Defining a Season
Marcus Lattimore is done for the season due to a knee injury. It’s a nightmare, and it’s heartbreaking. As one writer put it, Lattimore is not only a great representative for the University of South Carolina, he is a great representative for the game of college football.
He is the current cornerstone of our football program. All-SEC. All-American. Heisman candidate. Good guy…check that, GREAT guy. He is the best running back we have seen in a Gamecock uniform in 30 years, and has a chance to be the best ever. Even better, he is the epitome of a team player – humble and willing to do whatever it takes to help bring home a victory.
The good news is he will be back in 2012, and based on the work ethic and determination he has shown since coming to USC, he will be better than ever. The bad news is he is done for the 2011 season.
Which leads to a question for the rest of the Gamecock players and coaches…
What are you going to do about it?
These are the times when you get the full measure of a football program. Adversity has come upon you like a cold rain the last two weeks, and even so, you are still in the driver’s seat to win the East and get back to Atlanta.
The media is already building in the excuses for your demise – the dismissal of Garcia, your tough schedule, Georgia’s easy schedule, and now the loss of #21. You have no shot.
Well screw that. You didn’t come to South Carolina to finish second. You have enough talent to compete and defeat anyone on the schedule, even without Garcia and Lattimore.
Connor Shaw – this is your team. Don’t go “manage the game”, go win the game.
Brandon Wilds – you came to South Carolina to be a feature back, right? Well, here’s your shot, and a lot sooner than expected.
Bruce Ellington – you saw the success of the football program and decided, “I want in.” Now stop being a part of the success and start being a reason for it.
Kenny Miles and Eric Baker – rub some freakin’ dirt on it and let’s get on the field and make a difference.
Dameire Byrd and Ace Sanders – be game breakers. Be back breakers.
Jason Barnes – you’re running out of time to make a difference. Now is as good a time as any, what do you say?
Offensive line – put a hat on somebody and push them out of the way. EVERY TIME.
Defense – you guys need to…well, you need to keep doing what you’re doing, and we’ll be in every game.
Steve Spurrier and staff – COACH. THEM. UP. HBC, if you are still truly and offensive “genius”, now is the time to show it. You have the talent, now maximize it.
We had a whole day to have a pity party on Sunday – coaches, players and fans alike. But it’s time to define a season. It’s time to move on and expect nothing less than a complete effort in every game going forward. Three phases on the field, and one united phase in the stands.
Win any way.