Friday, October 19, 2007

Keys to a Win vs. Vandy

5 Keys to a Win vs. Vandy for the Gamecocks:

1. USC must continue to make the most of scoring opportunities.....The Gamecocks have scored on all but three of their 26 trips inside the red zone and one those three came as USC ran out the clock instead of trying to score in 38-23 victory over Kentucky. The Gamecocks have scored 18 touchdowns (10 passing and eight running) inside the red zone while place-kicker Ryan Succop has hit all five of his field goal attempts (inside the 20). Carolina must seize the opportunities given to them by Vandy, whether it is a fumble or a INT....take advantage of their mistakes.

2. USC O Line must be better....The O line must get it together and erase the 2nd half performance at UNC. Vandy has a good D and a good pass rush so it is time for our O line to have a great game. Give Smelley/Mitchell time to throw and create running lanes for Boyd/Davis. USC has given up an SEC-worst 19 sacks behind a line that remains in flux at the guard better. Watch out for and contain Vanderbilt senior LB Jonathan Goff who had 14 tackles, including 12 solo, against Georgia, both of which tied career highs. He also had a sack and a quarterback hurry. Attention O line -Keep him in check.

3. The Two Headed Beast must flourish ---Whether it is Blake or Chris at QB, the passing offense for USC must succeed against Vandy. Smelley has completed 56 percent of his passes for 982 yards and nine touchdowns; Mitchell has a 60 percent completion rate with 391 passing yards and three touchdowns. Each has thrown four interceptions. One of the two or both has to step up a lead the offense.....our passing offense must have success for Boyd/Davis to have good games.

4. If you see blood, go for the kill---USC must finish the game strong and let's win big b/c five of SC's six wins have been by an average of 11.2 points; the sixth was a 38-3 victory against South Carolina State. Don't let up or think about Tenn next week...beat the socks off of them, no more close games please.

5. SC must contain Earl Bennett---Junior leads the league in receptions (7.33 per game) and is second in receiving yards (88.3). That has been done with blanket coverage from everyone Vandy has faced this season. He is dangerous and the USC secondary should keep him in front of them. Also don't blow a coverage assignment or miss a tackle on him b/c if so the TD Vandy.
Prediction - USC 34 Vandy 17

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