Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Gamecock Football Player tears ACL

Starting defensive tackle Travian Robertson sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, an MRI confirmed Friday night, according to team physician Dr. Jeff Guy.

This is the second Gamecock defensive starter to be lost for the season with a knee injury, joining junior linebacker Rodney Paulk, who suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in the season opener at NC State. In addition, freshman DE Ronald Byrd - who tore his ACL in preseason camp - underwent successful surgery on his left knee recently.

I hate to hear this news and we here at LOHD wish these a guys speedy recovery!

Gamecocks Fans of the Week: Ole Miss Edition

(photo credit - The State)

Signs from Ole Miss Game

(photo credit - Erik Campos - The State)

USC's Eric Norwood Adds his name to the record book - again

All-SEC linebacker Eric Norwood, who returned for his senior year in part to pursue the record, had two sacks Thursday in the Gamecocks' 16-10 victory against Mississippi. That gave Mr. Norwood number 27 and number 28 in the sack column thus far in his career at Carolina and two more than Provence.

Eric Norwood is already the record-holder for "tackles for loss."  CONGRATS!

Week 4 SEC Football Slate this Saturday

LSU (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at Mississippi State (2-1, 1-1 SEC)
Kick-off: Noon ET, SEC Network/ESPN Regional

Arkansas (1-1, 0-1 SEC) at No. 3 Alabama (3-0, 0-0 SEC)
Kick-off: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

No. 1 Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at Kentucky (2-0)
Kick-off: 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Ball State (0-3) at Auburn (3-0, 1-0 SEC)
Kick-off: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net

Arizona State (2-0) at No. 21 Georgia (2-1, 2-0 SEC)
Kick-off: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Ohio (2-1) at Tennessee (1-2, 0-1 SEC)
Kick-off: 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view

Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-2 SEC) at Rice (0-3)
Kick-off: 8 p.m. ET, CSS

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gamecocks vs. Rebels Highlights

just click and enjoy for today....(h/t - Snead 303)

Gamecocks Quote of the Day

From this article and from USC QB Stephen Garcia .....

“Eric Norwood and Cliff Matthews are two of the best defensive players in the country,” said Garcia. “We play against them every day in practice. I don’t think they go against us as hard as they do other teams. I am just glad they are on my side.”

Gamecocks upset No. 4 Rebels 16-10

Yes it did happen.

I knew we could win this game and knew it was up to the defense.  Boy did they step up big time last night.  I lost another year of my life due to Carolina but I guess we are use to the "drama" that USC thrives upon. 

USC held on for a 16-10 victory over nationally fourth-ranked Mississippi in front of 74,724 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The win was the first over a team ranked in the top five for Carolina since 1981, when it topped the University of North Carolina 31-13 in Chapel Hill, and the first ever in Williams-Brice Stadium.

I think it is safe to say 7 things this Friday morning:

1.  Ole Miss Rebels was not the #4 team in the country especially last night.
2.  USC's offense needs to buy USC's defense lunch today for their effort and for carrying the team in the 4th quarter.
3.  Snead's chances of Heisman took a serious blow last night.
4.  Eric Norwood will be drafted in the Top 15 of the Draft next year.
5.  Ellis Johnson is worth every penny we pay him.
6.  USC will be in the Top 25 next week.
7.  USC is just 1 play away from being undeafted this year (see UGA).

I will try to do a better re-cap later as for now....let's enjoy this moment and this win.  GO COCKS!

Full Recap Here

Any thoughts, reactions and/or comments?????????

Fans in the crowd

I guess the boys were allowed out of the state of Alabama for the Ole Miss game. Great win Gamecocks. That is one of the loudest games I have ever been to at Williams Brice. Next up SC STATE

Thursday, September 24, 2009

5 Keys for a Gamecocks WIN vs The Rebels

Okay so you read HERE why I put Ole Miss on Upset Alert even if they are #4 in the US heading into this game.  And then you read my preview/prediction HERE so what is left? 

