Ah, the things people say after giving up another 270+ yards on the ground…
… Steven Montac pointed out the easy fix, making the Gamecocks’ inability to do so even more frustrating.
“They’re a good team and they have good players, so missed tackles are definitely gonna hurt. But that can be fixed by just running to the ball,” he said.
Junior linebacker T.J. Brunson, a leader of the defensive unit, said the problem was that some of his teammates lost their edge after the halftime break.
“I think during the second half a lot of guys just didn’t understand the grind of the game,” Brunson said. “It’s hard to win, especially playing against those guys. It’s always going to be a dog fight, but it’s the second game of the season. We got a long way to go.
“We just didn’t line fast enough, weren’t urgent. That’s all it boiled down to — urgency, being vocal, getting the calls every down.”
The issues with tackling came with that lack of urgency, Brunson said, as poor focus led to poor execution.
“I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I just want those guys to understand that it’s a long game,” he said. “It’s always a long game. We battled, we fought the first half and made it to where it was manageable, and you just gotta keep that same energy throughout the whole game.”
Montac was just as blunt in his assessment.
“We just gotta tackle better. That’s it,” he said. “What happened today was … lack of execution. We just gotta focus way better, play better.”
Bless your heart, Steven. I don’t think you’re grasping what happened yesterday.
Said Smart: “You’ve got to be able to take the crowd out of the game. You do that by being physical, dominating the line of scrimmage. When you do that, the stands will be empty in the fourth quarter.”
Even with Thomas out, Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC) scored on its first three offensive possessions of the second half, rushing the ball 15 times for 111 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per carry behind its mammoth offensive line.
“We thought if we were able to run the ball early and pound away that it would take its toll in the second half and I think that showed through,” said Smart whose team finished with 271 rushing yards on 52 carries.
It’s not that Georgia was clearly the more talented bunch yesterday. The Dawgs were just as clearly the more physical, and that took its obvious toll on South Carolina as the day progressed.
Speaking of fourth quarters, how about these apples?
Ain’t no easy fix to that.