Saturday, October 24, 2009

5 Keys to a Gamecocks Win v Vandy

The 23rd-ranked Gamecocks (5-2, 2-2 SEC) host the struggling Commodores (2-5, 0-4) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (ESPNU).  As noted in the LOHD preview, a win today looks good on paper but also as I noted the Gamecocks can not overlook this Vandy team because despite the record they come into Columbia hungry for a win in the SEC.  The 'cocks can not allow it to be them that they reach that goal against....the gamecocks must execute these 5 keys to get a win today....

1.  Stop the Run Vandy Run --- simple right?  Let's hope, as the Gamecocks interior 'D' will have to be ready to limit Vandy success on the ground and force the qb to air it out to our hungry secondary.  I hope the gamecocks D line steps up big today as they have allowed the opposing team to control the line.

2.  SC balanced attack on offense --- gamecocks must have success mixing in the run and the pass.  I hope to see about a 50/50 split in the number of plays today.  The 3 running back cmte needs to eat up some yards on the ground, which will aid in keeping the gamecocks D fresh and Garcia must be accurate throwing the ball today.

3.  Gamecocks Special Teams --- don't be the cause of something bad, just do your job.

4.  Win the TO battle --- The gamecocks rank 6th in the SEC and 30th in the country in TO margin at +4 (13 takeaways - 8 fumbles and 5 INTS - and 9 TOs - 5 fumble & 4 INTs).  Let's see the gamecocks improve this mark by forcing Vandy to hurt their chances today.  I want to see the gamecocks get a forced fumble or get a INT.  The flip side is the Spurrier lead Offense does not need to do anything to aid Vandy in their quest to make it 3 in a row.

5. "Fire in the belly" ---  I really want to see a complete game from USC in 2009, where the offense is playing great and the defense is playing great.  I think they need to play with emotion, balls to the wall, knock somebody around, get fired up and close the deal.  Come out to "2001" with fire and let that guide them in the 1st half to a big lead so the second half can be easy on us fans watching.  I don't want to have to depend on the right 2nd half adjustments to secure a win.  Let's win this in the 1st half with "fire in the belly" play.


Also visit our pal Garnet & Black Attack - HERE - and read his thoughts on the game today.

{photo credit - Berry from The State paper}

A Gamecocks win over Vandy would.......

As LOHD has stated the Vandy game today is very important and the 'cocks should win today as noted in our preview but what else does the game mean?
  • It would snap a 2 game losing streak to the Commodores; Spurrier is 14-2 vs Vandy and has lost the last 2 which would be a streak he wants to end
  • Set a school record with 5 straight wins over SEC opponents as Willy B
  • Be the 7th consecutive victory for USC at Willy B, dating back to the UT game last season
  • Gurantee at least a .500 regular season record for the 6th straight year
  • Pull coach Spurrier ahead of Lou Holtz with his 34th career win at USC
  • Give Spurrier win # 105 in the SEC conference, thus tying him with Vince Dooley all time.  Put him behind Bryant (159) and John Vaught (106).
  • USC QB Garcia needs 192 yds passing today to move into the top 15 all time in career passing yds in USC history

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gamecocks vs Vanderbilt Football Preview

The 23rd-ranked Gamecocks (5-2, 2-2 SEC) host the struggling Commodores (2-5, 0-4) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (ESPNU). Oddsmakers have installed USC as roughly a 12-point favorite, although that has meant little the past two seasons, when the Gamecocks also were favored to win. This game is very important to the gamecocks in 2009 (as it was in year’s past) due to the fact that the gamecocks desire to avoid another late season collapse and finish strong.

The Commodores are coming off a loss to Georgia for their fourth straight SEC loss of the season. Vanderbilt remains winless in the conference and is looking at USC to help correct their woes. Vandy’s wins have come against Western Carolina and Rice, and they have a non-conference loss at Army to go with a 0-4 start in the league. They’ve scored 29 points in four SEC games….ouch. This is a game that Carolina can not, repeat, can not overlook.

Carolina comes into this match up still hurting from the shock last year that Vanderbilt gave South Carolina in a 24-17 Comm-y win in Nashville for their second consecutive win over the Gamecocks. Plus they played a good game vs Bama last week so it is important their heads be in this game.

South Carolina leads the overall series 14-4 but Vandy has won the last two; in most SEC games lately past records don’t matter and this game is no different, it is up to which team wants it more.

