Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Early thoughts on the Gamecocks vs Georgia game

After watching the UGa v OK State game on ESPN360.com over the weekend, I've got some early thoughts before I actually get to a preview of the game to be later this week.

It's been 13 years since Georgia started the season with a losing record and this is the first time since Mark Richt took over that UGa had a losing record for the season, at any point during the season.  So trust me when I say...Georgia will be fired up against the Gamecocks!  USC will try to open a season with back-to-back road wins for the first time.

The Gamecocks-Dawgs game means a lot more to Georgia, coming off a loss at Oklahoma State. Undefeated South Carolina — 1-0 thanks to a 14-yard touchdown drive in a 7-3 win at N.C. State — can stay at least close with its speedy defense because the USC offense has much to improve on this week too.

Like the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs scored a quick early touchdown and didn't get into the end zone again in a 24-10 loss at No. 9 Oklahoma State. Joe Cox struggled at times in his first game as No. 1 quarterback, and Georgia had trouble getting the ball to Summerville native A.J. Green.  Georgia did not seem balanced in their offensive attack which I feel hurt Cox as he seemed pressed. Oh, in a close game between good teams the turnover battle and special teams are usually the deciding factors.  Well, for UGa 3 TO's and some questionable special teams play proved to hurt them.

The Gamecocks Defense must be ready for Joe Cox to throw more.  I do not see UGa trying to be a run-it-up-the-gut team this week.  They will try to get the ball to their playmakers - AJ Green and others.  So I feel this week will be a much greater test for the USC secondary.  They must be ready to knock down passes and not try to be a hero.  Also USC will have to tackle and wrap-up this week.  UGa has good players and I feel is better than NC State.  So like most games in the SEC and most games for USC - defense is key.

Offense for S Carolina can only get better.  I think Spurrier will try to air it out more as noted in the article, seems the pass will be a larger part (as it should) vs. the dawgs.  USC's run-pass ratio in the opener was nearly 2-to-1, with the Gamecocks running 42 times and attempting 22 passes.  I expect more 1 to 1 this week.

I still feel the gamecocks can win this game even it the dawgs will be fired up.  USC has a better defense than OK State and they will keep the gamecocks in this game.  This game is always close but a Carolina win lies in the offensive package for USC.  If they can bring more of a passing attack and spread the field with some screens or throws to the RBs not to mention some looks deep or to crossing TEs.  Well, Carolina can escape Athens victorious.

A offical preview later on....thoughts?


Moose said...

USC 17 UGA 13 This is going to be another low scoring game, where the Defense will dominate for each team. It is going to come down to ball control and not having the normal Gamecock mistakes. With that being said, I think Garcia has his best game so far as a Gamecock. Watch for Maddox and Giles to have big days as they will receive most of the touches.

Eric Norwood again shows why he is one of the top Linebackers in the country. Look for Gilmore to be tested early, as the match up of AJ Green vs. Gilmore is a very interesting one. If AJ Green has a big day, USC could be in trouble. Also this will be the return of UGA’s Highly touted RB Celeb King.

I still say USC pulls it out with timely offense and a smothering defense. Let’s just hope Spencer Lanning shows up this week.

jr said...

Also uga IS DOWN one of their best OL again... mix that with Geathers coming back and Cox will more than likely be a sitting duck... King better have a good running game or South Carolina is going to put a beat down on UGA like we have never seen!