Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 Gamecock Preview: The Offense

OK so this bender that I was on kind of extended itself right up until I started my summer schooling here on the 25th. Some advice stemming from said bender: Bud Select in bottles is serviceable. Bud Select in cans is fucking terrible. Sweetwater Summer Hummer is all you should be drinking right now. That’s all I’m going to say, though. So sorry about so little postings. In this post, I’m going to outline the Gamecock offense, specifically strong and weak points and some questions heading into the new season. By the way, if you have a chance of taking a six week French 101 course, it is a good way to learn French because it forces you to learn it. But it’s also a good way to not do much else besides learn French. With that said, let’s get into it.

This is it.

Like a lot of bloggers here on these internets, I’m fascinated/terrified by Phil Steele’s knowledge of and subsequent prediction of my favorite team’s upcoming season. He is picking the Gamecocks to be tied for first in the SEC East with UGA. This is terrifying for me because it has marginally increased my hopes of a finish better than 7-5. Marginally—I’m still your reliable Gamecock pessimist, dear readers. So obviously an important factor to a Spurrier coached team is going to be the offense. Let’s take a look at it, starting with…


I feel as if the Gamecocks are set here. Cory Boyd and Mike Davis are two above-average backs (on a horrible-bad-fair-good-above average-great continuum) that are fully capable of handling the carries required by a Spurrier offense. In the past two seasons, it seems as if Spurrier has run more of a ball control offense, and I believe that this can be shown through how few times the Gamecocks have punted last year: 30 in 2006. Their opponents punted 48 times in the same year. So I guess my point is that Spurrier leaned on Boyd and Davis, especially in that Clemson game where all four Gamecock touchdowns in the 31-28 win was scored on the ground. Davis and Boyd combined for about 170 yards in that game. This is of course helped out by the fact that the Gamecocks had a decent…


…by that point in the season. The inside three from this effective unit is now gone. So once again the Gamecocks have to rebuild the O-line. Some projected starters include two defensive linemen that are switching to the O-line. I honestly have no idea how this is going to turn out, and from what I can tell, the opening SEC game vs. the Georgia Bulldogs will be a battle to see who has the worse O-line. We’ve lost five straight to these guys and I’ve promised myself that I’m not going to pick the Gamecocks in this game until they can prove me wrong. Hopefully the O-line can limp along thru the Georgia and LSU games, and get to a relatively easier stretch against MSU, Kentucky, UNC and Vanderbilt. Regardless if the line is solidified or not, the schedule gets significantly harder at that point, with games at UT, at Arkansas and then home for UF and Clemson. The o-line is probably the biggest weakness of the offense, and it just so happens that this will affect everything, especially…


…Blake Mitchell. OK here’s the thing about Blake. He can be good and then he can be awful. A big key of this is how good the offensive line is doing. Last year the o-line couldn’t block, so Syvelle Newton, my second favorite Gamecock of all time, had to go to QB. But back to Blake. I think he can be a solid quarterback, and as Brandon from Cock-n-Fire recently mentioned, but he tends to fuck up a lot…so I don’t know if he ever will be a solid QB. I really don’t know what to do with this guy. I never thought I’d really utter this line but…I wish the Gamecocks could have Phil Petty back. Kill me now. No smooth transfer here so let’s just jump to the…

No Phil Petty picture to be found, but when I Google Image searched him, a My Lai pic came up. Appropriate.


The new man?

I think the squad is deceptively deep here. Kenny McKinley was pretty much the go to guy for the middle stretch of the season until Sidney was able to get going. Kenny had 8 catches for 110 yds and 1 TD vs. Auburn, 4 for 70 vs. Tennessee, 7 for 87 and 1 TD vs. Arkansas, 5 for 71 at Florida, 5 for 66 at Clemson and 3 for 112 and 2 TDs in the bowl win vs. Houston. Besides that, not too many people have seen action, but big things are supposedly expected from incoming freshman Chris Culliver, a five star recruit, and JUCO transfer Larry Freeman. Freeman is expected to play right away, and he is famous already for being bitched out by Spurrier during the spring game for running the wrong route…oh and this was nationally televised.

Others that may see time include Mike West, whom Spurrier said “looks like Calvin Johnson. But that’s it…he just looks like Calvin Johnson. Let’s see if he can play like him.” For what it’s worth, West converted from linebacker to WR, he weighs 220 lbs and runs a 4.4 40.

One more thing:

As per usual, Brandon writes so I don’t have to: Recruit ineligibility news

Whew. I don’t know why, but it took me forever to finish this post. We’re a week away from NCAA 08’s release date and I’m getting ready to log some major hours on that and do some reportage here at Third Down Draw.

1 comment:

Flounder said...

like the blog and glad to see someone else out in the world wrtiting about the gamecocks...check us out when you get time.