Spurrier has said this Commodores team isn’t all that different than this year’s Gamecocks: Got a strong defense and a struggling offense.

Vandy Offense v Carolina Defense --- Vanderbilt is last in scoring offense (17.6 points a game) and second to last in total offense (330.1 yards a game) in SEC play. The Commodores are among the worst teams nationally in pass offense (150.6 yards a game) to boot. The Commodores have actually run the ball well, as they have gained 179.6 ypg at a clip of 4.3 ypc with 10 touchdowns. The passing game has been a different story; Vanderbilt has the nation's 112th-ranked passing offense. QB Larry Smith has completed only 45.8 percent of his passes for 967 yards with some INTs to go with a handful of TDs. Tailback Warren Norman leads the ground attack with 450 yards and three touchdowns, and there are several other backs that have made positive contributions in the running game. This means that one of the keys to the game for a Carolina win is the ability for USC to slow/stop the running game of Vandy. Force the Vandy QB to beat them. If he does throw it will be to his main guys - John Cole 19 rec for 200 yds; Udom Umoh 15 rec for 190 yds, 1 TD; Brandon Barden 14 rec for 160 yds, 1 TD. The strength of the Vandy team is the offensive line -the line is anchored by a huge right guard, Eric Hensley (6-6 / 322). Good news Carolina on that….Vanderbilt is dealing with injuries on the line this week. Thomas Welch (6-7 / 310), a senior tackle, is reported as questionable with a sprained ankle. If Welch cannot play, the Commodores will play Ryan Seymore (6-5 / 294), a redshirt freshman. The starting tight end, Austin Monahan (6-7 / 255), has been lost for the season.

South Carolina is fourth in total defense (291.1) and third in pass defense (142.6). This unit will need to step up on Saturday and be ready. The gamecocks front line will again be tested but they have seen the best and are ready. The fact that South Carolina is only allowing 18.6 ppg speaks to the strength of the defense. With 15 sacks and 14 takeaways, the Gamecocks have made a fair number of big plays. Norwood is the program's all- time sacks leader, and he has six to his credit this year. The big man is tied for the team lead with 44 tackles and has blocked a pair of kicks, proving to be one of the nation's truly elite defenders. Again Ellis Johnson’s boys will have to be ready and the main thing is STOP THE RUN!

USC Offense v Vandy Defense --- USC is 10th in scoring offense (24.3) and eighth in total offense (357.1). USC will try to bring a balanced attack to this game with a mix of running and passing. Garcia has completed 57.6 percent of his passes for 1,482 yards and nine touchdowns with only four interceptions. The quarterback has a sore knee, but he is expected to be on the field this weekend. Moe Brown is out but look for Alshon and Barnes to pick up slack. I foresee a renewed focus on running the ball from the Carolina side with their 3 backs – Giles, Miles and Maddox. Like most Carolina games this year, offense success depends on whether Carolina can not harm its own chances. No dumb penalties or turnovers is a recipe for success.

Vandy's defense has been its strength. Despite their 2-5 record, the Commodores are third nationally in pass defense (133.6 yards) and 24th in total defense (304.1 yards). While the Vanderbilt offense has struggled, the team's defense has played quite well, limiting opponents to 18.3 ppg and 304.1 total ypg. The Commodores have been particularly tough against the pass, holding opponents to 9.5 yards per completion with six touchdowns against nine interceptions. Vanderbilt’s hanging on in the secondary, even though cornerback and South Carolina native D.J. Moore left early for the NFL and All-SEC candidate Ryan Hamilton is out for the season with an injury. Chris Marve leads Vandy with 65 total tackles, and Myron Lewis has three interceptions. Fifth-year senior defensive end Broderick Stewart and senior outside linebacker Patrick Benoist have given the Gamecocks fits the past couple of years. Only 33 percent of third down conversion attempts have been successful against the 'Dores.

Boils down to the Gamecocks ability to control the trenches and the possibility of playing a complete game, something they have not done all year. Spurrier will need the offense to come out hungry and ready to knock people off the ball to have success running the ball but Vandy will be trying to do the same. The Carolina defense will have to rise to the occasion again and slow the running attack of Vandy. USC qb Garcia will have to have success connecting downfield and not put the Gamecocks in trouble. Seems on paper that this game is going to be a cake walk for Carolina but Vandy always plays tough and this could prove to be just that type of game. I feel Carolina will come out strong and ready to get some revenge but it will be not so pretty in the making of a victory, no more "Vandy WTFs." Look for Carolina to again make the right halftime adjustments and get that sixth win. I could see a score ending up to be 24-10 in favor of Carolina.

