Saturday, November 14, 2009
#1 Carolina must score first or score very early --- They need this to happen to help with their confidence. If they allow UF to issue the punch then they have to talk it and respond. I would love to see Carolina score first as it will be a dose of some much needed energy.
#2 UF has to produce TOs and USC must take advantage --- USC needs all the help they can get and it will need to be UF hurting themselves to aid Carolina on to victory. SC Secondary has to be ready to play b/c UF can strike deep.
#3 3rd downs --- Simple, USC must have success on 3rd down conversions and on the other side of the ball must stop UF on 3rd downs. Seems the last few games USC has not had the success they need on 3rd down and for Carolina to have a chance in this game then they must. In their last game in 2008, UF held Carolina to 1 of 15 on 3rd downs...ouch.
#4 SC D --- enough said on this one as the Carolina D has to come to play and has to shut down the Tebow lead Gators. Stop the dive play please.
#5 Help from the heavens and/or luck and/or Refs --- for once can the Carolina Gamecocks win the football lottery and defeat a #1. It is going to take some extra help from someplace as the mighty gators are unbeaten for a reason.
Tough 5 keys today kids but there is a chance.
Please hop over to http://www.garnetandblackattack.com/ closer to game time as he will have up a open forum for those not able to go to the game. I will be there and will try to "tweet" some thoughts so follow LOHD on Twitter and I will try to get some pics so make sure you are a Fan of LOHD on Facebook.
So there you have it....now it is gameday and what are you thinking? What is your score prediction today?
Friday, November 13, 2009
So how will this game play out? Will Spurrier get his second win vs UF? I am torn with this game b/c I feel Carolina can win the game but the numbers don't add up. I have read other previews and most say Carolina does not have a chance but something tells me they do. Of course, Carolina needs UF to do all the wrong things from TOs to mental errors. Also it will take divine intervention for SC to get the 'W.' But again something tells me there is a chance.
Take a look at the stats -
UF Offensive Stats
Points Per Game: 35
Yardage Per Game: 438.67 (198 passing, 240.67 rushing)
Turnovers: 13 (9 fumbles, 4 interceptions)
UF Defensive Stats
Points Allowed Per Game: 10.1
Yardage Allowed Per Game: 232.4 (134.4 passing, 98 rushing)
Turnovers Forced: 18 (12 fumbles, 6 interceptions)
USC can not let those stats get to their heads as this game is a classic trap game for UF. Carolina is home, which they have won 7 straight. UF on the road and every road game in the SEC is tough. UF has already wrapped up the SEC crown so will they be overlooking SC? I sure hope so. As I sit in section 301 Saturday, I will be praying for the stars to align.
My prediction is this - Carolina
Will I be right? Or is it more logical to say UF takes care of business and USC just can not hang with the Gators and end up losing 34-17? I have a feeling this will be a better game than most think.
Here is Gators First responses to my questions, which can also be seen on his blog HERE ----
Leftover Hotdog (LOHD): Knowing that Carolina has lost two heartbreakin' losses in a row now, what are your general thoughts about Saturday...does Carolina have a chance to upset UF?
James Brown, Gators First (G1): If you would have asked me this question a few weeks ago- after watching Crompton turn his life around against the UGA defense- I would have told you that the Gamecocks had the best chance to knock us off (pre-Atlanta) of any team outside of LSU. And even then, edge to South Carolina because of our bye week before the LSU game (though Vanderbilt week is close to a bye). I think Garcia-to-Jeffrey could be the most lethal combo in the SEC. So I, at least at some point this season, had that level of respect for South Carolina.
After the way the last two weeks have gone, I now will rest much easier Friday night. I also think we are pretty much on cruise control, content to let our defense do it’s thing, and let the offense grind out 24-point victories for the national media to deem “unimpressive”. Whatever. I don’t see any reason not to expect more of the same this weekend. I would like to stress my optimism for this weekend is a reflection of the confidence I have in our team- though it doesn’t hurt that the Gamecocks aren’t what you’d call “hot” right now.
LOHD: Sell me on Tim Tebow for Heisman in 2009. What are his chances?
