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ODS Bye Week Special Edition: South Carolina vs Notre Dame?

Because it’s bye week, and also because I’m bored, I’m having the digi-Gamecocks matchup with an opponent chosen by the people.

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve done ODS in its proper manner. For that, I apologize. HOWEVER, this week, despite the Gamecocks being on a bye, we have a ODS Special Edition coming right at ya! For the sake of time, I’m not going to rehash the similarities and differences between last week’s ODS and real life game.

So who is this week’s opponent? Well, our very scientific Twitter poll chose that for us!

The basic rules of the simulation will remain the same. However, because of some #QBControversy that is brewing in Columbia, I will be starting SAVIOROFTHEPROGRAM digi-Jake Bentley at QB!

The setting? The Irish will take on the Gamecocks at the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a light breeze, heavy snow and -20 degrees temperature. Why did I do this? Because I can.

Let’s play ball.

*note - because of popular demand, I have included video highlights for this edition of ODS. Click on the hyperlink to view the play as you read!

The First Quarter, or: “Offense!”

Notre Dam wins the toss and chooses to defer, so the Gamecocks will receive the opening kick. AJ Turner, carries the ball out to the 25 yardline and we are underway.

Jake Bentley, on his first digi-collegiate snap, finds Deebo Samuel open on the slant route for a 16 yard gain. Play action pass from the Gamecocks’ 40, and Bentley fires a strike to Bryan Edwards on the comeback route and the Cocks are quickly into Notre Dame territory. A perfectly timed screen route to Edwards and the Gamecocks are down inside the Notre Dame 10! However, after three straight Jake Bentley zone read keepers, the Gamecocks are stopped short on the 1 yard line. It looks digi-Muschamp has a decision to make and he will...kick a field goal from the one (damn you, algorithms!). #Freisman’s short field goal is up...and good.

South Carolina leads, 3-0.

Notre Dame will bring the kickoff out to the 23 yard line and the Irish will set up for their first drive of the game.

After a short 1 yard run by Irish tailback Josh Adams, Deshone Kizer will drop back and throws an interception into the waiting arms of Chaz Elder!

The Gamecocks, led by future Heisman winner Jake Bentley, will start their drive on the Irish 27 yard line. On 1st and 10 Bentley finds AJ Turner over the middle for a 20 yard gain! On 1st and goal from the 7, the Gamecocks will line up in the shotgun spread. Jake Bentley drops back, and has day to throw, he finally finds Terry Googer in the back corner of the endzone! Elliot’s PAT is up and good!

South Carolina leads, 10-0.

A pretty quick start for the Gamecocks seems to have shell-shocked the Irish. Who knew the boys from the south would adapt better to -20 degrees snow than Notre Dame? Certainly not me. Anyway, the Irish set up at the 28 and Deshone Kizer immediately throws a near interception. On 3rd and 5, Deshone fires a completion for a 67 yard touchdown pass. All of a sudden, the game has a different complexion.

South Carolina leads, 10-7.

Bentley will take over on his own 30, and keeps back to back inverted veers for a net gain of 15 yards. After an incomplete pass, Bentley finds Hurst in the flat and Garnet Thor rumbles down to the Notre Dame 34 yardline.

It’s 1st and 10 for the Gamecocks from the ND 34. Digi-Bentley will drop back, pump fake and underthrows a wide open Terry Googer. Notre Dame picks the ball off and returns it to their own 32 yardline.

Notre Dame lines up in the shot gun and is stuffed for a short gain on 1st down. JaMarcus King steps up on an outroute to attempt to make a tackle, but is stiff-armed (punched in the face) by ND tightend Durham Smythe; Notre Dame is now out to the 45 yardline. Notre Dame, moving efficiently now, are quickly inside the South Carolina redzone. But on 2nd and short, Kizer will be rocked by Taylor Stallworth to set up 3rd and 9! So how does the defense respond! They promptly give up a 14 yard pass and it’s 1st down Irish. Another long play will set up Notre Dame inside the Gamecock 2 yard line.

