What You Need To Know About The South Carolina Offense
– Get ready for the slow, stodgy and safe South Carolina offense to start to have more fun with Bryan McClendon now the full-time offensive coordinator. No, the Gamecocks aren’t going to start winging it around the yard, but the attack that finished 12th in the SEC and struggled to make things happen down the field will open it up a little bit. Considering the passing talent returning, that’s a good thing.
Jake Bentley is going into his third season as the main man at quarterback, and he’s got the skills to do a whole lot more. He threw 12 interceptions, but he was steady, accurate enough, and now looks ready to start averaging around 250 yards a game because …
– The receivers should be fantastic. Losing NFL tight end Hayden Hurst hurts, but leading receiver Bryan Edwards is back, OrTre Smith is a big target and Shi Smith is a quick one – both are coming off of solid freshman seasons – and best of all, Deebo Samuel is returning. Unstoppable before suffering a leg injury, he adds a superstar playmaker back to the mix after only playing in three games.
– The ground game struggled, averaging just 122 yards per game. But there should be more from a deep backfield getting back the four top backs – all juniors – to roll in a rotation. Ty’Son Williams and leading rusher A.J. Turner can each bust out big runs, with Williams bringing a big more pop. The rushing attack will go with the hot hand. Now the O line has to do its part.
It wasn’t awful, but it was hardly dominant. Three starters return, starting with Dennis Daley likely to work at left tackle again, Zack Bailey can see time at guard or at right tackle, and there’s enough versatility with the rest of the line to put the best five blockers on the field and be fine.
Biggest Key To The South Carolina Offense
Do whatever is needed to keep the chains moving. The big problem with South Carolina playing it relatively safe is that it didn’t work. The Gamecocks didn’t win the time of possession battle, and there weren’t enough long drives.
The offense stalled way too often, struggling to hit the 40% mark on third downs, having a hard time moving the ball in tough wins over Tennessee, Florida and Michigan.
Oddly enough, USC’s two best games of the season on third down tries – 62% against Georgia and 56% against Kentucky – were losses, but to do what Will Muschamp wants in the overall scheme of things, moving the chains is a must.