Thursday, September 3, 2009


Well, I'm happy to admit that I was wrong about that one. Though I'm not sure I underestimated South Carolina as much as I overestimated NC State. Gamecock fans have to be happy with another 1-0 start and the play of the defense, particularly Eric Norwood, but that meek offensive performance doesn't bode well for the rigorous SEC season that lies ahead of them.

The only points the Gamecocks put up came as a result of a gift fumble by NC State on their own 12 yard line very early in the game. Stalled drives, a poorly thrown interception, and botched FG attempts are all the offense could muster after that.

QB Stephen Garcia continued to underwhelm with his play. The running game churned out 108 yards, but it took 42 carries to get there for a not-so-robust 2.6 ypc average. That's not going to get it done in conference. The special teams misuces didn't help the matter either. As a whole, the Gamecocks ran 64 plays for 256 yds, a 4.0 ypp average.

On the bright so though was a thoroughly dominant defensive performance. Norwood's dominance was expected, but the Gamecocks also got key plays from true freshmen Stephon Gilmore and Devonte Holloman. They bottled up a supposedly explosive NC State offense led by reigning ACC Freshman of the Year QB Russell Wilson. Wilson ended the night 12/23 for 74 yds. That's just over 3ypa.

As ugly and uneventful as this game was, it did nothing but whet my appetite for this weekend's games. It also served as a reminder that there really is nothing like college football.

Hotty Toddy

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