Clemson beat the snot out of South Carolina on Sunday, 19-6. With the win, Clemson took the series in the this year’s new, 3-game, in-state rivalry format.
Archive for the 'South Carolina' Category
I’ve been really down on the defense, especially since the GT game. I said this about last year’s defense and I’ll say it about this year’s: they’re good, but they’re not good enough.
In the GT game, the defense allowed 4 touchdowns, “forced” 4 field goals, and produced only one real stop. Not a great performance by the defense. Clemson lost by 5 pts.
However, on the other side of the ball, look at the missed opportunities. One field goal was missed and there were two interceptions. It was a one possession game and Clemson threw away three possessions.
I was even upset with the defense after the USCe game. Looking back at the stats, especially after the ACCCG, the D’s play looked great by comparison. Yes they gave up 4 touchdowns and 2 field goals. But they also made an interception, recovered a fumble, and forced 3 punts.
It was the offense that blew that game. Jamie Harper fumbled on the first drive, foreshadowing that this game was going to turn out about like the ’08 ‘Bama game. What followed was this sequence: interception, punt, punt, fumble, punt, punt, punt, punt, field goal, turnover-on-downs, turnover-on-downs. Say that list out loud and you force yourself to realize how bad it was.
- field goal
- turnover on downs
- turnover on downs
To further emphasize how pathetically the offense performed, note that 4 of those punts were on 3-and-outs. The 2nd fumble was on a 3-play drive. In total, the offense produced 260 yards, only 48 of which were on the ground.
The defense wasn’t good enough. And they got gashed for a lot of a yards. But there are few defenses anywhere who will look good when the offense can’t stay on the field.
It feels good, no, GREAT to have the season back underway.
A few observations from the early part of the season:
- Offensive guru Steve Spurrier coaches his high powered offense to a whopping 7 points and just over 250 yards of offense en route to sad victory in a sad game against NC State. That lone touchdown drive — the winning touchdown drive — only traveled 14 yards.
- This is my first season with HD. What a big difference it makes!
- Now I’m watching the Oregon @ Boise State game. Even in HD everything is a horrible blue blur.
I think the headline says it all: #20 Tigers Explode for 12-2 Win at South Carolina.
It’s gonna be a good day, Tater.
Heat is not the only thing resonating out of Columbia these days. Darth Visor, this past Monday, ended the Gamecocks evening practice when linebacker Eric Norwood threw down the feathers on receiver Moe Brown after a passing drill. The hard hit was not the only reason for the team sutting down practice, just after the hit, Spurrier witnessed, “giggling” from his defense. The thought and mental picture of South Carolina’s defense giggling together just gave me a chuckle. During the AP interview Spurrier explained it’s time for USC to start practicing like a team and until then they will run for practice.
Reportedly this past Wednesday Steve Spurrier was spoted on a college campus other than USC’s. The News & Observer out of Raleigh has discovered that Spurrier has been seen on Duke’s campus and has been meeting with the AD. A school spokes person has outwardly commented that they are looking for a replacement for Ted Roof. Check the articles out, 1 and 2.
So the author of Why South Carolina Will Beat Clemson was wrong about the outcome. I won’t fault someone too much for not being able to predict the future. I will fault the author for the logic behind his decision.
The author begins by pointing out that the heartbreaking loss to Boston College guaranteed us no chance of winning a championship or going to a big-time bowl — no news there, in his words, “it was the classic ‘Clemson Meltdown.’”
Unlike Clemson, however, South Carolina has a steady ball coach—the Head Ball Coach actually, who will look to right the ship and close out the year with a strong win. Coming off a much-needed bye week, look for the Gamecocks to be sharp in a game they need to win for bowl eligibility.
Thus, not only will Clemson be in their all-too-regular post-meltdown state of shock, South Carolina will be healthy, rested, and coached by a man not in perpetual lame-duck status.
Well that logic seems robust. But it can be made stronger, right? After pointing out that in Clemson’s loss to BC, home field advantage was not all that valuable, he gives USCe credit for home field advantage.