USC Baseball Gets Two

Coach Tanner gets two more for 2010 and this time it is a pair of JUCO pitchers. 
Sophomores LHP Bryan Harper (6-5 195) and RHP Donn Roach (6-1 180) of College of Southern Nevada JC pledged to be a gamecock.

Per Phil Kornbult -

"Both are natives of Las Vegas. Harper pitched last season for Cal State Northridge. He appeared in 16 games, starting six, and had a 0-4 record with a 6.68 ERA. In 32.1 innings, Harper walked 22 and struck 15. Teams batted .351 agaInst him. Harper was drafted in 2008 by Washington in the 31st round. He's the brother of highly regarded catcher Bryce Harper who is a freshman at Southern Nevada and is expected to be one of the top picks in this summer's draft. Roach played last season at Arizona before transfering to the junior college. He appeared in 20 games, starting seven, and was 1-4 with a 7.84 ERA. Roach worked 41.1 innings striking out 22 and walking 22, and teams batted .327 against him. Baseball American named Roach one of the nation's top 50 seniors in 2008 when he was 9-1 with a 1.73 ERA. He was drafted by the Angels in the 40th round that summer."
This is great for Tanner and USC as help in the "arms" department is much needed going into 2010.  I look forward to seeing these two guys winning some games for Carolina in the SEC.  Welcome and just behave in five points please.

Norwood in the hunt for Lott Trophy

USC linebacker Eric Norwood is a quarterfinalist for the annual Lott Trophy, it was announced recently.

Also, Norwood was named to Phil Steele's 2009 midseason first-team All-America squad and has been named to the first-team Midseason All-America Team by the Sporting News.

Norwood has his name in the hunt for most awards now - here and here .

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vandy Discussion with ABG

Our blogging pal over at "Anything but Gatorade" asked us a few questions with the Vandy game coming up that we have already deemed "muy importante." 

Below is my responses to his questions and he has this posted on his site also.....

1. Prior to (and during) the season, a lot of people thought Spurrier was either on the hot seat or just ready to hang it up. Any developments on that front?

-The pitchforks have been placed back in the barns and all is calm on the Western Front with respect to this notion of firing a coaching legend. Spurrier has worked his tail off to turn around what Lou Holtz left him (i.e. not much). He has put together two Top 15 recruiting classes in the last 3 years and the next one looks just as good. It has taken him time and maybe more time to right the ship that most envisioned but it has turned. It is a “New Carolina” that is gaining more and more respect along with a new team attitude. I feel the future is bright but the fans must realize it is a work in progress with few missing elements to what could turn out to be Spurrier’s masterpiece.

2. Are Stephen Garcia and Matthew McConnaughey the same person? They've never been seen in the same room together. Oh, and what do you think of Garcia's performance so far this year?

-Stephen early on in his young Carolina QB-ing career had resemblances of Matthew with that care-free attitude but it seems the young Garcia has grown up in front of our eyes in 2009. Garcia has taken the keys to the offense and done the best he can do. He has turned over the ball less, managed the offense and seems to be a fade route and INT vs. Bama away from leaving his finger prints on a SEC upset. Keep in mind, Spurrier recruited this kid hard to come to Carolina and it seems we are beginning to see why.

3. Vanderbilt has been absolutely decimated by injuries this year. Who's the guy (aside from the latest Norwood linebacker) that our wobbly-kneed offensive linemen need to watch out for so their careers don't all end on Saturday?

-Junior defensive end Cliff Matthews in my opinion is having a great 2009 in the shadows of Norwood. He has 28 tackles, 7 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles, 2 pass deflections, 3 fumbles recovered and 4 sacks. Opposing offenses must know where he is because he can hurt ya if Norwood doesn’t get to it first.

4. About how many visors do you think the Ball Coach goes through in a season? I always imagined he was like Mariah Carey, requiring brand new tennis shoes, pleated khakis, and a brand new visor before every game.

-The Ol’ Ball Coach has become a little more reserved at Carolina. Some may say that Carolina has gotten his ego in check so he doesn’t throw the visor as much as he use too. I think now it takes more for Spurrier to throw it but don’t get me wrong he still has a winning spirit that is tremendously competitive. I hope Vandy gives him no reason to cast the visor in the air even once on Saturday.

