After six consecutive wins to start the season, South Carolina lost its second game in as many weeks Saturday at the Swamp. Granted, the losses have been at the hands of the two best teams on Carolina’s schedule, but there is still no excuse for consecutive losses. The Gamecocks played six weeks of nearly flawless football, but have since looked like a team lacking motivation and competitive drive. With last Saturday’s loss, the ‘Cocks have eliminated themselves from SEC East title contention. There is still hope of salvaging another 11 win season, but Carolina will have to make a few significant changes to right the ship.
Room to Improve
- Hold on to the football!
The game started with an ominous turnover, followed by another, and another, and another. It’s hard for any team that commits four turnovers to come out with a victory, much less against one of the best teams in all of college football. The first three turnovers gave the Gators easy opportunities to score early in the first half, opportunities that sealed Carolina’s fate in the Swamp.
- Missing: Carolina Offense, Last Seen October 6th
This is the second weekend in a row that South Carolina has failed to eclipse 200 yards of total offense. It seems that a rushing game that was once so dominant has become extinct. Marcus Lattimore was able to pick up 13 yards only three carries, and his teammates weren’t able to pick up much more. With the rushing game absent, the passing game has been quiet as well. Some drastic improvements need to be made on the offensive side of the ball if the Gamecocks want to hang with elite teams.
- Lack of Adjustments
The first half was ugly and filled with special teams blunders, but the defense looked solid and the offense showed faint signs of life. Half-time is meant to allow the team to regroup and come out with an improved game plan in an attempt to revive their chances of winning, but South Carolina came out just as flat in the second half. The defense looked exhausted and the offense couldn’t get anything going whatsoever. The second half brought out a Carolina team that looked even worse than the ‘Cocks in the first half.
- Defensive Line
The defensive line seemed to be the only bright spot on the Gamecock team Saturday afternoon. The pressure they provided on Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Mike Gillislee helped keep Carolina afloat in the first half, holding the Gators to minimum offensive production. Jadeveon Clowney stood out particularly with five total tackles–two for a loss, and one sack–making his presence known in the Florida backfield.
What to Expect Next Week
The Gamecocks return to Williams-Brice on Saturday for a statement game that will determine whether or not the 2012 campaign will be considered a success. Coach Spurrier is sure to make some much-needed adjustments at practice this weekend and the Gamecocks will most likely return to their original success with a crucial win over Tennessee.