Saturday, September 08, 2007
Keys to a win in Athens...
5 Keys to Victory in Athens
1. Must stop the run - the Gamecock D gave up way too many rushing yards to UL-La and we discussed all this earlier (here) on LOHD but I feel this is the most important key to winning in Athens. Last week UGA mixed up their offense real nice and produced using a more traditional style of running rather than what UL-La did against us. Not to mention UGA has had success against us using the run (198 rushing in 06 and 238 rushing yds in 05). One thing to throw into this mix is the screen pass which UGA did real well with against Ok State. Our ends on the line have done well so far but it is the interior of the line that must shed the blocks and make some plays. Jasper and Casper can not do everything. Last point with this is to stop the run we must tackle better...it is the SEC boys arm tackles just don't work - gotta wrap them up.
2. Blake has to perform at a high level - Throughout his 5 years at USC he has shown signs of greatness and others like he is the worst QB in the NCAA. Let's hope the first Blake shows up. In 2005 against UGA Mitchell completed 22-of-34 passes for 236 yards and in 2006 Mitchell completed 16-of-22 passes for 156 yards. Time to shine Blake...he needs to have a great day throwing the ball with no interceptions.
3. Ball Control - let's take a page out of Lou Holtz play book and execute the ball control technique. Simply put let's keep their offense off the field and Carolina must use a balanced offense to do this. Boyd and Davis must shine with some great runs and the WR's have to catch. I feel the Ole Ball Coach knows this and will attempt to mix it up. Last week, we did great in the 1st half but only to watch our defense play most of the second half.....let's see USC use the clock to its' advantage with some nice long drives up and down the field.
4. Mistake free play - Gamecocks need not beat themselves nor put themselves against a wall. No dumb penalties and no turnovers. If this can be done our chances look good and the flip side of this is cause a UGA turnover or two and we could be sitting pretty at the end of the game.
5. Kickoff coverage / Special Teams play - Moving the kickoff back to the 30 yard line did not seem to rattle Ryan Succop in the season opener. Four of his five kickoffs were downed in the endzone. The other one was returned for just 14 yards. USC needs this to continue in week 2 and keep the special teams of UGA at bay. Also we need good punts, no wimpy boots here, as we know this game may be more about field position that anything. The Gamecocks also are in need of good returns from Captain or anyone for that matter. Let's run one back...
My prediction --- Carolina 24, Jawga 20