The South Carolina Gamecocks got off to yet another slow start, rallied, and once again fell short late in the fourth quarter. The defense was on the field way too long, let's get rid of bad narratives, and can we please stop complaining about every little thing?
Hands (Or Lack of Them)
Chris Lammons is our best cover corner. He passes the eye test and does the best job playing the ball while it's in the air. That being said, Chris has now dropped FOUR interceptions in the last two games. All of which would have stopped scoring drives for our respective opponents. This week? He missed an interception that fell right into the Florida receiver's lap and he promptly jogged into the endzone. This is the second straight week I've talked about this. Unfortunately this turned out to be a game-changing play. We're just not good enough to make this kinds of mistakes and expect to win.
That is how long the Florida offense was on the field Saturday. Our defense's inability to get off the field on 3rd down (Florida was 11-19 on 3rd down conversions) and our offense's inability to get a first down for 3 quarters are largely responsible for this. The defense continued to play well on 1st and 2nd downs but not being able to force 4th down again proved to be their Achilles heel. Our defense finally broke down and gave up the back breaking play late in the fourth quarter. Once again on third down, the defense gave up a 58 yard run to Kelvin Taylor on 3rd and 8. We've got to do a better job on 3rd down if we want to win anymore ballgames this year (yes, that includes The Citadel).
Irrelevant: the opinions of those who whined, moaned and complained about the new helmets. Guess what? The people complaining are the same ones who were yelling for alterations to the helmets and uniforms earlier in the year when Steve Spurrier was still around. The only opinions about the new uniforms and helmets are those of the players and the recruits. And all the players/recruits seemed to like the helmets. If they enjoy the new look, then that's good enough for me. We have bigger problems to be worried about as fans than new helmets.
I'm going to preface this by making it clear that I never leave a game early. During South Carolina's comeback, I saw hints of the same old narrative that the students need to stay for four quarters, students these days are spoiled, etc. While I don't disagree that fans should stay for four quarters, I will say that the football team needs to give reason for fans to stick around (newsflash: the students are quite literally never the only ones leaving early).
When will the football team learn that the game starts in the first quarter? https://t.co/jXA6e06QIT— Sam McDowell (@smcdowell12) November 14, 2015
The student section seems to be a really easy group to criticize when things aren't going well. How easily the media/older fans forget that we were in full force throughout the Kentucky game, despite being down 24-7 at halftime. Want the fans to stick around? Put a product on the field that's worth sticking around for. This isn't 1999 anymore. It's time to stop accepting failure. The students left early in the fourth quarter because our peers on the field failed to show up for the first three quarters.