Well the LOHD 5 keys to victory that is and here goes those keys to a Carolina win tonight on ESPN at 7:45pm versus the Ole Miss Rebels.....

1.  USC Defense playing a full game --- from kickoff to the end, the Carolina Defense must lay it all out on the field tonight.  No letting up and no taking a play off.  Snead is good!  And the SC D must get pressure to him to force him to scramble and the secondary of Carolina must play smart.

2.  USC Special Teams - Kickoff Coverage --- SC can not allow Ole Miss to have easy field position due to poor kicks, bad coverage or missed tackles.  Let's don't let this been are downfall again (see UGa).

3.  USC Offensive Line has to play Big --- The O Line of Carolina has seen a lot from NC State to UGA but Ole Miss is a different animal.  They are the best D this line will have faced thus far and it is time to step up for Carolina.  Having Kyle Nunn may help with some depth but really it is up to the lineman to step up and protect Garcia while opening some holes for the running backs.

4.  Garcia and the Deep Ball --- Gotta be on the same page today with the WRs/TEs and connect on some long passes.  This will keep the Ole Miss Rebels honest on defense but also provide confidence to the offensive unit.

5.  Gamecocks must have 3rd down Success on both sides --- Ole Miss proven tough on defense when it is 3rd down but the Carolina offense must overcome this and move the ball.  Moving the ball keeps Snead off the field and keeps the Carolina D rested.  The flip-side is that the Carolina D must shut down the Ole Miss Rebels when it comes to 3rd down.  I hope to see lots of 3 and outs for Ole Miss.

What did I miss?  I still stick with my predicted upset score of Carolina 27 - Rebels 23

Visit Garnet & Black Attack Blog today and take part in the Open Thread to comment during the game as I will be there so follow me on Twitter - HERE.

{photo credit - Mrs. Flounder of LOHD}

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gamecocks v Ole Miss Preview / Prediction

Oh it is big time now.  The No. 4 ranked Ole Miss Rebels make their way to Columbia, South Carolina for a clash of very promising SEC teams.  A win at Williams-Brice Stadium would signal a start to the season that hasn't been seen around the Rebel program in a while.  Ole Miss hasn't started a season with a 3-0 record since 1989 and hasn't won its SEC opener since 2003.  A win for South Carolina is what I like to call a "program changer."  All eyes on this game and with that here is my prediction for this nationally-televised showdown.

Can you say ESPN Classic?  I think this game has all the makings of a classic battle.  I can feel the excitement already.  I already gave you reasons why Ole Miss is on upset alert.  Now my thoughts on the game....

Ole Miss leads the overall series with South Carolina 8-6 and is 4-1 against the Gamecocks since they came into the SEC in 1992, with the only loss coming last year in Oxford. The Rebels are 4-3 at Williams-Brice Stadium.....Throw that out the door as this is SEC football between two highly talented teams.  You got all kinds of story lines floating around from Nutt vs Spurrier, to Snead and Norwood.  What this boils down to is which team will step up and as you look at the USC depth chart you will see a group of men ready to bring a winning tradition to Columbia.

Both teams have loads to prove, for Ole Miss it is proving they deserve such a ranking, the Rebels will also be looking to avenge a home loss to Carolina a year ago.  Since that game, Ole Miss has posted an 8-1 record. South Carolina , on the other hand, has gone 5-5. Amazingly, Carolina is only a 3.5-point underdog.  For USC, it is that "carpe diem" type game.  It is to prove to the world they are ready to take on the big boys in the SEC and Spurrier as a coach still has it.

