South Carolina's running game is anemic. There are so many reasons, too many excuses, that putting a finger on the problem is paramount to diagnosing a skin rash in a leper colony.
There may be no cure. Not this season anyway.
Consider first the fact that this edition of the Gamecocks is more of a passing edition, for better or for worse, than we have seen since the Steve Tanneyhill days.
The problem is that passing teams take more sacks. And sacks subtract from rushing totals by game's end.
So a team that has poor rushing totals in the first place, then has to have sack losses deducted from their total gains - those teams typically post poor numbers. It's a mathematical given.
There lies the weak link statistically.
Add to that the perception that passing teams practice more on the passing game and that passing offensive lines are better pass blockers than run blockers and you find yourself in a quagmire.
Steve Spurrier is demanding a running game right now but sometimes the more you want it the less you will have it. Such is life. Things have to come naturally, when the time is right.
The problem with this weekend is that the time may not be right against one of the better run-stop defenses in the country in Alabama.
South Carolina would do better this weekend to focus on what they do well and continue to do what they are comfortable with - which is throw the ball first, run the ball second. There will be time down the road this season to have a breakout rushing game.
Spurrier will still try to run the ball against Alabama. Enough so to keep them honest. And if Bama were to neglete the line of scrimmage to the point where it became glaringly tempting to keep the ball on the ground for extended series, you may rest assured that Steve Spurrier would take advantage of the situation.
In a nutshell, you might read this and that claiming Steve Spurrier wants to run the ball. That does not mean he is going to be able to any time soon. Not quite yet anyway and especially not this weekend verses Alabama. But the running game verses Bama will be greatly improved this weekend if for not other reason the sheer will of the head coach and his offense.
It will all look better on paper once Blake Mitchell learns to quit taking sacks as well.
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