Scouting Report: South Carolina Offense

Carolina has been oddly inconsistent for a Steve Spurrier offense. The Gamecocks have scored 36 or more points four times but managed just 16 against LSU and Georgia and six against Vandy.

They are good when the running game clicks and they protect the quarterback. Anytime they struggle in either area they aren't good. On the season they average 122 yards a game on the ground and 250 through the air. They are coming off a strong performance against Arkansas in which they scored 36 points and gained 489 yards.

Quarterback --- Blake Mitchell is the current QB, but he has split time with Chris Smelley over the course of the season. Both guys are basically pocket passers with Smelley being the better athlete of the two. Both have completion percentages in the 50's with mediocre touchdown/interception ratios (Mitchell 6/6, Smelley 9/7). Mitchell is coming off a big game against Arkansas (27-51 364 2/0). It wouldn't be a shock to see them both play Saturday night.

Running Back --- Cory Boyd is a very good runner (785, 5.5, 6) and combines with Mike Davis (495, 4.5, 5) to give South Carolina an excellent tandem. Both are also excellent receivers with Boyd (32-313, 1) the number two pass catcher on the team and Davis (23-224, 1) is fourth. They will throw to them in flairs out of the backfield, and also down field on "wheel" routes. Look for Carolina to try and control the ball utilizing both backs in as many ways as possible.

Receivers --- For the second week in a row the Gators are facing a team whose number one receiver has caught far more passes than the other receivers. This time, it's Kenny McKinley (62-748, 7) who is far and away their best. Ocala's Dion Lecorn (19-209, 2) is coming on strong with eight catches in the Arkansas game. Florida has to be very concerned about the tight end, Jared Cook (26-381, 2) who is a legit threat in the passing game and is somewhat similar to Cornelius Ingram.

Offensive line --- This has been a good news/bad news unit. They have had some good performances and some real stinkers. Overall they do a good job of creating running room and protecting the quarterback in basic situations. However against blitzes or in obvious passing situations they have been simply awful. How awful? Carolina quarterbacks have been sacked 29 times this season. The best guy up front is the left tackle, Jamon Meredith who has started every game. Alongside him is a freshman Seaver Brown from Clearwater who might be a star one day.

Overall this offense is capable of doing a lot of damage if the Gators allow the quarterback to play in a comfort zone. However if Florida plays aggressively as they did last week, Carolina's 22 turnovers are proof they will make mistakes under pressure. QB is in a comfort zone. If not, 14 interceptions show they will make mistakes.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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