South Carolina Gamecocks at Vanderbilt Commodores Post-Game: Topics for Discussion / Thoughts Thread

1. This wasn't a bad win. I know a lot of us were hoping to blow Vandy out, but, at the end of the day, a road win is good news in the SEC, especially when you struggle on the road as much as we do. Plus, I think we played a bit better than the score indicates. We had nearly 500 total yards and could have very well scored 35 or so if not for some missed opportunities. You obviously can't take too much pressure for yards that don't equal points, but I think it's worth noting that we didn't look bad despite not having our best player, who, by the way, will likely be well rested and ready to go next week against UT because of our coaches' wise decision not to play him.

2. This game reestablished my confidence in Spurrier and the offensive staff. The game plan in the first half wasn't effective, but Spurrier made the right adjustments in the second half by going to the running game and the wide receiver screens. After the Kentucky game, I needed to see these kinds of choices from our coaches, because frankly I was worried that we might be heading down the same road we went down at this point last season, where the offense got very predictable and unproductive. I wanted to see that that wouldn't be the case again this year, and I did.

3. Brian Maddox is our backup tailback. A lot of us have been wondering why Kenny Miles wasn't getting many touches. Now we know--the coaches rightly believe that Maddox is a better option. I like Kenny and want to see him continue to get opportunities (and it's probably worth noting that he might have gotten more yards against the gassed Vandy defense we saw later in the game), but I'm confident in Maddox now as the primary alternative to Marcus Lattimore. He had a great game and it's good to see him playing like this in his senior season.

4. The defense was much better, and the coaches were right to move to more aggressive coverage schemes.  It's hard to say too much about doing well against an offense as impotent as Vandy's, but I'm still very pleased with the defense's play. They were a little shaky early on, but once they settled in, they were dominant. The press coverages worked wonders, as Vandy's receivers were almost completely unable to get separation. I'm still miffed at our inability to force turnovers, though. We left a fumble and two or three interceptions on the field in this one. Not being able to get a turnover against a team like Vandy is pretty pathetic.

5. The officiating in this game was horrendous. I wish the SEC would do something about this crap, but it's more or less the norm now. You can expect to get hosed almost anytime you go on the road.

I'll have more tomorrow, folks. For now, share your reactions in the comments section.

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