WELCOME TO THE COCKBLOCK. CHECK IN EVERY WEEK FOR TAKEAWAYS, PREDICTIONS, GAMECOCK FOOTBALL ANALYSIS, AND NOTHING POSITIVE ABOUT THAT TEAM FROM THE UPSTATE.
Well, the media was wrong. The South Carolina Gamecocks are not the worst team in the SEC. Thanks to Elliot Fry and a stunningly resilient Gamecock defense, South Carolina rolled out of Nashville with a win. After a first half that left me and the other 250 people I was watching the game with turning to WATCHESPN to see Butch Jones prove yet again that he is the worst head coach in the country, the Gamecocks redeemed themselves. Muschamp kept riding the Perry Orth train even after it nearly derailed in the first half, and Orth showed the nation that his coach made the right decision. The defense that struggled so much against the run a year ago stopped one of the most prolific returning backs in the SEC. Overall, the main questions were answered. Can Perry Orth be a reliable option at quarterback? Yes. Did the defense learn how to tackle in the offseason? It would seem so. Will any receivers prove to be dangerous on the outside and down the field? Yes (see Deebo Samuel). However, one player that many people are overlooking is freshman running back AJ Turner. He didn’t have an absurd total yard count, but that is because for some reason the coaching staff stopped giving him the ball. He had 70 yards on 13 carries. That’s 5.38 yards/carry. South Carolina OC should definitely test the young Mississippi State defense so that the play action can become effective.
Speaking of Mississippi State, let’s take a gander toward next Saturday’s matchup in Starkville. According to Stingray 26 on Youtube, that old song from the 90s is going to motivate the Bulldogs to beat Carolina. I mean how could Mississippi State not beat Carolina? Does anyone realize that they almost beat South Alabama and have stud players like Fred Ross, Nick Teano, Nick Fitzgerald, AJ Jefferson? There is no possible way that the Bulldog defense, which held South Alabama’s prolific offense to 21 points, gives up a point to South Carolina. Wait, hold everything. I’m getting reports that South Alabama only scored 25 points per game last season while giving up 37.3. Yeah. Mississippi State is having a rebuilding year, even more so than South Carolina, and there is nothing that the 60,000 Mississippi State fans at the game on Saturday can do to keep South Carolina from starting 2-0, no matter how loud they can scream with a fat lip in or how loud they can shake their cow bells. Carolina wins in Starkville 24-10.
IN OTHER NEWS
Some coaches showed us this week that players aren’t the only ones that make some decisions that make us scratch our heads. The first came with 48 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. North Carolina was up 3 on the Georgia Bulldogs. The drive had the potential to put the Tar Heels up two scores going into the 4th quarter, but Georgia had backed UNC up all the way to the brink of their own end zone. Now I know I wasn’t the only one thinking that Larry Fedora would just run the ball up the middle with the hope of getting a little bit more room to punt the ball, but when Trubisky dropped back to pass I figured they might be trying to get a pass over the middle or something, but it became obvious within a couple seconds that they were setting up a screen… in the end zone. The play ended in a sad, disorganized fashion where the receiver was pushed out of bounds for a safety, drawing Georgia within 1.
The Tiger Bowl down in Auburn, Alabama seemed like a contest to determine who was the worse coach. The whole game, Dabo Swinney did everything he could to keep his unbelievably talented offense from scoring points. Gus Malzahn countered this by refusing to choose a quarterback and making sure none of the three that played got too hot. This went back forth until the final minute, when Clemson, up by 6, ran the ball on 4th and 4 deep in Auburn territory. Instead of kicking the field goal that would basically end the game, Clemson did everything it could do for people to call what they did Clemsoning, something they tried so hard to do last season, but Notre Dame, Florida State, and the referees at the ACC Championship game kept them from doing it.
Les Miles got himself fired on Saturday.
Alabama hired Steve Sarkisian to prove to the world that they could still win with an alcoholic on staff.
Ole Miss clemsoned.
W Soccer: South Carolina d. Clemson 2-1
Volleyball: Furman d. Clemson 3-2, South Carolina d. Clemson 3-1