Saturday, October 06, 2007

Grading the Keys to the Win vs. UK

USC is off to its best start since 2001, when it won its first five games before losing at Arkansas. By now everyone knows the No. 11-ranked Gamecocks downed No. 8 Kentucky 38-23 on Thursday night. So less look at how they did with the LOHD keys to winning against the Wildcats:

1.Stop Woodson--- Woodson, who was 23-for-40 for 227 yards, had a rough night due to constant pressure from the D line of Carolina. The Gamecocks (5-1, 3-1) forced turnovers by harassing quarterback Andre' Woodson, who fumbled twice and had one pass intercepted and certainly didn't look like the "leader of the pack" in the Heisman race as tabbed by The New York Times. That trip to New York may not look so promising after the performance Thursday. I give them a 'A' here.
2.SC Defense has to play at their best --- The Gamecocks put the brakes on the UK team that averages 46.6 points a game. Thank God for the defense b/c DE Eric Norwood helped to win the game with a 2 TD performance. The two fumble returns for touchdowns tied an NCAA record. I give them a "A" here also.
3. Capitalize on UK mistakes --- UK had 4 TOs and the big ones were 2 forced fumbles, which they scored on, and got a INT in the endzone- not to mention some timely UK penalites and I feel this was a "A+" performance here.

4. Smelley must be perfect --- Redshirt freshman Chris Smelley had an uneven performance against Kentucky, but he threw for more yards than Heisman Trophy candidate Andre' Woodson (256 to 227). Smelley was 17-for-30 with two touchdowns and no turnovers in his second start since replacing senior Blake Mitchell. He was not wonderful but when the time counted he played well....a "B+" here.

5. SC must Control the Game --- SC split the time of possession stat with each team having the ball about 30 mins. SC held UK to 3 of 11 on 3rd downs but game up 171 in kickoff yards. SC punted 6 times to UK's 3 but the bright spot was the SC was loud and the gamecock crowd was in the game the entire game...I give them a "B-" here.

Final Stats HERE.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Gamecocks defeat No. 8 Kentucky

The 11th-ranked Gamecocks defeated No. 8 Kentucky 38-23 before an announced crowd of 76,220 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The game marked the first time since 2001 two nationally ranked teams squared off at Williams-Brice Stadium. And not since No. 5 USC beat No. 11 Florida State 38-26 on Nov. 10, 1984, have two teams ranked this highly battled in Willy B.

Woodson and UK helped USC win the game by committing three turnovers, fumbling twice and throwing an interception on second-and-7 at the USC 9 in a performance that certainly wont help his Heisman Trophy hopes and hurt the UK fans hearts on what could have been for the season. Thank god for SC defense which stood tall and helped SC win.....more on the game later....but Go Cocks!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

SEC East Showdown - UK vs. USC

Never thought I would say that this game is a match up of leading SEC East Powers and a meeting of teams in the top 12. South Carolina is 4-1 and ranked #11. Then Kentucky 5-0 and number #9. It is a wonderful match up and on paper it seems like a great battle against two teams that match up extremely well. UK is one of the best passing teams where as USC has the best pass defense. Look at the SEC Rankings - On Defense: South Carolina in 2nd and Kentucky is 8th. Then on Offense: South Carolina is 9th and Kentucky is 1st.

As we all know Spurrier is undefeated as a Coach against UK (14-0) but that does not matter for this game. UK is not the same UK team of the past and not the same team USC has beaten over the years. USC has also played UK tight in years past and this game has always been one that has been too close for the USC faithful....this go around should be no different.

Looking at UK from the start of the 07 season was the one game that scared me b/c their offense is so potent and can strike with ease. On D, their secondary is good and they always play tough yet they really have won games by scoring the most.

5 Keys to the Game for a Win by USC:

1.Stop Woodson--- Heisman Contender Andre' Woodson has a 16-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season, a 67.1 completion percentage (112 of 162) and has 1,309 yards passing in 5 games. This means trouble for any team and it means he is the grease in the UK offense. Stop him and a win is in reach. This has to be done by pressure and being aggressive up front and doing what you are suppose to do in the secondary. SC D line needs to be in his face all night!

2.SC Defense has to play at their best --- The Gamecocks must stop the UK team that averages 46.6 points a game-- best in the SEC and No. 5 in the nation. The secondary of SC will face their toughest test all season so really the game rests on their shoulders. They can not allow a UK WR to get behind them and SC must tackle. Also go for knocking passes down and do not do anything penalties guys. Time for the SC Secondary and LB core to step it up...prove they are the best and if they get beat don't give up.

3. Capitalize on UK mistakes --- USC will need UK to help by beating themselves a little b/c if it comes down to who can score the most, I feel SC may lose out. So force a fumble, get a INT or make them miss on offense. When they mess up, SC has to be there to put salt on the wound.

4. Smelley must be perfect --- A lot to ask of the redshirt freshman to be perfect but in this game he must b/c the Wildcats have picked off nine passes this year. That's a big reason why UK is plus 7 in turnovers and has forced 14 turnovers, both of which are second in the SEC to Louisiana State. USC ranks last in turnover margin at minus 4. No miscues on o-fence( ie delays or false starts) and Smelley must balance the offense with run and pass. Also the offense has to move the ball, control the clock and get 3rd conversions. Sounds real simple but the Smelley led Offense is just now starting to work. Smelley must use his TEs and hit the WRs....also don't be afraid to "air out" a pass or two to test the secondary and speed of the SC WR core.