Spurrier brings in a solid offense lead by Garcia, who has grown up this season as he averages 228 yds per game.  This year Garcia and the offense have options.  They can throw the ball to Saunders at TE, Barnes, LeCron, Brown or Tori G in the WR corp.  They have a multi-headed rushing attack with Maddox, Giles, Miles, Sherman and Baker.  The only weakness in the offensive unit is the line.  They are average and they are to be tested this week like no other.  The Ole Miss D has allowed 10 pts per game and 293 total yds per game.  They have a great Safety in Johnny Brown and a future NFL-er in DE Greg Hardy.  How the USC O-line handles the pressure and creates running lanes is the key for the USC offense.

On Defense for Carolina, it boils down to a battle tested Carolina squad with some key additions returning this week - Ladi Ajijboye, Nathan Pepper, Whitlock - not to mention Eric Norwood and Darian Stewart should be at full speed.  As you know, LOHD has been screaming pleading for a full 60 mins of "killer attitude" football from the USC defense.  I feel this is the week we see it.  As many back-ups for USC have earned some stripes while filling in nicely (see Devin Taylor and Melvin Ingram).  This only adds to one of the best defenses going up against a respected Ole Miss Offense.  They have a great QB in Snead.  They have good receivers in McCluster and Hodge, who have 17 catches for 249 yds between them.  USC will have to stop the run and ask for Snead to beat them.  USC has the speed on defense but in this game they must tackle better and shed blocks.  Again the USC defense must play like their heads are on fire and get after it.  Defense wins games and something tells me it will be up to the USC defense to stop Ole Miss.  This can not be a shoot-out like the UGa game.  The SC D must create and put the USC offense in good position.  If the USC defense can disrupt Snead and force him to make bad throws then the game is for the taking.  Watch how the USC D line does at stuffing the run and getting heat on Snead.

The key to this game is how well USC does on 3rd downs as Ole Miss has stopped opponents 26 out of 30 times.  That is the key to this game as it translates into an effective USC offense that is moving the ball.  By doing that they keep the USC defense fresh but most important the Ole Miss Offense off the field.

I beg for improved play from the USC special teams kick team.  Ole Miss can not be blessed with good field position.  This game goes back to the basics of field poistion, tackling and winning the turnover game.  The loser of this will be the loser of the game.  I feel because of this and how USC is "battle tested" and it being a home game I have this feeling USC wins this game.  It will be close but USC will pull this away with timely defensive play in the second half.  I really think USC has a chance to shock Ole Miss and the world.  I would love to see USC blow the doors off the Ole Miss bus tonight but I feel this game might have me a bit uneasy as I watch from section 301.  This is the type game that we can point to in 3 years and say - because of that win.....

With that USC wins this game 27-23.  thoughts?

