Observations from the armchair, bonus edition: South Carolina-Coastal Carolina

As I mentioned, I watched the replay last night.  A few bullet points:

  • Brian McClendon is doing good work.  The scheme is better suited for Bentley, who, make no mistake about it, is at the center of what Carolina does on offense.  Playcalling had a good rhythm to it; I especially liked one screen call that anticipated a blitz perfectly.
  • Overall, Bentley played well.  Most of the time he read the defense and knew where to distribute the ball.  Well isn’t the same as mistake-free, though.  He should have been picked off at least once on a play when he misread the rush.  He also missed a middle linebacker blitz straight up the gut he should have seen coming a mile away that resulted in a sack.
  • Dowdle is a talented back who can do damage in space.  Georgia needs to keep an eye out for him and tackle.
  • There is simply no way to judge SC’s offensive line from that game.  The Coastal Carolina defensive line was that bad, offering little resistance on running plays.  The only way they could get pressure in the SC backfield was to bring extra bodies.  Anyone drawing conclusions is projecting.
  • Coastal Carolina’s defense also missed a lot of tackles.  South Carolina’s got some good skill guys, but they’re not that elusive.
  • Deebo made one helluva one-handed catch for a touchdown.  He’s gonna be a handful, no surprise.
  • While there were a lot of good, intermediate sized gains (15-30 yards), those tended to be smaller plays that developed into bigger ones due to defensive ineptitude.  What I didn’t see were many explosive plays.
  • They’re still enjoying some turnover luck.  The ‘Cocks could have easily lost a fumble and, as I mentioned, Bentley could have been picked off once or twice.  Hope that trend ends Saturday.
  • Biggest surprise to me was that the Gamecock defense wasn’t nearly as vanilla Saturday as Georgia’s was.  Robinson brought a few blitzes when he needed to and I saw some stunting on the d-line.
  • Speaking of the line, they were able to control the line of scrimmage most of the day without much help.
  • Carolina’s secondary didn’t get tested much, as Coastal doesn’t have much of a passing game, but the corners look like they can be exploited this week.

As I mentioned before, Muschamp played his starters longer than did Kirby.  I can understand why.

First, they’re breaking in a new offensive scheme under a new coordinator.  Given the setting of a season opener, in-game reps are more valuable than letting backups get a little extra playing time.

Second, I suspect Muschamp was aware of those stats I posted earlier about how his team hasn’t played its best in games prior to big meetings and wasn’t going to let up on the gas until the game was more than comfortably settled.

As he put it, he’s “… going to empty the chamber this week as far as the things we need to do to try to help us win…”.  I saw a focused team building confidence.


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15 responses to “Observations from the armchair, bonus edition: South Carolina-Coastal Carolina

  1. Biggus Rickus

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole game, but I did check out every pass play by Bentley. There were a lot of short crosses in there and not a lot of downfield passing. I came away thinking he looked like the same player I saw last year.


  2. 92 grad

    There was a touchdown drive just before halftime, I think, and while scarolina looked pretty “put together” I was left with one thought. If the coastal defense was just 1 or 2 steps faster they would have had several interceptions. I like to think that our guys are 1-2 steps quicker to the ball as compared to coastal. I didn’t watch any more of the game.


  3. I think this game is pointsy and both teams put a decent clip on the other. I do think Georgia has too much fire power (and SoCar doesn’t have a great back 7). I like UGA 37-24 or somewhere around that.


    • Biggus Rickus

      That would be my cautious estimation. There’s a very real chance that Georgia’s back end is great and won’t give up much of anything. We just don’t know yet. Austin Peay certainly didn’t test it.


      • Bentley is a good QB. Deebo is great, and their No. 2 WR (Edwards) is damn good, too. They have a legit RB (he’s not amazing and all-world, but he’s a legit SEC back) and they’re playing at home. I think the key for UGA is for its offense to hit 30 points. If we score 30+ I think that’s a bridge too far for SoCar.


        • Macallanlover

          Yeah, I had initially thought an under bet was a good play since the series has always tended to be low scoring , but the fact UGA’s defense is our only question, I am going to leave that bet off, or minimize it. As we had approached the season I believed we were capable of winning a shootout this year against virtually anyone, if needed. I still think so, and don’t think it will be necessary this weekend, it did remind me that we don’t know enough about our defense yet so we may give up 20-24 points to SC. I still don’t think so unless there are some cheap scores from turnovers and STs, but it is better to pump the breaks…a little. Still sticking with my 31-16 expectation, but we didn’t see enough last week with those horrid games to be overconfident that we know how all the pieces will fit together.


    • 92 grad

      Reasonable, for sure. Sucks not knowing what we’ve got. Our D might be so fast and decisive that it shakes Bentley up a bit too. They may not hit their stride until the second quarter.


    • ChiliDawg

      I do not think they score that many. I’d be surprised if they get over 24 points.


  4. kckd

    They better get that Center/QB exchange fixed. I went through it on youtube forwarding to each snap. Someone said Stinch brought it up in his analysis as well, but I noticed that Bentley was having to pick the football up off the turf nearly half the snaps. That can’t be good.


  5. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    From the Big Spur link:
    “…there’s no denying the overall importance of this weekend’s game against Georgia as the division’s two favorites jockey for early position…”

    I guess SC could win and if they did they could fairly be called a favorite, but is there anyone outside of the Gamecock fan base that thinks they are a favorite to win the East now before the game is played?


  6. CB

    Also SC’s third scoring drive was extended by two 4th down conversions. Here’s my first half breakdown if anyone gives af.