5. Feeling slighted about being picked fourth in the East in basketball this year?

-No love for the Carolina boys. No respect for Horn and Crew. I think Carolina will shock some teams and finish higher than 4th. Not saying they will win the East but they will make a few games worth watching as the 09-10 team is more balanced and has depth. The incoming recruiting class will complement Devan Downey and his game well. Horn, given time, will build Carolina into a nice basketball program.

thoughts?  Also please go visit him ABG when you get a chance....

SEC makes move to correct bad officiating

I saw the news flash yesterday come out that the SEC has suspended the offciating crew that worked the Arkansas/ Florida game as well as the LSU/UGA game a couple weeks back. The SEC has been taking a lot of heat from the media about blown calls to keep Alabama and Florida ranked so high in the polls. There are a couple of conspiracy theory's out there. Such as the SEC tells the officials to help the high rank teams if they are having a bad game, so that at the end of the year the SEC will get two teams in the BCS. More money for the league, which is the name of the game.

Thoughts and options on this matter. I personally have always had a problem with the SEC officiating ever since the Alabama game back in 2001 when the referee would call USC "North Carolina" every time a penalty was called on the Gamecocks. No excuse

By Tom Dienhart Oct 21, 12:59 pm EDT

Buzz up!

The SEC has suspended the officiating crew that worked the Arkansas at Florida game Oct. 17, the league announced.

The crew will be removed from its next scheduled assignment, which was on Oct. 31, and will return Nov. 14.

“A series of calls that have occurred during the last several weeks have not been to the standard that we expect from our officiating crews,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. “I believe our officiating program is the best in the country, however, there are times when these actions must be taken.”

Florida won the game 23-20 on a last-second field goal to remain unbeaten. The Gators also were No. 1 in the first BCS standings.

“While only a few calls have been identified, the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play,” Slive said. “I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program. Our institutions expect the highest level of officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference office to uphold that expectation.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do you agree with ESPN's Chris Low on USC?

Below is what he wrote today trying to forecast the way South Carolina will finish....

Second-half outlook: South Carolina

October 21, 2009 4:54 PM
Posted by's Chris Low

Here South Carolina is again, positioned nicely for a successful season if only the Gamecocks can deliver in October and November. So far under Steve Spurrier, they really haven’t been able to. They ended last season by losing three in a row and dropped five in a row to end the 2007 season. The back half of the schedule is always a little more difficult for South Carolina, but Spurrier also thinks the attitude of this team is much better than it’s been the last couple of years. The first thing the Gamecocks have to do is beat Vanderbilt this Saturday. The Commodores have won the last two years. Then comes road games at Tennessee and Arkansas followed by Florida’s visit to Columbia. The Gamecocks end the season with in-state rival Clemson every year. They can’t afford any more injuries on defense, and sophomore quarterback Stephen Garcia needs to keep improving. But it’s all out there in front of the Gamecocks.

Best-case scenario: Garcia and freshman Alshon Jeffery continue hooking up in the passing game, and the defense plays its best football down the stretch to lead South Carolina to a 9-3 finish and a date in the Capital One Bowl.

Worst-case scenario: The Gamecocks fall victim to their familiar late-season slide and lose their last four games to finish 6-6, which wouldn’t necessarily guarantee them a bowl game.

Prediction: No more disappearing acts. The Gamecocks finish up 8-4 and give a much better accounting of themselves in a return trip to the Outback Bowl.

So what is your prediction?

Mack Brown

This is my quote of the week. Mack Brown talking about how the Red River Shootout played out on Saturday.

"Yes, I think it's humorous after 12 years here and I kind of grew up in the SEC if our game had been in the SEC Saturday, they would have said what a great, tough SEC game. This is the way they win down here - they run the ball, they play defense. In the Big 12 they say that's sloppy. I can't believe that's sloppy. So we're all spread offense and it's not a tough....."

Vandy - Muy Importante

The 23rd-ranked Gamecocks (5-2, 2-2 SEC) host the struggling Commodores (2-5, 0-4) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (ESPNU).

The upcoming game with Vandy is muy importante for the gamecocks in 2009.  SC is rebounding from what could have easily gone a different way with Alabama and Vandy is not the Vandy of old (actually maybe more of the old just not like the last 2 years).  A win versus Vandy is tremendously important for the Gamecocks season to accomplish the goals set forth at the beginning and to continue to have a good SEC season.  A loss - well, not a option.