South Carolina Gamecocks Depth Chart vs. Ole Miss

USC depth chart for the Sept. 24 game with Ole Miss


5 Stephen Garcia R-So. 6-2 219
14 Reid McCollum R-Fr. 6-3 218

47 Patrick DiMarco Jr. 6-0 243
46 Dalton Wilson R-Fr. 6-0 223

10 Brian Maddox Jr. 5-11 224
3 Jarvis Giles Fr. 5-11 183
31 Kenny Miles R-Fr 5-9 190

81 Tori Gurley R-Fr. 6-5 227
1 Alshon Jeffery Fr. 6-3 217

9 Moe Brown Sr. 6-0 183
18 Dion LeCorn Jr. 5-11 220

4 Jason Barnes R-Soph. 6-4 199
82 D.L. Moore R-Fr. 6-3 202

76 Jarriel King Jr. 6-5 312
73 Rokevious Watkins Jr. 6-4 340

74 Heath Batchelor R-Jr. 6-7 315
62 Pierre Andrews R-Jr. 6-2 285

70 Garrett Anderson Sr. 6-4 315
57 Lem Jeanpierre R- Sr. 6-4 300

55 T.J. Johnson R-Fr. 6-4 300
60 Terrence Campbell R-Jr. 6-3 290

72 Quintin Richardson R-Soph. 6-3 296
66 Hutch Eckerson R-Jr. 6-6 290

88 Weslye Saunders Jr. 6-5 280
87 Justice Cunningham Fr. 6-4 240


98 Devin Taylor R-Fr. 6-7 232
96 Clifton Geathers Jr. 6-8 281

91 Ladi Ajiboye Jr. 6-1 285
6 Melvin Ingram R-So. 6-2 297

42 Travian Robertson Jr. 6-4 283
95 Nathan Pepper R-Sr. 6-1 300

83 Cliff Matthews Jr. 6-4 249
92 Byron McKnight R-So. 6-4 229
90 Chaz Sutton Fr. 6-4 240

40 Eric Norwood Sr. 6-1 252
44 Tony Straughter Jr. 6-0 209

16 Shaq Wilson So. 5-11 210
41 Josh Dickerson Jr. 6-1 221

26 Antonio Allen Soph. 6-2 210
25 Alonzo Winfield R-So. 6-0 230

5 Stephon Gilmore Fr. 6-1 188
36 D.J. Swearinger Fr. 5-11 196

17 Chris Culliver Jr. 6-0 190
11 Jarrett Burns R-Fr. 6-2 180

24 Darian Stewart Sr. 5-11 216
21 Devonte Holloman Fr. 6-2 211

3 Akeem Auguste Soph. 5-10 180
12 C.C. Whitlock Soph. 5-10 173

Mid-Week Gamecocks Clippings / News

A quick re-cap of selected gamecocks sports related news....

Football related
Garnet & Black Attack Blog

Stacey Poole come on down

Stacey Poole has narrowed his list of schools to Kentucky and South Carolina. Well on Thursday night at 5:30 on ESPNU he will make his announcement. He could become the first recruit for the 2010 class for Kentucky or become the final player in the Gamecock class that is stacking up as one of the best we have ever had.

Poole a 6-5, 200 lb forward from Jacksonville, Fl has been on the Gamecocks radar for a while, which give me a good feeling that he might choose USC. On the other hand, he just visited UK last week, and decided a week later to announce his decision.

I guess we will just have to wait and see who he chooses.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LOHD is putting Ole Miss on Upset Alert for 3 reasons

The Gamecocks host No. 4 Mississippi Thursday night and it is going to be a dogfight.  The Rebels are the highest ranked opponent to come to Williams-Brice since No. 2 Georgia visited last September.  A win on Thursday night would be the highest-ranked opponent Carolina has ever beaten at Williams-Brice Stadium.

This game is going to be an instant ESPN Classic game in my view.  You got Snead, Hodge and Hardy coming into a great college football environment to play a team that beat them last year.  Revenge is on the table.  Spurrier loves these type of games and it seems he has a offense in '09.  How will the USC D hold up vs a very good yet untested Ole Miss offense?  How will Garcia manage vs the Ole Miss blitz?

Lots of questions lingering going into the game.....but as I have said thus far this season I am not buying the Ole Miss Kool-aid.  I think Spurrier is going to prepare his team and Ellis is going to have the right package.

Why is LOHD very confident that the Gamecocks can win should win this game?  Here are some reasons....

1.  Coach Spurrier is 3-0 in his career vs. the Rebels and 12-2 overall vs. teams from the state of Mississippi.  He knows a win on Thursday on the national stage can be huge for his team.  He is not going to let this chance pass him by. 

2. The Rebles don't have the experience of playing on a Thursday game.  Short weeks are much different to plan for and adjust.  South Carolina is 5-2 on Thursday night under Steve Spurrier and 4-1 at home. The last defeat on a Thursday night game was a 24-17 loss to the then-No. 2 Auburn Tigers.  Willy B will be pumped for this game and it will be transfered to new energy for the USC team.

