Snap Judgments for the Florida game are a little late today, my apologies. So here are some quick, barely researched, not fully-formed thoughts from yesterday’s historic 17-12 victory over the Florida Gators:
The good news. Yesterday’s win locked up some pretty impressive records for the Gamecocks over the last two years: 6-0 vs. nemeses Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, and 9-1 vs. the SEC East overall (stupid Kentucky!). It was nice to hear Steve Spurrier wax philosophical about it yesterday and today because for once he seems content and proud of what the 2010-2011 Gamecocks have accomplished.
The bad news. Georgia pummeled Auburn 45-7 to, for all intents and purposes, end our run at back-to-back SEC East titles (stupid Kentucky!). This is the same Auburn team that left Columbia with a 16-13 victory on October 1, and has since lost road games to Arkansas (by 24), LSU (by 35), and now UGA (by 38). That game will linger as the one that could’ve meant a great season instead of a very good one…just like stupid Kentucky last year.
Grinding. Yesterday’s win was very typical of the 2011 edition of the Gamecocks. We weren’t impressive against an unimpressive opponent, but did enough to get the win. Credit the coaching staff for taking what Florida gave us on both sides of the ball. Credit lady luck that our special teams play didn’t hurt us any more than it did. We don’t win pretty, but we win. I’ll take it.
Connor Shaw – The Chief Grinder. Connor Shaw once again showed us he is simply a football player. He took what the defense gave him, and took some pretty good shots along the way, but managed to pick up critical first downs at the right times. And the deep throw to Ace was a thing of beauty (and a spectacular catch by Ace, BTW). I don’t know how long #14 will be the QB at USC, but as long as he’s in there you at least know you’re going to get 100% on every play.
Wilds Vision Quest. I texted a couple of guys mid-way through the first half that Brandon Wilds has great vision, and that’s what makes him a good back. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, and he doesn’t have great power just yet (although with his frame and an offseason in the weight room, look out). But he knows how to find a hole, and that helped lead to another 100-yard performance yesterday.
#1. Congratulations big man, sorry it took so long to get you the record. I hope you still have a breakout game in you this year, and I hope it’s in two weeks.
Welcome Back #6. Melvin Ingram had been MIA the last couple of weeks, but made his presence known and then some against the Gators. His sack and non-strip of John Brantley may have been the play of the game. Speaking of the non-strip…
What Were the Officials Watching? There was one angle of that play that clearly showed Brantley going to the ground with zero of his hands on the ball. CBS showed it only once, right after the play was over. Did the booth officials not see that? I admit, all the other angles were inconclusive, but geez, what a big call to miss. To continue with the theme…
How Bad Does #7 Want to Score a TD? Watch the replay of that again. Jadeveon Clowney purposely doesn’t fall on the ball, composes himself over the ball, makes sure his knees are not on the ground, then picks the ball up. That cat wanted an opportunity to jet with that ball SO bad.
Kudos to UGA. I’ve been hammering UGA’s sad excuse for a win streak ever since it started, but they looked darned good yesterday. As bad as I wanted a return trip to Atlanta, they might actually be the team to give LSU a run for their money. But still…45-42 my Bulldog friends.
Ellington. Will be the next guy to return a KO for touchdown for the Gamecocks. Maybe this week.
TRC Unleashed will air later this week due to some conflicts, we’ll let you know as soon as it is scheduled.