Tales From The Cockpit: Stop It

Another week, another disappointing loss.

Fingers are being pointed in every direction after a 3rd straight loss and a 2-4 record heading into the bye week and I’m here to tell you to stop it…just stop it.

Yes, 2-4 is frustrating and it’s easy to point at Muschamp’s tenure at Florida and bail out after now just 6 football games. The thing is, this isn’t Florida and at this juncture you cannot blame Will Muschamp for the absence of talent on the field.  Especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Broken record alert: Steve Spurrier admitted that he stopped recruiting.

If you want to place blame for the decrepit offense, blame the legend.  I’m not saying be a jerk about it or that you should claim he “tarnished his legacy.” That’s buffoonish…but yes, he completely and totally is to blame for what the product on the field is right now.

I’ve always found it funny that we are so quick to give the previous coach credit for winning seasons, but then quick to blame the current coach in their first year for losing seasons.  This isn’t Will Muschamp’s team yet, it’s still Spurrier’s team that Muschamp is trying to fix.

There are glimmers of hope with Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards and Hayden Hurst on the outside.  There’s even some hope in the backfield with Freshmen backs A.J. Turner and Rico Dowdle…even if they only combined for 60-yards yesterday.

The glimmers of hope, however, were destroyed by turnovers.

The Perry Orth interception was his one blemish on an otherwise solid afternoon (26/36 288-yards) and of course the 2 fumbles lost by the young running backs.  Turnovers kill and in this game they did even more damage than you think.

With the offenses inability to move the football down the field coupled with the three turnovers by the offense, the defense was under an immense amount of pressure to keep this thing close…and they still did.  It was only 14-0 at the half and 14-7 late in the 3rd quarter.

If you are able to extend any kind of drives to give the defense rest and obviously find a way to hold onto the ball and keep possession, then who knows how this game would have gone.

Georgia had a one-dimensional offensive approach.  Run Chubb and Michel.  Of UGA’s 355 yards of offense, 326 was on the ground thanks to these two men.  That being the case, the Georgia offense still only scored 21-points against the Gamecocks defense (obviously not counting the onside kick debacle as a TD against the defense).  Something that could have limited the output of the two-heading rushing beast…limiting their time of possession.

If Carolina holds onto the ball, can dink and dunk their way to just a few field goal opportunities, this game looks far different.  Not saying the Gamecocks would have won, but they had their chances without doing this, just imagine the chances they would have had if they could have.

Silver Lining Time

By now you should be used to my “Good Ship Lollipop” approach to this season.  There is no hope of a bowl game anymore and there’s no use in being a constant source of negativity.  So for my Central Florida sports fan friends, you can call me the Jacque Vaughn of Gamecock coverage (SC friends I suggest you google some of Jacque’s greatest positive spins on the Magic’s 20-win seasons).

So here it is, my silver lining and one you’ve already heard over and over and over again so far this season.

This defense is FAR better than they were in 2015 and 2014.  They finish tackles, they get off the field on 3rd downs and they keep teams from scoring a ton of points.  Texas A&M had 24-points against the Gamecocks.  They had 35 in regulation and 45 overall against Tennessee (a then top-10 team).

Georgia may not be a high-scoring offense, but when you rush for 326-yards you typically score more than 21-points on offense (again, onside kick TD wasn’t an offensive TD).  Also, yet again I had been told all week-long about how much Georgia was going to light up the Gamecock’s defense and that Jacob Eason would have a huge game.  Eason was 5/17 for 29-yards and a TD…not quite lighting it up.

I cannot stress enough that this alone is why we need to hold out hope for the Muschamp Era.  The defense was nonexistent in 2015, that is not the case this year.  This year the defense is the only reason why the Gamecocks have a chance.

Another silver lining…and another I pointed out last week…this team has no quit and may lose, but loses with dignity.  That I respect.

They fought and clawed all the way up to the onside kick debacle and that was what it was…oh well, it happens.  The important thing is that the team didn’t give up.  I feel like the 2015 team would have been down and out after UGA marched down the field on the opening drive for the easy score.  This team wasn’t.

Since the Clemson game to end last season I have seen a new energy.  I think that energy started with Shawn Elliott and has been taken to a new level by Will Muschamp.

So judge him all you want after just half of a football season, but just don’t judge him erroneously.

It’s time to stop it.

Stop it with the negativity, we knew this wasn’t going to be a good season coming in.

Stop it with the Muschamp bashing, it’s far too soon to blame him.

Most importantly, stop it with the attacking players on social media to those who feel it necessary to do.  You have no right, they are out their busting their backsides for us, so be a REAL fan and support them no matter what the outcomes of games are.

Enjoy the bye week…I know our boys need the rest before the toughest part of the schedule comes.  Keep your heads up, keep looking to the future and keep supporting our Gamecocks!

Forever to thee.

-Ditti

Find me on Twitter (@Ditti33), Facebook (/ditti33) and Instagram (dittius33). 

 

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