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Back from seeing the Gamecocks play

August 29, 2008

What a night. It looked like it would be another game where the Gamecocks would win, but you would leave the stadium feeling like they lost. With a 3-0 lead at the half, I was sure that we would leave the stadium with a 10-0 win that would make me terrified that once we played SEC teams our guys wouldn’t have a chance. Everything certainly wasn’t perfect last night, but the Gamecocks stepped it up and finished strong by finishing off the Wolfpack. Williams-Brice was electric last night, and fans showed their support by following Spurrier’s request to make the stadium a “sea of Garnet.”

Overall, it was a good win. Smelley came in and played well, the defense was stout, and the team didn’t compromise for a narrow margin of victory. It was well worth the trip down, even if we did get back to Raleigh at 4 a.m. Obviously, there’s a lot of work to be done, but Carolina is ready to get their revenge against Vandy next Thursday night.

Also, I’m glad to know that NC State QB (and fellow Collegiate grad.) Russell Wilson is okay and going to be able to return to action. Great news!

A few cool pictures from last night (from the State newspaper):

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2008 2:04 pm

    Ok, ok. Let me give you the orange colored view – which is a bit dangerous considering we haven’t played yet. Nevertheless –

    1. N.C. State is the worst – not Duke – State is the worst team in the ACC this year.

    2. Props to the Carolina defense for the shutout – that’s hard to do in college football against any team. But, State is the worst team in the ACC. They are absolutely anemic on offense. I don’t know why they kept the ball from Andre Brown – he should have 50 carries the way he was running. With State having no passing game for USC to worry about, it would be bothersome to me that State still ran for 140 yards with the RB’s.

    3. The only – seriously – reason that the game ended 34-0 was precisely because State’s offense was so anemic. Their defense stifled Carolina for 2 and half quarters. As a matter of fact, Carolina’s first 10 points – crucial points by the way – came at the expense of turnovers inside State’s 15 yard line! In the second half, State’s D was so tired that USC was able to take advantage offensively – chalk this up to USC’s D, not Smelley and a born again offense.

    4. I was not sold at all on USC’s offensive line. Before they tired, State constantly got penetration, sacking Beecher 5 times in one half. Again, State is the worst team in the ACC.

    5. In short, USC’s D is everything that we expected it would be. The outcome was everything we expected it would be – expected! But, if I were a SC fan, I’d be sober about the final tally. State is downright terrible. Their D became tired – again props to the SC D. But, the SEC is a different beast – heck, Vandy on the road is a different beast than State in Columbia. Smelley better be the answer on offense – and that’s if the line holds up better against superior d-lines to keep him upright – if not, 7-5 is the best case scenario for this team in the SEC East. If Smelley and the line gell, with that defense, SC could win 9.

    Let me also throw a disclaimer out – Clemson may very well lose tomorrow night – this I acknowledge with expectation – actually. This was only my take on USC as of game 1 – which they won and so are still undefeated – this is more than I may be able to say for Clemson in 34 hours. For the sake of it, Clemson will win, but not cover – of course if they look like world-beaters, you know I’ll be back.

  2. August 29, 2008 2:22 pm

    Brian,

    I agree with most of what you said. NC State was downright awful, and a good (or half-decent) team would have taken advantage of Carolina’s many early penalties and turnovers. Any SEC team, including Vandy, will make us pay.

    I was also dissapointed with the O-line, but it improved substantially when J. King went in at tackle. Plus, don’t forget that USC’s best o-lineman, Jamon Meredith, is out until the UGA game, so that will be a huge advantage as well when he comes back. Also, keep in mind that in the future I think you’ll be seeing much less of Taylor Rank, and much more of Carolina’s premiere RB’s now that “Gatorade-gate” is overwith.

    As for Smelley’s performance, I think what he did went far beyond just scoring as many points as he did. It’s more how comfortable he looked back there, even when there was pressure on him. Beecher would take off running at the first sign of pressure instead of stepping out of the pocket and finding a receiver. I just thought Smelley looked like a better overall QB, and that’s not just because he went 5-5.

    The only reason I feel good about the win is that it’s out of their character to finish off a team, even bad teams. Usually USC starts strong and can’t finish a game. This time it was the opposite.

    I’m pretty sure that Clemson will win tomorrow, but agree that if they do, they won’t cover the spread. It should be an old fashioned southern football matchup that is a great way to kick off the season. Best of luck.

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