Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gamecocks beat Jawga....

South Carolina beat the No. 11 Georgia on Saturday night....16-12, signaling the Gamecocks as a possible title contender in the Southeastern Conference. Thank God for the defense and for the leg of Ryan Succop. The run game of USC did wonders lead by Boyd and Davis. On defense, everyone played great especially Stewart and the Brinkley boys (combined for 11.0 tackles on the night, Jasper had a INT and Casper added one sack for the Gamecocks). Great Job!!!!!!

Georgia was the highest-ranked team that South Carolina has beaten in Spurrier's three years as coach.

Grading the Keys that LOHD posted earlier:
1. Stop the run - I give the defense a A in this category for a overall wonderful game plan. South Carolina held the Bulldogs to 128 on the ground.
2. Mitchell has to play great - Mitchell had a solid night, completing 20-of-31 for 174 yards. I give him a A.
3. Ball Control - I give the gamecocks a A here too. They kept Jawga in check the entire game and used the clock to their advantage.
4. Mistake Free Play - Besides some dumb penalites there were no turnovers for Carolina. A- here.
5. Special Teams play must be good - Succop was wonderful and he did really well tonight. 3 FGS (Succop connected from 41, 35 and 34 yards, the last of those giving the Gamecocks at 16-6 lead with 9:25 remaining) the only bad point was UGA had two good punt returns but overall the special teams did okay eventhough Captain almost gave UGA the ball on a punt return fumble but thank goodness it was called back on a UGA penalty. I give USC a B here.

Who cares...we beat Jawga for the first time since 2001 by the score of 16-12!!! South Carolina is now 2-0, 1-0 SEC.
  • LOHD Offensive Player of the Game - With his 19-yard reception in Carolina's first quarter touchdown scoring drive against Georgia, junior wide receiver, and Mableton, Ga., native, Kenny McKinley extended his streak to 23 straight games with at least one catch. Entering Saturday's contest against Georgia, his streak (22 games) ranked as the eighth-longest in the nation. McKinley also recorded a season best with seven receptions for 102 yards, including a season-long catch of 31 yards in the opening quarter. This is McKinley's third career 100-yard reception game.
  • LOHD Defensive Player of the Game - Looking past the roughing the kicker call on him the play of Sophomore free safety Darian Stewart was great for his first start. He recorded 9.0 tackles on the night, including 6.0 in the second half. The mark was a team best for the night and career high for the Hunstville, Ala., native.

Final Game Stats HERE.

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 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

Friday, September 07, 2007

Question of the Day --- Can the Gamecocks win?

that is the question going into the weekend....can the gamecocks beat the dawgs? This is the 60th meeting between these two schools. Georgia holds a 44-13-2 lead in the all-time series, including a 25-6 advantage when the teams have played in Athens. The Bulldogs have won each of the last five meetings, but three of those contests were decided by six points or less. Carolina's last win came by a 14-9 margin in Athens in the 2001 season.

Recent history is not on the side of the Gamecocks who were 1-5 against ranked opponents in 2006 with their lone win coming against No. 24 Clemson. In 2005, Carolina was 2-1 against ranked opponents, knocking off No. 23 Tennessee and No. 12 Florida after losing to No. 9 Georgia. This year Jawga is ranked #11 (or #12 depending on who you believe), and the game is going to be in Athens where the last time the two played in Athens the 9th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs escaped with a 17-15 win over South Carolina on Sept. 10, 2005. Remember Georgia wore down the Gamecocks with its running game. Thomas Brown finished with 144 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, leading Georgia's 238-yard effort on the ground. A missed extra point early in the game forced USC to go for two when they had a chance to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter, but pass to Sidney Rice failed....result a 17-15 loss for Carolina.

We all agree, at least the Carolina fans, that this is a must win game for the gamecocks. Yeah we could lose this game and still have a successful season but back to reality here with what is the second hardest schedule and history will show that this is a must win for Carolina on Saturday to have success in the SEC. Oh and not to mention that a win on Saturday gets the USC program and its' record to .500 percent......Carolina owns an all-time record of 516-517-44 in its' 114 seasons of doing the college football thing. We need a 'W'!

