South Carolina Gamecocks: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
South Carolina Gamecocks: Key To The 2022 Offense
Pound the rock … pound the rock …
Actually, just be good when the rock is being pounded.
South Carolina has a talent at quarterback in Spencer Rattler, and it has a terrific receiving corps. It’s going to be tempting to throw and keep throwing, and that’s just fine – the running game doesn’t have to crank up 250 yards per game for the O to work.
However, it has to be effective. It only averaged 3.8 yards per carry last season, and it only busted past four yards per pop three times.
Once when when the ground game went off on Florida, once was when it went wild on North Carolina, and the third time was in the opener against Eastern Illinois – all three were wins.
The Gamecocks hit 4.5 yards per carry from 2018 to 2020. Do That – and, BTW, they need to chill on the fumbles when they do.
South Carolina Gamecocks: Key To The 2022 Defense
Just keep taking the ball away.
The pass rush wasn’t great, there were times when offenses ate up third down conversions like M&M’s, and everyone who got inside the 20 left with points on the board.
But the South Carolina defense made up for a whole slew of issues here and there with a whole lot of takeaways.
It came up with 24 on the year, and while they chilled over the second half of the season, the 14 in the first five games served notice for everyone the rest of the way to be far more careful with the ball.
Takeaways didn’t always matter – USC lost to Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri even though it came up with three takeaways in each game. However, the program is 2-20 over its last 22 games – with that said, it’s 2-1 in its last three – when it doesn’t come up with multiple takeaways.
South Carolina Gamecocks: Key Player To The 2022 Season
DE/LB Jordan Strachan, Sr.
We know he can do it. We know he can get behind the line.
It’s asking for too much to be the main man that Kingsley Enagbare was over the last two seasons when it came to getting into the backfield, but Strachan has the ability to be a force.
The 6-5, 250-pounder was hardly bad in his first year with South Carolina – he made three sacks and six tackles for loss along with a nice interception – but he didn’t roll like he did in his last season at Georgia State.
The veteran made 41 tackles with 9.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in ten games in 2020 – the Gamecocks could use that disruption out of him.
South Carolina Gamecocks: Key Transfer
QB Spencer Rattler, Jr.
He was a real, live, Heisman candidate and top pro prospect at Oklahoma going into last season, and he wasn’t horrible. He just 1) struggled to move the offense consistently, and 2) wasn’t Caleb Williams.
It’s too much to say he played like he had all the pressure in the world on his shoulders, but he wasn’t as strong as he was when he let it rip.
For all of his faults and criticisms at OU, he’s a big-armed, big talent passer who throw 39 touchdown passes and close to 4,600 yards in the last two seasons, won a Big 12 Championship, and a Cotton Bowl.
He was a great get for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina Key Game To The 2022 Season
at Arkansas, Sept. 10
So how real are you, 2022 South Carolina?
Arkansas is going to get asked the same question as it hosts the Gamecocks to start the SEC season right after opening up against Cincinnati.
The Hogs should win this – it’s a home game – but the pressure is going to be on South Carolina to make an early statement and pull this off.
Lose, and there’s a big problem because what’s next in SEC play – Georgia, at Kentucky, Texas A&M.
There are winnable non-conference games and a week off mixed in there, so it won’t be a miserable start before things ease up a wee bit, but with what’s coming and a brutal finishing kick, getting a win on the road early on would mean everything.
South Carolina Gamecocks: 2021 Fun Stats
– Opponent 1st Quarter Scoring: 104 – Opponents 4th Quarter Scoring: 43
– Fumbles: South Carolina 24 (lost 13) – Opponents 16 (lost 9)
– Field Goals: South Carolina 16-of-17 – Opponents 19-of-22