clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Scouting Troy at South Carolina: What to Watch for When Carolina Has the Ball

3. WR / Secondary Mismatches

As silver82blade has pointed out a few times in the comments thread, our WRs have a major height advantage over the Troy corners. Look for Carolina to try to exploit this early and often. For all his trouble throwing a corner fade of more than 20 yards, Stephen Garcia looked good throwing the quick, five-seven yard fade to Alshon Jeffery against Florida, and that was against Janoris Jenkins, one of the best corners in the nation. These kinds of plays should be there all night against the Trojans' diminutive CBs.

2. TDs for Marcus Lattimore

Lattimore has 14 rushing TDs right now. The all-time record for freshmen is 21, earned by San Diego State's Marshall Faulk in 1991 and Ryan Virginia Tech's Williams last year. Lattimore will have four more games to get seven to tie and eight to break the record. Watch to see if Spurrier tries to give Lattimore the ball anytime we're in the red zone in an attempt to pad his star freshman's statistics. If, by the way, you don't think individual records matter in a team sport, think again--young talents love to go to schools where they believe they'll get plenty of chances to become stars. Spurrier knows this and will do what he can, within reason, to help Lattimore increase his star power.

1. The Evolution of Garcia and the Zone Read

Last week, I wrote about Garcia's trouble making good reads out of the zone-read option attack that our offense is now centered around. Apparently somebody has been listening to the complaints I've been making all season about Garcia's poor reads and our inability to get him involved in the running game, because against Arkansas and Florida, Garcia had some nice runs. Against Florida, Garcia had two eight-yard runs (one for a TD) and an eleven-yard run; these cam on both reads and designed keepers. Without a doubt, this new element of our offense is part of what helped us open up some huge holes for Marcus Lattimore against the Gators; when the defensive line has to respect Garcia on the keeper, it can't crash Lattimore every time we run the ball, and that leads to increased opportunities for both players. I'll be interested to see if we continue to hone this aspect of our attack, although, of course, Steve Spurrier may advise Garcia to protect himself in a game in which it's probably not worth it for the starting QB to risk injury.