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Old 11-20-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
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Default Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

OK, so...good, that's out of the way then and we can move on to Clemson. I know that's what you were thinking after the game, it's certainly what I was thinking, and judging by the way we played it's what the team was thinking.

After squandering a chance to be up 21-0 in the first quarter, we decided for no great reason to slug it out with Wofford. Good times.

I had to miss the game this week, and was watching in a recording booth in California over a shitty pirated internet connection, so my analysis may be a little shakier than even normal. You get what you pay for.

OFFENSE
QB:
C

Either Connor's injuries are really bothering him, or he's backsliding. Frankly, neither of them are comforting given what we have ahead of us. When I was able to concentrate on replays Connor clearly missed seeing wide open guys, even throwing into double coverage one time when Kenny was wide open in the end zone. His troubles are clearly starting to effect the wide receivers, as Bruce's body language when he was overthrown yet again one time told me all I needed to see. Either Wofford has the best secondary we've seen since LSU, or there's a problem. We need to get it fixed. Fast.

RB: B
Kenny Miles ran with purpose and passion. He's getting much better at waiting for a hole to develop and then pushing through it. He's so tantalizingly close to breaking one to the house... Would have been an A if Davis would practice better ball control. I mentioned it last week and it finally cost us, as his fumble prevented a TD. Good thing he learned that lesson against Wofford.

WR/TE: C
Not the best game from these guys, although in their defense Connor couldn't get them the ball. It was nice to see us make the effort to get the ball in Ace's hands again. He seemed forgotten there for awhile, but we need him to get at least 5 touches in every game.

OL: D
Run blocking finally turned around just in time for them to forget how to pass block. Looks like it's either one or the other with these guys.

DEFENSE
DL:
B

Good push up front by these guys. Before they got tired due to the offense's strange decision to not score or hang on to the ball, they were playing aggressive, hard-nosed defense. Came up big in the 4th quarter.

LB/Spur: B
A better game than last week, but they still gave up too much on first down. Did a nice job of sealing off the edge on the option.

CB/S: B
Somebody made DJ mad, he came to bring the pain. The long pass given up in the 4th was inexcusable. I know you've been playing run support all game and they lulled you in, but come on.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Overall:
B

For once this unit wasn't the glaring problem on the field. We kicked off well, punted well, and even made a field goal. Wheeeee.....

COACHING
Overall:
C

Perhaps they were looking ahead to Clemson? God, I hope so.

INTANGIBLES
Overall:
C

This game was like making toast. It's not fun, and the results are...well...toast. Footballs football, and I was happy to be watching it, but I have legit concerns going into the Clemson game. The one thing that gives me hope is that after sleep-walking through a half at Kentucky we came back and destroyed UGA. Here's hoping we get focused.

FINAL THOUGHTS
So this leaves us with one final chance to go on the road and make a statement. Through no fault of our own we continue to drop in the polls, and a loss next week might even drop us out of the top 20. Not great for a year that started off so well. So yeah, next week is a BIG game. Here are my thoughts:

1. Clemson's likely to be overconfident. Their fans, and lets' face it Dabo's a fan, are so used to seeing them throw up 50+ points they think their offense is unstoppable. We'll see.

2. Our offense isn't facing a brick wall. Everyone has scored on Clemson this year (Boston College hung 31 on them), so even with our struggles we should be able to score.

3. Spurrier has something to play for. Don't discount this. I've seen our team come out flat when he doesn't care, and then rip the hair out of people when he does. It matters. This week Spurrier can win back to back 10 win seasons for the first time in history, can become the winning-est coach in USC history, beat Clemson 4 times in a row which has only been done a couple of times, and finally respond to Dabo's little rant. I promise you Spurrier has not forgotten about that.

