Steve Taneyhill: Offensive Analysis

Steve Taneyhill has the "it factor" when it comes to leadership. From the moment he took over the USC offense, he put his stamp on the team in a way that grateful Gamecocks fans will never forget. He has continued his success as a state championship winning high school coach. Here he shares his unique insight into the Carolina offense in a chat with Doug Jolley about the loss to LSU.

Positives from the LSU game:

I thought we played good – we were in the game. If they give that effort every week, good things will happen. The defense played great. If you listen to the ESPN guys, and I don't think they are the all-knowing of college football, but they do see a lot of games, and they rated South Carolina's defense one of the best they've seen.

The dropped ball by McKinley late in the game, that play hurt us. That's one of those plays that could have got us back into the game. You hope your senior "NFL" wideout doesn't drop that. I know he slipped a little bit, but he's got to make that play. I thought the receivers played well. If you know anything about offense, Carolina was beating them using a lot of the same plays - crossing routes etc. Garcia was doing a good job.

On the play of Stephen Garcia:

I thought he played pretty good. Carolina's lack of running game when you're playing a team with a defensive line like LSU has, they're just going to line up and rush the passer. I thought the offensive line played good at times and at other times they had breakdowns. There's no running game to keep the defense honest. Against a team like LSU, you can't have turnovers, and we had a few of those. Besides that, I thought the quarterback played well. For a first start against the level of competition, I thought he played pretty good.

On the lack of a running game:

If Emmitt Smith was in the backfield at Carolina, and they're not opening holes, even he isn't going to have a good game. I attribute the problems with the running game to both the backs and the offensive line. I don't think we have a game changer at tailback, and obviously the offensive line has struggled. But – we haven't run the ball all year. I don't see the production from the tailbacks. You definitely can't put one in and have a fumble, or the quarterback fumbling the ball. Those things will get you beat against good teams.

Outlook for the rest of the season:

If they play that way every week they're going to win a bunch of those games remaining. I think they ought to beat Tennessee. Tennessee has been really up and really down. They are a team that is struggling as well. I would hope that Carolina comes out and jumps on them quick. You can't let Tennessee hang around; it is not like Tennessee doesn't have good players. They recruit well every year. Fulmer is a (pause) pretty good coach. We're going to have to play well, but if we get the effort that we got against LSU all the way around, and get a little bit better on the O-line, and not turn it over, I don't see why Carolina doesn't handle Tennessee.

I think they have to keep working. If you're not going to be able to run the ball, then I'd just line it up and throw it every play. To be a very good football team, you've got to do a little of both, and we're struggling to do both. That defense is so good - they can win these last games. They've got to play well, and they have to cut out the turnovers. When you are playing good teams and you're going toe-to-toe with them, if you turn it over, you're going to get beat.

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