A couple of negative rushes will bring up 3rd and goal for Notre Dame. Needing one more play for a goal line stand, can the Gamecock defense rise to the challenge? That would be NOPE.

Notre Dame leads, 14-10.

After starting at the 20 yardline, Bentley finds Hurst twice to move the ball out to the 31 yardline...and that’s how the quarter will end.

The Second Quarter, or: “Jake Bentley for Heisman”

Five-wide set for the Gamecocks, and Bentley will find Randrecous Davis for a 16 yard gain. A quick counter play to AJ Turner for an 11 yard gain has the Gamecocks into Notre Dame territory. Wasting no time, the AJ hits another big run to put the digi-Gamecocks deep in Irish territory.

1st and 10 from the Irish 23, Bentley fires another precise pass for 11 yards. Roper, playing the HUNH offense, calls a screen to Turner...which AJ will take down to the Irish 2 yard line. It’s 1st and goal for the Gamecocks. Bentley will keep the read option for a touchdown! Elliott Fry’s kick is and good!

South Carolina leads, 17-14.

So, how does our special respond? As only Gamecocks will, as they give up a 41 yard kick return to immediately give back any digi-momentum they may have.

A quick four yard draw will put Notre Dame at 2nd and 6. Deshone Kizer, looking to find the Gamecock defense unawares, tosses a quick screen to the outside. But Rashad Fenton is there to jump the route and take it to the house!

South Carolina extends the lead, 24-14.

Notre Dame, sets up around their own 25 yardline. This time the Irish will turn the ball over in a more traditional venue as they quickly go 3 and out.

After a 14 yard punt return by Deebo, the Gamecocks will start at their own 44.

Bentley will keep another zone read for a 10 yard gain. Digi-Kurt Roper, showing his evil genius, goes 5 wide and immediately goes for the Fighting Irish’s jugular. Jake Bentley, casually having the game of his young digi-life, ropes a pass over the middle to Randrecous Davis for a 46 yard touchdown!

South Carolina leads in a bloodbath, 31-14.

At the 3:44 mark in the second quarter, the Irish will take over already down 31-14. Deshone Kizer will fire a completion for a 11 yard gain and the Irish have a first down.

Jump to 1st and 10 from the Gamecock 26 yardline and the Irish are on the move. Deshone Kizer, who has the pocket awareness of a mole rat, will scramble and somehow complete a 12 yard pass while being flattened by three different Gamecock defensive linemen. After a 5 yard gain on a speed option, it is 3rd and 4 for Notre Dame from USC’s 11 yardline. Kizer drops back, and finds C.J. Sanders across the middle for a touchdown.

South Carolina leads, 31-21.

With 1:37 left in the second quarter, the Gamecocks will start their drive on their own 23 yardline. Jake Bentley quickly moves the Gamecocks out across the 35. But after a busted draw play, the Gamecocks are forced to burn a timeout. After a couple receivers get crossed up on their routes, the Gamecocks are faced with a 3rd and 9. No worries however, as Jake Bentley finds Terry Googer for a 17 yard gain for a first down! It’s 1st and 10 Gamecocks from the Notre Dame 47, 1:10 on the clock and the clock is moving. Bentley, using the sideline like a savvy veteran, has the Gamecocks inside the Notre Dame 25 with 0:33 on the clock. Digi-Jake, proving my statement about a savvy veteran true, reads the defense and finds Hayden Hurst in the endzone for a 22 yard TD pass!

South Carolina extends the lead, 38-21.

Notre Dame will receive the kickoff and begin at their 24 yardline with 0:23 on the gameclock.

Notre Dame will now go into their 30 second offense. However, after a 13 yard pass, Kizer is dropped for a sack. Unfortunately, the Gamecock defense has a busted coverage that allows Notre Dame to get into field goal range. The kick is up and it is....good.

South Carolina leads at the half, 38-24.

Halftime Analysis:

What an absolute barn-burner. The Gamecock offense has 353 total yards in the first half, 282 of which came through the air. Jake Bentley is lighting the Notre Dame secondary up like a Christmas tree. Defensively, the Gamecocks are doing just enough to keep a powerful Notre Dam offense at bay. While they have given up 282 yards, they’ve managed to pick Deshone Kizer off twice (one of which was a pick-6) and have turned the turnovers into 14 points. Notre Dame will receive the second half kickoff.

