Some quick, barely researched, not fully formed thoughts from yesterday’s nail-biting 24-21 win over the Naval Academy:
We would like to officially announce Marcus Lattimore’s candidacy for the Heisman Trophy. It’s still very early, but after his 246-yard rushing, 25-yard receiving game on Saturday, #21 put himself squarely into the Heisman conversation. From the first offensive series you could see Navy wasn’t going to be able to stop him, and he bulled his way to his most productive game as a Gamecock. He currently leads the NCAA in rushing with 534 yards after three games.
The only carry where he lost yardage came on a toss sweep on fourth down late in the game that could’ve sealed the game, and it also came about two plays after I had texted to Tbone and Gman “A toss sweep would be money here.” I meant to the WIDE side of the field coach!
Stephen Garcia, the time is NOW. Garcia didn’t have a bad game last night, but he could’ve had a great game (and this game might not have been so close) had he connected on a few early passes that sailed high. His interception was very Garcia-esque, killing a drive early in the second half that would’ve put us in control of the game. Spurrier took the blame for the play call, but that’s a ball you have to eat. If we are going to meet any of the lofty goals we have in our sights in 2011, #5 is going to have to have a remarkable awakening and play like the quarterback we’ve always thought he could be. Enough roller coaster, let’s have a nice long stretch of flat highway for a change.
Putting out an All Points Bulletin for Alshon Jeffery. Coming into the Navy game I think most Gamecock fans thought Lattimore would get his, but that this would also be Jeffery’s breakout game for 2011. Unfortunately he was suspended for the start of the game for breaking the infamous undisclosed team rule, and then was never really a factor once he did come into the game, catching only two passes. He’s had a slow start to the season by his standards, and knowing that teams will gear up more and more each week to stop #21, he’ll need to start playing more like the Alshon Jeffery we’ve come to know and love.
Welcome to USC Nick Jones and Jason Barnes. Good to see these two youngsters have some meaningful catches in a game. Hopefully these guys will continue to improve over the years and help our stable of wide receivers live up to their billing. Wait, WHAT? Jason Barnes is a SENIOR?!?
Obligatory Jadeveon Clowney bullet point. Once again, fairly quiet for the majority of the game, and then when a play needs to be made, boom. That last series for Navy he was scary good.
I‘ll give the DB’s a break this week. As a matter of fact, I’m going to give the entire defense a break this week. I saw a lot of tweets about the “missed assignments” and “secondary breakdowns” on Navy’s completions. To be fair, the two long third-down and one fourth-down completion came on scramble plays by a pretty elusive quarterback, and those types of plays can get dangerous in a hurry. Fortunately, our guys made plays when they had to, and that’s the bottom line. But with some pretty explosive offensive attacks coming at us down the road, we need a lot, a LOT, of improvement on the defensive side of the ball.
Jay Wooten. Clutch.
They were who I thought they were. As the week leading up to this game wore on, the more I had a sinking feeling this game was going to go down to the wire, and I was hoping we would be able to squeak out a win. Navy is a difficult team to prepare for because of their scheme, and they are extremely well-coached. Give them credit for making a lot of plays when they had to as well.
Dude, you’re completely delusional…oh, and thank you for serving our country. Navy fullback Alexander Tiech after the game: “I’m not going to lie, I think we were the better team.” Well, sir, you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how wrong it is.
We’re 3-0. As they say in tournament ball – survive and advance.