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September 8, 2014

South Carolina running game

It begins and ends with Mike Davis. Taking nothing away from Brandon Wilds, but South Carolina's offense needs a healthy Mike Davis to move the ball. Especially considering how the Gamecock's downfield passing offense has looked off kilter.

Blutarsky rightly noted the Boboish ten minute drive to ice the game against East Carolina. The whole time I'm thinking how much that drive looked like our game ending drives against South Carolina and Florida in 2013. Their drive opened up with four plays pass plays. Thompson wasn't asked to throw the ball again for nine plays, while the Gamecocks moved from their own 23 to the ECU 25.

Davis and Wilds were both in the mix on that drive, but the one play that really got my attention Thompson's run on 3rd and 11 from the Pirate 12 yard line. Put a pin in that play, because Spurrier certainly did. That was a huge win play for them with Connor Shaw under center, and it paid off for them again Saturday.

Getting back to Davis' involvement in the offense, he was targeted on three pass plays, all for first downs on South Carolina scoring drives.

Looking over South Carolina's offensive stats, the last thing I noted was how balanced it was. They ran the ball 38 times. They attempted 38 passes. That is a significant change from the past two years from when they ended up rushing 60% of the time, and why wouldn't they. Keep in mind that last drive was a pretty strong equalizer in those numbers, too. I'm willing to grant that Blutarsky is onto something with running the ball, especially if we are in a grind it out 3 point game and they have the ball late, but it bears watching to see if Spurrier really believes more in Davis than he does Thompson.

A healthier Davis is good news for the Gamecocks, but it still doesn't make Steve Spurrier less likely to throw the football, especially if he thinks he has opportunities to exploit another team's weakness.



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