South Carolina has been bitten by late season collapses the last two years and enough is enough regarding that issue.  Gamecock fans can not stomach another one.

USC DL Ladi Ajiboye says it best when he says....."They're a good team that you can't take lightly; We took them lightly the past two years."

South Carolina appears to be in better shape to avoid another collapse this year, but the schedule is difficult. After Saturday's game, the Gamecocks play consecutive road games at Tennessee and at Arkansas before returning home to face Florida and Clemson.  That's why South Carolina can't afford to come out flat against a 2-5 Commodore team desperately trying to right the ship.  A good season and a good bowl trip is on the line.  So man up Carolina and be ready to get him in the mouth but be even more ready to respond with heart and force in order to get a 'W.'

South Carolina 14, Vanderbilt 4. Last meeting: The Commodores beat the Gamecocks 24-17 last year in Nashville.

For more info from the Vandy Side, please visit our blogging pals at:
Save the Shield! A Vanderbilt sports blog
Vanderbilt Sports Line

Gamecocks Clippings / Mid-Week News in Review

Here is a sample of Gamecock news for ya...

USC Football
USC Basketball
SEC basketball rising up
SEC Basketball Preseason Rankings / Preseason All-SEC Teams

SEC Power Poll
Results are in over a TSK - HERE

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SEC Basketball Preseason Rankings / Preseason All-SEC Teams

A panel of SEC and national media members have spoken and they say UK in the East and MSU in the West.  Also give Devan Downey some love.

The Wildcats received 20 first place votes of the 25 available. Mississippi State received three and Tennessee the other two.

The predicted order of finish by division was as follows (with total points listed beside each school).

SEC East
1. Kentucky (148 points, 23 first place votes for division title)
2. Tennessee (117 points, 2 first place votes)
3. Vanderbilt (90 points)
4. South Carolina (77 points)
5. Florida (68 points)
6. Georgia (25 points)

SEC West
1. Mississippi State (144 points, 22 first place votes for division title)
2. Ole Miss (120 points, 2 first place votes)
3. Alabama (84 points)
4. LSU (70 points, 1 first place vote)
5. Arkansas (63 points)
6. Auburn (44 points)

The media panel also selected Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson (left) as the preseason SEC Player of the Year.

The preseason All-SEC teams are as follows.....

First Team
Devan Downey, G, South Carolina
Patrick Patterson, F, Kentucky
Tyler Smith, F, Tennessee
Jarvis Varnado, F, Mississippi State
Terrico White, G, Ole Miss

Second Team
Tasmin Mitchell, F, LSU
AJ Ogilvy, C, Vanderbilt
DeWayne Reed, G, Auburn
John Wall, G, Kentucky
Chris Warren, G, Ole Miss

Also some news...
  •’s Gary Parrish looks at the top PGs in the country and Mr. Downey is listed as 4th.
  • previews the top 144 teams and has the Gamecocks at 30th.

Vandy News from some Gamecock eyes

Here is some Vandy News leading up to the Carolina showdown...
Also, running back Jermaine Doster has officially been booted from the university following his arrest last week.

Interesting Stats...

The Commodores  rank No. 110 in the NCAA and last in the Southeastern Conference in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game.  When you look at their 0-4 SEC start, they have averaged just over 7 points a game after managing 10 points against Georgia in a 24-point loss.

USC TE Saunders on Mackey Award List

It was announced on Oct. 19th that the 6 foot 5 inch 280lbs USC TE Weslye Saunders is one of 22 players on the midseason watch list for the Mackey Award. 

The John Mackey Award, established in 2001, is awarded annually to the most outstanding Tight End in Division I-A college football. In addition to demonstrating outstanding athletic prowess on the field, the award also stands for positive sportsmanship-like behavior, good academic standing & exceptional leadership abilities.

Saunders is currently third on the squad with 17 catches for 194 yards, an average of 11.4 yards per catch.

More dealing with the Gamecock Camo Story

Here is yet another drawing/pic/rendering- Courtsey of SNEAD303...view the others HERE and HERE and read the story -

SEC Power Poll - LOHD Ballot

Week 7 ballot....

