Monday, September 21, 2009

More rambles after a FAU win

The gamecocks beat the Owls in a very interesting game.  I say that because from my view in Section 301 the game was a tale of two halves with two different teams.  Carolina did win 38-16 which is always good as winning is what so many die hard gamecocks fans desire but it left many, including me, with concerns with 9 games to go.

The offense looked good with over 500 yards but it took until the second half for the gamecocks to gain complete control of this game.  There is where my concern lies that our team has yet to play a complete game in my view.  It seems that we can not play a full 60 mins.  It seems either the offense is clicking and the defense is suspect or the defense is lights out and the offense is trobluesome. 

Granted we won and I must remind myself of that today.  The rushing attack looked much improved - heck it was the best in years with 287 yds and the passing game was on with 229 yds.  The Garcia lead offense averaged 8.2 yards which is really good.  Defense finally showed up in the second half to shut down FAU.

BUT the game had me uneasy in Willy B.  17-16 at half.  Piss poor showing from the fan base with a crowd of 72,017 - the worst home attendance since a 2006 late-season win over Middle Tennessee State (70,442) and don't blame the weather.  FAU made running up the middle of our interior line look like a cake walk at the baptist church.  Hopefully with Ladi Ajiboye and Nathan Pepper back in the mix we will finally see a complete defensive package.  It is funny how last year our offense was suspect at times and just could not find themselves all year meanwhile the defense was top 20 material.  Enter 2009, our offense is rolling and much improved in spreading the ball around yet our defense bends at the worst of times.  I guess this is good to keep the heart pounding but man would it not be good to just watch Carolina blow out a team.

So we know we have to improve in just 4 short days as Ole Miss is watching tape and eyeing holes.  Kickoff coverage continues to be a concern for the Gamecocks. Florida Atlantic had 182 kick return yards on seven tries (26-yard average). Last week, Georgia had a school-record 254 kickoff return yards.  This can not happen versus Ole Miss.  I do not want to watch us squander a chance because of special teams (again).  The other big issue I noticed was poor tackling at time.  It is college football and arm tackling does not work even if it is FAU.  I want the young D to focus and prepare to play a full game.  If the offense keeps doing what it is doing I think we will be okay but we need the defense to come hungry with a killer attitude thursday.

This team has the talent, coaching and desire to be really good.  I think they just need to put it all together for a full game and have a healthy team on the field.  Maybe Ole Miss will be that game with Ladi, Pepper, Norwood, Whitlock, Stewart, etc all ready to take on the Rebels and "protect this house."

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