Going to be a fun week.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

Nice job A! Some folks have said on the board that our WR's weren't getting open. I was there and watched our receivers intently. Numerous times we had 2 open, yet Connor did not deliver. Very concerned about that. If he can't hit against Wofford's D, at home, this coming Saturday night could be even more painful to watch.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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OL: D
Run blocking finally turned around just in time for them to forget how to pass block. Looks like it's either one or the other with these guys.
This is killing us. Elliott needs to straighten this out -- NOW!!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

Criticizing Connor on this board is pretty much taboo, so I was glad to hear you say what you said about his play. His defenders are going to go on about his injuries and he has been hiding behind this most of the season. Not him personally, but his supporters. I am a supporter of Connor in that when he walks on the field as a starter, I pull for him and want him to do well for himself and the team.
But this business of him missing wide open receivers is really bad. Not throwing to them and missing, I'm talking about not even seeing them. I thought it would get better as the season went on and it has not and in some instances it is worse. What made it especially bad on Saturday was that it was Wofford.
We have a great chance next seaon for an SEC Championship and by extension, a National Championship. Although we will be without Marcus, we will have Davis, Wilds, Carson and Salley. We will have Clowney for 1 more season. The schedule is favorable for us to run the table. The 2 most difficult games at this moment look like UGA and Mizzou on the road. We know what Connor is like on the road. The only way we can find out if he can go on the road and win in the SEC agains the tougher teams is to play him. But as Spurrier said today, there is no room for error in college football. If we lose to UGA in the second game of the year, our aspirations would be dead in the water in all likelihood.
Personally I don't think the zone read is a good system. I think Connor is a good student of the game and a very hard worker and has a ton of courage, but I don't think he can measure up against the higher level teams. I hope we do something to address it before we waste this great talent we have.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Originally Posted by Red Devil View Post
Criticizing Connor on this board is pretty much taboo, so I was glad to hear you say what you said about his play. His defenders are going to go on about his injuries and he has been hiding behind this most of the season. Not him personally, but his supporters. I am a supporter of Connor in that when he walks on the field as a starter, I pull for him and want him to do well for himself and the team.
But this business of him missing wide open receivers is really bad. Not throwing to them and missing, I'm talking about not even seeing them. I thought it would get better as the season went on and it has not and in some instances it is worse. What made it especially bad on Saturday was that it was Wofford.
We have a great chance next seaon for an SEC Championship and by extension, a National Championship. Although we will be without Marcus, we will have Davis, Wilds, Carson and Salley. We will have Clowney for 1 more season. The schedule is favorable for us to run the table. The 2 most difficult games at this moment look like UGA and Mizzou on the road. We know what Connor is like on the road. The only way we can find out if he can go on the road and win in the SEC agains the tougher teams is to play him. But as Spurrier said today, there is no room for error in college football. If we lose to UGA in the second game of the year, our aspirations would be dead in the water in all likelihood.
Personally I don't think the zone read is a good system. I think Connor is a good student of the game and a very hard worker and has a ton of courage, but I don't think he can measure up against the higher level teams. I hope we do something to address it before we waste this great talent we have.
But that is neither here nor there right now. We don't need to worry about next year when we have Clemson ahead of us.

I have been the biggest supporter of Connor all year and I think you are more critical of him than you should be, but you have a right to that opinion.

Having said that, all of us on this board agree that the Connor that played against Wofford is not the answer. That Connor Shaw will not win us the game. We realize that and if he starts playing like that then DT needs to come in immediately. I can't think of one person that would argue that point.

But the Connor that played against Ark, UT, Mizzou, UAB, UGA, and even LSU will beat Clemson. We don't need him to be Andrew Luck and he has played well enough in PLENTY of games this year to beat Clemson.

Against UT and Ark, SC scored 38 points. That exact same offensive performance against Clemson gets us a win and that is all that matters.

Next year is next year.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Originally Posted by cofcgamecock9 View Post
But that is neither here nor there right now. We don't need to worry about next year when we have Clemson ahead of us.

I have been the biggest supporter of Connor all year and I think you are more critical of him than you should be, but you have a right to that opinion.

