On South Carolina’s Opportunistic Defense
Will Muschamp, the former Florida head coach and Auburn defensive coordinator, doesn’t have the quite the defense he had before. South Carolina’s defense allows a lot of yards but not very many points.
“This 400-600 yards stuff and you come out with 17 points, that’s bad ball,” Gran said. “So, we’ve got to win on third down and we’ve got to make sure in the red zone that we’re not kicking field goals. Those are fine, but we can’t be down there six times and kick two field goals.”
Gran credits South Carolina’s third-down and red-zone defense as to why they keep their opponents from scoring so many points.
Benny Snell Grade: B
While most people would grade Snell’s play on Saturday as an A, Gran wasn’t one. Snell finished with 137 yards and four touchdowns, but that still wasn’t enough for the offensive coordinator.
“He had a couple freshman things that you all don’t see that he’s got to get better at,” Gran said.
With Jojo Kemp back, its going to be a competition this week on who will be carrying the ball on Saturday.
“You got everybody back healthy,” Gran said. “And my group now, you guys gotta understand now, is as good a competition as you could ever have. They are fighting and it’s tough.”
On Stephen Johnson Running the Ball
Stephen Johnson is going to run the ball more a lot than Drew Barker did, obviously. However, Gran said that the quarterback run game plan has not changed with Johnson as the starter.
“Our whole offense is based on that,” Gran said. “Our whole offense is based on that, even with Drew in there.”
C.J. Conrad Gained Some Confidence
After only having two targets in the first two games, we finally saw the C.J. Conrad everyone was talking about. Conrad lead the team in receiving yards finished with 133 and three touchdowns.
“It was good to get him going,” Gran said. “The questions every week, ‘When are you gonna get him involved?’ And I’m with you. We needed to get him involved.”
Offensive Line Looked Better
The offensive line struggled against Florida, to say the least. After giving up three sacks down in Gainesville, the offense line looked much approved against New Mexico State allowing zero sacks.
“You know what, we did a better job on movement as Coach (Stoops) talked about that on Monday that we had a lot of blitzes and for us to be successful, you’ve got to pick up that because there’s gonna be run stoppers. Everybody in the country does that on early downs and so we have to be able to pick up the movement to stay out of second and long,” Gran said.
Gran pointed out Landon Young who played really well in his first start at Kentucky. Being able to rotate so many guys in this early on will really benefit the offense towards the end of the season.