The Third Quarter, or: “Goal Line Stands”

The Gamecock kickoff coverage team is not having their best day as Notre Dame returns the kickoff to the Gamecock 46. It will be 1st and 10 for the Irish with great field position.

The Irish, facing 3rd and 5 after two short runs, will hit a pass to their tightend for an 11 yard gain and a first down in side the Gamecock 30. Jump to 1st and goal inside the Gamecock 5 yard line. Notre Dame tries yet another QB run, but is stuffed for a two yard loss. A 6 yard completion will bring up 3 and goal from the Gamecock 1 yardline. The Irish will set up with 5 wide receivers (seems legit). Kizer will drop back, but Kelsey Griffin will drop him for an 8 yard sack to force a field goal try! The kick is up and good.

South Carolina leads, 38-27.

Jake Bentley will lead his troops to start the drive at their own 29 yardline. Notre Dame brings a corner blitz. So what does Jake do? Casually stands in the pocket and fires a 24 rocket (ha, that rhymed) to Kiel Pollard down to the Notre Dame 47.

All of a sudden the Gamecocks are going backwards. It’s 3rd and 15 now from the Gamecock 48. Jake Bentley drops back to pass, and almost throws an interception. But it’s dropped and the Gamecocks will punt.

Notre Dame has run 3 straight draw plays for a net gain of 25 yards. Finally, the Gamecock defense sniffs one out and drops the runningback for no gain. Jump to 3rd and 6 on the same set of downs, Deshone Kizer will throw a checkdown to his tailback, but he is rocked 3 yards short of the first down. It seems digi-Brian Kelly has a decision to make on 4th and short, inside enemy territory.

The algorithm chooses go for it. The algorithm made the right decision. Notre Dame completes a long pass and suddenly it’s first and goal from the Gamecock 9.

The Gamecock defense, making yet another goal line stand, will have a chance to force another field goal. It’s 3rd and goal now, from the 7 yard line. Deshone Kizer drops back and fires a strike, but the receiver is stood up at the goal line!

South Carolina is hanging on to their lead, 38-30.

A nice return by AJ Turner will bring the ball out to the 31 yard line. Kurt Roper, using the aggressive Irish pass rush against them, calls a nice mix of draws and runs to get the Gamecocks a first down on their own 45. However, Bentley throws back to back dangerous passes, both of which should of been intercepted, and USC is all of a sudden facing 3rd and 10.

Bentley then throws his third straight dropped interception, and the Gamecocks will shank a punt. Notre Dame will start their drive at the 25 yard line with 0:26 left in the third quarter.

Deshone Kizer promptly keeps a zone read and runs for 35 yards into Gamecock territory. On the last play of the third quarter, Kizer throws a pretty pass completed down the Gamecock 11 yard line.

The Fourth Quarter, or: “A Comedy of Errors”

Deshone Kizer wastes no time as he finds his receiver across the middle to pull the Irish within 2 points. The Irish will go for two, and get it.

Tie game, 38-38.

Jake Bentley desperately needs to find a rhythm here in the fourth quarter. It will be 1st and 10 on the Gamecock 34 yard line.

Two plays have the Gamecocks across the 50 down to the Irish 45. As soon as I type that, Bentley fires another dart down to the Irish 34.

Jump to 2nd and 10 from the 18, and Bentley hangs on to the ball way too long and is sacked for a loss of 7 yards. Jake hooks up with Randrecous Davis to get that yardage back to make it a much more manageable 3rd down. Three step drop, and Jake hits a wide open Terry Googer on the seam route for 6!

South Carolina reclaims the lead, 45-38.

The Irish will start on their own 20, and fire a 7 yard completion out of a five wide set. Deshone Kizer, remembering that he can run, scrambles for 12 yards for a first down.

Jump to 3rd and five from their own 45, Deshone Kizer will drop back and fire a strike to his receiver. Only problem is, the receiver can’t catch. Notre Dame will be forced to punt, and the Gamecocks will take over on the 25 with 4:32 left in the fourth quarter.

