Grading The Ten New Gamecock Starters
Now that the introduction is over with, let's get rolling. This week I am going to analyze and grade the Gamecocks ten new starters in their performance against Wofford with 10 being the best and 0 being the worst (yes, there will be a 0 in there tonight).
Before I start, let me simply point out that the fact we only managed to beat Wofford 27-20 will hurt some of these grades. Sorry guys.
We'll start with the guys who had seen significant playing time before starting for the first time on Saturday:
Cory Boyd: 8.5
Cory was excellent. He rushed for 77 yards on 11 carries with three TDs and even had a fumble recovery. He was the star of the first half. The only reason he doesn't get a 10, well two reasons: he ran tall at first, (like Albert Ashcraft used to run) but got going on his fifth carry, and also had a fumble. Oh yeah, 27-20.
Jared Cook: 4.5
Jared was average tonight. He had no receptions, but he was noticeably open at times, and he did perform well in run blocking. However, more is expected of the talented young tight end, and tonight's performance was nothing more than average.
Now to the new guys:
Syvelle Newton: 5.5
Ok ok, he's not new, but he is at his position. And before anyone wonders why I gave him such a low score, hear me out. I'm actually splitting his grade up into two halfs. First half – 10. Second half – 0.5
First half – Syvelle was excellent. He was 8-11 with 153 yards, he escaped sacks, he got Sidney Rice involved, he rushed for 47 yards on the ground, and he managed the game very well. EXCELLENT
Second half – As good as he was in the first half, he was just about that bad in the second. He was 4-7 for 43 yards with one interception, and he was horrible at leading the team down field. Oh yeah, clock management. He ran out of bounds with three minutes remaining and tried too many times to do things himself.
Overall Syvelle was okay, but again, he led his team to a 27-20 win over Wofford. That's just not good enough. But let's end positive, he was the only guy on the team that could have escaped from the pocket that many times.
Moe Brown: 5
Moe had his first career catch for 15 yards and that's about it. He was open on a couple of occasions and had two rushes for 13 yards, but his blocking has to improve.
Garrett Anderson: 6
Garrett did the best of the three new offensive linemen. On Boyd's first TD run, he took his guy and threw him aside. He did a nice of job of opening some holes, but was too inconsistent on pass blocking. Overall, he was pretty decent for his first start.
Hutch Eckerson: 5.5
Hutch had a bigger challenge at the left tackle spot, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt on that. There were times when Boyd went to a hole that Eckerson created, but Eckerson was again way too inconsistent in pass protection. Auburn is right around the corner, and he's got a long ways to go in just two weeks. But again, he wasn't too bad considering this was his first career start.
Seth Edwards: 4.5
Seth was the worst out of the bunch, but let's start positive. On some cut back runs by Boyd, Edwards did a great job pinning the defensive tackle inside, but Edwards struggled with consistency. Even when he wasn't involved in the play (when the run was to the right), he was slow getting over to hit his guy. I don't know why at this present time, but Web Brown was in at left guard for most of the second half.
Stanley Doughty: 8
Yes I know, Doughty only had two tackles and one for a loss, but Doughty was constantly in the backfield, pushing the quarterback further back than he would have liked on the option. The problems the defense had stopping the option were certainly not Doughty's fault. Plus anytime the fullback went up the middle, avoiding where big number 55 was a major priority. Doughty was more consistent tonight, and overall he played very well.
Jordin Lindsey: 5
One tackle was it for number 41 but Lindsey held his ground pretty well on the option runs. Lindsey did struggle getting into the backfield but to his credit, Wofford only threw the ball 11 times. Lindsey lined up along the front more than expected, so he should have been more comfortable. However, one tackle is just not going to cut it considering how Wofford ran to the outside as much as they did.
Rodney Paulk: 5
Rodney had 6 tackles on the night, but his pass coverage left a lot to be desired. There were a couple of times where he clearly lost his assignment, and it cost the Gamecocks as a result. He had six tackles yes, but also missed out on a couple more. Paulk gets rated a 5 because of the chance to play better and his poor pass coverage.
Players Of The Game
I also wanted to add my offensive and defensive MVP's real quick. Cory Boyd and Dakota Walker were outstanding and I expect Walker to start next week.
Yes, the Gamecocks were good enough to pull out the victory against Wofford, and a performance like this may even be good enough to defeat Florida Atlantic next weekend, but these guys will need to show tremendous progress over the next couple of weeks if they want to have a chance against Auburn.
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