So here is the question of the day - Who will win USC or UGA and what is your predicted score?

come on AP

App state stunned Michigan, and the whole college football world falls apart. What is next South Eastern Louisiana state beating Texas or something? Well now the NCAA has decided to vote Division 1-AA in the AP polls. So where do you put an App State? Kirk Herbstreit said on the Packman show the other day he would rank them somewhere in the mid-80’s, which pretty much fired up every football fan in the state of NC. Granted there are only about 15 of them but they were really fired up. What about Division 2 schools, I am sure they want to jump in on this action, get there name recognized around the country. Say you throw App State up into the top 10, are they really better then the other 109 schools in division 1, how will this affect the BCS ranking which takes an average of all polls. I feel this is another blunder by the NCAA and the AP.

So what would Howard Schnellenberger say about this? What are your thoughts about this? Does anybody really care, since they only play 1 game against a division 1 team?

Gamecock QB set for Saturday...

No surprise here....Carolina Quarterback Blake Mitchell will start against the Bulldogs on Saturday. Spurrier indicated this yesterday in talking to the media. Mitchell missed Game 1 due to a one-game suspension for class absences.

More on - HERE

Quarterback Blake Mitchell is 38-for-56 for 392 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions in his career against the Bulldogs. The South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0, 0-0 SEC) travel to Athens, Ga. to open up their Southeastern Conference schedule against the #11 Georgia Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 SEC) on Saturday, Sept. 8. The game from Sanford Stadium (92,746) will be nationally televised by ESPN2. Any of the LOHD readership making the trip to Athens?

Grading Mic Man...

This year most of you saw a new "Mic Man" leading the Gamecock faithful in the cheers and trying to get everyone pumped up during key plays. Well, we here at LOHD were not impressed by Mic Man 07.....yeah we know it was his first time and all but this guy was not good and brought back the argument about why USC should do away with this type of cheerleading.

At times you could not understand Mr. McCraw whether that was his fault at times or not. Also he seemed a little 'horse' and I guess he was practicing too much and to top it off he screamed too much into the mic which may be solved by increasing the volume from his mic. You may remember LOHD wrote about the new guy awhile back HERE; and now that is first game is behind him we propose one question:

Should the Gamecocks carry on this "tradition" of a male student leading cheers during games?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Time to get fired up

"I feel great, ready to get back out there & whip some jawja butt."~Dustin Lindsay

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Michigan Fallout Fun Continues

Michigan, previously #5, has dropped out of both the USAToday and AP polls.

Miss Teen SC, who everyone was laughing at until Michigan took her place has graciously offered to explain what happened. Garnet and Black Attack reports "The reason that Michigan players from America didn't do is because South Africa and should spread offense Michigan like such as maps blocked kick."

At the Georgia game, students painted "HA MICHIGAN" across their backs.

Reaction in Michigan was, understandably, severe. Maize and Brew explains how he now understands The Day the Music Died. Brian, at MGoBlog, one of the more influential blogs around, tendered the unconditional surrender of the Michigan fans. Also notice the nice new artwork at the top of the blog.

Lloyd Carr, lame duck Michigan coach, has been spotted seeking out alternative means to accomplish his goals. (HT From the Hedges)

The latest in hysterical reactions has been a proposal to ban AA batteries in Ann Arbor. Gump for Heisman has the story.

What was your favorite part about Michigan losing?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blake he's our man, if he can not do it....

Who then you ask? Spurrier still isn't willing to say that fifth-year senior quarterback Blake Mitchell will start Saturday at No. 13 University of Georgia. Smelley and Beecher both had good games and seem able to do the job of a starting QB with some more experience but the job for starting QB against UGA goes to Blake Mitchell hands down. I know right now the media is reporting no answers at QB from Spurrier but we all know that his best guy for the job is Blake.

Put your money on Blake to start the game and play the majority of minutes in the game barring any injury. Why? Well here are three reasons:

1. Experience - Blake is the man with the 'know how' and who has been entrenched in the starting spot going on 3 years now. He can make the reads, call a audible at the line and make the throws that Spurrier expects.

2. Spurrier has confidence in Blake - we saw in the UL-La game that the offensive line has sucked it up and is ready to play...what does that mean...well a healthy, strong line meets offensive production from the "cock n fire" offense. Just look at the last 4 games of the 2006 season to see the results that can be had with a healthy line and a hungry Blake. Mitchell completed 102-of-147 passes (69.4 percent) with 10 touchdowns over the final 18 quarters of the 2006 season. Remember it was not Spurrier's decision to suspend Blake the first game....Spurrier wanted him to was the university policy that clipped the wings of Blake.