But the hatred for Clemson is real around Columbia, and I expect another raucous crowd, similar to the one Kentucky faced months ago.
On top of that, it’s just hard to imagine bowl season without Steve Spurrier.
So that’s the gist of the post. In hindsight, it was clearly wrong. However, when it was written it was still wrong and, well, pretty stupid.
First off, their are no “classic” Clemson meltdowns. Sure there are annual meltdowns, but they come in all shapes and flavors. Beside that point, what had happened in the 8 seasons prior to this one in which we came into the USCe game? Well I count 6 wins and only 1 of the two losses was in Columbia. So for as inconsistent as Bowden’s teams have been throughout the season, they have pretty consistently beaten South Carolina regardless of home field advantage.
And I’m not sure how “steady” Spurrier is or how that’s an advantage for Carolina. In 2005 he went 7-5 with some good wins and stupid losses. (Yeah yeah, those were the lame players from that last national champion coach they brought in.) In ’06 he went 8-5 with no stupid losses. But, coming into the Clemson game, the team was 6-5 with 3 of his own recruiting classes (but they’re still young!) with some good wins, some stupid losses, and a 4 game losing streak. If his performance at Carolina is the definition of steadiness, then I don’t exactly see how that is any kind of advantage.
But we can fall back on the incontrovertible logic that it is just too doggone hard, or damn near impossible, to imagine bowl season without Spurrier around. Perhaps it would be hard to imagine if there weren’t all those years where he wasn’t around for bowl season because he was failing in the NFL.
So I don’t get it. Or is the joke on me? Was the post supposed to be some kind of satire about the mental state of the average Carolina fan?
First, let’s take a quick step back (I know the tile and the first statement don’t jive, deal with it) and look at a few points from this past weekend. First of all, I would like to say that, as of Monday afternoon, all should be right in the universe again because the Tiger Football Team should be ranked ahead of the Basketball Team. This major crisis was real and I could see The Nothing from The Never Ending Story devouring South Carolina as a whole due to this paradox. All should be well in Clemson land.
There is one point of info which I am sure we have all viewed slack-jawed over from this past weekend’s game, Tiger and Gamecock alike. The major reason why Clemson came away with a win in Columbia is time of possession. The Tigers kept the ball out of Spurrier’s hands for nearly 3 entire quarters (CU38:37 USC21:23). I truly believe this was the game winner for the Tigers. An extra few minutes of ball possession on the Gamecock side and the outcome would have, very possibly, been different. This is the one glaring statistic on paper for this game which made the difference. Most of the numbers on both side of the ball are VERY similar.
On a side note, a hot topic, what to do with Bowden? Well, difficult to fire the man after a 9-3 regular season, even if we get thumped in a bowl by an SEC team. Pickings will be slim to none for a decent coach in the off season, we have a fantastic class of recruits headed to Tigertown this year, and nearly every kid is graduating in four years on the team. Everyone, it’s time to put the pitchforks and torches away for awhile. Bowden’s current contract is through 2010. It’s time to show the nation we are serious about our program. I for one am about sick of the media gabbing on about how we are going to fire Bowden and how he is on the “hot seat”. This is devastating to a program and how it is portrayed from the outside in. I feel it to be a good move to offer a two year extension with a nominal pay raise (contract to 2012) with a rider of a possible additional three year extension(contract to 20015) and pay raise at the end of a potential “great” season in 2008. Keeping the program moving in a positive direction and giving a contractual goal for Bowden is good business and is critical from every standpoint. Recruits want to know who they will be playing for all four years, negative media needs to be silenced, and the administration needs to make sure Tommy doesn’t leave Clemson in the middle of the night because we won’t put up for some job security on his part. Extend the contract, keep a decent/good coach and keep moving in a positive direction. Things could be much worse. Clemson could be 6-6, not going to a bowl game, and have just lost our 9th game in 11 years to our rival and our coach could be in the mist of the longest losing streak of his career.