This post concludes this week's buildup towards tomorrow's game against The Citadel.
Three Keys to Victory
Score First. The faster you get on top against an option team, the faster you take them out of their gameplan by forcing them to move the ball through the air. The longer you let them stay in the game, the longer you allow them to wear down your defense, run the clock, and make it likely that they're within a score or two in the fourth quarter. Unlike they did in the Navy game, the Gamecocks need to take control of this one early. I would predict that we will either hang 50 on these guys if we can get an early lead, or we'll end up in a bit of a dogfight with them.
Get the Passing Game Going. This point has more to do with Clemson than The Citadel. I don't think Clemson is going to run the score up on us like Arkansas did, but Clemson will score its points, although hopefully our defense will at least somewhat hold the Tigers in check. That being the case, the Gamecocks will likely need to have a somewhat more effective offensive attack against CU, and that means getting it going through the air. This game against The Citadel is an excellent opportunity for us to pitch the ball around, work on pass blocking, and infuse some confidence into Connor Shaw and the line.
Limit Turnovers and Big Plays. Most huge upsets are premised on maddening turnovers and unfocused defensive play. At the end of the day, if the Gamecocks can avoid those, they should come out on top in this game.
What It Means
Well, The Citadel did win the last meeting between the two schools. So, there's that. Otherwise, this is another cupcake game.
As long as Carolina doesn't dilly around with poor offense and turnovers early in the game, I think this one will go more or less like Kentucky. Let's say Gamecocks 45-7.