Tennessee enters with a 3-5 record, including 1-4 in the SEC. Four of the Volunteers’ five losses have come to ranked teams. Like USC, Tennessee has struggled offensively but features a solid defense.
So in this SC v UT match-up, what does it take to win for the Gamecocks... I touched on some concerns I had with the Vols here but now let's get down to the 5 Keys for a USC Win...
1. USC Must Establish a Running Game - No doubt about it. SC must be able to get some running plays to work against UT. It will help control the pace of the game and take pressure off the USC QB. If we can not run the ball and help the passing game then it could be a long night.
2. SC O-Line must do 2 things - Gotta Protect the QB today as UT has a nasty front on D. No more given up 5+ sacks like in the LSU loss. Garcia needs time to pass. Trust me they have study and will send the house against USC up front all to put pressure on Garcia. Our boys must be ready to max protect. Also the second thing is they have to knock people around and create running lanes. Time for the O-line to be men. I tired of talking about piss poor play upfront.
3. Garcia - He has to play well the entire game. Don't throw near UT SS Berry. I feel this is our game to lose and the key is Garcia.
4. Eliminate TOs - We can not beat ourselves today and give UT chances. Throw the damn ball away instead of taking sacks and don't force anything (Garcia). I desire to see 1 game where we do not TO.
5. Pressure UT QB - I feel we must rattle him today and get in his face every play. I want to see him roughed up this game b.c we can not allow him to have all day to throw the ball. Knock him down, talk crap to him and get in his head.
So there you have it...simple this time...nothing fancy as this is going to be a great SEC game. Fulmer will have the boys fired up as his butt is on the line this game. USC has had time to prepare. I want to see the offense working on all levels. It is past time for USC to have a near flawless game and open up the playbook some. SC has a great D...they will be ready but it boils down to QB protection, eliminate mistakes and smart decisions for the USC offense.
I feel this will be in our favor tonight despite a freezing game, especially where I sit, but I think I will be high-fiving Jesus a lot tonight as good things are in store....