Having said that, all of us on this board agree that the Connor that played against Wofford is not the answer. That Connor Shaw will not win us the game. We realize that and if he starts playing like that then DT needs to come in immediately. I can't think of one person that would argue that point.

But the Connor that played against Ark, UT, Mizzou, UAB, UGA, and even LSU will beat Clemson. We don't need him to be Andrew Luck and he has played well enough in PLENTY of games this year to beat Clemson.

Against UT and Ark, SC scored 38 points. That exact same offensive performance against Clemson gets us a win and that is all that matters.

Next year is next year.

I think it may take more than 38.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

Connor has played pretty well against average to below average defenses. Clemson is an average to below average defense. Any player is going to look bad when you only base your opinions on his bad performances. We are talking about Clemson here. If you want to project how Shaw will play against Clemson then look at a comparable team. The Wofford game is not an indication of what this team is truly capable of and if you think it is, then you're not too bright.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Originally Posted by Cock Kool-Aid View Post
Connor has played pretty well against average to below average defenses. Clemson is an average to below average defense. Any player is going to look bad when you only base your opinions on his bad performances. We are talking about Clemson here. If you want to project how Shaw will play against Clemson then look at a comparable team. The Wofford game is not an indication of what this team is truly capable of and if you think it is, then you're not too bright.
Why is Wofford not an indication? I am not sure I am following you so I guess I am not very bright.

Wofford can't be considered anything but a "below average defense" when you are thinking about it as a BCS level school.

Almost every team that Wofford played this year had more offensive yards than we did on Saturday. These are FCS schools. Lets be honest, there is absolutely no legitimate reason that schools like UTC, Western Carolina, etc. should have had a better offensive performance than SC did on Saturday.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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I think it may take more than 38.
nah, 38 wins us the game. I feel very confident in that. I am not one of these fans that thinks we are going to hold them to 13 like we did last year. I give a ton of credit to Clemson's offense. But 38 wins.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Originally Posted by Cock Kool-Aid View Post
Connor has played pretty well against average to below average defenses. Clemson is an average to below average defense. Any player is going to look bad when you only base your opinions on his bad performances. We are talking about Clemson here. If you want to project how Shaw will play against Clemson then look at a comparable team. The Wofford game is not an indication of what this team is truly capable of and if you think it is, then you're not too bright.

You have your opinion of how bright I am and that is fine. I am looking down the road. Some would say we just need to concentrate on this weekend and that is true. But I find myself thinking about the opportunity for even bigger things next season. About having Clemson coming in here next year to play a team that has a date in Atlanta the following weekend in the SECCG and is a possibility for at the very least a BCS bid and maybe NC. I in no way suggested that the Wofford performance was the best we could produce. Far from it. But Connor is still having the same problems now as he was against Vandy and other earlier games. He is not seeing wide open receivers and he is running too quickly, before he needs to. Many people said at the beginning of the season when these issues manifested themselves that he would grow out of it and improve. He has not. Spurrier has been saying all season long that we had to get the ball out quicker and we still are not. I don't think Connor, fully fit, can do what we want him to do. If he starts next season I hope I am wrong.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Originally Posted by cofcgamecock9 View Post
Why is Wofford not an indication? I am not sure I am following you so I guess I am not very bright.

Wofford can't be considered anything but a "below average defense" when you are thinking about it as a BCS level school.

Almost every team that Wofford played this year had more offensive yards than we did on Saturday. These are FCS schools. Lets be honest, there is absolutely no legitimate reason that schools like UTC, Western Carolina, etc. should have had a better offensive performance than SC did on Saturday.
Because we have shown that we are capable of far superior offensive production against vastly more talented teams. It is obvious that the team looked past Wofford and the intensity was not what it will be for a big name team, especially our rival. Also, because we played against a triple option team which seems to always give us fits and gets us out of our comfort zone. Remember Citadel last year? For that matter, as a Carolina fan, you should be well familiar with the concept of playing down to your opponent and that's exactly what we did last Saturday for most of the game. That's why it's not a true indication of what the team is capable of. We played far below our capabilities.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Also, because we played against a triple option team which seems to always give us fits and gets us out of our comfort zone. Remember Citadel last year? For that matter, as a Carolina fan, you should be well familiar with the concept of playing down to your opponent and that's exactly what we did last Saturday for most of the game. That's why it's not a true indication of what the team is capable of. We played far below our capabilities.
Couple of Points..

