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October 5, 2012

3 Questions: South Carolina

I've really struggled to get it to three this week:

  1. Can Murray carry the team? We are about to face the best defense we have seen (ranked 12th nationally). We haven't faced a defensive line or DBs like we will see Saturday evening. They are even better against the run (7th). Against the pass, they are in the mid-40s. Yes, some of that has been their competition (Vandy, UAB, East Carolina, Missouri and Kentucky all rank 82nd or worse in offense), but they are talented and fast. And are anchored by two behemoths on the line. If we are to win, we have to keep moving the ball via the air. We'll get some rushing yards, I'm convinced. It is too much to think we'll have two 100 yard rushers. It isn't too much to think we'll have a 250+yard passing performance from Murray. As long as he doesn't throw any to South Carolina's Dbacks, I feel good about our chances.
  2. How much of a factor will Lattimore be? He is a stud, no doubt. He is looking for a breakout game. He is still working off soreness from that 43 carry manhood robbing effort two years ago in Columbia. I look for Spurrier to run the ball at us and dare us to stop him, with a few zone-read pass plays thrown in to keep us off balance. If we can keep Lattimore to under 4 yards per run and/or force Spurrier to look to Shaw to carry them, I like our chances. Yes, Shaw has hit nearly 90% of his passes the past two games, but Missouri and Kentucky don't have the linebackers we have. If we can make Shaw feel like he has to run, I feel good.
  3. Will the defense play to the level of their own talent? Game two at full strength. Now is the time for all the miscommunication, missed assignments, blown coverage and over pursuit of ball carriers to stop. Now is the time for the defense we saw dominate people last year, including South Carolina who went 4-14 on 3rd down, 11-26 passing, got over 25% of their rushing yards on a fat guy touchdown, and only scored 24 offensive points. Now is the time.



Brandon said...

I'm usually really apprehensive going into big games, but I feel really confident about Saturday. SC can't keep pace with our offense. IMHO, their plan has to be to slow things down with the running game, limit our offenses possessions and hope for turnovers or special teams issues, like last year. I think we win if we can get over 25 points, unless there are some major mistakes/meltdowns.

Anonymous said...

I think if we can get a clean, but hard hit on Shaw early, them squeeze the pocket- getting pressure but without losing containment- it will be key. Shaw is more effective on the move than in the pocket.

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