Frisby's Corner

GamecockAnthem.com is pleased to welcome Tim "Pops" Frisby to the Gamecock Anthem family. Frisby, one of the all time fan favorites at South Carolina, played wide receiver for the Gamecocks during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, and he will now be sharing his insider perspective in a weekly column called "Frisby's Corner." Read inside for the first edition of this exciting and insightful piece.

Normally my column will be written and ready for reader consumption the day after the game. My goal is to provide perspective and analysis from a player and analyst viewpoint. Hopefully I will be able to clarify and provide insight as to what players and coaches might be thinking during the game, and I will also give you a no-holds barred critique as to how the offense and defense performed during the game and which players stood out at their respective positions. I will close my column with a preview of the upcoming contest and my analysis for necessary areas of improvement. So here we go.

OFFENSIVE LINE

If you watched the game against Mississippi State, then you will not be surprised that my major concern is with the offensive line, as the Gamecock line was breeched more than the levies in New Orleans. There is good news and bad news that concerns the line. First the good news: This is the only offensive line we have folks, so get your gripes in this week while you can and learn to live with it. Our line is thinner than Nicole Richie on a diet, and that was never more evident than when the starting unit of Chris White, William Brown, Thomas Coleman, Jamon Meredith, and Gurminder Thind played the entire game in Starkville. It will be imperative for Coach John Hunt to prepare the backups (Anderson, Eckerson, and Edwards) for game duty immediately. There is potential in our front five, and they now have a game under their belts and no place to go but up. The bad news is that the line played well in spurts but showed nowhere near the consistency that will be required to compete at the SEC level. We must stop the rush off the end, as Blake Mitchell's health and well-being will depend on it.

RUNNING BACKS

Our saving grace was one Cory Boyd. The native of New Jersey ran with passion, persistence, and a chip on his shoulder in his first game back from suspension. On his forearm there is a tattoo of a pair of dog tags, and Mr. Boyd played with the attitude of a soldier and warrior throughout the game. Look for Boyd to take the bulk of the carries in the Georgia game, and I think Coach Spurrier will design more passes out of the backfield and middle routes to utilize Boyd's talents. On the flip side, Mike Davis seemed to regress to his early 2005 form. Mike was tiptoeing to holes and didn't seem to know when to bounce the run outside. Hopefully he will regain his late season form and become the Mike Davis we all know he can be. In the meantime, look for Coach Spurrier to utilize Bobby Wallace some more this upcoming week.

WIDE RECEIVER

The Mississippi State defense played the Gamecock receivers very well on Thursday night, and even if Mitchell would have had time in the pocket, our receivers were covered up pretty well. Sidney Rice was especially quiet, as he saw consistent double and triple team coverage throughout the night. The only bright spot was the Smelley to McKinley connection, which was under thrown and up for grabs. McKinley simply made a nice adjustment and came up with the catch. Syvelle Newton played his usual well-rounded game, but will need the ball in his hands more. Newton is a playmaker and will make plays if provided the opportunities. I also think that the tight end spot could have been utilized more. Jared Cook is capable of big plays, and his use will open up receiver opportunities. I will look for O.J. Murdock to get some reps this week to spread the field and create some underneath opportunities. Hopefully we will get to see if Moe Brown can live up to some of the preseason hype also.

QUARTERBACKS

Blake Mitchell cannot be totally blamed for his performance Thursday night (insert O-Line). Mitchell spent as much time running for his life as he did locating receivers. If he was not running, he was spending time in the prone position on the turf. With that being said, Mitchell must develop more of a presence in the pocket, as well as a sixth sense when it comes to feeling the pass rush. A good quarterback must have an internal clock that tells him he has had the ball too long and it is now decision time. THROW THE BALL AWAY. STEP UP IN THE POCKET. ROLL OUT TO AVOID THE RUSH. Do not stand there and be pile driven to the turf. Mitchell must develop this quickly for the team's sake, as well as his own. Chris Smelley impressed me with his poise for the few reps that he took. However, at this point Smelley is not ready to run the Gamecock offense, and hopefully coach Spurrier will be able to bring him along slowly. I think that Cade Thompson will eventually be used because of his knowledge of the offense.

DEFENSE

I saved Thursday night's best for last. The defense was very impressive, and what amazed me immediately was the overall team speed. Players were swarming to the ball and stringing out running plays from sideline to sideline. Of course Jasper Brinkley was impressive, and he played with what I call "bad intentions" in relation to the opposing players. I was also delighted with the line play of Norwood , Pepper, and Hall. Marque Hall seems to be showing the potential that he was recruited for.

The linebacker corps played outstanding. Cody Wells was flying around the field with reckless abandon, and Marvin Sapp was wreaking havoc with his combination of speed and strength. The Brinkley boys also showed that they will be valuable in short pass coverage, as they got their hands on a few pass deflections.

The secondary was solid, but Coach Ron Cooper will need to make a few adjustments this week. Carlos Thomas has great recovery speed but is currently gambling too much on coverage. Captain Munnerlyn bailed him out with a great tipped ball on one long pass, and he was getting beat on some double moves also. Fred Bennett played a solid corner, and the knowledge and leadership of Chis Hampton at safety impressed me. Hampton was directing traffic and seems to be a lynchpin in the secondary. Coach Nix did an outstanding job of preparation and getting the freshmen into the mix. I especially note the contributions of Rodney Paulk and Emanuel Cook.

GEORGIA GAME

Obviously we go into the Georgia game with grave concerns about the offensive line. However, let's accentuate the positive. We are 1-0 in the SEC, and our defense is fresh off pitching an SEC shutout. We have freshmen that are stepping up to the plate and helping this team in important ways. Coach Spurrier will get the offense figured out, count on it. Our defense gives us a chance to stay in games, and at this point we can be happy about that.

We must figure out a way to get the ball in Sidney Rice's hands, we need to get our running game back on track, and it is imperative that we protect our quarterbacks. On defense, we cannot afford to gamble when playing single coverage on Georgia's receivers. We have come close the last two years to handing Georgia a loss. Let's deliver one to them on Saturday night.

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