3.  The Rebels, currently 2-0, are the only SEC team yet to play a team from a BCS conference this season. Let's be honest here...they have not faced anybody so this is going to be a test on where this Ole Miss team is - are they that good?  Ole Miss has just seemed flat and maybe that is by design.  Nutt most likely has had this game highlighted on the schedule and been playing conservative thus far.  At least Ole Miss fans like to think this.  I just don't see Ole Miss conquering our defense.  I think it will be close but USC will pull it out in the second half b/c of the lack of "battle stripes" Ole Miss has earned this season.

Check back soon for a full preview from LOHD also visit these Ole Miss Blogs that are friends of LOHD for updates from the eyes of the opponent---

The Dead Guy's SEC Rebelations
Ghost of Chucky
The Hotty Toddy Blog
The Red Solo Cup

LOHD Heisman Watch

Here is our 5 frontrunners for the Heisman as we see it going into Week 4....

Tim Tebow, Florida quarterback
Season: 39 of 58 passing for 540 yards, 5 touchdowns and an interception. He also has three rushing touchdowns.

Jahvid Best, California running back
Season: 53 carries for 412 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has also caught a touchdown pass.

Colt McCoy, Texas quarterback
Season: 75 of 110 passing for 859 yards, 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also has rushed for a touchdown.

Case Keenum, Houston QB
Season: 55 of 76 passing for 725 yards, 7 touchdowns and an interception. He has also rushed for two touchdowns.

Jacory Harris, Miami QB
Season: 41 of 59 passing for 656 yards, 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He has also rushed for a touchdown.

SEC Power Poll : Week 3 Ballot

Below is the Leftover Hotdog Ballot for Week 3:

1.  Flordia - UT exposed some weaknesses but it was the flu right?

2.  Bama - Saban has them back to their dominating ways.

3.  LSU - May not get style points for the way they win but it is winning.

4.  Ole Miss - Gut check time vs S. Carolina as we get to see what this team is all about.

5.  Georgia - Are they the Texas Tech of the SEC?  Another words - just offense and no defense.

6.  Auburn - Have not seen a tough opponent yet so hard to guage this team - are they a product of the scheduling or are they that good?

7. South Carolina - If they could play a full 60 mins on both sides of the ball they could be dangerous...will they step up vs Ole Miss?

8.  Tennessee - Exposed some weaknesses on UF's team but they have their own to worry about and passing is a big one.

9.  Arkansas - if it is true defense wins games then this team is in troblue as their defense bends in all the wrong places.

10.  Kentucky - they have a quaterback but what else?

11.  Mississippi State - A offensive genius (Dan Mullen) won with his defense.  Hey that is Spurrier's playbook!

12.  Vandy - This team forgot that to win you must score and it was MSU.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Congrats to some Gamecocks

We need to some some love to some gamecocks players after they did some special things this past game....
  • Jarvis Giles and Tori Gurley made history.....Giles had 113 rushing yards and Gurley had 100 receiving yards. It's the 25th time that the Gamecocks have had a 100-yard receiver and runner in the same game. It's the first time it's happened since the 2007 Tennessee game. They become the first Gamecocks freshmen to do that since 2005, when Mike Davis and Sidney Rice accomplished the feat.
  • USC DT Melvin Ingram got his first sack of his career vs FAU.
  • USC LB Eric Norwood got another sack but this one on FAU qb Rusty Smith in the third quarter tied him with Andrew Provence for the school's sacks lead, with 26.
  • Coach Spurrier's son got a 13 yard catch, good job Scotty.
  • Stephon Gilmore picked up his first career interception and his first fumble recovery.
  • Kenny Miles picked up his first career carries, rushing five times for 56 yards
  • Reid McCollum took his first career snap and had the first completion of his career vs FAU
  • Tony Straughter recorded his first career start v FAU
  • USC's Chris Culliver broke the USC career kickoff returns record vs. FAU.  He now has 78 which is 2 more than Robert Brooks.
  • Moe Brown’s 50-yard run to open the game was the longest Gamecock rushing play since a Mike Davis run in the season opener against N.C. State in 2008.
  • Brian Maddox’s touchdown at the 13:39 mark of the first quarter was the fastest Gamecock touchdown since South Carolina joined the SEC. It was the fastest score since the Gamecocks hit a field goal against Arkansas on November 3, 2003 at the 13:53 mark of the first quarter.

