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|10-30-2013, 01:13 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Acock's Wrap Up: Mizzou
There will be no grades this week. You don't dissect in detail your greatest sports memories. It cheapens them. You don't critique Reggie Jackson's swing when he hits 3 home runs off of 3 different pitchers in the '77 series, you don't review the weaknesses of the passing game of the Miracle on Ice, and you don't ruminate over the line play as Flutie lofts his Hail Mary to the sky.
This was one of those games. The classics. The legends.
You just watched it, took it in. Let the misery of 3 lost quarters and a failed season wash away as Shaw is led off the field on the shoulders of his teammates.
You can exhale.
Dylan Thompson played a passable game in Shaw's absence. For whatever reason our players don't seem to play with the same intensity when he's in, and that's worrisome for next year. Shaw is not human. He's made of other stuff than you and me. Missouri fans around me were confused, mesmerized by him. "He's on another level" they said to me. Yes, he is.
Mike. Squeeze the ball Mike. Squeeze it like it's your infant son and there is a raging flood underneath you. You are a complete back, and you punished Mizzou in the 4th quarter. You saved us in the 4th with the value you bring to our passing game. But the ball Mike. Squeeze it. Props to Carson, who you can see growing in front of your eyes.
Too many drops, but how many big plays do they have in them? Bruce, Byrd, Jones, Anderson, Adams... they all saved us at least once, when a drop meant defeat. They came up clutch, six different WRs and TEs caught a pass. Shaq, if you can find your way back, we need you. You can be so much more if you choose.
Missouri's D-line is for real, and a great test for what we'll face against Florida. The nay-sayers are wrong, this group once again performed great. Pass protection was fantastic for most of the night, and the only let down was not being able to run the ball effectively. Sam is a beast of a defensive lineman, and he came free too often, but overall amazing job.
Thank you Kelcy. This group keeps getting better every game. Sutton is starting to come on as well and the backups are getting push. Mauk never got comfortable.
Still the main weak spot on the team, but getting better. Much better job this week of recognizing the gaps.
A love/hate game. Amazing job on Mizzou's big WRs, but had a few serious brain cramps. Should have had 4 picks but only caught one.
Special teams won us a game. Tell your children that.
Spurrier is beginning to have faith in his defense again, and it's showing in terms of how he calls his offensive game. Great job by the coaching staff, they had a fantastic game plan for stopping Missouri, and if not for turnovers we wouldn't have needed overtime.
What will we take away from this? Will our team rededicate themselves to achieving their goals? Will they become complacent again and assume we win by stepping on the field?
I do not know, but I do know that this team has no quit in them.
...and that's good enough for me right now.
Don't look now, but over the last four games our defense is quietly becoming one of the best in the SEC. We took one of the best offenses in the SEC and held them to around 350 yards in regulation, just a week after Florida's vaunted defense gave up 500 yards. Time and time again with their backs against the wall they came up big. They're maturing, and they're going to give us an opportunity to win out.
...but enough about that. There's time for that.
Right now I want to savor the most improbable Gamecock win I've ever seen. I want to bask in the glow of knowing you've watched history in the making, that people will talk about this game the way they talk about FSU in 84 and Southern Cal in 83.
We went into an undefeated, number 5 team's home and stunned them in a way that's hard to understand. Don't let anyone tell you Mizzou is overranked, that they are not that good. They're the best team we've played this year, and the best we're likely to play unless we make Atlanta.
It's the stuff of legends, and the reason sports resonates with us so much.
Tonight I played the last game of organized basketball I'll ever play. I've played in this rec league for over 14 years, and although I'm not near as quick as I used to be, I had no intention of quitting. My body, as it turns out had other ideas and I announced my retirement at the beginning of the year.
Tonight was the first round of the playoffs. My team was the number one seed, and had a first round bye. All we needed to do was win this game and go to the championship next week. Win or lose, this was it for me. I have to go to California next week, so this was my finale.
The guys surprised me this week, by voting me league MVP and giving me a trophy before the game.
I assure you I didn't earn it.
It was a tight game, and it went back and forth, but with four minutes to go we had pulled ahead by 12 or so. Coach put me in.
With one minute to go I slipped down into a soft spot in the 2-3 zone, my teammate found me and with my back to the basket I raised up for a turnaround jumper. Improbably, the ball swished through, my first points of the night.
The guys came off the bench and mobbed me.
I hit the last shot I'll ever take.
That's why sports matter.
That's why this week was so special.
Always remember... stay Feisty.