The worm has turned…big time.
Yeah, we know that’s pretty obvious to most based on the winning streak and all, but we eternal pessimists at TRC occasionally need some convincing. Why? As lifelong Gamecocks fans, it’s sometimes hard for us to actually believe this transformation has happened.
I’ll admit it, as late as kickoff I had my doubts about Saturday’s outcome after learning that Connor Shaw was out. I’m just glad that the HBC and the team knew better.
After having a couple of days to reflect, I’ve arrived at some conclusions about our series with Clemson Tiger University, aka CTU. While they have the overall record and all (big whoop), it is now crystal clear that we have caught them. And passed them. Like they are standing still.
To hammer this point home, here are some cumulative statistics from the four game winning streak:
- Score: USC 124, CTU 54
- 1st Downs: USC 80, CTU 57
- Total Yards: USC 1574, CTU 992
- Rushing Yards: USC 662, CTU 324
- Passing Yards: USC 912, CTU 668
- Time of Possession (Average): USC 37 minutes, CTU 23 minutes
- Turnovers: USC 3, CTU 9
From these numbers, it’s clear that we are winning the old-fashioned way: by controlling the clock and winning the turnover margin. We now dominate the line of scrimmage. In short, we now beat them like they used to beat us.
I remember all too well when CTU used to intimidate us. They punished us with a bruising ground game and stuffed the run on defense.
Now, it is the Gamecocks who are doing the intimidating.
Today their fans are all whining about DJ’s hit on Andre Ellington and his post-annihilation antics. He’s a “thug” and such they are saying.
Puh-lease. Last time I checked, this is big boy football. At least on our end of things.
CTU can take their new choir-boy-we-love-everybody attitude and see how far that takes them. I can tell you, it ain’t taking them very far. Their league and their program are marshmallow soft. It’s not an accident that Nuk Dropkins, er Hopkins, dropped a couple of balls after DJ posterized Ellington. It’s all about toughness, depth and athleticism on the offensive and defensive lines.
We are committed to this brand of football as there is no other path to success in the SEC. You either keep up or get crushed.
From a quick glance around the internet, you can tell that reality is starting to set in in the Upstate. The kool-aid drinkers are suddenly in the minority. Finesse and trickery can overwhelm AA competition, but it simply does not cut it in the major leagues. And make no mistake about it, the SEC is The Show. If there was any doubt, yesterday’s results were a flashing neon sign to CTU and the ACC:
Mack truck coming through. Get your crappy Fiat out of the left lane.
Clowney-CTU Record Holder. Clowney set a Death Valley record for sacks in a game (breaking a record held by the great Bruce Smith). That’s more than William Perry, Michael Dean Perry, Daquan Bowers, Trevor Price, Ricky Sapp, and all the other CTU defensive lineman have had there. And Clowney has played there exactly once.
Morons. There are a few CTU fans who are still insisting, after all we have seen, that they have the better team. These folks either know absolutely zip about football or are so mesmerized by the cult of Dabo that they can’t see what it right in front of their face. Hell, even the cult leader admitted post game that we have the better team. He was very complimentary. Almost too complimentary. It’s almost like he wanted to get that out of the way so he could say he did it. We all know what’s coming next: the propaganda machine is in production mode. I can’t wait to see what it spits out this time.
Push-off Payback. The excuses are starting to leak out. But for the two interference calls against CTU in the 2nd half, they would have won. Never mind that we didn’t score on that drive, it was a clock and possession thing they say. Well, I’ve got two answers for that: 1. Jimmy Legree was ROBBED, and 2. no amount of bad calls (assuming, for the sake of argument, that they were) will EVER add up to egregious bad call that handed the Push Off game to CTU. Bad calls happen and they are a bitch. Deal with it.
Let’s get one for the thumb next year, then get that other hand ready to go. This streak may last a while.