Gamecocks Fans of the Week : FAU edition

{Pic credit - J.P. Dawkins}

10 questions for this week

Sound off on these....

1.) Is Southern Cal’s loss to Washington more devastating then there lost to Oregon State last year?
2.) Is Maryland the worst team in the ACC this year?
3.) Are you shocked and saddened that Myers and Tebow didn’t drop the hammer on Tennessee this past weekend?
4.) Would you be excited to see a rematch of FSU vs. Miami in the ACC championship?
5.) Is UGA going to run up the score to win every game this year, what happened to the Dawg’s defense.
6.) Better QB Ryan Mallet, Joe Cox, Stephen Garcia or Greg McElroy
7.) Does Auburn have a chance of winning the SEC West this season, or our we putting to much stock in there win against WVU.
8.) After this past weekend do you still believe that the Mountain West deserves a BCS Bid?
9.) Does Ole Miss deserve the #4 ranking this week in the polls?
10.) If the season ended today who get the Heisman Trophy?

Gamecocks get basketball and baseball commitments

Taking a time out to catch up on some "other news" from gamecocks sports.  Good news out of Horn's world and Tanner's.  They both have been hitting the recruiting trail hard and it is producing good results.

On the roundball front....South Carolina has picked up two very good basketball commitments with 6-9 Damontre Harris of Fayetteville, NC and 6-3 Brian Richardson of Wilson, NC.  Harris, one of the top big men in the country, and sharpshooter Richardson is a nice long ball threat - this is big time for Horn!

I am sure having current USC basketball commitments 6-8 RJ Slawson of Fort Dorchester and 5-9 Bruce Ellington of Berkeley there on their official visits to USC over the weekend helped to land Harris & Richardson.

Richardson also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, East Carolina and UNC Wilmington. He averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals per game last season.

Last season Harris averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds per game and was considering Florida, Maryland, VCU and Wake Forest.

This is great for USC Basketball!

On the diamond .... The USC baseball team last week landed a commitment for the 2011 class from LHP Andrew Faulkner (6-3 165) of South Aiken. Faulkner also considered offers from Clemson and the College of Charleston.

Florida Atlantic at South Carolina Post-Game: Topics for Discussion

I am going to join in answering some questions Gamecock Man proposed over at the Garnet & Black Attack HERE.

1. How worried were you at the half?

Not too much as I knew the gamecocks would wear FAU down a bit and make some key halftime adjustments.  The 4 man front was a big key to slowing FAU down.  Don't get me wrong - I was highly frustrated as Coach Spurrier said best but somehow as a gamecocks fan we are kinda use to this.  Meaning we manage to allow lesser teams to linger when we should be able to run away easy.

2. Who should we be giving most of the carries to in our upcoming games?

I like the "running back by committee" approach so far and I say keep doing it because it is not broke.  Maddox can pound it out, Giles does good things and Miles ran with something to prove.  Not to mention Sherman who has blazing speed (NEEDS TO BE A PR or KR) and Eric Baker who is not forgotten.  Mixing it up and keeping fresh legs is a luxury so let's use it to our advantage for now.

3. Seriously, what's wrong with the kickoff coverage?

God where do you start.  From short kicks to arm tackles.  It is a perfect case study for bad playing right now.  Someone made the comment in my section last night that they thought they would miss Ryan Succop greatly but come to find out they miss Ray Rychleski more.  I agree with that and now understand why he was hired away by the Colts in the NFL.  He is good. 
We just need to do a better job of staying in our lanes and hitting people.  I think we will progress or at least I hope b/c if we don't well it will be a huge letdown.

