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Breaking Down South Carolina

last year Gamecocks QB Conner Shaw shredded the Cats for 4 TDs and 311 yards, en route to a 54-3 blowout in Columbia.

last year Gamecocks QB Conner Shaw shredded the Cats for 4 TDs and 311 yards, en route to a 54-3 blowout in Columbia.



#6 South Carolina packs a heavy punch on offense through the air and ground, ranking 31st nationally in scoring offense. Tailback Marcus Lattimore is a Heisman candidate that does it all for the Gamecocks. Lattimore made a huge impact as a freshman, winning SEC Freshman of the year, but is coming off of a sophomore season ending knee injury. Lattimore has more size and speed than anyone Kentucky has faced, but he has a past filled with fumbles.

Last year Conner Shaw used the Kentucky game to solidify him as the commander of Spurrier’s offense. Last weekend agaisnt Mizzou, he completed his final 20 passes, just 3 shy of Tee Martin’s SEC record. Shaw is probably Spurrier’s best QB since becoming the coach at South Carolina, allowing Spurrier to “take the gloves off” and throw the ball down the field.

Bottom Line: The Cats did a good job of forcing Florida to run the ball inside the tackles last week in the first half. If they can keep Lattimore inside, they can eliminate the big play on the ground and maybe get him to cough up the ball once or twice. Shaw is very accurate, and has to be pressured constantly or he will have a field day against the Cats’ young cornerbacks.




The South Carolina defensive line is nasty. Point, blank, period. Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowny lead a unit that is ranked 7th nationally in sacks per game with 3.75 per game. Clowny and Taylor both are NFL-size standing over 6’6 tall, with athletic ability that makes you scratch your head. UK has done well protecting Max Smith (allowing only 4 sacks all season), but they will have their hands full keeping Max from further injuring his shoulder.

Their linebacking core is a senior-heavy group, that is tough against the run only allowing an opponent to go over 100 yards rushing once this season. They have used a variety of players in the secondary so far this season due to injury and suspension, but SR Safety D.J. Swearinger is back in the lineup this week. He is one of the hardest hitters on the field, and is a big-time playmaker after already returning a fumble 65 yards for a TD this season.

Bottom Line: The Cats will have to pass very effectively this week if they expect to put points on the scoreboard. It will be difficult to slow down the pass rush if they do not establish a run game (which is not likely, considering the RB injuries and their astute rush defense). The O-Line will have their hands full in what will most likely be a tough game to watch.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

8 Comments for Breaking Down South Carolina

  1. reality Check
    5:30 pm September 28, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares we are not beating them or anyone else the rest of the season.What are we waiting for on this coaching debacle. The longer mitch lets this drag out the more schools will be looking for coaches. This will be a typical Barnhart epic fail. When that happens i will be the first to put a 4 sale sign in his yard.

  2. Duke Sucks
    5:39 pm September 28, 2012 Permalink

    I can break down this game easy. SC will runn right down all over us. They will hit on a couple shots down the field. We will throw short passes and have no run game. That’s not being negative it’s honest. USC is very good and real physical. We will actually have a chance at well Samford. Welcome to the SEC with a subpar team.

  3. dave
    6:06 pm September 28, 2012 Permalink

    “(UK linebackers) tough against the run only allowing an opponent to go over 100 yards rushing once this season.”
    we’re giving up 191 rush yds/gm so far. good stat, though.

  4. ManOhMan
    6:11 pm September 28, 2012 Permalink

    If you scroll back, you see all these “optimists” talking about 3 or 4 wins this season. You see fan boys getting heated about negative comments, or mods even deleting negative comments. Let’s be real here. Our football team is embarrassing. Let’s accept it. Now let’s do something about it. Carrying false hope is just a waste of time. We need a complete rebuild. Anyone who denies this and wants to defend what is going on should remove the wool from their eyes and wake up. Let’s turn this around and start over ASAP! It starts with NOT buying tickets to support this and not being “ok” with it! Negativity breeds creativity!

  5. Duke Sucks
    7:22 pm September 28, 2012 Permalink

    #4 I agree 120%

  6. CrashTheLoader
    7:28 pm September 28, 2012 Permalink

    You need to give Shaw even more credit than that. His only incompletion last week came on his first attempt. Then he hit his next 20, with a sore throwing shoulder, to go 20 for 21. He’s been fighting the shoulder injury all year, so look for Spurrier to pull him once they get a comfortable lead to protect him for the Georgia game. No favors to us though, as Thompson, their sophomore backup, went for 330 yards, 3 TDs, and no INTs in his start against East Carolina this year. I know, most of you would say “Hey, it was JUST East Carolina, we beat them in the Liberty Bowl”. But now that just seems like a long, long, time ago..

  7. Uuuuhhhh
    9:22 pm September 28, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with 4-5

  8. motodog
    10:51 am September 29, 2012 Permalink

    Is game on TV? ..insight Louisville