3. Blake is hungry - that is right, he is tired of all the doubters...tired of the questions...and ready to play. Look out UGA!

Gamecock economics...

A very interesting article in today's The State about the money train that is Gamecock football and its' ripple affect on the Columbia economy. It is estimated "fans are expected to pump an estimated $52.3 million into the Midlands economy." That is a heck of a lot of money for 7 home games going into the local economy and with dues, tix...everything going up it is only going to get better for 'cola town.'

Article HERE and some comments on the “cockominiums" can be viewed -here.

I think the big thought to ponder what will the area look like in 10 years? I can see another bar popping up (has anyone been to the bar near willy b?), more $20K parking spots, the fairgrounds charging for spots, the farmers market being developed into a nice parking lot for gamecock club members and more condos. What do you guys think?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cheers to those Clemson fans...

Bud Light Real Men of Genius

Announcer: Today we salute you, Mr. Delusional Clemson Tiger Fan.

Backup singer: Delusional Clemson Tiger Faaaaaan!

Announcer: Season after season, year after year, you rank your team among the nation’s elite, only to find that pollsters don’t even rank you as one of the best teams in the ACC.

Backup singer: Why aren’t we number ooooone?

Announcer: You scramble to make futile attempts at damage control when,with your quiver-lipping coach at the controls, you lose to Duke or Wake Forest.

Backup singer: Cry like a babyyyyyyy!

Announcer: Inevitably, you’ll bring up the past, and boast of the mythical national championship you bought with illegal recruits over 25 years ago.

Backup singer: Those were the daaaaaays!

Announcer: You’ll perpetually ignore that your stadium’s nickname is a blantant ripoff of LSU’s Death Valley.

Backup singer: We not only cheat, but we steal toooooooo!

Announcer: Go on, ignore that home bitch-slapping to your archrival in last year’s regular season finale and believe that you’ll defeat FSU with striking ease, only to lose yet another important season matchup.

Backup singer: Peach be damned - we belong in the BCSSSSSSS!

Announcer: So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, oh Emperor of Excuses, and know that when you don’t finish in the top 25, you most likely won’t be there at the start of next season, either.

Backup singer: Mr. Delusional Clemson Tiger Fannnnnnn!

Anheiser-Busch, St Louis, Missouri

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Gamecocks - The Game is On Video...

(h/t: mggbraves on youtube)

Gamecocks new marketing campaign...

The Game is the new marketing campaign for the South Carolina Gamecocks. I like it and it is good for the program. Go to the site below, learn a little more, watch the video that was shown before yesterday's game and there is a game to try and hit Lee Corso with a football.

What do you think of the marketing campaign? Is our time now?

Well it is a "win" for the Gamecocks...

South Carolina got a 'W' yesterday with a 28-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Lord knows it was not pretty and the big question coming out of the game is the run defense. The run defense of SC gave up 250+ yards rushing to UL-La. I know that UL-La type of run offense is unique with the spread formation, qb draws and unorthodox misdirection run-dominated attack but to give up 250+ to them is not a good sign. I say this b/c UGA is next week and they are a much stronger team and can run the heck out of the ball (i.e last years game which they controlled due to SC not stopping the run game). I hope Mr. Nix gets the boys ready and after watching game film addressing some of those interior holes along the line because USC will see a more traditional rushing offense in UGA. The secondary looked pretty good despite being young. Seems the defense did play at a higher level when their backs were against the wall and had a few nice stops inside the 20.

My Offensive Player of the Game - 6th yr TE - Andy Boyd (3 rec., 1 TD)

My Defensive Player of the Game - Going with the Brinkley brothers here (12 tackles, 3 assists, and 1 for a loss) even though I liked the play of Captain Munnerlyn for the game.

Final Game Stats can be viewed HERE.

USC (1-0), which won its eighth consecutive opener, travels to Georgia next week. The 13th-ranked Bulldogs beat Oklahoma State 35-14 on Saturday. Spurrier improved to 17-1 in opening games, while Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) fell to 0-48 all-time against SEC teams.

Any other thoughts out there about the game?