The good news: there’s no way South Carolina can lose this week. After a disappointing showing against rival Georgia in a Sunday afternoon game, the Gamecocks haven’t shown a great deal of improvement as a team. Sitting at 2-4 now, the SEC East title is now completely out of reach. Another lost season in Columbia? The general consensus is yes. Now let’s do a quick breakdown of the reasons for pessimism:
- The Run Defense: Giving up 326 yards to Nick Chubb and company is unacceptable. Even though it is a rebound year, you have to wonder what measures are being taken to fix this glaring issue.
- The Return Game: The Hayden Hurst experiment was a failure. No explosive returns were made, and a new punt-returner is needed.
- Turnovers: Three turnovers in the first half alone slowed the offense to a crawl. It’s tough to see both Carolina quarterbacks struggle in the first half of games throughout the season, although Orth looked more effective than Eason overall.
- Commitments: Four-star OL T.J. Moore announced his decommittment after the game Sunday, the second in four days. Hopefully this trend won’t continue.
- Devontae Shuler: In hoops news, we failed to land former Irmo star Shuler, a four-star. Although basketball recruiting is hit or miss, this is a serious miss at a local prospect.
- The Schedule Ahead: After this bye week and a home game against UMass, Tennessee comes to town, followed by Missouri, then at Florida. Yikes.
All in all, this is a rebuilding year, and we didn’t expect to be consistently competitive just yet. However, the product on the field is disappointing so far, and improvement is needed. Right now, we simply can’t play with the big boys, and the bye week should be a wake-up call for the team. With a winnable game against UMass coming up, hopefully we can secure that elusive third win