5. SC must Control the Game --- SC must keep the UK offense off the field so winning the time of possession is crucial and not missing scoring opportunities. SC Special teams must win out by not allowing them any cheap points or great field position. Also our unit must get in good position to help the team or heck block a kick or score a TD. The SC Crowd must be in the game and be loud.

These are my keys to a SC win and I feel that the game will be tight the whole way with SC winning with a late rally by less than 7. If it rains for the game it could play into USC's favor but we shall see. Game is on ESPN and kickoff is around 7:40pm....look for a TD late to edge USC over UK or a FG late to seal a win -- SC 31 UK 27

Sidenote --- is reporting that a whole host of celebrity athletes will be in attendance for Thursday’s nationally-televised game, including a possible appearance by NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. Others expected to be at the game include former Gamecock football stars Sidney Rice, Troy Williamson, Sheldon Brown and Johnathan Joseph, as well as former wrestler Ric Flair and NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler.

Thoughts or your predictions?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Does anybody in this picture look familiar?

Congrats to Smelley...

For being named the SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK for Week 5. Here are the reasons he was awarded according to

  • Making just the second start of his career, Smelley completed 19-of-37 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns (all career highs) in South Carolina's 38-21 win against Mississippi State.

  • With Carolina trailing 21-17 late in the third quarter, Smelley hit Kenny McKinley with a 27-yard TD pass to put the Gamecocks ahead, 24-21.

  • On the ensuing USC drive, Smelley led Carolina to another touchdown. A key play of the drive, was a 48-yard strike to McKinley that set up Mike Davis' 2-yard TD run.

Also here is a nice post about Smelley for your reading pleasure today.

Thought of the Day -Over the weekend the question some of us had at tailgating was "Does Chris Smelley's mom or dad have a button they wear on gameday that says "My Cock is Smelley" ? You know like you see at high school games back in the day. Hmmm.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

broken tradition

Rumor has it Clemson will allow Virginia Tech players to run down the hill on Saturday before there game to honor the fallen victims from the shooting on campus this past April. Clemson will also not play tiger rag while both teams run down the hill. Any thoughts about this, Will they let Carolina run down the hill next year?

On a different note, here is a pretty SEC power ranking that gives Carolina a lot of credit.

Tailgating Picture

Well the pictures from tailgating weren't that good so I had to go with this picture from Wild Wings after we left tailgating.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Man oh Man, what a good day of football and drinking

I must have been hammered because when I woke up this morning Kentucky was in first place in the SEC east and pretty much half of the 10 ten lost. SC is now at #11 in the AP and heading for a match up with #8 Kentucky in 4 days. Also
South Carolina is ranked #1 in the country in pass defense, she what happens when Fred Bennett leaves for the pros, everybody gets better. Carlos still needs some work but that is for a different day. Overall I was impressed with the Win and thought the play of Smelly, Davis, and McKinley so some promising signs for what is yet to come. Still waiting for a 2nd receiver to come a live but as long as we have 2 tight ends that can catch it doesn’t really matter. Norwood didn’t something that most SC fans don’t see much, a blocked punt, I couldn’t believe it myself.

Stay tuned for the Burnt bun of the week as well as picture of the week from tailgating. Congrats Spurrier on your 100 SEC victory.

Gamecocks beat Bulldogs (part III)

For the 3rd time this season the Univ. of South Carolina Gamecocks have beaten a team with "bulldogs" as their mascot. This go round was a win against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday. The 16th-ranked Gamecocks put in a 38-21 victory against MSU in front of 78,883 at Williams-Brice Stadium. With the round of losses in the top 25 over the weekend, the Gamecocks should move up in the pulls to set up a great battle against Kentucky on Thursday.

To grade the keys to the game LOHD posted:

1. First the passing game has to Shine -- Chirs Smelley threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns and he completed 19 of 37 passes and finished with the most yardage by a USC quarterback this season. I give the passing attack a "A." Best we have seen this season.

2. Defense must play "lights out" -- USC D held the run-heavy Bulldogs to 140 rushing yards and gave up 118 yards passing. The USC secondary got a interception and limited the MSU offense to 3.7 yards per play. It could have been better but they got the job done. I give them a "B."

4. WR Play --- The Carolina WR play was good with some good blocks and nice catches for the day. McKinley had 2 TD's with 4 catches for 107 yards and J Cook got 4 catches also. Smelley made some bad throws yet the WR/TE made good catches and made something out of nothing. I give them a "B+."

5. Special Teams and Succop must continue to be stellar --- This was the difference maker this game. USC got a blocked punt during a much needed time, limited MSU Punt Returns to 0 yards and kick returns to 96 yards. On the USC side, SC had a PR TD called back on a penalty got 53 yards on punt returns and 109 on KRs. Hats off to Shane Beamer and his squad this game. I give them a "A+."