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South Carolina Gamecocks positional preview: Linebacker

The boys of the south are back and ready to lower the boom. Faster, better, and meaner. We look at all the pieces from last year and what to expect this year from our linebackers. One thing is certain. Our linebackers will be in position to attack.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Who's gone?

Sharrod Golightly, Kaiwan Lewis, and Marcquis Roberts

Who's back?

Bryson (Mama said knock you out) Allen-Williams, Jonathan (Here comes the boom) Walton, Skai (Turn down for what) Moore, Larenz (All I do is win) Bryant, T.J. (Bring em' out) Holloman, Cedrick (Rollin) Malone.

Who's new?

Sherrod Pittman, Daniel Fennell, Ernest Hawkins, Jalen Henry, Tyler Ragsdale, and Reubyn Walker

Key Stats (1, 2, and 3 and to the 4, BAW, Moore, and Walton are at the door...)

B R U T A L. That is a key word for last year's defense. And the key stat for last year? Gamecocks strength of schedule! We were ranked 21st out of 128 schools for having the toughest schedule. BUT, we also had a lot of players leave for the NFL draft and although that should not be an excuse, it did have an impact.

Last year the Gamecocks were plagued with some bad defensive play calling and poor execution. The UT game was a prime example, but if you remember the game (or blocked it from memory) we gave up a late TD in the 2nd quarter on 4th down. In that game, we tried to put a lot of pressure on UT's QB when they had a porous O-line. The game really summed up our defense as a whole but really wasn't representative of our linebackers for a lot of the other games.

In 2014 Moore and Walton proved to be extremely effective in the Mike and Will LB positions. Moore was a man on fire. He lead the team with 93 tackles and even had 3 interceptions. However, his accomplishments were often overlooked because the defense struggled overall.

The Scoop (It's like this and like that and like this and uh)

I'll be honest.  If I had to face these guys, BAW,  Walton, Bryant and Moore, I would poop my britches. Seriously. Folks, we got depth too. We got talented linebackers that have confidence and swagger. But with last year stats, other teams just won't show any respect....to start out.

IF our D-line has improved this year (puh-lease Heavenly Father Almighty!) we will see a lot more LB blitzes. So here is the real deal Holyfield, whether it's zone coverage or man to man, our linebackers need to be in position, stick to their assignment and make the tackles. Um, duh. I know, right?  The biggest thing will be assignment football and execution. Stuff the run and pass coverage skills, these linebackers got it and Moore (pun). Just got to execute.

So, just chill to the next episode.