Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Acock's Wrap Up: Wisconsin
Well, that was fun! Forgive the late posting, I got back from Florida late Saturday night and yesterday was my day of rest (seriously, I crashed out yesterday). The vacay was GREAT, got to watch my Gamecocks win another Cap 1 bowl, got to go to Disney, and I five-bombed an incredible amount of Clemson fans driving home from the Orange Bowl. Knowing I tinted their joy with Garnet sadness made me happy. Thanks to the Gamecock Club's dumb-ass ticket policy my seats were in the upper corner of the weird end zone stands behind the band. A two yard gain looked like 10 from that angle. Horrible. I couldn't really evaluate everything until I watched the game later on my DVR.
My last wrap up of the year.
If you run for a TD, catch a TD, and throw for three, you get an A+. My daughter will one day brag about seeing Connor play in person. Legend.
The OL (and Wisky's defense) shares part of the blame here, but it's obvious that Davis isn't healthy. Hopefully he'll heal up in the offseason and have the kind of year next year that wins him a Heisman. Wilds ran well in his limited role and did a nice job of playing the H-back roll when called upon. We missed Connor McLaurin A LOT.
Bruce and Shaq just owned Wisky's secondary. Yes, we couldn't stop the run, but likewise they simply had no answer for these two. We got decent production from the TE position and Nick had a pretty good game too. If Byrd had been healthy and we could have stretched the field even more Connor might have thrown for 400 yards.
Not a bad job overall, but Wisconsin's d-line is not a fearsome unit and our guys could never really impose their will on them. Watching their o-line truck our linebackers while ours never really touched theirs was painful. Still some work to be done here.
Pass rush? Good. Run defense? Bad. Wisconsin has one of the best offensive lines we've seen all year, but I've never seen us physically handled the way they did with us. Losing Sutton, Clowney, and Quarles is going to hurt guys, we've been spoiled to the point where next year some folks are going to be angry.
The 4th quarter saved this from being a D. All game long Wisconsin's pulling guards met and destroyed our LBs (at least the ones that hit the right gap). I mean, just from an pure football fan standpoint, watching their guards pull was a thing of beauty, the timing was perfect. Then...in the 4th, our LBs finally figured it out. We started run blitzing, crashing down off the edge and shooting the gaps left by the pulling guards. The result was that we finally shut down their running game. Oh, Skai Moore will be an All American before he leaves here. Mark it down.
Weren't asked to do much more than run support, which they did well. Speaking to a Wisky fan after the game, he expressed surprise at the way we set up our defense. Usually teams would stack the box and dare their QB to beat them (because he can't, basically). We, on the other hand he claimed, played a standard 4-3 zone coverage and somehow still managed to have the safeties come up for run support. He said he was very surprised by our team speed on defense. I replied that he didn't know much about football, as we don't run a 4-3. I then explained the concept of a Spur to him. I closed with 'SEC.'
One time in college I was carrying around 18 hours. That might not seem like a lot to you guys, but to me it was the most hours I had ever taken, and three of those classes were three-hour long studio art classes. It was brutal. For about a two week-stretch, I began missing one of my 8am classes. Either I'd worked late the night before, or I needed to go down to the shop to fabricate a sculpture project...either way I just somehow missed it for two straight weeks. So much so that missing it became routine. After the second week of missing the course I resolved to drop it...and then PROMPTLY FORGOT ABOUT THE COURSE. I mean... I didn't even think of it again until about 3 weeks later when I saw the textbook and realized in horror that I had forgot about it. It was past the drop date, so I was screwed. I found the professor's office hours, explained the situation to him, apologized, and asked if there was ANYTHING I could do.
He thought for a moment and said, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to give you an F. Honestly, I'd really love to be able to give you a different grade, but the truth is F is the lowest grade I can possible give you. I'd give you a Z if I could, but F is as low as they'll go."
Apparently our team has forgotten that special teams is part of the game of football, and F is as low as I can give.
Either we're simply not talented enough to stop Wisconsin's running game, or we didn't game-plan for it well enough. The truth is probably somewhere in-between. Offensively we had a decent game plan, but our own inability to run the ball cost us greatly. Hey, I'm not complaining we won the game, but we struggled more than I thought we should.
On the plus side, Spurrier is having fun. When he's having fun, other teams aren't.
We beat the 2nd or 3rd best team in the Big 10, and did so by taking over the 4th quarter. They rushed a little above their average, but the defense did hold them to 17 points, which is well under their scoring average. If not for sucky special teams play, the win would look much more convincing.
The amazing thing is this... how incredibly consistent have we been over the last three years? It's almost like watching the same season over again and again. If we keep going 11-2, I'll take it. Hopefully we can keep it up again next year and finally make it to Atlanta again.
It's time we won this thing.
I don't know about you, but in enjoyed this season immensely. Yes, it's easy to look back at the Tennessee and UGA games and say "what if", but that's really the wrong way to look at it. The right way to look at it is that we've reached an elite status. We're right up there with 'Bama, Oregon, Stanford, and other teams that have won 10+ games for the last three years. It's a small list, and it's a great time to be a Gamecock fan.
It's also paying off for us in a big way. We've gotten a lot of national recognition lately, and our recruiting continues to improve. We've got SEC depth now, and it's just a matter of time before we put it all together.
These next few years will be fun, and I fully expect Spurrier to retire...right after winning the national title.
It's coming folks.
Always remember... stay Feisty.