2014 SEC Champs - The Next Step
Starting this summer means waiting...and waiting...and then waiting some more for that late August Thursday night when Texas A&M rolls into town. What a scene that will be as college & SEC football kickoff the 2014 season. It's pure excitement just thinking about hearing GAME...COCKS echoing in W-B. Plus the noise that is generated in the stadium for 2001 and Sandstorm w/ Cocky Cloths waving all around.
With that in mind, all of Gamecock Nation wants this coming season to culminate in one elusive goal: the 2014 SEC Championship title in Atlanta.
Getting to that oh-so-close level of success is going to take some great play, great coaching & our share of timely luck for USC to reach the SEC pinnacle.
Offense - Looks to have the pieces in place to put up plenty of points.
QB-Thompson should have the luxury to let our playmakers make plays. He can accept what the opposing defense gives us, and take a page from Connor Shaw in limiting turnovers from the signal caller.
RB- Davis is a stud tailback, and will get better & better w/ each carry. Wilds, Williams & Carson will also contribute in key moments and provide great depth.
WR/TE - Roland, Byrd and others make for and exciting WR corps. Anderson and Adams also provide proven depth at WR
OL - 4 of 5 returning starters. Pass blocking is the real key for the offense to click this year. Sure hope we develop some depth at the tackle position.
Defense - Losing a Clowney will get the headlines, but getting the Secondary ready for the SEC play will be high priority.
DL-The players are ready to step up and we have experience. Who will be the next guy(s) to create pressure and anchor the D-Line?
LB-This young unit only got better as last season played out, and should be the best unit on this side of the ball.
DB-Brison Williams/upperclassmen have to get the inexperienced & incoming DBs whipped into shape very quickly. Talent is there, but will it translate to the field in front of 80 to 90,000+ size SEC crowds?
Special Teams - This unit looks to be solid, save for one area--punt team. Carolina has to get someone out there punting that won't shank 1 or 2 balls almost every game. We can't afford to get up that kind of field position.
Coaching - Spurrier has a realy good staff assembled and they have brought us to a level of success we've never seen before at USC. We saw the HBC brillance of bringing in a hobbled Shaw at Mizzou. But we also saw the defensive breakdowns (on the field & sidelines) at UGA. And the whuuuuuat??moments late at Tenn...nobody's perfect, but they'll have to pretty much eliminate those instances.
Schedule - 2014 schedule is not what we had to go through in 2012. We can point to 3 to 4 games that will make or break Carolina's SEC run.
A&M - Home to open the season. Will the secondary be up to the fast-break pace of the Aggies offense (whomever their QB will be).
UGA - Home against the Dawgs. Winner will (again) set the pace in the SEC East.
at Auburn - Prob the toughest road test of the season. They have a good scheme w/ Malzahn and great home field enviroment. Can we find a way to get a win over Auburn in the SEC?
at Florida - Gators are a big question mark around the SEC. Can they bounce back at 5-7? Winning in The Swamp is always a challenge...1 win for USC in Gainesville proves this out.
This year seems to be trending Carolina's way. The SEC doesn't have the definitive powerhouse everyone is pointing to. UGA after Murray/new Def Coord. Florida hitting the reboot button. Bama doesn't look like the normal unbeatable Bama. Auburn defensive questions and minus Tre Mason. LSU is always good, but nobody knows how they'll look. A&M minus Johnny Football and will they find any defense? Even though commissioner Mike Slive won't like it, 5 or 6 teams could make a run at the SEC crown.
Gamecock Nation is ready for an SEC title...it has been since we tasted the SECCG in 2010.
Let's go get it and bring it home to Columbia!