Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gamecocks fall short in Athens

My trip to Athens was not a success as I witnessed a very strange game that resulted in a gamecock defeat.  I really thought going into this game that it was Carolina's to lose.  Well, it resulted in just that as the gamecocks drove from their 19 to the UGa 7, but after back to back incomplete passes from Garcia the 'dawgs were able to escape with a 41-37 SEC victory.  We had our chance.....

As I made my way around Athens doing some tailgating and visiting Cutters Pub to get caught up on some scores, most Georgia fans thought the game was going to be a cake walk for Carolina.  But I had to remind them that our team is young and still some lingering questions after a 7-3 win the week before.  Have to admit I thought that the gamecocks played well on offense and played at times good on defense.  The team fought hard after being down 15 points with 9 mins to go in the 3rd quarter.  But moral victories, close games and "almosts" don't count - if they did well Carolina would be national champs most years.  As I wrote in the closing seconds of the game last night via twitter - "being a gamecocks fan is not for those with a weak heart."  That is very true as the game took a few years off my life due to the back and forth plus penalities at the wrong times.

Lots of good things to talk about on offense from the game as moving the ball did not seem to be a problem.  We punted once....  The running game still needs work as it seemed they just could not string together some good plays nor break tackles.  Garcia is the QB of this team.  He showed heart and grew up during this game.  My hat goes off to him and I know he wanted it more than anyone.  He completed 31 of 53 passes with 1 INT, 2 TDs and 313 yds passing.  Oh and he had 10 rushes for 58 yards.  He had over 360 yards total offense compared to UGa with 308 total offense as a team.  Enough said but not enough.

USC Defense looked suspect at times, can not believe I said that.  The offensive coaching staff for UGa did their homework as they made the gamecocks look soft up the middle. At times the defense looked great then on other plays they looked normal.  I hope I don't see that ever again and hope Ellis can figure all thsi out very soon. Granted, they stepped up big (i.e. Norwood INT) but some moments they looked average with poor tackling and bad coverages.  I hope they learn from this and step up the rest of the season or should I say remain stepped up.

Not sure if Spurrier threw his visor but I almost threw my visor off the upper deck each dang time there was a stupid penalty called on USC that took away a good play.  USC had 11 penalties!  I hope to never bear witness to that crap.  Come on - we can and should do better than that.  But I also know the game from section 603 was poorly called by the Refs.  I say that but don't think I blame them for the loss.  I am just saying that there was a lot of yellow flags flying on both sides at bad times but then again there were lots of "no calls" which pissed me off more.

The game as a whole was good to watch and the gamecocks looked a lot better than they did to close out 2008 and last week vs NCSU.  But we lost.  Next up is FAU, who should be a good tune-up game but do not look past them.

---Spencer Lanning is a fine kicker as he went 5-5 for FGs but needs to work just a bit on getting more height on the extra points.
---Dion LeCorn made his '09 debut
---Garcia can lead this team
---Saunders, Gurley and Barnes are good targets for Garcia
--- D Stewart had 11 tackles
--- Eric Norwood is a beast

---Special teams kickoff coverage needs to work a little harder on tackling and playing the lanes.  Giving up the 100yd kickoff TD hurt a bit and I know we can do better.
---USC in the 'Red Zone' - gotta get TDs in the future.
---Improve the O line
--- Stop with the penalties
--- On 3rd downs Carolina was 6 of 17

{photo credit - Gerry Melendez of}


Anonymous said...

With the loss, Spurrier dropped to 15-18 in SEC games at Carolina, including a 1-4 record against Georgia.

At Florida, Spurrier was 87-14 in SEC play, with an 11-1 record against Georgia.

Anonymous said...

while playing consistent, penalty-free football at N.C. State, the Gamecocks backfired, taking two touchdowns off the board for stupid mistakes.