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September 9, 2011

South Carolina Preview

I guess I have to stop ignoring South Carolina and actually look at the game.  Earlier in the week, I alluded to the not awesome performance the Cocks had in Charlotte.  Yes, they scored a bunch of points, but they got no pressure on East Carolina's QB, allowed a ton of points and turned the ball over several times.  They needed three Gifts from God to win.

The OBC just flinched.
Suffice it to say, Spurrier's post game presser wasn't as pleasant as some coaches'.  I can say without hesitation that if the Georgia team that played in the Dome shows up and the South Carolina team that played in Charlotte shows up, Georgia wins. That is how big the gap is between Boise and East Carolina.  But.  There is always a but.  This is South Carolina.  It never seems to matter how 'good' one team is, this game is always close.  Add in Spurrier's nearly 50 year hate affair with the Dawgs and you have a tougher opponent than ECU faced. 

So, what will we see?  Putting on my best homer hat, I can see the D corralling Lattimore, the same way we did Boise State's Martin.  Well, not the same, but much better than we did last year (37/182/2TDs).  My biggest concern with Lattimore isn't his rushing, it is his 3 catches last week out of the backfield.  I'll get to Jeffrey in a minute, but if we don't figure a way to stop that underneath pass stuff, Lattimore will eat our lunch.  In the speed department, Lattimore is a Lotus Elise to the Boise State TEs' rickshaw.

So, Jeffrey.  He'll get his.  Yes, he is much more of a receiver than he was last year.  We have to be concerned about Spurrier using him as a decoy, since he caught half of the Gamecocks passes last week and was the target on over half of them.  I look for them to use some trickeration to get Jeffrey looks, as well.

I just hope they don't run too many QB keepers, as Garcia was very effective running last week.  Strangely, they didn't pull that in obvious situations (2nd and long, for example).  That concerns me, considering our continuing propensity for not covering the middle on pass plays.  Oh, SC didn't do that great on pass protection either. Gave up a sack and five QB hurries on a 10 for 25 performance. 

On defense, they allowed two receivers to catch more than 10 balls each (ECU's Davis had 37 completions).  We are going with the no huddle.  Hopefully, we can continue to grow into the scheme and work the WRs and TEs long and short, peppered with smart running plays.  It was good to see Coach Richt admit the line isn't where he thought they were.  Now, find ways to mitigate that and go with it.

So how do we win?  Show competence at catching the ball.  Find opportunities for Crowell to get the ball in space.  Orson on quick outs. Mitchell long. Orson long. Involve the FBs more in blocking.  Blitz from the second we step on the field.  Swarm defensively like we did early in the Dome.  And throw Orson the ball.

By the way, I don't look for this to be like last year's bore fest.  There will be points scored.  If we play D like we did early against Boise, we win. If not, well, it is likely a shootout or worse.



Skeptic Dawg said...

Your points are all valid. If the Dawgs are capable to effectively putting the ball into the hands of our playmakers, they should put points on the board. The problem is that this offensive staff has failed to do that in the past. The Dawgs have also failed to block anyone upfront for some time now. If that does not change, it will be a long day. I do not see that changing this weekend. I look for the Dawgs to be under 17 points offensively. Grantham has to step up and earn his check this weekend. No questions asked.

bz said...

We need our lines to get it done on both sides up front. I don't see that happening.

Tyler Dawgden said...

BZ, I feel good about the Dline, especially against the run. The Oline sure has some work to do.

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