4. Are you happy with Stephen Garcia?

Oh yeah.  What a difference time can make.  This kid is growing up in front of us and becoming a leader and becoming what Spurrier envisioned when he recruited him.  The biggest thing besides the nice stats so far is he is not making dumb mistakes.  He has stopped throwing in double coverage, can read a defense and listens to the coaching staff.  He also does not try to run when the pocket closes in on him.  He steps up in the pocket much like he has done the first 3 games - stepped up.

5. Should we be worried that we gave up 300 yards to Florida Atlantic?

I say no.  Defense made corrections that shut them down.  Keep in mind we did not have Ladi, Pepper or Whitlock.  Not to mention Stewart and Norwood didn't play the whole game.  I just want to see the defense play for 60 mins not here and there.  For the last 2 games we have seen spotty play.  Let's put a complete game together and show what this team is all about.

6. Despite the first half jitters, doesn't it feel great to handle a team like we did today?

I am a Carolina fan, so I just enjoy winning no matter how we get it done.  Also believe in Spurrier, with enough time he will get his job done.

S. Carolina Running Back Named "SEC Freshman of the Week"

Way to go Jarvis!  And Garcia gets a mention for his performance vs FAU.  Today the SEC named South Carolina running back Jarvis Giles the "SEC Freshman of the Week."  This is what the SEC noted in his performance....


Running Back
5-11 • 183
Tampa, Fla. (Gaither HS)
• Led the Gamecocks with 113 yards rushing on 11 carries and a touchdown in South Carolina’s 38-16 victory against Florida Atlantic.
• His long run was a 38-yard burst and his touchdown came on a 12-yard scamper in the third quarter.
• It was the first 100-yard rushing game for a Gamecock since Mike Davis opened the 2008 season against NC State with 101 yards and the first 100-yard rushing game for a Gamecock freshman since Taylor Rank in 2006.
----Also USC's qb Stephen Garcia got a "mention" for his outstanding play vs FAU with 20-of-27 passing, 222 yards with 1 TD and no intercpetions.

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."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gamecocks win in Review : Beat FAU by 22

Here is a sampling of headlines and stories associated to the Carolina win yesterday:

Gillespie: Not half bad, but USC focus still a worry
What a rush: Ground game propels USC
Giles goes from last to first
USC defense moves to the front
Notebook: Special teams' sore spot returns
Fans embrace fairgrounds' new look
After a Rusty start, Gamecocks overcome Owls
USC notes: Welcome back, defensive tackle(s?)

Garnet & Black Attack Blog
Reviewing Florida Atlantic at South Carolina: Weighing the Positives and Negatives

Spurrier Quote of the Day

Spurrier had this to say (via this) that caught my attention.....

"I've been concerned for five years, men," he said with a wry laugh. "(But) I've come to accept that every game is going to be a dogfight.

"I'm happy we got three touchdowns in the third quarter and got a little breathing room. But I always expect a dogfight. I expect a dogfight no matter who we play, whether it's Wofford or Furman; South Carolina State (USC's opponent two weeks from now) will probably take us to the wire."

easy with the honesty coach...

USC Target Lattimore opens his choices up

Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes running back Marcus Lattimore is waiting until February’s national signing day to make his college decision.

Lattimore, who is likely the best prep RB in the country, narrowed his choices to five—South Carolina, North Carolina, Auburn, Oregon and Penn State—about a month ago.
But now he’s told, a Florida State website, that the Seminoles are back on his list again and will officially visit Tallahassee Oct. 10.  Lattimore was also at Georgia for the South Carolina game Saturday, and said now, after feeling the Sanford Stadium atmosphere in the Bulldogs’ 41-37 victory, Georgia is back in the picture.  He also said he has changed his October 31st official visit from Oregon to Auburn—that doesn’t bode well for the Ducks. He’s planning a Nov. 7 trip to Penn State, and has yet to arrange his final visits.

Life is never easy and it seems getting Lattimore to wear the garnet & black just got a little more interesting.