G1: To say his chances are anything but “excellent” is not really being honest. He’s the best player on the best team in the country. He certainly is a name Heisman voters will know and be comfortable with. He leads most “real” Heisman polls I’ve seen this week as well. So his chances are excellent.
As far as selling you on him- I’m not sure what more anyone needs to see. He doesn’t have his 2007 stats- but no one did before, and no one has since. Like it or not, the Heisman does have a “career” factor to it- a reason why it wasn’t until Tebow’s astronomical 2007 numbers that a sophomore took it home. He’s the SEC’s leader in career rushing TDs- as a freaking QUARTERBACK.
Then there’s the leadership point of view. He returned from a concussion to lead us to a victory in our biggest game of the year (on the road, at night, with whatever 30+-game winning streak LSU had going in Baton Rouge). He put us on his back and carried us to a come-from-behind win vs. Arkansas. Without him, we are not undefeated right now.
In a year so many are quick to call “disappointing” and “unimpressive” he’s 8th in pass efficiency among FBS teams, and the 3rd-leading rusher among QBs in BCS leagues. Our offense is 7th in FBS in pass efficiency and 8th in rushing. He has stats that total less than Colt McCoy’s- but he throws the ball 20 times per game, not 50. The most important stats: we’re 9-0 and #1.
In an argument to appeal more directly to you, he did run for those 5 TDs last time he was in Columbia. That should sell him to any and all Gamecocks, no?
LOHD: Do the UF faithful fans still hold Coach Spurrier near and dear to their hearts or is he just a distant memory now?
G1: I wrote about this extensively in 2007, when our site was still new and I still had a terrible fear of facing him every year (and I was even worse at writing than I am now). Now, I’m comfortable with playing him, mainly because we always seem to face him in the middle of the late season Gamecock swoon.
I still love the guy. I miss watching passing plays where the goal was to get someone WIDE OPEN and not just into a “mismatch” or “one-on-one coverage”. I miss throwing the ball on something other than a bubble screen, shovel pass, or just bombing it 40 yards down the field. I sort of miss the time he punted on 3rd down. I definitely miss “God smiled on the Gators”. I miss bringing in the backup quarterback extremely early in games- and letting him throw. I miss the 1995 SEC Championship game, where he faked a Wuerffel injury to let Eric Kresser throw a deep touchdown pass. I miss the Emory and Henry. So I’d say he’s quite dear to my heart.
As far as Gator fans as a whole- unless you’re talking about someone who only recently went to the school and “became a Gator” that way, who wouldn’t have seen a single game from the Spurrier era- I’d expect we all hold him very dear in our hearts. If the early-to-mid 80s taught us that real success was possible at Florida, Spurrier was the one who actually brought us there- to a place that we now see as our rightful place in the national college football scene.
LOHD: Are the rumors or chances for Urban Meyer to leave UF and head to Notre Dame even remotely close?
G1: Nope. He could go to the NFL. And even then, it’d have to be a premier job, not like the Rams or Raiders or some other job like that. Any other job seems like a lateral move, at best, and considering we’re discussing the possibility of 3 BCS Titles in 4 years, it’s not like he needs to go somewhere else to find a better situation to be successful.
LOHD: Give your thoughts to the Post-Tim Tebow 2010 College Football chances for UF. What will America do- much less UF- without the golden boy?
G1: Johnny Brantley was a highly touted recruit, and now has many years of coaching under his belt. The numbers Tebow put up his first year as a starter are staggering, and won’t be duplicated. But Brantley will have every opportunity to succeed; we won’t all of a sudden lose to USF or something. So UF will be fine.
In fact, I think with the seniors (and probably juniors) Florida will lose for 2010, the continued fall from grace of Mark Richt, the talent departing Knoxville, and Spurrier finally finding a QB in Columbia, the HBC will easily have his best shot at an SEC East title next season. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re still the preseason favorite, based on returning talent on defense, along the offensive lines, and our 9,000-headed running back monster. But I’m saying you wouldn’t be crazy for picking the Gamecocks. I expect almost everyone will pick Alabama for the preseason SEC title in 2010.
As far as what America will do without Tim Tebow- America will always have Tim Tebow. He won’t be going away just because he’s moving onto that less-fun league on Sundays. I actually think we haven’t seen the peak of Tebow-mania yet, just wait until he makes the NFL combine his own personal workout video. It’s unfortunate that the current sports media trend is to detract from great stories, because I could make an honest argument that Tim Tebow is underrated.
Here is LOHD responses to Gators First Questions ---
James Brown, Gators First (G1): It seems like the last several seasons for South Carolina have begun with a dangerous-looking, possibly contending Gamecock team, followed by extended losing streaks late in the season- what gives?
Leftover Hotdog (LOHD): It has been highly frustrating the last few years to watch the team decline after getting out the gate strong. A lot of it has to do with the schedule each year as it is loaded at the back end with tough teams. This year is much the same.
(G1): What year-to-year expectations to South Carolina fans have for their teams? In other words, what do you feel is your “rightful place” in the SEC East standings, and national rankings?
(LOHD): Well, each year the gamecock fans want/desire to see progression being made from the Carolina team. I mean we have Spurrier right? But it seems each of the past few seasons 6 to 7 wins is best we can do which causes frustration from the gamecock fans. We desire to be in the mix for the SEC East each year but again we start out strong and fade towards the end. Also it does not help to play in the toughest conference and maybe one of the toughest divisions. I still feel the best years are ahead for USC as Spurrier has done a great job recruiting and this '09 team is very young.
(G1): Considering the SEC East Division Title has already been clinched by the Gators, what does the returning talent for 2010 look like? Is the returning talent enough to keep Steve off the golf course for a few more months?
(LOHD): This years team has only 6 seniors and the majority is made of freshman and sophmores so the best is yet to come. Spurrier has signed 2 Top 15 classes in the last 3 years and next years is shaping up to be just as good. That is what gets Spurrier out of bed each day, the fact that the best is just around the corner. I feel Spurrier has one recruiting cycle left in him meaning after this season - 4 yrs.
(G1): More to the point of this week’s game: what do you expect to see from your team? What do you hope to see from your team?
(LOHD): I would love to say that I expect a win from Carolina but I have not drank enough to state that claim. I want this game to be close. Please UF no blow out. If Carolina can keep it close, UF has some turnovers and we get a little help from God then we can win this game. One thing is for sure we have a chance and in college football anything can happen. Our defense is one of the best in the nation despite some late season injuries that has caused some depth issues. Still a good bunch that will do their best to slow the run and stop the pass. On offense I just want to see Garcia have success throwing the ball and we need TDs not FGs. Bottom line we need the game to be close going into the 4th quarter for Spurrier to have a chance to get a win vs Urban.
(G1): Where can South Carolina look for a matchup to exploit on Saturday? What advantages can the Gamecocks use to pull the upset, or at least get the nation’s attention?
(LOHD): I think USC has play perfect on Saturday. Every aspect of the game has to go Carolina's way. I think the USC D can disrupt the UF offense and that is what could give SC a chance. But the flip-side is UF is a very good defensive team that presents numerous challenges. I look to USC WR Alshon Jeffery to have success vs the UF Secondary and actually we need him to so the Carolina Gamecocks can get 6 points.
Gamecock fans get ready for a sea of Orange and blue, as the Florida fans tend to travel pretty well when they play the Gamecocks. A fun game we like to play at tailgating when playing the Gators is to drink every time you see someone wearing jean shorts or a wind breaker. It should be a nice day in Columbia for the 3:30 kick, so expect an assortment of jorts.
I know the UT story is getting a little old, seeing how it only happened yesterday. Unless there is new information on the Prius or the players I will not post anything else about this story. Tennessee might have worn black jersey's against USC on Halloween, but check out what they are wearing this weekend against Ole Miss.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Eric Smith (5’11 180) (Mullins, SC/Christ School)
Smith became the first commitment of the Horn era on August 28th of last year. He could see time at running the point full time at the college level which will mean he will need to develop more of a pass first mentality. This guy can create and score but he will have to develop into the floor leader.
R.J. Slawson (6’8 170) (North Charleston, SC/Fort Dorchester)
The long lanky combo forward is rated as the 82nd best player in the ESPN class of 2010. This guy is versatile but will have to add some pounds to play down low. What sets him apart is his ability to drain a 3 ptr. I can see RJ getting plenty of PT his freshman year due to how he can create a mis-match.
Bruce Ellington (5’10 175) (Moncks Corner, SC/Berkeley)
Downey will be leaving the program after this year and will be missed. Enter Mr. Ellington. Ellington is a stocky built point guard with top of the line speed in the open court and possesses the skills to break down a defense in the half court set. Expect Ellington to make a heavy contribution in the 2010 season and have a chance to earn a starting role at some point.
Brian Richardson (6’4 175) (Wilson, N.C./Greenfield School)
Richardson will come to South Carolina as an underrated prospect who will give the Gamecocks a pure shooter from the outside with the range and accuracy not seen since Jamel Bradley ran the court in the early part of the decade. At 6’4 with a long wing span, Richardson will bring a great dimension on defense as he has good lateral quickness combined with the "lanky-ness" that enables him to cover guards or forwards.
DaMontre Harris (6’9 205) (Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian School)
The gem of the 2010 recruiting class for Horn and the staff. South Carolina beat out other schools such as Wake Forest, Florida, Connecticut and Maryland for the services of the talented athletic big man. Harris possesses the type of athleticism that will allow him to play at the top in Horn’s full court press over top of the ball or he can be used around the basket as a shot blocker. Expect Harris to step in as a starter his sophomore year due to him needing to improve in certain areas and be the type of athletic big man in the middle that Horn loves to have on his team.
Malik Cooke (6’5 200) (Charlotte, NC/Christ School/University of Nevada)
The sixth man in the 2010 recruiting class will end up being current transfer and walk on Cooke who will practice with the team during the 2009-10 season while being ineligible to play. Most sources believe Cooke will then go on scholarship for the 2010-11 season with two more years of eligibility.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- Spurrier says Matthews could return
- Spurrier will call plays again
- Florida's weakness is strong
- Healthy Tebow runs into November schedule
- Sleepwalking Gators could be due for rude awakening
- Meyer praises Spurrier, USC fans
- Players eager to support project
- Spurrier upbeat about his future
- Gamecock standout thinks team can make history
- Gamecocks earn No. 2 seed, face Davidson
- Goal-oriented team is 'back to business'
SEC Power Poll, Week 10
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
For many, this past weekend's loss to Arkansas confirmed their worst fears: the slide that ended the last two seasons was happening again, before their eyes. Although it is the Gamecock's second loss in a row and third out of the last four, all is not lost, and we are not stumbling to the finish. At least, that remains to be seen. That's just the thing: those fans who view our team on a losing streak to end the year are necessarily assuming that we will lose to Florida and Clemson. Without those two losses, you can't really say the team is stumbling to the finish. Could we lose one or both of those games? Sure, will we? Maybe. To assume that those games are already lost, does a disservice to our players and coaches and sets us, as fans, up for a double disappointment. If we do lose those games, not only will the fans have tortured themselves about a skid that hasn't yet materialized, but the fans will feel all the worse if/when it does materialize.
Now, I'm not advocating that we all assume that everything is perfect, nor am I suggesting we be content with a 6-4 record 10 games into the season. I am saying that the sky is not falling. This team was expected to be somewhere between 6-6 and 8-4 depending on who you ask. Before the season Florida and Alabama were assumed losses. A split with Georgia and Ole Miss would be helpful for a good season, but not necessary. Florida Atlantic, South Carolina State, NC State and Kentucky were considered safe wins. With 2/3 of the schedule predicted, prognosticators had the Gamecocks at 5-3 or 4-4 depending on the Ole Miss/Georgia games. The four remaining games were: @ Tennessee, @ Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Clemson. (Vanderbilt couldn't be considered an automatic after the past two years.) The Gamecocks are 1-2 in those games. They won the home game and lost the road games, not uncommon in this conference. They are a little below where we hoped they'd be, but not far, and the good news is: there is still football left to play. I don't think many gamecock fans would consider it a bad season if we won one of the last two games and won our bowl. 8-5 sounds nice to me right now.
So, why did we not win these past two games? Two reasons are Arkansas and Tennessee. Neither is a bad team, neither is playing poorly now, and both play better at home. We don't have to deal with either of these teams again or anymore road games. A second reason is injuries, especially to the defense. Our defense is simply not as good without Chris Culliver and Cliff Matthews in the line-up. Chris will be back this week. Cliff will be back for Clemson. Another reason is the offense's inability to score in the redzone. The offense has moved the ball, but hasn't put the points on the board. This is a problem to be sure, but not a horrible one. Moving the ball and settling for field goals is very close to moving the ball and scoring touchdowns. We may not take that next step, but our offense is only that one step away from putting up big numbers.
I'll say again: step away from the edge; don't jump. You can assume that we will only finish 6-6, and you can lament that fact and feel miserable about the little bit of football season we have left. You could have done that all year. If you want to, fine, you can approach the rest of the season anyway you want to, but consider this: both Clemson and Florida are probably going to play in their conference's championship game. Those games will have a lot riding on them, and our opponents will be thinking about them and preparing for them. That combined with playing at home (where, as Flounder pointed out, we've won 7 in a row) might give the Gamecocks enough of a boost to pull of an upset or two.
Here is how LOHD voted for Week 10 -
- Alabama - SEC West is theirs and done again with old school tactics - strong D and running.
- Florida - Don't look now but UF is clicking again on both sides of the ball, how will they fare vs USC with Spurrier callin plays again?
- LSU - lost a heartbreaker to 'bama but proved they are the 3rd best team in the league.
- Auburn - Ol' Gene the offensive guru has the Tigers winning in new ways.
- Tennessee - All that talkin' Lane did, well now he is backn' it up.
- Georgia - a week off and a cupcake has allowed the 'dawgs to right the ship
- Arkansas - Mallet and crew getting it done.
- South Carolina - Spurrier answers the SOS, now what?
- Ole Miss - hello disappointment meet the Rebels
- Mississippi State - fans beginning to think about next year.
- Kentucky - football is over now for UK as basketball has started.
- Vanderbilt - fighting hard to finish last
Seems Spurrier is ready to address a problem with his cock-n-fire offense since it has not really been that much of a machine as many Carolina fans had dreamed of when he was hired. Steve Jr, we love ya but Ol' Ball Coach you are not.
I was glad to read Chris Low yesterday point out the fact that Spurrier needs to take over the play-callin' from every angle. I know he has been invloved but the "buck needs to begin and end with him" and now it will.
Mr. Low summed it up -
"The Head Ball Coach not calling the plays and just being “involved in the play-calling” would be like Michael Jordan not taking the game-winning shot and instead being the guy who inbounds the ball."
It will be interesting to see how this plays out with UF in town on Saturday as I am sure the media will pump this little factor up. But I am glad of the move as I was critical of the play-callin over the last few weeks. We gain a lot of yards but we can not score the points we need to in order to compete.
ESPN Spin HERE
This is a portable tailgating ice machine. College logod, you can tote this to any tailgate or cookout. No water line needed. Just pour water into it and in ten minutes you have ice! You can simply plug it in to any car outlet. Well worth the $250 bucks because how cool is that to have on those hot days in the fairgrounds!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Lanning, a 5-11, 188-pound junior from Rock Hill, S.C., is 15-for-17 in field goal attempts this season, his first as the Gamecocks' place-kicker. He is 15 of his last 16 attempts, with his only miss coming from 50 yards out against Alabama. Lanning also handles the Gamecocks' punting chores and is on the Ray Guy Award watch list, which goes to the nation's top punter.
I know we don't talk a whole lot of High School football on LOHD, but it is playoff time. Below you will find the first round of the 4A football pairings for the first round. Byrnes looks to be the favorite in the Big 16 or Division 1. South Pointe is defending champions of Division 2 but has a pretty tough road to repeat. Watch out for Rock Hill in Division 1 to give Byrnes a run for there money, and watch out for Irmo in Division 2.
White Knoll (16) at Byrnes (1)
Mauldin (9) at Fort Dorchester (8)
Spartanburg (13) at Rock Hill (4)
Blythewood (12) at Sumter (5)
Lexington (15) at Summerville (2)
Stratford (10) at Gaffney (7)
Hillcrest (14) at Irmo (3)
Clover (11) at Dorman (6)
Aiken (16) at Berkeley (1)
Beaufort (9) at Greenwood (8)
Lancaster (13) at Goose Creek (4)
Conway (12) at North Augusta (5)
S. Florence (15) at Northwestern (2)
T.L. Hanna (10) at Hartsville (7)
James Island (14) at Wren (3)
Richland NE (11) at South Pointe (6)
While we have women's soccer on the brain, congrats Carolina on wining the SEC championship yesterday. Defeating LSU 8-7 in shootout . Not thanks to SECSports.com for there ringing endorsement.
Did anybody on here graduate from SCU?
1.) Bigger surprise, TCU is undefeated and ranked in the top 5 in the BCS, or Oklahoma with 4 loses and not ranked at all.
2.) Since nobody has really taken charge in the Heisman race, is there a chance a Case Keenum or Ryan Mathews can win the Heisman. Ryan Mathews leads the nation in rushing through 10 games?
3.) Bigger upset this weekend, Northwestern over Iowa, or Stanford over Oregon?
4.) It looks like GT will play Clemson in the ACC championship, who you got?
5.) With only a couple games remaining on the Schedule, can Florida and Alabama stay undefeated until there match up in Atlanta for the SEC championship game.? Which team has a better chance of losing a game. Where are there remaining schedules Florida or Alabama
6.) Did Navy seal Charlie Weis’s fate as ND’s coach? Navy only threw the ball 3 times in there game against ND on Saturday compared to Jimmy Clausen’s 51 attempts.
7.) With all the injuries from this past weekend, who would you rather be without for the remainder of the season, start QB or star RB?
8.) Better chance of being a successful coach Spurrier Jr/ Jeff Bowden?
9.) Better conference Mountain West/ ACC?
10.) If the national champion ship game comes down to Cincinnati vs. TCU, will you be disappointed? Will you watch the game?
Here's a look at the current streak---
2008: South Carolina 27, Tennessee 6
2008: South Carolina 34, Arkansas 21
2009: South Carolina 38, Florida Atlantic 16
2009: South Carolina 16, Ole Miss 10
2009: South Carolina 38, South Carolina State 14
2009: South Carolina 28, Kentucky 26
2009: South Carolina 14, Vanderbilt 10
Sunday, November 08, 2009
--Beat Vanderbilt. Meh.
--Beat LSU. Nice.
--Beat Central Florida, but why didn’t they pull away earlier?
4. Georgia Tech
--Beating Wake in overtime isn’t impressive, but Yellow Jackets are the beneficiaries of this week’s Top 12 carnage.
--Two losses: to Florida and LSU. Both close. That’s about what the number 5 team should look like.
--It’s wins like this week’s squeaker over UConn that make me doubt how high this team deserves to be ranked.
--Boise, pay attention. If you don’t have the best schedule in the country, the least you can do is blow out the teams you do play.
--Teams that beat Louisiana Tech worse than they did: Auburn, Navy and Nevada. This is perhaps the most undeserving undefeated team in the poll.
--Most of us assumed this loss (or one like it) was coming. The question now is, how many more will there be?
--Quietly putting together a nice season. With Oregon and Southern Cal left on schedule, Wildcats have plenty of opportunities to impress.
--Like their fellow Big East brethren, not sure how impressive their body of work has been, but they have continued winning.
--Welcome back. Don’t pull another Purdue and embarrass us.
USC’s Blakely Mattern scored with two minutes remaining in the game to send it to overtime, and goalie Mollie Patton made a save in the fourth round of sudden-death penalty kicks as the Gamecocks beat LSU on penalties, 8-7, to win the SEC tournament championship.
Full Story HERE
USC got there with a 1-0 victory against Florida on Friday night in the semifinals. Kim Miller scored on a penalty kick in the 11th minute while Mollie Patton recorded her 13th shutout of the season.
USC enters today's game 17-3-1 overall, setting a program best for wins in a season. It already tied the record for most SEC wins in a season with seven, leading to coach Shelley Smith being named the league's Coach of the Year while Blakely Mattern and Kayla Grimsley unanimous First Team All-SEC selections. Seniors Kim Miller and Samantha Diaz-Matosas made the second team.
Good Luck and bring home the SEC crown!