It's been an eventful week hasn't it? On Monday night Spurrier resigned as head football coach. While we at GABA have talked about what Steve Spurrier has meant to our program, (we even had a former Gamecock football player on our podcast to discuss this week's events). Yet, we still had to play a football game Saturday. It wasn't a perfect performance, but Coach Elliott had our guys ready to play with some energy and passion, let's talk about what we learned.
Oh Hey There Defense, Nice to See You Again
I wrote after the Kentucky game that, based on the second half performance in that matchup, if the defense would play with some energy that they could be an above average defense. The Vanderbilt offense is not the most effective in college football this year, but the South Carolina defense has struggled to stop much of anything the last season and a half. Yesterday, the defense held Vanderbilt to 332 yards and forced 5 turnovers, including 3 interceptions by our anemic pass defense. Our pass rush also forced 3 sacks and had Johnny McCrary on the run for a good bit of the game. The defense will face much greater challenges in the upcoming weeks against Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida and Clemson. If we want to have a chance to slow down those teams, the defense will need build off this performance.
Coach Elliott = Energy
Energy, energy and more energy. Something this team has sorely lacked this year is fire, passion and energy. Yesterday, with Coach Elliott at the helm, the team played with a certain vigor that just hasn't been there this year. I can't really say much more about it. So I'll let this video do the talking.
Locker room with @ShawnElliottUSC after win tonight pic.twitter.com/aNfktVH9Ip— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) October 18, 2015
Nice To See You, Brandon
Well it sure is nice to have our starting tailback in the lineup again. After complaining about not getting enough touches against Kentucky, Brandon Wilds then got hurt against UGA and sat himself out of the LSU game last week. I don't know if there was something going on in the locker room between him and the coaching staff, but this week as a senior leader, was put up or shut up time for Brandon. Props to Brandon, as he finally came through with a good performance as he grinded out a crucial 119 yards on 24 carries. We're going to need Brandon to do more of the same if we want to finish bowl eligible.
Carolina gets a much needed off week this week. They'll get a chance to recover and have some extra time to prep for a very good Texas A&M team.