Maybe This Year Is Different: South Carolina 41, Southern Miss 13 | Team Speed Kills
Cocknfire reflects on our season opener last night against Southern Miss. South Carolina's stat totals provide some reasons to be encouraged, but USM's overall performance is the mitigating factor. As with any season opener we just won't know what it all means until the season is a few games deep. C&F sums it up nicely:
Gamecocks fans have never had trouble believing that the current year was going to be the one that saw Spurrier finally lead the team to unprecedented heights. But Thursday night gave them something that they haven't had in a long time: A reason to believe in the season.
'It was just a good, solid game for us,' said Spurrier, now 6-0 in openers at USC. 'It was a good opening game for us.'
The victory over Florida in Spurrier's first year comes to mind, but that's about it. The HBC had good reason to sound pleased. Steven Garcia finished 16 of 23 for 193 yards, freshman sensation Marcus Lattimore had 2 touchdowns on 54 yards, and WR Alshon Jeffery had 106 receiving yards. The offense seemed to spread the ball around well, even giving speedy freshman receiver Ace Sanders a chance to shine. Ace Sanders made his presence immediately known.
On his first touch, the 5-7 dart took a reverse pitch and went 52 yards to set up one of Lattimore's scores.
The run was the team's longest since 2006.
'I knew he was quick, but I didn't know he was that quick,' Garcia said. 'I got tired just watching him run. … We're going to use him a lot this year.'
Garcia had a nice stat line, himself, but perhaps the most encouraging sign of the night came in the form of this quote:
'I got rid of the ball,' Garcia said. 'No gain is better than a 5-yard loss. That's how I looked at it.'
Folks, this kid may yet have a future in football.
Breaking down the pregame chaos | Spur of the Moment
What the heck is going on over there. After all the ridiculous stories we've heard over the past month, the only players held out of Thursday's game were Chris Culliver (what?!?) and Jarriel King. Wesley Saunders, of course, was held out due to the ambiguous violation of team rules from last week. Culliver's issue supposedly stems from some kind of paperwork having to do with insurance. What that issue is, we can only speculate.
I can only imagine how frustrating this entire situation must be for the players and coaches. I mean, what, exactly, could possibly be so wrong in Chris Culliver's insurance paperwork to warrant holding him out of the season opener of his senior season? And what the heck is the NCAA still doing in Columbia, anyway? They started out by investigating the Marvin Austin Hotelgate but have since used that investigation as leverage allow themselves to do a complete audit of our entire program. The NCAA is nit-picking every little thing they can possibly get their grubby hands on.
No other program in the country is under this level of scrutiny for such minor offenses. It's ludicrous. I'm sure Clemson fans and the like will point out that the NCAA wouldn't be here if they weren't finding anything, but the fact of the matter is Steve Spurrier and Eric Hyman go out of their way to run a very clean program. The kinds of things the NCAA is finding aren't indications of willful disregard for the rules or lack of institutional control. These are the sort of offenses one finds when one asks people to abide by a rule book of over 1,000 pages. The NCAA could - and would - find these same types of nit-picky violations at every program in the country when under the same level of scrutiny.
And what is this business of letting us know which players are eligible an hour before the game? That's pathetic. There's a reason why the NCAA draws so much ire from around the nation - they're a bunch of unprofessional, sloppy, myopic, nitwits. They should be embarrassed, but I have a feeling that the are too enamored with their own importance to give it a thought. There is absolutely no reason for the decision to have come down to the hour before kickoff. They had over a month to get this settled, and the fact that they waited so long to inform the team reeks of poor planning and laziness. I've been inclined in the past to give the NCAA the benefit of the doubt on these kinds of situations, but this may come to be the seminal moment of my hatred for the NCAA. Yes, they have a tough job to do sometimes, but it has become apparent that their leadership is so misguided, their actions so incongruent with their goals, that they wil never be able to overcome their incompetence.
USC linebacker finally starting after two years of injury | WIS News 10
Hometown hero Rodney Paulk finds the silver lining.
"I can honestly say while I was hurt, it's given me the opportunity to look at the game from a different perspective," said Paulk. "You never know how good you've got something until it's gone."
"I love this team’s chemistry," he said. "Everybody’s focused. Everybody’s hungry, and everybody’s on the same page. What we’ve got to do is stay humble, don’t beat ourselves and come prepared every week."
Bless you, Cliff Mathews.
A 41-13 Message from Mssr. Garcia | The Rubber Chickens
I love this picture.
Jenn Brown Interview | Saturday Down South
This might be what some of you would call "burying the lead." SDS scores (an interview) with the new Erin Andrews. She has attended one South Carolina game and we won it handily. I like her already.
Gamecocks Reveal Half-Million Dollar Recruiting Lounge | WLTX.com
It's all about the facilities.