Friday, September 3, 2010

Gamecocks open 2010 with 41-13 rout of Southern Miss

Junior quarterback Stephen Garcia and freshman running back Marcus Lattimore found the endzone twice each on Thursday night to lead the South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0) to a 41-13 victory over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (0-1.)

Garcia went 16-23 for 193 yards and Lattimore in his debut with the Gamecocks carried the ball 14 times for 54 yards and two scores.

Alright well there's your official morning after introduction to this story. Truth be told I don't care about numbers today. The Gamecocks last night proved to me that this years' team is a team that can win. It's a team that's talented enough to win and win big. And it's a team that might actually at the end of the year, play for an SEC championship.

By the way- that's the first time since the Liberty Bowl in 2006 that a Carolina team has put 40+ points on the scoreboard. Impressive? Yeah I'd say so.

Granted, Thursday's win was against a Southern Miss team from Conference USA, but of the teams in the conference the Golden Eagles are one of the elite. I guess. Honestly, being a fan of an SEC team, Conference USA isn't even on my radar.

Getting back to last night: Marcus Lattimore is a true freshman from perennial South Carolina high school powerhouse Byrnes. He made the decision to come to Columbia back in the winter and I knew it was going to be fun for the next four years. This kid has that x-factor - the thing that makes someone special in this game. He has the ability to make holes when they aren't there and can sniff out coverage before the play starts. To be a freshman and have that ability is quite unique. If he can stay out of off-field trouble, I seriously, SERIOUSLY, look for this kid to do great things.

Stephen Garcia impressed me last night as well. After all the distractions and all of the Spurrier "Well, Stephen Garcia isn't real good right now, but anyways..." from spring and fall practices, I was concerned that the junior from Florida was going to go out and fall flat on his face in the season opener. After a rough start, he showed why he is one of the best SEC quarterbacks out there today. Bouncing off of players to score a touchdown and finding the strength to extend his arm past the goal line when being slammed into for his second touchdown of the night. Great all around performance by Garcia, the backfield, and this talented core of wide receivers.

I said yesterday that Carolina has the chance to win eight or more games in 2010. After last night, yeah, I believe that.

South Carolina will open SEC play next Saturday afternoon when the Georgia Bulldogs come to Williams-Brice Stadium for a noon kickoff.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oh yeah

I went with a new look for this blog. I figure if I'm going to make an effort to update on a regular basis that I should go with something that's not white background with black text and garnet headlines and links.

It'll probably change a few more times.

Oh and Go Cocks!

Welcome to next year...

I may be a little premature when I say this, but my Magic Eight Ball predicts an 8 win season for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Deep breaths folks.

I haven't really been able to pay attention much to fall camp because I kinda work in a business where the goal is to go as fast as possible, but from all indications the Old Ball Coach has him something to work with finally.

It's always been my opinion to lay low when you realize you have something going for you. In college I always tried to keep quiet when I understood the material (which is why I was always talking) and over the last few weeks, granted, Steve Spurrier has had a lot to deal with. NCAA investigators, claims that players took discounts to stay in a hotel near campus before dorms opened, and a Columbia media that constantly tries to discredit what ever this program has built during Spurrier's tenure have been the talk of the town and the national media as well.

All that aside, I think Spurrier's sly way of conducting business the last few weeks is a sign that this team is ready to move out of the 115 years of mediocrity it has seen and into an elite powerhouse in the South Eastern Conference and the NCAA as well.

Although I'm sure somewhere along the line there will be hiccups to this grandiose plan I have derived here today. But I think the leadership is in place to help get this team over that proverbial 7-game hump. It's been a while since the Gamecocks scored 8 wins in one season. Maybe its time for that to happen again.

I've always believed that success and momentum are hard to get but easy to hold on to. And for momentum and success the football team need do nothing but look down the road at what the USC Baseball team accomplished in the College World Series in Omaha back in July. Winning the national championship in one sport fully has the ability to spread to other sports in Columbia.

I also believe that once a coach has figured out how to win that he can win anywhere. Spurrier is a Heisman Trophy winner, has coached a Heisman Trophy winner, and has coached a national championship team.

"Why not us" was the phrase Spurrier used after being hired as head coach of the Gamecocks back in 2004. Why not us this year?

Eight wins would be awesome, but honestly I think this team is capable of much, much more.

Enjoy the season folks. This really could be next year.