We've got a pretty good product. We really do. The problem is that it cannot be counted on to consistently perform at its capability level . If it did, it would be ranked in the top 10 right now, and there'd be whispers of a truly special season. Unfortunately, Carolina lost on Saturday. Kentucky certainly didn't beat us; the Gamecocks beat themselves, and left their fans wondering what the heck happened to the team they watched dismantle the #1 Crimson Tide the weekend before. Errant passes, fumbles, poor secondary play, baffling coaching decisions - the second half, and even though we were up 28 - 10, parts of the first half, was a mess. The game left me with questions more than anything else.
Is Marcus Lattimore that important to our offense? Marcus is a tremendous asset, but we were impotent on offense without his presence.
Why is our secondary play so poor? QBs are picking us apart this year as our pass defense drags the murky bottom of the SEC rankings, and is 110th out of 120 FBS teams. There's too much talent back there for us to be last in the conference and among the worst in the nation.
What did Kenny Miles do/not do to deserve zero opportunities? Miles ran for 626 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry, on 117 touches last season. He's carried the ball 9 times this year. What gives? Brian Maddox is a good blocking back, and capable in certain situations, but he's not an every down go-to-guy when Lattimore is out.
What was the thought process at the end of the game by our coach(ing staff)? Calling the last timeout with 11 seconds left and time to run one more play was silly unless you were drafting a masterpiece. A pass to Lamar Scruggs in triple coverage was no Rembrandt. We had time to get off a play that didn't have to go to the end zone and still call a timeout and kick a field goal in case we didn't get past the goal line. It was bad game management, and a bad call and pass to the the wrong receiver.
Regardless, if someone would have told us that Carolina would be 4-2 (2-2) and ranked #19/#20, after playing a #1 and the current #5, at the midpoint of this season, most of us would have jumped on it. To our benefit, as well, Florida's loss to Mississippi State has left us with a one game lead at the top of the East with our destiny in our own hands. Uh oh. Hey, there's hope for 10 wins, and a trip to Atlanta in December is still alive. We're Gamecocks. We live on hope.