Can you honestly say you know what is going to happen on Saturday night? Honestly? This game with Mizzou is just riddled with question marks about both teams. The Tigers are coming off of a brutal performance at home against Indiana, which ended in an upset loss. Meanwhile those of us in Cocky-Land watched Vanderbilt turn Saturday night into an uncomfortable evening, as the hapless Commodores returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, and our defense made their 3rd string quarterback look like Joe Montana.
I realize it’s a good thing that we now expect more from our team, and that we SHOULD be disappointed and overanalyzing every detail of every game now. Those are signs of a really good program. I also grasp the concept that Spurrier’s entertaining (and a pinch worrisome) rant on Saturday is something he’s done before in his career. And yes, hopefully, everyone who says that he is doing that to fire us up and make sure we aren’t complacent for Missouri is right.
But what if he’s not just doing that and he really believes we’re in trouble? Personally, I think he’s right. We are bad on defense. That is NOT hyperbole. That is the truth. Has Missouri been a huge disappointment also? Yes, and that’s why you can’t predict what will happen this weekend.
But does Missouri’s offense have a pulse? Are they going to field 11 players at a time when they have the ball? If you answered “yes” to both of those questions, then they are going to score points and gain yardage on our defense. You could take me, my 90+ year old great aunt, my 8-year old son and 8 feral cats and I bet we’d put up a couple of touchdowns against USC. For those of you screaming, “BUT WE WILL SCORE POINTS TOO” I agree 100%. And we better if we don’t want it to be decided early.
I know that Texas A & M is this year’s “glamour gal” over at ESPN and that our loss to them wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked that night. I also understand that East Carolina is looking a whole lot like this year’s UCF. So our “sputtering” performance in Game 2 may have just been beating a very good football team in a tight game.
And certainly the highlight of this year already was finally doing to Georgia what they have done to other teams so many times over the years. I don’t care who the better team was in that one as long as we were the winning team. Show me a group of fans saying, “We should have won!” and I’ll show you the losing fans.
Having said that, and no offense to Vandy but the Commodores are not a good team this year. No, no, just stop yourself before you reflexively say whatever it is you’re about to…. No they are not a good team.
None of this would really bother me except that I have yet to leave a game feeling good about our defense. NowI never expected them to be the defense we’re used to but COME ON! I wasn’t expecting them to look like 11 aardvarks on roller skates either.
Yet here we are at 3-1 and in full control of our own destiny. And yes, our opponent is doing the same soul-searching about themselves we are this week. So let’s just hope they are in worse shape than we are. Otherwise they will find their scoring legs early and we could be looking at our 2nd home loss already in 2014.
NEVERTHELESS….It’s a great time to be a Gamecock! J