Hello everyone. A couple of quick house-keeping item. Our new Post and Courier South Carolina beat writer Ryan Wood starts next Tuesday and will be on the scene in Athens, Ga., on Sept. 7. Also, we're going to have a Live Chat at halftime of the South Carolina-North Carolina game on Thursday night.
OK, so fire away. Let's talk South Carolina football. Can't wait for the season to start tomorrow night at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Bruce Ellington has been limited all week during practice. He was in a yellow jersey again Tuesday night. We really won't know his status until after today's practice, but there's no media availability. I think he plays, but on a limited basis. Will make things very interesting in the passing game.
Ryan Wood will be making his P&C debut beginning next Tuesday. I know you guys are going to like Ryan. He covers Auburn.
Throw in tight end Rory Anderson, who is not expected to play because of an injury, and the Gamecocks don't have a ton of proven playmakers at wide receiver. Damiere Byrd and Nick Jones are the most experienced guys and will have to step up. Shamier Jeffery and Shaq Roland will also need to be a factor against UNC.
I doubt anyone can live up to the hype that Jadeveon Clonwey has created this offseason. He would have to be some kind of superhero to do so. Teams are going to scheme their offense so he's least disruptive. If that means using double teams, or chip-blocking with running backs and or tight ends, they don't want him making any game-changing plays like The Hit. They'll try and run away from him as well, but that's when he is at his best, running guys down from behind.
Well, against Clemson it was as much their offense, in particular controlling the football and keeping it away from the Tigers offense. USC had the ball almost 38 minutes in 2011 and 39 minutes in 2012 against Clemson. Those offenses can't score when if they don't have the ball. It also doesn't hurt having No. 7 on your team.
Kaiwan Lewis (MLB), Marcquis Roberts (WLB) and Sharrod Golightly (spur) are very athletic. More athletic than the linebackers in 2012. All these guys can run, which has become a huge issue when facing spread offenses. Don't forget about Cedric Cooper (WLB), who has been out with a dislocated elbow. He's supposed to return to practice Saturday and could play against Georgia.
The media got to watch that one scrimmage and the offense was terrible. A lot of that, again, is because of No. 7. Injuries have been an issue with the receivers -- Bruce Ellington and Rory "Busta" Anderson -- but overall you've got two proven QBs in Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson and four returning starters on the O-Line. It might take a game or two, but I think the offense will be fine.
I think they're going to miss Marcus as much off the field as on it. Let's face it, he was the leader of the this team for the last two years. Marcus was also money inside the 10-yard line. He knew how to finish off a drive. No question he will be missed, but I think Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds, along with Shon Carson are going to prove to be pretty effective players. All three can catch the ball and Davis is more of a home-run hitter -- big play -- than Lattimore.
Good question. The Tar Heels gave up less than a sack a game. Their QB Bryn Renner doesn't take many five or seven step drops. The Tar Heels like to throw a lot of swing passes to their RBs, like a West Coast offense. Renner likes to get the ball out quickly, which doesn't leave much time for Clowney & Co., a lot time to make a play. I think, however, that and East-West approach won't be very effective for UNC. USC has too much speed defensively to get outside on them.
OK, that's it for today. A lot of good questions. Remember that we'll have a live chat at halftime of Thursday night's game against North Carolina. Look forward to hearing from you guys then. APM