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South Carolina at Missouri: After Further Review

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GUUUUUUUUUUH

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Hoo boy. That game certainly looked like a couple of true freshmen started it. Lorenzo Nunez was sometimes very good and sometimes very bad and somehow managed to not get more seriously injured than he did. That's good, because the Gamecocks don't have any other options and will ride poor NuNu into the dirt in an effort to get something going on offense. Spurrier needs to be very, very careful not to go full Dusty Baker on Nunez and make a bad situation worse. I think accidental yards gained out paced our rushing attack Saturday.

This paragraph started as an excuse to excuse a bad offense on account of a very real need to force plays when our porous-at-best D is waiting on the sidelines to get lit up. I deleted it, though, because I don't think this loss is on the very not good defense, but instead on the coaching staff as a whole. The disappointing 2015 season is not a symptom of bad defense, or bad offense or any isolated thing. It's not a symptom of a drop in recruiting. The Gamecocks have always been under-performers in the recruiting rankings under Spurrier. There has definitely been a systematic improvement over the last decade, as in-state talent didn't bleed away to Florida schools or the program up state, but it's not like Carolina was ever a top-tier recruiter during our 11-win seasons before the bottom fell out after all that retirement talk. This program has been at its best and brightest when it develops talent and manage to squeeze every ounce of potential out of their players, 4-star or walk-on.

This year has been, instead, a Lou-Holtzian effort in striving for the lowest common denominator and excelling at mediocrity. 11 Pharoh Cooper's wouldn't make this team any better than it is right now. This is a team that should be better than they are. It's a team that should be able to put together a couple of quarters of quality football but has failed to do so thus far. It's not a question of talent so much that it's a management problem. Spurrier, fiery and competitive as he is, has spectacularly failed to motivate his team and his staff hasn't coached anyone up, and, well, now we're 2-3 and face the very real possibility of losing out on 3 weeks of bowl practice that the team sorely needs and oh my god did I really just write that sentence?

Carolina is not very good. They could get better, but probably not fast enough or far enough for it to make much difference in 2015. So for now we perpetuate the Spurrier retirement-narrative, and, unfortunately, for a guy who's always defied expectations, I can't help but feel that he's finally found a corner he can't fight his way out of.

At least Georgia got beat like a drum. I take some small solace in Verne Lundquist's obvious confusion that his game notes tell him Greyson Lambert is a good QB. THAT'S ON YOU, LORENZO.