Saturday, January 02, 2010
5 keys to a USC Gamecocks win over the UConn Huskies in the PapaJohns.com Bowl
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.
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!