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Previewing the Chick-fil-A Bowl: What to Expect When South Carolina Has the Ball

3. Get Alshon Jeffery Involved in the Passing Game

For most of the season, we've complained that we haven't looked to receivers other than Jeffery often enough. Against Auburn, though, we didn't look to Jeffery enough, in particular failing to take many of the downfield shots to our star receiver that have been such a big difference maker for us this season. I'm all for spreading the ball around against FSU, but we also need to keep Jeffery in mind--he's probably our best player on offense and needs to have the ball in his hands frequently.

2. Establishing the Run

Some teams have had some success on the ground against FSU; Virginia Tech, for instance, did. However, FSU has good overall numbers against the run and has typically been a tough team to run against. I'm not confident in our ability to win this game if we can't run the ball, though. Luckily, Marcus Lattimore may be the best back the 'Noles will have faced this season. Spurrier needs to make more of a commitment to running the ball than he did against Auburn, though, and avoid falling into the trap of believing that we shouldn't give it to Lattimore just because FSU is good against the run. Certainly, you have to adjust your gameplan to attack the opposing team's weaknesses and compensate for its strengths, but you also have to play to your own strengths. Carolina has proven over the course of the year that it's at its best when Lattimore shoulders the load, and against a team whose defensive ends are just chomping at the bit to get us into a pass-first mindset, we'll need the ground attack to be at its best more than ever in this game.

1. Pass Protection and the FSU Pass Rush

Although our line play has certainly improved this year, Auburn proved that Carolina is still susceptible to a strong pass rush. The Tigers got to Stephen Garcia early and often and forced him to make a few mistakes. FSU has the potential to cause similar problems for Carolina. The 'Noles are second in the country in sacks per game, and star end Brandon Jenkins is fourth for individual players. This is especially worrisome considering that there may be a shakeup on the Carolina line due to Garrett Chisholm's injury. If we can't protect Garcia, we may be in big trouble again in this game. Part of the equation here, of course, is softening up FSU's rush with Lattimore and an effective quick-release passing game. The latter was a particular problem against Auburn, with Garcia off the mark on a handful of what should have been easy throws.