Tough Times

Putting yourself in a 21-0 hole against an SEC team when you’re on the road would be a significant challenge for nearly any team in the country. Despite three quick turnovers, the Gamecocks battled to stay in the game.

“We hung in there and kept our heads high. We moved the ball,” said quarterback Stephen Garcia. “It’s tough to beat a team when you spot them those points. It was the same thing in Alabama.”

“It’s easier not to get deflated when you’re doing it to yourself. It’s not like they were ramming it down our throats and we couldn’t stop them,” said wide receiver Moe Brown. “It’s just tough to beat a team when you have turnovers like that. That’s just Football 101.”

Execution is the Key

Although the stat sheet shows the Gamecocks were 1-1 in the red zone Saturday night, costly mistakes and penalties kept South Carolina from turning promising drives into touchdowns.

“We have to get better in the red zone and score touchdowns instead of kicking field goals,” said Garcia. “We can’t trade touchdowns for field goals against these teams.”

“We’ve just got to execute when we’re down there – that’s money time,” said Brown.

Picking up the tempo

Garcia and Brown both agreed that the Gamecocks need to practice harder to get back in the win column against Arkansas.

“We’re going to step up the tempo in practice and start getting on guys,” said Garcia. “We’ve just got to pick it up.”

“Coach has talked practicing fast and we’re going to make that a point of emphasis come Monday,” Brown said. “We need to make sure everyone’s going to every ball.”

Looking at the numbers

For the second straight week, Garcia threw for 300 yards. The Gamecocks spread the ball around as four different receivers each had four or more catches and at least 40 yards.

South Carolina finished with more total yards of offense than the Volunteers. However, the Gamecocks struggled to run the ball and had 65 yards of rushing offense to Tennessee’s 199.

Take away the short fields created by the turnovers and the South Carolina defense held their own against the Volunteer offense. Tennessee was just 3 of 14 on third downs and finished with fewer first downs than South Carolina.

Looking Ahead

Next weekend, the Gamecocks travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas to face the Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas got back on the winning track Saturday with a 63-27 win against winless Eastern Michigan. The Razorbacks boast one of the top passing attacks in the SEC. Quarterback Ryan Mallet leads the league in passing. Kickoff is set for 12:21 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Tough Times

  1. i have been a supporter of the university of south Carolina since 1975 and i will still support usc tru wins and loses i keep listening too the players say the new Carolina and that’s fine with me but what i see on the TV is Carolina comes out too fired up they need to come out and play for 60 min not 30 min second half the QB needs to calm down and act like hes done this before instead of coming out and making krazy mistake he needs to see film on how Payton manning and Tim tebow and some of the great QB did it and he and again settle down from the start and Finnish teams off

  2. JB

    I see the one comment and disagree with one point. Coming out too fired up?! The Defense maybe, but they aren’t the problem. Take away the free points via fumbles and it isn’t too bad. The offensive line is killing the team once again. Garcia is proving that he is every bit as talented as any, and boy does he get pressure so the mistakes are understandable. Once again, it is the Offensive line taking the team out. No run blocking, no pass blocking, etc. The defense despite injuries has held up with the weakness being stopping the run. I pray for an 8 win season, but the orange crush ensues. If they are a “new” Carolina, the will not lose the next 3 AND the bowl game.

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