Monday, September 24, 2012

One week until we go live...

If Carolina can avoid the upset hiccup in Lexington next weekend, and I understand that based on history that is a big “if,” then the Gamecocks will be 5-0 entering the three-game gauntlet that makes up the “grind” part of the 2012 season.  Just like when we headed to Nashville a few weeks ago, I think we will benefit from having been clipped a couple of years ago by the Wildcats.  We need to go up there, take care of business, avoid a major injury and come back home with the W.  I don’t care if it’s pretty, I don’t care if the national media likes it, or any of that.  Just get the win and we earn a huge opportunity.  

The first leg of the grueling tripod at that point would be Georgia at home.  Even if we survive that, we would then have to take off on road trips to Baton Rouge and Gainesville.  The good news is that USC appears to be finding its identity on offense at just the right time.  We need them to be a complement to our salty and nasty defense that is jogging through the early games with ease.  

I don’t know many rational Gamecock fans who are guaranteeing we will win all three, but I can also say I don’t know many rational Gamecock haters who are putting down big money that we will lose all three either.  If we’re going to reach our goals this year, we will have to win two.  Thanks to the SEC protecting Athens with the schedule this year, those two also must include Georgia in two weeks.  That’s just the hand we’ve been dealt.   Don’t misunderstand, I am not “conceding” any games with this opinion.  I am just acknowledging the reality that it is a tall order to get through that maze unscathed.    

On another note, congratulations to Connor Shaw, who exceeded my expectations yesterday as we routed Missouri.  20 straight completions is impressive against anyone, and #14 made it look easy.  Shaw is a calm and steady leader who is willing to do whatever the defense allows him.  He is patient and unselfish too, as is Marcus Lattimore which bodes well for the rest of the year.  Against deep and fast SEC defenses, you have to be able to reach back for numerous options to find holes, which we can do.  

Other football teams can have the silly, insecure cockiness, bravado, peacocking, loud talking, flash and style.  I will take the calm and patient offense and the rock solid defense built on athleticism, depth and speed.  You guys keep the sizzle, and we’ll keep on being the steak.  I like it that way.  

(One other note:  Both Willy and I got all the calls right on the Claws vs. Paws.  The Tiger Swag still leads, but I am poised to strike and take over soon. :))

It’s a great time to be a Gamecock! 

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