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The Feed Pail: September 20, 2016

Fulcrum point?

Home Opener 2016
Home Opener 2016
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Rubber Chickens: Buck posts his Snap Judgments – 2016 East Carolina @ USC Edition.  Like Buck, I'm torn on how many designed runs to give Brandon McIlwain:

Basically I guess what I’m saying now is there is a sweet spot in between my fear of him running too much and my fear of him not running enough. I’m not sure what that is, but I think I’ll know it when I see it. How’s that for hard-hitting analysis?

On the one hand, B-Mac is a dynamic playmaker and we will need his legs and toughness (like we needed Connor Shaw's not long ago). But on the other hand, Brandon is already taking too many big hits as it is. Its like we need him on the equivalent of a pitch (i.e., run) count. This may sound odd because Brandon does tend to roll out from the pocket, especially to his right: but I truly believe he can be coached to be solid pocket passer. To my eyes, at least, he is unafraid to set and throw even as the pass-rush is zeroing-in on him. Of course that takes us back to how many hits we want to expose a true freshman QB to, and of course he needs to keep working on mechanics and accuracy (more on that from Coach Muschamp below).

I completely concur with this analysis from Buck:

That’s a minimum of 12 points and a maximum of 28 points that East Carolina missed out on, both totals that could have won them the game. But it didn’t, and while that’s all well and good for one Saturday this fall, we cannot afford to let other teams sprint up and down the field on us. The odds are against them making the same mistakes.

I've been debating my pal Ogre at the water cooler. He thinks giving up all the real estate between the 20s was part of the plan and that Boom and Coach T knew that we'd get rolled for big yardage; without Moody this week (and no Rico or Skai) we had to limit the big plays and rely on the advantage of a shorter field as ECU moved down to the sidelines.  He argues it was offensive failures in both TOP and scoring that made it close. I can't deny that the offense dried up midway through the first quarter, but I dont see how we can gameplan ECU serving up three RZ turnovers (four if you count the missed FG).

Am I proud of the Defense for seizing the opportunities giving them? Obviously.  Do I mind that Boom says he only cares about the score at the last whistle? No.  Do I believe him?  No.  Other than Mizzou, who among our SEC foes is coughing up the rock that much, though? Does anyone think UT, UF or A&M will come away with 0 points on four redzone trips? Or UGA? As one of our commenters said in the open game thread -

Another interception is great

But my feelings wouldn’t be hurt if they wanted to make a stop earlier in a drive

by forsomereason on Sep 17, 2016 | 2:53 PM

[By the way, if you're not hanging out on the game thread when we play you are missing a real treat. Dust off your lappy if you need to (or borrow your kids'!).]

Finally, I am simply blown away by this tweet Buck found:

Scott Hood: Up Next: There's no 'D' in Kentucky. Well there hasn't been much 'O' in USC, either.

O'burg Times-Democrat: More from Mr. Hood - Confident QB McIlwain faces first road start.

Saturday Down South: Character.

SEC Country: I've wavered on this question, too, but why burn a redshirt unless the wheels come off? The door remains open for Jake Bentley in 2016. Jake will have his shot. Plus - Boom talks about B-Mac's mechanics -Will Muschamp pleased with Brandon McIlwain’s progress, looks to clean up throwing game.

The Daily Gamecock: 5 takeaways from South Carolina's win over ECU.

Post & Courier: David Caraviello is cribbing from Sydney - Gamecocks’ route to bowl eligibility faces a crossroads in Bluegrass State. True: "This trip to Commonwealth Stadium stands as a kind of fulcrum point in USC's season." At least were not cocky going in. Plus Wil Crowe’s return has Gamecocks well-armed as fall baseball practice begins.

John Whittle: Speaking of the Yardcocks - Search for a leadoff hitter begins with two candidates.

SportsTalkSC: Frank is working the recruiting trail hard - Official visit keeps USC in the game with 6-10 Nick Claxton of Greenville.

ESPN: SEC Week 2 bowl projections. Still no love. UGA to the Belk?  UGA is perennially shaky in September.  Wait for October.  Speaking of that, A.D. Ray Tanner needs to insist we get back our traditional September slot against the Dawgs and enough of this unmitigated b.s. of three SEC road games to open conference play. Of course, who is confident Ray will insist on anything when he goes to Birmingham? We shall see.

NFL Network: Just pumpin' gas, right Coach?  Da' Bears lost, though, 29-14 (I blame the Vandy grad, of course):

The State: Glad to see Melvin Ingram back - Gamecocks in the NFL, Week 2: Melvin Ingram causes havoc.