1. ALABAMA - Winning old school - defense and strong running.

2. FLORIDA - They haven't lost, but they haven't really "won" every game they've played either.

3. LSU - Letting 'Bama get all the headlines but taking notes on how to still their glory.

4. SOUTH CAROLINA - Still looking to play a complete game and avoid a let down to Vandy.

5. ARKANSAS - The best 3 win team in the country.

6. OLE MISS - I sense a Ole Miss run coming up...

7. TENNESSEE - This is the hardest team to figure out right now. They can muster some more wins but also could lose the rest too.

8. AUBURN - Auburn is the surprise in the SEC but they got surprised by UK.

9. GEORGIA - This dawg has lost its' bite in '09.

10. KENTUCKY - Beat Auburn but basketball has started.

11. MISSISSIPPI STATE - State is much improved but still about 3 years away from making true noise in SEC West.

12. VANDERBILT - Vandy is getting comfortable down here but still looking to surprise someone and hopefully not USC.


Actual Photos of Gamecocks Camo Gear

More, actually, photos of the gamecock camo gear...

Photo Credit - Travis Haney of Post & Courier and you can follow him
via Twitter at - @gamecocksblog

Pic of Gamecocks 'Camo' Gear

credit - jeffjmanning

.....see earlier post also - HERE

USC v UF - A "Camo Game?"


Under Armour has partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project organization to support its efforts to help wounded veterans. The University of Maryland and the University of South Carolina will both host Wounded Warrior games on the weekend of 11-14.  The teams will be wearing special camo uniforms and the coaches and sideline staff will be wearing special Wounded Warrior product.  The camo uniforms will still be regular black, with camo on the sleeves, a little bit on the numbers, and camo shoes.  In addition, the names on the jerseys will be removed and replaced with core values of the Wounded Warrior Project – words such as “Courage” and “Strength.”

Under Armour is putting a significant marketing effort behind both of these games and the entire project.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides services and programs for injured military men and women.

I think this is a great idea and look forward to seeing the gamecocks decked out in Camo gear.....will the fans being wearing it also?

LOHD Heisman Watch

In no special order these are the guys leading the heisman talk....

Tim Tebow, Florida quarterback
Season: 72 of 110 for 1,032 yards and 8 touchdowns, with two INTs. He has also rushed for five scores.

Tony Pike, Cincinnati quarterback
Season: 128 of 199 for 1,633 yards and 15 touchdowns, with three INTs. He has also rushed for two scores.

Case Keenum, Houston quarterback
Season: 213 of 305 passing for 2,464 yards, 19 touchdowns and 4 INTs. He has also rushed for three scores.

Mark Ingram, Alabama tailback
Season: 135 carries for 905 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also has 19 catches, 3 of them for touchdowns.

Kellen Moore, Boise State quarterback
Season: 114 of 165 passing for 1,404 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 2 INTS

Monday, October 19, 2009

Crimson Tide v Gamecocks Post-Game Reflections

Again, we here at LOHD like to wait at least a day to let the win or loss soak in before giving some feedback on the past game.

I is amazing about the loss to Bama is you will rarely see a team win the turnover battle, time of possession battle and field position battle and still lose by 2 TDs. You can’t create 4 turnovers and score zero points off those turnovers and still expect to win. The Gamecocks had opportunities to put Bama away time and time again and couldn’t capitalize.  We had great chance but just could not pull it out.

The Gamecocks were just overmatched at the point of attack. South Carolina did a good job hanging in there for much of the game but ultimately the battle in the trenches simply proved too much. That said, give USC a lot of credit for hanging tough.  BUT "hanging tough" does not get you much - just look at the New Kids on the Block.

LOHD "Hot Dog Hero" of the game
LB Shaq Wilson -- Since moving into the starting lineup in place of injured Rodney Paulk, Wilson leading up to this last game had been criticized for poor tackling and decisions, but the sophomore was solid against the Crimson Tide. His 11 tackles tied S Chris Culliver for team-high honors. Wilson added 1 1/2 tackles for loss and an interception during the best performance of his career.

