Sunday, October 18, 2009


I've got a post about the opening of basketball practice and the outlook for this year coming on Monday, but since football season is unmercifully not over, since the 'Dores next opponent is South Carolina, and since I'm in the heart of Gamecock country, I thought I might as well include a few of my thoughts on our next opponent. I don't want to talk about UGA because it'll only make me angry (or happy, I'm conflicted).

The Gamecocks are excited about their football team this year, and rightfully so. They beat Ole Miss in a nationally televised upset. They gave Alabama a run for their money last night. They are young and talented on both sides of the ball and there's reason to believe, despite the media quibbling, that they are actually making some upward progress. South Carolina doesn't have much of a running game. Their offense primarily revolves around passing, so it's much more like the Spurrier offenses of old. Stephen Garcia isn't an elite quarterback, but he's a young player with a strong arm who can make plays with his feet if need be. He's apt to make boneheaded plays at times, but he can also make big ones and he has two high level players in Alshon Jeffery and Torrie Gurley who can more than make up for any inaccuracies. The real strength for Carolina lies in their defense. They are absolutely staunch in the middle and cannot easily be run on. Eric Norwood is the leader of that unit and he can move all over the field. The secondary has some decent playmakers as well. The Gamecocks thrive off momentum, and conversely they wallow in frustration. If things are going well for them, they can run with just about anyone. But if things aren't falling their way, they don't have the maturity to dig themselves out of a hole. The real weakness for the Gamecocks is that they have a tendency to look to the next biggest game on their schedule. Unfortunately, they've been burned twice by that approach against Vandy (they swear I've jinxed them, only in the SEC...). This isn't to say that Bobby Johnson and his staff can't find a way to make it three in a row, it's just a point that Spurrier simply won't let this team come in foggy headed as they did in the past. If we can strike first and find a way to keep our offense on the field, then we can do exactly what we've done in the past against South Carolina: take their momentum away and use their immaturity against them. But that's going to entail offensive improvement. We don't have to outshoot this team, we just have to play well enough to get the ball into the end zone a couple of times and burn some clock.

All this is moot without some semblance of offensive improvement. As stated, we don't have to be lights out, we just have to be good enough enough to put up a few points so our D can do the rest. EVENTUALLY we need to learn how to put together a drive.

So that's that. It really can't be broken down more simply. Doing it, well, that's another story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At this point a significant issue/problem is retaining as many FB verbal commits as possible...