Frisby's Corner: Week Eight
Hello fellow Gamecock supporters. I am happy for one reason only this morning. I'm happy because I've had a full day to digest and recover from our totally embarrassing loss to Vanderbilt. Seriously, I would not have been capable of writing this article yesterday in my then state of mind. I had a myriad of feelings and emotions flowing through my head on Saturday afternoon. Please, allow me to share a few with you:
Embarrassment: Yes, we should all be embarrassed by the performance put on by our Gamecocks. However, believe me when I tell you there is no one more embarrassed than the Carolina coaches and players who played on the field and walked the sidelines on Saturday. Coach Spurrier handled himself with grace and class, but I'm positive he is being eaten alive by this loss. Vanderbilt is a well coached and very smart team, but they in no way, shape, or form have better coaches or athletes than Carolina.
Anger: I'm upset at our inability to even remotely resemble the #6 ranked team in the country; Angry at how we worked our way up the polls and into the BCS rankings just to lose to, as Emanuel Cook put it, "the sorriest team in the SEC." I wouldn't go that far, but you get the picture. I guess it wasn't enough for us to watch team after team in the top-ten bounced every week. It wasn't enough for us to be constantly disrespected when the analyst talked about the real players in the BCS picture. I guess those lessons were not enough for us to keep our guard up and "protect this house." Webster's defines anger as – a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong. Hell yes I'm angry. The Gamecocks wronged us all on Saturday afternoon.
Bewilderment: The state of being confused or puzzled completely; perplexed. Yup! I've got my hand raised up high, because I was sure perplexed. I still can't figure it out? This was not Georgia, LSU, or even North Carolina we were playing. For heaven's sake, people this was Vanderbilt! The only given (if there is one) on the SEC slate. Do we have no shame!
I'm quite sure some of you were feeling the same way. So what went wrong on Saturday? How do we fix it? How do we right the ship? Is there still time to get the train back on track?
I said last week that we sucked in the second half against UNC. Well, how is sucking in a whole ballgame for you? Yes, we managed to accomplish that rare feat on Saturday.
Let's start with the O-line play or lack thereof. Enough said. Our offense cannot function without good O-line play. Vandy brought five guys all day. Hey, how about this revolutionary idea - Let's block those five guys and give our quarterbacks some time to throw. Surely we must have figured out their strategy in, oh say, the first five minutes of the game. I didn't know if I was watching offensive linemen or matadors out there.
How about our quarterback quandary? Personally, I don't think we have one. I think Chris or Blake will be successful if they are given the time to throw. I will, however, provide a few simple but useful pointers. Chris, put some zip on the ball and stop trying to guide your throws. Fade routes require arch on the ball and out routes require you to throw it on a rope with some velocity. Please look your receivers off and stop locking in on them. Oh, and for heaven's sake, if Kenny McKinley is in double coverage then someone else is open.
Blake, calm down just a tad. I believe you're going to get your chances. You must remember you are dealing with a lot of freshmen. Take control in the huddle and let them know where you need them to be. I know Patr DiMarco was supposed to sit on that route out of the backfield, but the fans don't. It's all good. The bottom line is you guys are the QB's, team leaders, let's start leading.
I don't have too many complaints about the running game. Cory Boyd gave up an untimely fumble, so what. I can live with that every one or two hundred carries. We felt a little of Clemson's pain on Saturday. Basically, if you can't throw the ball effectively, you can't run it effectively either. Get the passing game straightened out and the running game will take care of itself.
Our bend but don't break defense broke a little on Saturday. We gave up some uncharacteristic passing touchdowns. However, the defense did allow us to stay in the game. We once again showed an inability to stop a running quarterback. This does not bode well with Tim Tebow coming to town in a few weeks. If we can't stop a no name like McKenzie Adams from running on us, I don't know what to expect. We have to do a better job of filling the gaps. It's never a good sign when a member of our secondary leads the team in tackles.
I know one thing - We need to remember the sting of this game. We need to put it behind us but remember the feeling. We still have an SEC-East Title to win. We need to regroup, refocus, and play the kind of football we are capable of. Let's not let this game define our season or us. Let's take it out on Tennessee. GO COCKS!
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