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OUR DIGITAL SEASON: Week 3 - South Carolina Gamecocks vs East Carolina Pirates

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The digi-Gamecocks look to move to 3-0 on the digital season.

Before we begin, and due to some requests I received, let’s go over the parameters of the ODS and the "rules" we play by.

Each quarter is 7 minutes long. This seems to equate to 15 minute quarters in real time, and also doesn’t take more than an hour to complete.

I have not yet figured out how to integrate videos and/or GIFs into ODS, but that is something I am working on.

I will update, from week to week, the digi-South Carolina Gamecock depth chart to the best of my ability. I said last week I will continue to start Perry Orth at QB1. However, with the coaching staff being mum on our QB situation this week, I’m going to take the leap and start digi-McIlwain.

I will also use the Duke playbook during ODS. Kurt Roper was the Duke OC for the NCAA 14 video game.

Also, a couple other things before start, let’s take a look at what was similar between ODS and the actual game:

Pretty much nothing.

What was different?

Well, we lost. Also, everything else.

Let’s get started!

The First Quarter, or: "Another Slow Start"

It’s an overcast, humid day in digi-Columbia as the South Carolina Gamecocks and the East Carolina Pirates get ready to square off. The Pirates win the toss and defer, so the Gamecocks will bring the ball out to the 27 yard line and we are underway. After a quick run by AJ Turner and pass to Bryan Edwards, the Gamecock offense will stall and be forced to punt to the Pirates.

*note, AJ Turner will be out with injury for the rest of the game after only getting two carries.

The Pirates waste no time in moving down the field as they are quickly inside the Gamecock 30 yard line. After converting on 4th and 5, the Pirates are inside the redzone. The Gamecocks, who can’t generate a pass rush, are methodically getting carved up by the Pirates intermediate passing game. On 2nd and goal from the 1 yard line, the Pirates will punch it in, 7-0 ECU.

The Gamecocks will get the ball on their own 31 yard line. After gaining 4 yards, they will go 3 and out and give the ball right back to ECU.

The Pirates, making good use of the halfback draw, are quickly across the 50 yard line and into Gamecock territory. After forcing a 3rd and 15, the Gamecock defense will give up a conversion on 3rd and long and the Pirates are to the Gamecock 32. Finally, the Gamecock defense will make a stop as they snuff out a screen play on 3rd and 10, forcing the Pirates to punt. Brandon McIlwain and company will take over inside their own 20 and, after a 4 yard scramble, the quarter will end.

The Second Quarter, or: "NOT GREAT, BOB"

A couple of David Williams runs and a completion to Hayden Hurst has the Gamecock offense moving. However, the Gamecocks will not get further than the Pirates 43 yardline and will punt on 4th and short (sigh).

The Pirates, taking over on their own 20, are again on the move. The Gamecock defense continues to get killed by the intermediate passing game and the Pirates are inside the Gamecock 30 yard line.

Jump to 3rd and 1 from the Gamecock 2 yard line, the ECU QB will drop back, has all day to throw and finds his receiver in the corner of the endzone, 14-0, ECU.

After receving the kickoff the Gamecocks will start on their own 24 yardline. Deebo Samuel will take a quick screen, gain 6 yards, and promptly fumble when he is hit. ECU recovers and returns the ball down to the Gamecock 3 yard line. On 1st and goal from the 3, ECU will run it right up the gut, 21-0, ECU.

The Gamecock offense, who may have finally gotten their stuff together, are quickly across the 50 yard line. After two quick sacks to make it 3rd and 16, David Williams will take the screen pass and dart 21 yards up field. The Gamecocks, finally in the redzone, quickly move inside the ECU 10 yard line. Brandon McIlwain will keep the ball on a zone read and punch it in for 8 yards! 21-7, ECU.

The digi-Gamecock defense, seemingly incapable of defending 3rd and long situations allow ECU to push the ball to the Gamecock 40 yard line with 4 seconds left. Alas, the Pirates Hail Mary attempt will fall incomplete and that’s how we will finish the half.

Halftime Analysis:

It took almost an entire half for the Gamecock offense to figure out how to move the ball with digi-McIlwain under center. What about the defense? Well, they haven’t been much better, as they’ve allowed ECU to gain 226 yards of offense in the first half and also convert 6 of 9 3rd down situations. With the Pirates getting the ball first to start the half, the digi-Gamecock defense will need to figure something out if they want to make a game of it.

The Third Quarter, or: "This Could Be Going Better"

ECU will start on their own 30. After a quick first down, the Gamecock defense will get a 3rd down stop! Forcing the Pirates to punt. Deebo will return the punt 7 yards to his own 15 yard line and that’s where the Gamecocks will start.

After a quick first down, the Gamecocks divert from the quick passing game and Brandon is promptly sacked. And the Gamecock will punt from their own 45. However, the defense does the thing and forces a three and out (!!!) to get the ball right back.

After a bad incompletion, McIlwain hooks up with fellow true freshman Bryan Edwards for a 20 yard gain down the Gamecock sideline. The Gamecock offense are now forcing a 4th and 11 from the Pirate 32 yard line. Coach Muschamp, ever the gambler will go for it on 4th down. McIlwain drops back, finds his checkdown for a 6 yard gain and the Pirates will get the ball back.

The Gamecock secondary still hasn’t figured out how to defend intermediate crossing routes and the Pirates are all of a sudden inside the redzone. On 2nd and 10, ECU will fire a 17 yard strike for a touchdown, 28-7, ECU.

The Gamecocks will start on their 25 yard line. On 3rd and 6, McIlwain gets hammered as he takes his 4th sack of the day. That’s how the quarter will end.

The Fourth Quarter, or: "

A poor punt and a good return will have the Pirates starting on the 50 yard line. Two play in to the drive and they are on the Gamecock 22 yard line. ECU will quickly move down to the 6 yard line and punch it in from there, 35-7, ECU.

The Gamecocks, down 4 touchdowns are playing with little sense of urgency. However, McIlwain will find Jamari Smith down the seam to the ECU 39. After a 20 yard screen pass to David Williams, the Gamecocks are on the Pirate 19 yard line. A Brandon McIlwain scramble has the Gamecocks on the 1 yard line. Still taking their time at the line of scrimmage, David Williams will be swarmed. The Gamecocks will finally punch it in via a Brandon McIlwain QB sneak, 35-14 ECU.

A failed onside kick attempt, and the Pirates will start at the Gamecock 42. After a first down, the Gamecock defense will sack the ECU QB on 2nd down. After stopping the Pirates on a 4th and 7, the Gamecock offense will need to move quickly to get back into this game.

After a 20 yard David Williams run, McIlwain will find Jamari Smith down the ECU sideline to the 32 yardline. On first and 10, McIlwain will throw to the corner of the endzone trying to find Bryan Edwards, but it’s picked off. With 1:26 left in the game, that will probably do it for the Gamecocks.

The Pirates will run the clock out and win the game, 35-14.

Analysis:

Well that wasn’t fun, at all. The defense couldn’t stop anything, the offense was extremely inefficient and the end result was a 3 touchdown loss to East Carolina. Let’s hope the game goes better than this in real life.

ECU Stat SC
413 Total Yards 317
266 Pass Yards 244
147 Rush Yards 73
0 Turnovers 2
6/12 3DC 3/9
Reid Herring: 30/38 266 yards passing, 3 TDs OPTOG David Williams: 11 carries, 66 yards, 8 catches for 75 yards
Travon Simmons: 10 tackles DPTOG Jonathan Walton: 9 tackles