Snap Judgements – USC @ Mississippi State Edition
Here are some quick, barely researched, not fully-formed thoughts from yesterday’s emotional, hard-fought 14-12 victory over Mississippi State:
Marcus. This being early Sunday morning, we are still awaiting more concrete information on Lattimore’s knee injury. I am pessimistic, but am hesitant to write any type of epitaph on #21′s season. It’s scary, it’s sad, but at the moment I write this there is still hope. I know knees don’t normally bend that way, but I also know Marcus Lattimore has been defying normal for quite some time now.
D is for Defense. The first couple of weeks of the season we were wondering why all the talent on the defensive side of the ball wasn’t translating into low yardage and low point totals. Wonder no more. While this week was nothing like the Vanderbilt or Kentucky games, make no mistake, holding the MSU offense to 10 points won this game for us. Sure, the Bulldogs moved the ball at times, and missed a couple of long ball opportunities when receivers got behind Marty Markett. But we had Tyler Russell running for his life all day, and we disrupted and decleated at all the right times.
All hands on deck. Whether Lattimore is out for days, weeks or months, it’s time for some guys on offense to step to the front of the line. A preseason ESPN.com article talked about our returning “Big 3″ – Garcia, Lattimore and Jeffery. Well, at this moment we’re down to the big 1, and we need our paper playmakers to become real playmakers. Ellington, Sanders, Byrd, Wilds, Miles, Jones et al, show us what you got.
1. Speaking of our big 1, any doubts cast upon that gentlemen were dispelled with one 42-inch vertical leap. He’s still a superstar, regardless of stats.
Fourth quarter comeback. We’ve had a dearth of fourth-quarter comebacks at South Carolina over the years. But Connor Shaw orchestrated one in his third career start. Shaw’s numbers – 20-28, 155 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT – were nothing to write home about. He forced some balls that led to the interceptions, and maybe made a couple of other decisions he’d like to have back. But when it counted, on the last meaningful drive of the fourth quarter, he was 4-4 for 38 yards and rushed twice for 11. Not bad for a road game in cowbell hell.
Questionable. Steve Spurrier is stubborn. Too stubborn to realize that our offensive line is not powerful enough to get one yard on fourth down between the tackles. I was screaming to take the field goal when Lattimore was stopped on fourth down with the game tied 7-7. I know the HBC hates field goals, but sometimes those three points are the difference between winning and losing.
The SEC hates us. I texted that yesterday, and not as a conspiracy theorist, but as a realist. How else do you explain the calls that have been going against us this year? The roughing the kicker penalty that we didn’t get (that would’ve kept a drive alive) was one of the most obvious screwjobs I’ve seen in a while. And when the officials start calling holding again, we are going to be in business. I just hope it’s this year.
We like James Franklin. Not related to our game, but if you haven’t seen his postgame presser after the Georgia game, you really need to watch at least the first three minutes or so. What a class act, and a guy you’d love to have on your side. Oh, and on the flip side, Todd Grantham is a first-class turd.
TRC Unleashed will not be airing tonight due to some conflicts, but we’re planning to have a show for you tomorrow night. Stay tuned for details.