Chew on this....
  • The Gamecock defense finished the game with four turnovers, doubling Alabama’s season total.
  • The 20-point output for the Tide was their lowest of the season.
  • Alabama finished with only 92 yards receiving – the second-lowest output for an opposing team against the Gamecocks this year.
3 Areas to Focus on in Practice from the LOHD Coaching Box
  • The offensive line, which has been shuffled nearly every game this season, was overmatched against Alabama's front. QB Stephen Garcia was under constant pressure and was sacked five times.  I know it is a rotating line-up from week to week and "who is on first" but somehow this group needs to man up going forward.
  • The running game, which ranked dead last in the SEC the past two seasons, is improved but still is in need of being a constant threat. Carolina managed only 64 yards on the ground, but that's against the top-ranked defense in the nation.  Running the ball has to get better.  I know Bama had a great D but I want to see a better running attack...maybe this goes back to point #1.
  • Play Calling in the Red Zone, I love ya Spurrier and you are smarter than me in this category but seriously - why so many fade routes after they were not working?  Something tells me this guy does not take "no" very good.
Next up....
#23 South Carolina (5-2, 2-2 SEC) hosts Vanderbilt (2-5, 0-4) on Saturday.

SEC Slate of Games for Oct. 24th

Arkansas at Ole Miss — 12:21pm
ESPN Syndicated Regional Package

Tennessee at Alabama — 3:30pm

Vanderbilt at South Carolina — 7:00pm

Louisiana-Monroe at Kentucky — 7:00pm
Fox Sports Network

Auburn at LSU — 7:30pm

Florida at Mississippi State — 7:30pm

Tennessee gametime set

USC will square off against Lane Kiffen and the tennessee volunteers in Knoxville on October 31, at 7:45 on ESPN per the

Ten questions for last weeks college football?

1.) Does a undefeated, Boise State, TCU or Cincinnati deserve to play in the national championship?

2.) Will the national media consider the Notre Dame lose to Southern Cal a moral victory for Coach Charlie?

3.) Is Arkansas’s offense the best in the SEC?

4.) Is there really a possibility that John Gruden will leave the booth for the Louisville Cardinals job?

5.) Best running back in the Country?

6.) Which game is more over rated, Red River shootout or Michigan/Ohio State?

7.) If you had to rank the top 10 QB’s in the country, would Terrelle Pryor be in your top 10?

8.) Would you rather have your team be blown out or lose at the last second of a game?

9.) Are you worried that Clemson has found life after it destroyed Wake Forest on Saturday?

10.) If you could move one team from their current conference to the SEC which team would it be and why?

Former Gamecock Sidney Rice has career day yesterday

Former Gamecock WR Sidney Rice aided his Vikings to a 33-31 win vs the Ravens yesterday. 

The Gamecock finished with his best day thus far in 2009 and the best day of his 3 year NFL career. 

The Sidney show was highlighted by the 58-yard reception that put Longwell in position to hit a FG that turned out to be the game-winning score. In the 3rd quarter, Rice also had a 63-yard reception that led to a Longwell FG that extended the Vikings lead to 20-10.

In total for the day, Rice had 6 receptions for 176 yards.

Make sure to check out his blog - sidneyrice18
& make sure to follow him on Twitter - @sidneyrice

Wow to Go Sidney...keep it up!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mumme Poll Ballot - Week 7

The ballot is below. Again, the Mummepoll requires you to rank the top five teams and then just select, in any order, the next seven. This intent is for a more original polling format.

1. Florida

Survive and advance. Not all that pretty but still undefeated.

2. Alabama

See above.

3. Texas

Best win is over a .500 team, but that team was Oklahoma.

4. Georgia Tech

Beat Virginia Tech, take their place.

5. Southern Cal

Couldn’t put Notre Dame away when they were up 20, but repeatedly held off the Irish in the face of questionable officiating.


No reason to drop them for an idle week.


See above


Not the best strength of schedule, but they keep winning.


See above.

Boise State

See Cincinnati


Another second tier Florida team, another easy win.

Virginia Tech

Losses to Georgia Tech and Alabama. How many teams could beat either of those two?

Arguments, Comments, Quibbles?

Gamecocks #23

South Carolina moved down a spot in this week's Associated Press top 25, with Alabama moving up -- to No. 1. 

South Carolina (5-2) fell one spot from last week after a loss to Bama by the score of 20-6.

Florida remained No. 1 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, where USC is also No. 23.

SC also showed up #24 in BCS standings which, well, does not get ya much but still nice to be ranked in that poll due to all the factors that go into it.


Gamecock Clippings / Weekend News in Review

Selected news on gamecocks sports...

USC Football
Gamecocks Men's basketball
Gamecocks Back On the Court For Saturday Workout

Women's Soccer
No. 5 Gamecocks Earn Third Straight Win Over Tennessee, 2-1

---Spurrier said suspended DB Akeem Auguste would be available for Saturday's game with Vanderbilt. Also expected back is running back Jarvis Giles, who also was suspended.