Friday, September 3, 2010

Florida's Foes

Who doesn't enjoy evaluating upcoming opponents?

Looking past Miami of Ohio to the more interesting contests ahead, the South Carolina-Southern Mississippi game left me wondering if South Carolina hasn't been overlooked by the pundits and the 'Ol Ball Coach has something more up his sleeve and will no longer rely on Ellis Johnson's defense.

Perhaps the state of South Carolina offers something more than the entertainment of pauperly, phantom political candidates sporting felony obscenity charges and the ironic possibility of a minority governor laboring happily in the state capitol building beneath a nationally recognized symbol of minority oppression.

Finally, Spurrier has playmakers.

True freshman Ace Sanders of Bradenton-Manatee is significantly faster than the 4.54 listed on his recruiting page and looked stockier than his listed 5'9" 166lbs. His second quarter 53 yd. reverse showed acceleration and moves reminiscent of Dexter McCluster or Chris Rainey. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find uploaded video of the play in question.

Alshon Jeffery we knew about, but is now playing at 6'4" 230--30 lbs. over his high school weight and was extremely physical with the cornerbacks.

Marcus Lattimore was everything he was advertised to be and, according to the ESPN commentators, played at 230 lbs, 12 lbs. over his high school weight.

The South Carolina OL remains questionable, with their 3rd line coach in three years and a new zone blocking scheme. They held their own last night, but Southern Mississippi's 2009 rushing defense was hit-or-miss, holding Kansas and Virginia to 2.3 and 1.8 yds./carry respectively, while giving up 6.2 yds./carry to Louisville and 5.1 yds./carry to Houston. Overall, the rushing defense was a middlin' 43rd in FBS. Southern Mississippi's 2009 passing defense was abysmal.

Stephen Garcia remains questionable and physically gifted. Last night he was Tebow-esque , delivering blows to linebackers and safeties alike on a pair of outstanding touchdown runs, while throwing very well. In the past, perhaps his erratic play was due to a poor offensive line that ranked 105th in in FBS, giving up 36 sacks in 2009, or perhaps his erratic play was due to immaturity, laziness and a sense of entitlement to his starting position.

Watching South Carolina side-by-side with the scUM-FAMU game, South Carolina was more or less equivalent to scUM, looking equally athletic against a better opponent.

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