Published October 6, 2011 - 9:11am
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In the words of the late great John Belushi: “Hey! What’s this lying around s**t?!” Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell No! Gamecock faithful, it’s the middle of the week, the pain has set in, and you have slowly realized perfection is no longer attainable. Now we discover exactly who these Gamecocks are and the resolve they possess. Dean Wormer (Auburn) dropped the big one. We lost. Get over it, move on, it ain’t over now, cause when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
After the embarrassment that has been the Gamecock offense in 2011, Spurrier made the expected move and named Connor Shaw starter for Saturday’s showdown with Kentucky. Simply put, Garcia has been abysmal and ineffective moving the chains and taking care of the ball. Auburn gave up 38 points to Utah State, 34 to Mississippi St., 38 to Clemson, and 14 to Florida Atlantic. Garcia and Spurrier Combined for 13.
Garcia has deserved his criticism, but the offensive line and our coach deserve some heat as well. A quarterback is never going to be effective without a solid offensive line, but Marcus Lattimore is the second leading rusher in the country, how much criticism do they deserve? As for our coach, his play calling has been suspect, and there must have been some disconnect between the sideline and the huddle, because Spurrier has set a record for most headset throws this season. Steve needs to reevaluate himself while he is reevaluating Garcia and Shaw. Garcia deserves most of the blame, but our offense needs an injection of life, creativity, enthusiasm and urgency and all of that begins with Spurrier, our “offensive mastermind.”
This week brings the Kentucky Wildcats. I was a little too “Cocky” last season and predicted the Gamecocks would win their 11th straight contest against our bluegrass brethren. My lesson was learned, and humility gave me a firm kick in the rear end. South Carolina will win this year, but there is no reason for me to express in words just how bad Kentucky is. They are slow, weak, and as explosive as a snake or sparkler on the 4th of July. Their players know it, their coaches know it, and their fans have already formed lines outside of Rupp Arena.
South Carolina is a 21 point favorite, and should win this game before halftime, but our offensive performances entice me to steer clear of the Vegas line. I will be in attendance and hope Connor Shaw can finally jumpstart his bright future. This game is important for the team to reboot their confidence. An SEC championship was the goal to start the season, and has not changed. The Gamecocks are still in first place, and only South Carolina controls its fate. Win, which is not much to ask this week, is the only thing left to do. This team is in desperate need of a 60 minute performance. Carolina 30, UK 15
Disappointment and heart break have been firmly etched into the biography of South Carolina Football. In most seasons, a loss to Auburn would not be a setback or an upset. This year is different, we were a top 10 team, undefeated, at home, and expected to win with ease. Losing hurts, it incites anger and frustration, but fear not Carolina and you forever faithful. The ultimate goal is still within our reach, and our team will choose its fate. It is time for this team to prove their mettle, answer the critics, and display their resolve. Nothing is over until we decide it is.
This is for you Connor Shaw: