Saturday, January 02, 2010

UConn Huskies Defeat the USC Gamecocks in the Bowl

Huskies beat Gamecocks 20-7 today

From the start it was evident that the gamecocks were just not ready to play.  Not to say that they could not match up with UConn as on paper it played to the Gamecocks strength.  UConn however came out the gates with emotion and did all the right things.

The Univ of South Carolina got only 4 first downs the entire first half which says so much about the play of the USC offense.  UConn brought a balanced attack and got help from USC's dumb penalties.  The gamecocks defense did its best but with no help from the offense it was a hurdle too tall to get over.

The gamecocks got down 13-0 at half and never really got anything going.  The offense was flat and dropped too many passes.  Seems they abandoned the run too early and Garcia forced some throws that he shouldn't have plus a offensive line that you can tell needs a coach.

I credit UConn as they did their job and never allowed USC to get in sync.  I could go on and on about the mistakes and "what if's" but I will stop there and let Spurrier sum it up...
“The first thing I want to do is apologize to about 30,000 Gamecocks who came here to see a football game, and we couldn’t put one on,” he said. “I thought we were ready to play. But obviously our offense was very sad and our defense wasn’t as good as it’s been most of the time. We thoroughly got beat by a better team, a better disciplined team.”
Carolina scored late in game to make it 7-20 with 3:26 to play but it was a wee bit too late.  The game simply never played in the favor of the gamecocks and thank you UConn for not running up the score.

I do feel 2010 will be better for Carolina than their Bowl performance so don't lose the faith in the gamecocks!

5 keys to a USC Gamecocks win over the UConn Huskies in the Bowl

I hope by now you have read the LOHD Preview/Prediction, and now it is time for the "5 keys to a Carolina Win Today"........

1.  USC Running Attack and Defense against --- SC must be able to establish its own running game today to open up the passing game and control the tempo of the game today. 
On that same note, the USC Defense has to stop the UConn rushing attack as they will try to run 20+ times today.  Connecticut boasts a talented tailback duo with the inside-the-tackles power running of Andre Dixon and speedy Jordan Todman, who does his best work around the edges. The tandem combined to average 177 rushing yards per game this season.  For Carolina to escape the State of Alabama with a win it must be done by not allowing UConn to have success on the ground.

2. South Carolina's offensive line vs. UConn's pass rush -- UConn knows how to get to the QB, either with pressure from senior DE Lindsey Witten or from multiple blitz packages led by LB Lawerence Wilson. SC was 11th in the SEC and 104th nationally in sacks allowed at almost three per game. If the Gamecocks can't find ways to slow down the Huskies' pass rush, they could be in store for a long afternoon. But they can take some confidence from holding up against Clemson's pass rush, which was tops in the ACC.  USC O-line must play big today.

3.  South Carolina's passing game vs. UConn's pass defense --- If the Gamecocks can protect QB Stephen Garcia, there will be some opportunities in the passing game. UConn's weakness is its secondary, which has surrendered 245 passing yards per game. That's tantalizing for Garcia and his group of young, talented receivers, led by explosive freshman Alshon Jeffery. But the Huskies try to make up for their lacking pass defense by pressuring the quarterback. UConn ranks 28th in the nation in sacks, recording 2.5 per game. South Carolina is 108th in sacks allowed.  Garcia step up today - avoid sacks, play smart, connect and execute...simple stuff right?

4. South Carolina kickoff coverage vs. UConn KOR Jordan Todman and PR Robert McClain --- The Gamecocks have surrendered three kick return touchdowns this season. They need to be careful with Todman, who ranks 10th in the nation with a 26-yard average.  McClain aslo can do damage returning punts.  He had 15 returns for 222yards, averages 14 per return and has a TD to hang his hat on.  USC Coach Shane Beamer will need his boys to make solid tackles and give 100%.  Would love to see using the best out there today since it is the last game, no matter what just don't let special teams hurt the chances at a SC win.

5.  Last Game, Leave it on the Field --- it is the last game so play 110% today and give the gamecocks seniors the sendoff they deserve!

Go Cocks!

Friday, January 01, 2010

South Carolina Gamecocks v UConn Huskies Bowl Preview / Prediction

South Carolina vs. Connecticut, Bowl, Jan. 2, Birmingham, Ala.

Well, here we are with the last game of the 2009-2010 football season for the University of South Carolina football team. It has been a interesting “up and down” type season with many storylines and “what if’s.” Go ahead and push everything that has taken place to the side as this game is for all the marbles.

This bowl game is another showcase of the Big East squaring off against the perennially stout SEC. UConn (7-5) earned a berth by winning its final three games, including dramatic victories over Notre Dame and South Florida. South Carolina (7-5) ended a three-game losing streak with an impressive win over Clemson in its season finale. This will be the first meeting between the programs and should be a doozy.

Both teams view this game as being very important for their climb in each of their respected conferences. UConn will be playing with tons of emotion for a number of reasons and must find a way to bottle that up and play ball. For Carolina getting the 8th win is uber-important in the grand scheme of things and for Spurrier to show without a doubt progress is being made. Getting a win in less than 24 hours can really tee some good things up for the future of Carolina Football from energy in the fan-base to recruiting. But before we think about all that there is a football game that must be won.

What you will see in this game is a very talented UConn running game trying to be established in this game early and often versus a very talented gamecocks defense. UConn is weak in the secondary and Carolina must find a way to expose that fact. UConn also at times can have a suspect run defense and Carolina is coming off their best rushing game versus Clemson (223 yards). In many games, UConn plays like it is a shootout (averages 32 points a game) so for Carolina they must get stops on defense (South Carolina is 15th in the nation in total defense and third in the SEC, behind only Florida and Alabama) and play with a ball control mentality.  UConn can hurt Carolina if they are able to run and run and run.  Plus if UConn can get pressure on USC qb Garcia then it could lead to a long day with a Spurrier visor throw.

Just like last year’s bowl game for Carolina, which did not end well, this game and its’ success for Carolina rests with USC qb Garcia. I feel strongly the SC defense will do its part and slow UConn even if they try to pound it by running the ball. USC has the strength in its secondary to shut UConn down. On the flip side, USC must bring a balanced attack with mistake free play on offense.

Carolina has had time to prepare and will be ready to prove that they are building something special in Columbia – “New Carolina.” I think that Carolina, after settling down early and making 2nd half adjustments, will be in control of the game. Carolina will win this game which will yield that much needed/desired 8th win.

Carolina 31-17. Go Cocks!

USC Gamecocks Forward Mike Holmes booted from Basketball Team

LOHD always knew there was more to this story (i.e fighting) since his eye injury but it seems due to what Coach Horn describes as "internal matters" that the USC forward has been dismissed from the team today. 

Holmes played six games this season, then suffered an eye injury due to “horsing around” at home. Since then Holmes was only seen at women’s basketball games, not attending his own team’s games which we questioned awhile back as being very odd.

Holmes averaged 11 points and 4.8 rebounds a game this season in the team's first six games.  He has a good academic record so he should be able to transfer to another program and continue his career as a ex-gamecock.

We wish him the best and proud of Coach Horn for making what is a tough decision.  The gamecocks were and will be in need of improved inside play.  This is another setback for the gamecocks that had high hopes to start the year.

Know your UConn Huskies: Jordan Todman, Andre Dixon and Robert McClain

This is the 5th / final installement of "Know your UConn Huskies" and for this one we want to highlight 3 players that get things going for the UConn offense and a corner that Garcia has to watch out for....

Huskie Running Back - Jordan Todman
This 5 foot 9 inch back is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 96 yards per game.  He rushed for 1,152 total yards this season.  He touched the ball 226 times and got in the endzone 14 times.  Also had 20 catches out of the backfield for 184 yards.  And he has 476 KOR yards.

Huskie Running Back - Andre Dixon
Another outstanding back for UConn that had 206 rushing attempts that produced 988 yards this season.  He got 13 TDs to go along with his 4.7 yards per carry.  He had 1 catch for a TD and 112 rec'vg yards.  So Carolina can not relax when Todman is out because this guy can play just as good. 

Huskie Punt Return Man and INT Guy - Robert McClain
Let's just say this guy can take it to the house on any given punt return.  USC Special Teams Coach better tell the boys that a simple arm tackle will not slow this kid down as you must wrap him up.  He had 15 returns for 222yards, averages 14 per return and has a TD to hang his hat on.  Oh and he has gotten 4 INTs while manning one of the corners on defense.  He has 60 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF and 3 pass break ups.

Part 4 - Know your UConn Huskies: WR Marcus Easley
Part 3 - Know your UConn Huskies: LB Lawrence Wilson
Part 2 - Know your UConn Huskies: DE Lindsey Witten
Part 1 - Know your UConn Huskies: QB Zach Frazer

Comparing USC & UCONN Stats

Here is a quick look at how the Gamecocks and the Huskies compare in national rankings:

Rushing Offense Ranking
USC 91st / UCONN 41st

Passing Offense Ranking
USC 43rd / UCONN 46th

Total Offense Ranking
USC 76th / UCONN 47th

Scoring Offense Ranking
USC 96th / UCONN 23rd

Rushing Dffense Ranking
USC 46th / UCONN 48th

Pass Eff. Defense Ranking
USC 29th / UCONN 104th

Total Defense Ranking
USC 15th / UCONN 72nd

Scoring Defense Ranking
USC 21st / UCONN 60th

Net Punting Ranking
USC 93rd / UCONN 22nd

Punt Returns Ranking
USC 64th / UCONN 31st

Kickoff Returns Ranking
USC 66th / UCONN 10th

TO Margin Ranking
USC 75th / UCONN 54th

Pass Defense Ranking
USC 12th / UCONN 94th

Passing Efficiency Ranking
USC 71st / UCONN 61st

Sacks Ranking
USC 40th / UCONN 28th

TFL Ranking
USC 37th / UCONN 73rd

Sacks Allowed Ranking
USC 104th / UCONN 47th

Anything pop out at ya?

Gamecock Clippings / New Year's Day Headlines

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone was kept safe and had a good time.

Here is a morning shot of some selected gamecocks sports headlines and other info worthy of a read.....

Gamecock Football
News from the UConn Side

LOHD Heading to Birmingham for PapaJ Bowl

Well the bags and coolers are packed for the bowl trip.  I have had success in fighting off the hangover and ready for 2010.
Just checked the weather and I am thinking about making a trip to Wally World to pick up some long johns as it looks like it is going to be a pretty cold trip to Alabama.

I hope to bring home a Carolina win and have a good time. Make sure to check the blog later on as I am sure Flounder and Crew will keep you up to speed on the latest happenings in Gamecock World.

Next stop PapaJ Bowl!  Go Cocks!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years from LOHD

We here at Leftover Hot Dog would like wish everybody a happy and safe new years. I know it is a bit early but I got to get packing as I will be heading to B'ham soon.

Please check back tomorrow and Saturday for updates from Birmingham and the bowl.

We will have live updates from the game and will have some posts up on LOHD about the match-up so "you all come back now, you hear!"
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Go Gamecocks!

Gamecock Clippings / New Year's Eve Headlines

2 days till Gamecocks v Huskies !

Here is a morning shot of some selected gamecocks sports headlines and other info worthy of a read.....

Gamecock Football
News from the UConn side
Gamecocks Basketball
Boston College squeezes past USC

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Former Gamecock Wide Receiver Sidney Rice makes NFL Pro Bowl Roster

Wide receiver Sidney Rice, a Gaffney and Univ of South Carolina product, was named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad when the rosters were released Tuesday evening.  Big Congrats!

Rice, in his 3rd NFL season, is having a great year in the NFL and a big reason for this standout year is Brett Favre.  They seem to have a good connection on the field.

Rice, who will be a reserve in the game, leads the Vikings with 77 receptions and 1,200 yards along with six touchdowns and is only the fifth Minnesota receiver to post 1,200 receiving yards in a season.

Make sure to check out the Sidney Rice Blog - HERE

Gamecock Clippings / Wednesday Headlines

Here is a morning shot of some selected gamecocks sports headlines and other info worthy of a read.....

Gamecock Football
Gamecock Basketball
Horn, USC take another crack at the ACC

Other Stuffs
Lattimore, Greene named to all-state team

Garnet & Black Attack Blog
Previewing the Papa John's Bowl: Topics for Discussion on UConn's Offense

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Know your UConn Huskies: WR Marcus Easley

This is the fourth installement of "Know your UConn Huskies" and this time around we want to profile their deep ball threat with the 4.3 speed - meet Mr. Marcus Easley.

Easley, who was a walk-on before this past spring, had 44 catches for 853 yards, 8 touchdowns and averaged 19.4 yards per reception.  Not too shabby for the redshirt senior seeing how he did not get looks the first 4 games of the year and for some reason UConn coaches never gave a chance until this season.

The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Easley is someone the USC secondary must be ready for because if not he can easliy burn ya.

Part 3 - Know your UConn Huskies: LB Lawrence Wilson
Part 2 - Know your UConn Huskies: DE Lindsey Witten

Part 1 - Know your UConn Huskies: QB Zach Frazer

Gamecock Clippings / Tuesday Headlines

Here is a morning shot of some selected gamecocks sports headlines and other info worthy of a read.....

Gamecock Football
News through UConn's eyes
Former Gamecocks
Knee injury ends McKinley's season with Broncos

Monday, December 28, 2009

Know your UConn Huskies: LB Lawrence Wilson

This is the third installement of "Know your UConn Huskies" and this time we want to introduce you to a kid in their linebacking corp that must be accounted for on every play... his name is Lawrence Wilson.

He is 6 foot 1 inch and every bit 220 pounds.  This redshirt junior is one of the top players at his position (weakside linebacker) in the Big East with a team-leading 136 tackles (11.3 tackles per game), including 10 TFLs, 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Only three players in the FBS averaged more tackles per game than Wilson.

Along with those excellent stats, he also is playing to prove something. His hometown is only a 30-minute drive from Legion Field in Birmingham, and said his father is trying to secure around 40 tickets for family and friends to attend the game.

I know USC has faced many good linebackers this season and this is just yet again another good one they must plan their attack around.

Part 2 - Know your UConn Huskies: DE Lindsey Witten
Part 1 - Know your UConn Huskies: QB Zach Frazer

Gamecock Clippings / Monday Headlines

Here is a morning shot of some selected gamecocks sports headlines and other info worthy of a read.....

Gamecocks Football
LeCorn looks for bowl time
Bowl week schedule, weather for USC, fans

Gamecocks Basketball
NIT Bound? Why The USC Gamecocks Will Miss Dominique Archie.

SEC related
Urban - Not resigning, will take leave instead
UK's Brooks 80 percent sure he's not returning

Garnet&Black Attack Blog
Thoughts on the Urban Meyer Situation

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Catching up with Gamecocks in the NFL

Here is a quick snapshot of USC products in the NFL through Week 15...

USC products

John Abraham / Falcons DE
30 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Fred Bennett / Texans CB
18 tackles

Jasper Brinkley / Vikings LB
20 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Sheldon Brown / Eagles S
48 tackles, 5 interceptions, 1 forced fumble

Emanuel Cook / Buccaneers S
Practice squad

Jared Cook / Titans TE
9 catches, 74 yards

Andre Goodman / Broncos CB
37 tackles, 4 interceptions, 1 sack

Jonathan Joseph / Bengals CB
59 tackles, 6 interceptions

Lance Laury / Seahawks LB
21 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Kenny McKinley / Broncos WR
No stats

Jamon Meredith / Packers OT
7 games, 3 starts

Captain Munnerlyn / Panthers CB
35 tackles, 24 punt returns

Jamar Nesbit / Saints OG
12 games, 0 starts

Dunta Robinson / Texans CB
52 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Ko Simpson / Lions CB
30 tackles, 1 interception

Ryan Succop / Chiefs K
21-25 FGs, 53 long, 3-3 PATs

Travelle Wharton / Panthers OG
14 games, 14 starts

Troy Williamson / Jaguars WR
3 catches, 34 yards

Rod Wilson / Buccaneers LB
3 tackles