second announced sellout crowd of the season.

“That experience last night in Williams-Brice Stadium was unlike any other. Almost felt like a party rather than a football game,” Left Field Lounger posted to X. “The athletic department at South Carolina has done a fantastic job at making a trip to a game worthwhile. You can’t get an experience like that from the couch. Between the pregame performance, sandstorm, and light show, it was hard to beat. The Carolina faithful really creates a hostile environment.”

Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer had high praise for the team’s crowd following the game.

“It was their first road game and we tried to do some things defensively to let the crowd get into it and affect the quarterback,” Beamer said during his postgame press conference. “Our crowd was awesome, the Cockpit was awesome.”

It was the first time the Gamecocks hosted the Bulldogs since 2013. A lot has changed with the gameday atmosphere since then.

The school in 2017 added four flame units for the team’s “2001” entrance.

Last year, LED lights were added that flashed garnet and white and are timed to the beat of “Sandstorm,” which is played before each time South Carolina kicks off. That enhancement drew rave reviews last year from from ESPN/ABC college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

“The pressure to deliver has never been more intense for Game Ops crews at every stadium in the country,” Herbstreit wrote on Twitter in 2022.. “With people not as motivated to come to games-these folks are the MVP’s to the fan experience. Some get it better than others. Great example of getting it here! Congrats!!”

This year, USC added a new pregame entrance for Cocky, the team’s mascot, as well as enhancing the team’s walk from the locker room to the field.

“May be the best gameday atmosphere I’ve witnessed so far,” said Stefan Krajisnik, who covers Mississippi State for The Clarion Ledger.

Said WCBI News reporter Grace Ybarra: “Back home from South Carolina & can’t stop thinking about how cool the atmosphere at Willy B was. Bucket list stadium for sure.”