1. Wofford's defense doesn't play the triple option. I am not considered at all with how our defense performed vs Wofford.
2. Our offense did just fine against the Citadel last year. We scored 41 points. Remember, I am talking about our offense.
3. I know what the team is capable of. But capabilities don't mean much on the scoreboard. Bottom line is that the last time out the door, our offense looked horrible. Spurrier said the same thing today on his press conference.

If we play like we are "capable" then I agree that we beat Clemson. But that doesn't make me feel any better about how we played ON OFFENSE against Wofford.

I went through all of Wofford defensive stats for the year and we basically have the worst offensive performance against them all season. That is right, our offense gained less yards than powerhouses like UTC, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State.

Sorry, but I have to say that a BCS top 12 team should be able to outperform teams like Western Carolina on offense against a FCS school.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Because we have shown that we are capable of far superior offensive production against vastly more talented teams. It is obvious that the team looked past Wofford and the intensity was not what it will be for a big name team, especially our rival. Also, because we played against a triple option team which seems to always give us fits and gets us out of our comfort zone. Remember Citadel last year? For that matter, as a Carolina fan, you should be well familiar with the concept of playing down to your opponent and that's exactly what we did last Saturday for most of the game. That's why it's not a true indication of what the team is capable of. We played far below our capabilities.
We do have a history of playing down to opposition. But I'm not sure how playing against the triple option affects the offense. Surely that is an issue for the defense?
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

Wofford was a disappointment and I'm just happy it's over.

I feel like Shaw might have reached his ceiling unless he starts trusting his receivers and throwing them open or to spots instead of waiting for them to get wide open (even then he doesn't seem to see them).

My opinion is that the offense is too schizo. We try to do multiple alignments and theories but can't do any really well at this point. Spurrier says he likes to run etc. but the zone read isn't his thing and we are average at it at best. The way we run it is uninspired and predictable. It should look like Oregon or even Florida when the came out after the half against us.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

I'm firmly in the camp that feels like Connor is our overall most talented QB, but that his development this year has been hurt by injury.

I don't think it's "hiding" behind anything to say injuries have hurt him. Go back and watch the UGA game and look at his first TD pass to Bruce. He threw that ball 30 yards over Bruce's left shoulder across his body. It was on a rope and in a spot that only Bruce could catch it.

I don't think he can make that throw right now, and that's not a knock on Connor's ability, that's just where he is right now with his shoulder and his foot. I believe a healthy Shaw is 100% our best option to win games, but I'm not sure right now if he's a better option than Dylan.

We as fans are free to speculate, but making that choice is what coaches are paid to do. I trust Spurrier to make his best judgement about whether or not Shaw is that guy.

Our offensive performance against Wofford was pitiful. It got to the point where we should have just run every play. They couldn't really stop the run, we just stopped ourselves by trying to force the pass too often.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Originally Posted by Acockolypse Now View Post
I'm firmly in the camp that feels like Connor is our overall most talented QB, but that his development this year has been hurt by injury.

I don't think it's "hiding" behind anything to say injuries have hurt him. Go back and watch the UGA game and look at his first TD pass to Bruce. He threw that ball 30 yards over Bruce's left shoulder across his body. It was on a rope and in a spot that only Bruce could catch it.

I don't think he can make that throw right now, and that's not a knock on Connor's ability, that's just where he is right now with his shoulder and his foot. I believe a healthy Shaw is 100% our best option to win games, but I'm not sure right now if he's a better option than Dylan.

We as fans are free to speculate, but making that choice is what coaches are paid to do. I trust Spurrier to make his best judgement about whether or not Shaw is that guy.

