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The Feed Pail: October 8, 2014

Being kicked upstairs?

Joe Robbins

TFP -  Simplifying - good or bad? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Post & Courier: Anyone care to read the tea leaves on this one?  USC defensive coordinator Ward trading sideline for coaches' box. "'The plan we'd had for the wildcat would have worked if we had just seen what the simple breakdown was,' Ward said Tuesday after practice. 'We tried to fix it on the sideline by doing something else, and that's not what we need to do.'" Should we be more concerned that Whammy cannot see what's going on from the sidelines, or that the D coaches we did have in the box couldn't figure it out themselves?

Gamecock Central: Scott Hood points out that Whammy is also simplifying the defense. "'We'll do less calls," Ward said. 'We'll still run 4-2-5 and the 3-4 based on the situation in the game, but we'll just have limited calls within each one. You have to do what your players can do to win ballgames. We've given up (28 points) in the fourth quarter of the last two ballgames (excluding Pick 6 by UK). Make a stop in either ballgame and we win and we're standing here 5-1 instead of 3-3.'" That's pretty much sums it up, but it's telling we have to dumb the system down now half way into the season.  Or should we have done it sooner?

Greenville News: Willie Smith reports Gamecocks left to try to regroup. "'Most puzzling was the Gamecocks' decision not to keep running after building a 14-point lead -- to move the ball and to run the clock. Spurrier admitted Sunday that was a mistake. Will that change his thinking going forward? History says probably not. Since taking over the USC program in 2005, Spurrier has remained true to the running game only when Marcus Lattimore was in the backfield (2010-12).'" Here at GABA, Hoops has shown that the numbers belie the whole "HBC has abandoned the running game" meme, but perception is its own form of reality, too.   Why we didn't run on 3rd and 3 in the 4th with the game on the line and D.T. already having shown he was shaky, however, is the question I still cannot answer.

GoGameocks: Josh Kendall writes that The numbers at this point are too bad to ignore ... and the details are devilish, too.   Last in total D.  Thirteenth in scoring D.   The first time in 19 years we have allowed as many points as we have surrendered so far this season.   Also - David Cloninger files Quest to be the best: Staley, Gamecocks embrace high expectations placed upon them.

Gamecocksonline: Coach Dawn Staley's Reigning SEC Champs Start Title Defense with First Practice.  We have all 5 starters back and the number 2 recruiting class in the county.  Videos of Coach, Aleighsa Welch and A'ja Wilson.  Also Catching up with Deacon Dan Reeves.

WIS.TV: Not all the WBB news is glowing, however:  highly decorated Sophomore C Alaina Coates - the SEC freshman of the year and co-SEC 6th PotY - has been suspended from practice until Saturday. Phil Kornblut checks in on USC recruiting target WR Darius Slayton of Norcross, GA.

Saturday Down South: Brad Crawford thinks It’s time Steve Spurrier takes accountability for horrendous season (from Monday).   "In danger of suffering the program’s first losing season in 11 years, South Carolina football hasn’t felt this low since 2007 when the Gamecocks climbed to No. 6 before losing a Spurrier-record five straight games to end the season."   Does Brad make a valid point?  And, no, nobody is talking about firing the HBC.

Team Speed Kills: The State Of The SEC East: The Dawn Of A New Paradigm.   Good piece.  My view is that the worm will turn.  The worm is turning.  UK and UT are on the upswing, while USC and Vandy are on a down.  UF will have a new coach in 2015. Mizzou and Georgia seem to be holding steady and should be good for the foreseeable future.   Thus, if Carolina and Florida bounce back in '15, while UT and UK continue to improve - and if Vandy becomes a "smash-mouth D" clone of Stanford - then the East will be more balanced vis-a-vis the feast-or-famine West.

The Daily Gamecock: Mens Cross Country is set to host the second USC Open of the season - which will be the Cocks' final home meet.

The Big Spur: C/OF Marc Coffers of Naples, FL commits to the Yardcocks.