A couple of AJ Turner runs will get Carolina a first down. Jump to 2nd and 10, and AJ will get the handoff out of the I-formation for a 9 yard gain. And then Bentley completely botches an option play and Notre Dame recovers a fumble inside the Gamecock 40.

With 3:31 left on the game clock, the Irish will start facing a very short field. After three quick plays, the Irish are suddenly inside the Gamecock 5 yard line. 1st and goal: incomplete pass that is nearly intercepted. 2nd and goal: QB keeper that is stuffed for a 1 yard gain. 3rd and goal: Deshone Kizer has all day, but no one is open, so he’ll throw it out of bounds. 4th and goal, from the Gamecock 4, with 2:35 left on the game clock: This is likely the game. Kizer will be hit as he throws for a touchdown.

It’s tied up, 45-45.

The Gamecocks will open the drive on their own 25 yard line from the left hash. After a 7 yard completion, Bentley takes another very dumb sack to make it 3rd and 11. A called halfback screen goes absolutely nowhere, and the Gamecocks will punt.

Notre Dame will start at their own 39, with two timeouts and 1:38 left in the game. A field goal will win it.

Deshone Kizer, after completing a two yard pass, will scramble across the 50 and into USC territory. He immediately follows that up with a 15 yard completion to Torii Hunter Jr. down to the Gamecock 23. For some reason, the Irish will continue to throw the football, effectively preserving all three of South Carolina’s timeouts. On 4th and 6, the Irish will attempt the go ahead field goal with 0:47 left in the game. The snap is back, and the kick is good.

Notre Dame leads, 48-45.

It’s desperation time for the digi-Gamecocks. They’ll start the drive on their own 21 yard line with all three timeouts in their back pocket.

Bentley will find AJ Turner for seven yards, but it’s in the middle of the field, so there’s no chance for AJ to get out of bounds. Gamecocks, forced to use a timeout, have a 2nd and 3. Bentley finds Randrecous Davis on the quick out for a 4 yard gain and a first down as Davis falls out of bounds to stop the clock. Roper continues to call short passing plays to the middle of the field. It’s a 6 yard gain to AJ Turner, but the Gamecocks are forced to use their 2nd timeout.

It’ll be 2nd and 4 out of the timeout, with 27 seconds left on the game clock from the Gamecocks own 39 yard line. Bentley finds David Williams open in the flat for an 11 yard gain. Williams fights through tacklers to get out of bounds with 19 seconds left.

Roper will call a draw play (?) that gets a first down down to the Irish 39, but the Gamecocks will have to hurry to the line with 15 seconds left. Piss poor clock management will lead to an almost sack on 1st down. It’ll be 2nd and 10 with 6 seconds left. I will now remind you that the Gamecocks still have 1 timeout left that they refuse to use. AJ Turner will take a 6 yard gain down to the Irish 34 and the Gamecocks will burn their last timeout with 3 seconds left.

The Gamecocks will line up for a last ditch Hail Mary pass. This will be the ballgame. Bentley has trips right, with a tightend lined up on the LOS. Bentley drops back, and throws a line drive straight to the Notre Dame safety.

The Gamecocks will lose, 48-45.

Final Analysis: Well, guys, the digi-Gamecocks completely botched this one. After a dominating first half, the Gamecocks shot themselves in the foot time and time again to blow a 14 point lead. Missed tackles, turnovers, lack of clock management all led to their digital demise.

Final Stats:

South Carolina

Total Yards - 517

Passing Yards - 402

Rushing Yards - 115

OPOTG - Jake Bentley: 32/43, 402 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 27 yards rushing, 1 TD

DPOTG - Jordan Diggs: 14 tackles & Rashad Fenton: 1 tackle, 1 INT, 1 TD

Notre Dame

Total Yards - 564

Passing Yards - 378

Rushing Yards - 186

OPOTG - Deshone Kizer: 31/43, 378 yards, 4 TDs, 76 yards rushing

DPOTG - Drue Tranquill: 7 tackles, 1 INT