I could go on some huge rant and talk about how awful everything is and how we are not going to win another game. This was my first game as a student after 18 long years of being a fan, and I truly am disappointed. I can't sleep, I’m writing this at one in the morning after the game. I’m just going to give you a quick run down of my experience. After that, I’m going to share my thoughts on everything else.
My friend and I were late to this game. We’re walking in and we just hear everyone going crazy. I was thinking, “DEEBO JUST RAN A KICKOFF BACK,” but I was wrong. He did score a 68 yard TD, then Skai Moore proceeded to pick the ball off and give it right back to the offense. We sputter out, Woznick misses his first FG of the night, then we get the ball right back. After that, Bentley throws a pick.
Fast forward to the end of the game, we score on a great play by OrTre Smith in a corner catch in the end zone. At this point, the game is 20-13, and as poorly we performed we were in the game we were still in it. The defense gets Kentucky to a 3rd and 8 if I remember correctly, we send a blitz and don't leave a spy for Johnson, and he breaks a 60 yard scramble and takes it to our 8 or so. The game is over.
There were multiple accounts of bone heading play calling to me, but I’m not a Division One football coach and neither are any of you reading this post. We think we know just as much or more than the coaches, but we don't. If I remember correctly, we run the ball 3rd and 4th and 1 from the shotgun, don't convert. This pisses me off when it comes to college coaching. We have plays under center that we use. In those situations, we should use them. Giving a player a downfield start compared to six yards deep is an insanely easy decision.
Sadly, it was originally announced that Deebo Samuel had a broken his leg in Will Muschamp’s post game presser. However, a tweet later from Deebo himself would indicate that its only a low ankle fracture, and he's only going to miss 5-6 weeks. I pray that is what it actually is, because if not this season is going to be up in jeopardy.
Thank all y'all for the support...... it's is not a broken leg low ankle fracture we will be back in 5-6 weeks #GoGamecocks❤️— UnoCaptain‼️❌ (@Uno_Captain) September 17, 2017
We had a chance to be up 21-0 with ten minutes left in the first quarter. Williams-Brice was going absolutely insane. “We’re actually going to beat Kentucky, it’s finally our year,” is what I thought. However, I was obviously wrong.
Jake just had some awful throws. His stats are deceiving, seeing he was 24-37 for 304 and two scores. His third down passing was garbage, he missed open receivers, and the team was a combined 4-15 on 3rd and 4th down. Kentucky was 9-16. To win consistently, he is going to have to improve. I can't put Bentley completely on the spot here, considering some of the atrocious play calling by Kurt Roper. I still don't understand bringing someone that worked and coach QB’s for the Browns on your staff, but those guys know a lot more than me.
Our run game is going to have to improve for us to beat Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and even freaking Vanderbilt. Vandy is putting together a pretty good season so far, only giving up 13 points across three games and beating a ranked Kansas State team this weekend. We ran the ball 20 times for a whopping 54 yards, averaging 2.4 yards on the ground. What makes it worse is that Kentucky was without their LB, Jordan Jones. Tyson Williams didn't have a rush attempt, which is absolutely outrageous. That dude can tote the rock. Roper is going to have to get that man the ball more.
On to special teams, Alexander Woznick and Parker White performed badly. They missed three field goals and a PAT. If they make their field goes, we probably win. They weren't close misses either, the attempts were just bad. I knew the kicking game was going to bite us in the butt at one point, which is sad because tonight was supposed to be our night. We were gonna be 3-0, with two SEC East wins under our belt. It’s honestly sad and disappointing.
To say this game didn't go our way would be the easy solution. During his press conference, Muschamp repeatedly said that he was “disappointed” in the way the team performed. Honestly, I think that every Carolina fan feels the exact same way. We finally have everything going right, and its taken away from us. It is just deja vu all over again. I’ve seen this story so much.
Now, we’re going to move from sad Thomas to look at the good Thomas. Kentucky played their absolute best game, we play our absolute worst, and were within a score with less than five minutes in the fourth. This team fights like hell to me, and some of the players seem to never give up. That part of tonight is what made me proud. I’m disappointed in the way Jake Bentley played at times, I’m disappointed in our kicking game, and our running attack.
With all of this being said, I refuse to be that fan that gives up and says we’re screwed for the rest of the season. Just like Muschamp says, we have to take every game one by one. We can still win the East, we can still win a bunch of games this season, and compete at a very high level. One game doesn't define the University of South Carolina Football Team. If you think they played so bad and want to jump off the ship, go ahead. I, nor anyone else, will miss you.
This team still has a lot of room to improve. I believe it will. I hope it will. The only way we can be great is to get better. I’ll never give up on them. I’m proud to be a student and a fan of the University of South Carolina. Forever To Thee. No one can or will ever take that away from me.