Our offensive performance against Wofford was pitiful. It got to the point where we should have just run every play. They couldn't really stop the run, we just stopped ourselves by trying to force the pass too often.
I don't doubt that he is our best option when well. However, the biggest issue I have with him isn't his ability to make throws, it's not trusting either himself or the receivers to attempt the throws or it's not seeing the throwing lanes. Either way, those things have little to do with his injuries and more mental aspects. He got passes last year b/c the oline couldn't give more time, the year I honestly feel the oline is servicable but now it's his injuries.

I will say that a Connor Shaw who can't run shouldn't be our best option at qb, and if that is the case then I'm just sad.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

Don't get me wrong I agree with everyone about how bad the offense and Shaw looked Saturday. I just can't put too much stock into how we play Wofford. I have seen us play them 3 times recently, all 3 times we should have beat them easily, yet all 3 turned into close,tight, dogfights. I'm just going to hope it was mostly due to being stuck in between 2 rivalry games, I thought Shaw and the offense played good against Arkansas. I'm sure Shaw was not happy about his performance and expect him to be ready and motivated this Saturday. As much critisism as we give our offense, myself included, we still averaged over 30 points a game. And they will face a weak defense on Saturday night.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

I don't doubt his ability to hit a reciever when he sees them. It's the ones he doesn't even see that worries me. Spurriers offense is a timing offense where the QB is expected to throw to a spot where the receiver will be by the time the ball gets there. He cannot do this.
He has had good games this year but even in those games he has missed wide open receivers and has thrown some horrendous picks and has held on to the ball too long and taken some drive killing sacks.
We have to take a long look at DT or Nosevich or even Mitch in the spring with a view to playing the offense the way it is supposed to be run. I see Shaw as more a QB to come in and run certain plays in certain situations and not a permanent starter. The zone read has had most success with guys built like Cam/Tebow/Garcia who can take the punishmnet more easily. He does have speed but that can't be the determining factor. Just too many 3 and outs and our D gets worn out.
I will admit that the o line is bad and that hasn't helped.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

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Originally Posted by cofcgamecock9 View Post
Why is Wofford not an indication? I am not sure I am following you so I guess I am not very bright.

Wofford can't be considered anything but a "below average defense" when you are thinking about it as a BCS level school.

Almost every team that Wofford played this year had more offensive yards than we did on Saturday. These are FCS schools. Lets be honest, there is absolutely no legitimate reason that schools like UTC, Western Carolina, etc. should have had a better offensive performance than SC did on Saturday.
sorry cofc, you and i agree on 95% of the points made on here, but you are dead wrong on this one. wofford has one of the top defenses in the fcs! and if you don't think it translates into the bcs level, then you haven't looked at the difficulty most teams have with them. it isn't just the tricky offense. those guys are extremely disciplined, and play with a ton of heart. the point he made is extremely valid, in that our team didn't play like they can, or normally do, against wofford. it is an outlier. our play against tenn and arkie was much more indicative of what we can do, and you have even pointed this out many times.
too many people on here are giving connor a hard time over a "less than great" performance. but looking at his body of work over the entire season, he has played extremely well, especially considering the injuries.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: Acock's Wrap Up: Wofford

I guess the thing I don't understand about all the Shaw whining is if I'm not mistaken, and I know I'm not because I just looked it up HERE, Shaw was 16/21 with a TD and an Int (only his 7th all year to 15 TD). That is a 76% completion rate. That's not too bad and far better than what we had the past couple years. Face it, Shaw has been TRAINED to be conservative because of watching Garcia. Add to that I think we used Wofford as a scrimmage of sorts to test out the clock control game plan. Precisely what all the haters are saying we need to do to beat Clemson. Control the TOP and keep Clemson's O off the field. We had the same number of rushing and passing first downs. We rushed 41 times and threw it 20 times. That's been our bread and butter since Shaw became starter. It's not a pretty way to win, sure. But it has been our recipe. Score slow, hold em on D, get field position and score quick when the opportunity presents itself.
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