The Buck Sweep – Week 1

100% soon? Please? (Photo: gogamecocks.com)

100% soon? Please? (Photo: gogamecocks.com)

Random thoughts from the first weekend of college football:

The Gamecock Blues. Two days removed from writing Snap Judgments I still don’t feel much better about this edition of the Gamecocks. At the same time, every season has wild swings from “we’re gonna win it all” to “oh God we need to disband the program”. It’s just been a while since we’ve had such a case of the blues after week one. I remain annoyed at many things from Saturday, one of which is…

Mike Davis. Note I said I’m annoyed at the “thing” and not the person. Some players are simply injury prone, and it doesn’t necessarily reflect on the player’s heart or desire, neither of which I question with Davis. When Steve Spurrier announced today that Davis is questionable for Saturday against East Carolina, my frustration level hit a new high. As Davis literally sprinted to the head of the pack in SEC rushing the first half of last season, I thought we were quite possibly watching the best USC running back since George Rogers. Now it appears he might miss the first two games of the season, if not more (6 carries for 15 yards against TAMU notwithstanding). And for all the talk about our deep stable of running backs, there is no one on the team that impacts a game the way Davis does, unless we’re hiding David Williams’ brilliance from the world for some unknown reason.

I’ll be happy to see Williams will get some carries Saturday, because as much as I love Brandon Wilds, he is no better than a serviceable second string SEC running back. And Shon Carson? I’m thoroughly convinced he will never be a major contributor to this team. He’s had many, many chances, and has used the vast majority of the them to run directly into tacklers. This really stung as I watched…

Georgia’s stable of backs. Holy mother of all that is good and holy. First, give Todd Gurley the Heisman, simply based on last night’s performance against Clemson, which included 293 all-purpose yards, a Bulldog record. When Gurley needed a breather all they did was trot out Nick Chubb (almost a Gamecock), who proceeded to rip off a 47-yard touchdown run. Need a change of pace? Then let’s go with Sony Michel, who added another 53 yards rushing and receiving combined. Oh, and let’s not forget former five-star recruit Keith Marshall, who might slip to fourth on the depth chart until his surgically repaired knee is completely healed.

We have for years made fun of Georgia declaring their latest running back recruit the “next Herschel Walker”. Well, Gurley might finally be that guy. And the bad news for us is Chubb or Michel might be the next Todd Gurley. I have to admit though, it was fun watching them run all over the…

Clemson Tigers. The Schadenfreude was sweet and savory as we watched the Tigers fall by the same margin as we did on Thursday. Although if we’re honest with ourselves, Clemson was in their game against UGA much longer than we were in our game against TAMU. Until Gurley put UGA up by two scores with a TD run at the 10:26 mark of the 4th quarter, the game was up for grabs. Well, theoretically it was up for grabs. Clemson’s millionaire offensive coordinator was having trouble dialing up first downs, and even if “The Chad” would’ve had another several quarters to play there is no guarantee they would’ve scored. One thing is for sure, they were no…

Auburn Tigers. Auburn’s offense looked downright scary yesterday. Scary good for them, scary bad for us. The addition of Duke Williams at wide receiver for them gives them one more weapon they didn’t necessarily need. t don’t know if they’ll win it all, or even win the SEC West, but I do know I’m dreading our trip to The Plains later this season. But before we can start to worry about he rest of our SEC slate, we need to focus on…

East Carolina. As I wrote before the last time we played them, the ECU Pirates scarred me during the ’90s. They’ll bring one of their better teams into Columbia Saturday, running a similar offense as TAMU, so I’m sure we’ll be a trendy “upset alert” pick this weekend. Honestly I think we’ll win this one fairly easily, and regain some of our lost confidence heading into the showdown with Georgia. One thing is for certain though, after a sample size of only one game…

We don’t really know what we have. Was our defense that bad? Was TAMU’s offense that good? Will our defensive backs play like freshmen all year? Will our defensive ends be non-existent every week? Will Dylan Thompson settle down and get to a more reasonable 60% completion rate? Will we find a durable, dependable running back if Mike Davis continues to struggle with nagging injuries? Will we find out who Shon Carson has naked pictures of and get someone else to return kickoffs? Those are the types of questions that get answered all over the country the next few weeks for all football programs. Like every year, the teams you see week 1 will be much different come week 12.

Since I don’t have a good segue and have one more topic then something something…

NFL Gamecocks. It was black Saturday for Gamecocks trying to make NFL rosters. Getting cut were Connor Shaw, Kelcy Quarles, Victor Hampton, Jimmy Legree, Travian Robertson and Ryan Succop. Chaz Sutton had been cut earlier in the week by Tampa. The good news is Quarles was picked up by the Patriots and added to their 53-man roster, and Robertson and Legree have made the Falcons and Cardinals practice squads, respectively. Our sources close to the situation tell us Shaw will be added to the Browns practice squad at any time (and our sources were correct!). Succop is a good, veteran kicker who will more than likely have an NFL job on opening day.

This leaves us with the cautionary tale of Victor Hampton. I feel bad for Vic. He obviously received some bad intel about his draft position, and/or his nightclub “incident” in New York with Sutton and Quarles was taken into consideration much more heavily by NFL teams than we realized at the time (likely, since Quarles, also a projected mid-round pick, went undrafted). Steve Spurrier is notoriously hands-off with kids who decide for forego their remaining eligibility to enter the draft. I, for one, would like to see that change in the future. I don’t want him to become Dabo by any stretch, telling EVERYBODY to stay, but I would like him to step in with the kids who are borderline draft picks and make sure they understand how hard it is to make an NFL roster.

See you folks next week. Go Cocks!

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About buck

A writer whose facts may not always be correct, but whose opinions based on those facts are.
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2 Responses to The Buck Sweep – Week 1

  1. Ben says:

    We may need to hand out “Day After” pills following our game with Georgia because they are going to have their way with us.

  2. tryptic says:

    Great Sweep ..
    ECU … agreed
    Gurley .. agreed
    Spurrier needing to intervene with underclassman thinking about the NFL – yes, yes, yes. Hampton’s situation reminds me so much of Emmanuel Cook. Both would have been more likely drafted had they stayed.

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