2009 SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS FOOTBALL REVIEW
Bad loss to Connecticut 20-7 in the Papa Johns Bowl. Just nothing good to say about it. Except that 2010 is here!
Get your tickets now at 2010 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Tickets.
Nice season so far for South Carolina. Ranked in the top 25 and on track to very possibly finish 2d in the SEC East. But, the next two road games at Tennessee and Arkansas will be huge. First up Tennessee in Knoxville on Halloween night! Should be a great game. Get your tickets now at South Carolina Football Tickets.
When coach Steve Spurrier arrived on the scene at the University of South Carolina, many people felt that this arrival represented a renaissance for Gamecocks football, that Spurrier represented a turning point of sorts, and that once and for all, South Carolina football would ascend to a higher level on the field, a level which would allow it to truly compete with the southeastern conference's elite programs
After four (now five) full seasons as head coach, Spurrier has not yet elevated Gamecocks football to that special level; of performance. Even he admits he's been disappointed.
However, that is not to say that Spurrier has not taken strides with this football team. And coming off a successful 2008 season in which the team made the Outback Bowl and finished with a 7-6 overall record, and at 4-4 in the difficult Southeastern Conference, South Carolina football fans should feel at least somewhat excited about the direction that the team, is headed in. However, given this team's propensity for false hope and false starts in recent years, it would make sense if most Gamecocks fans are reserving judgment for now.
The Gamecocks are going to have to rely on their defense to keep them in a lot of games as we enter the 2009 season, because while their offense has some measure of potential, the defense is where the larger percentage of the talent from the 2008 season will reside. In fact, specifically speaking, the secondary of the South Carolina football squad is where this team is going to0 have to win a lot of its ballgames, as it was stellar in 2008. The downside is that the team has lost a number of talented contributors from the 2008 club, including the likes of Captain Munnerlyn, Carlos Thomas, and Stoney Woodson. The coaching and new kids will need to step up to keep that unit effective.
Elsewhere on defense, the team will have to work hard to compensate for the loss of NFL draft pick Jasper Brinkley, a player who is expected to excel and the next level. However, early indications are that senior Eric Norwood is more than ready to assume a leadership role within the linebacking corps, and within the defense as a whole, and if he elevates his game, that group should come together. And as far as the defensive line, this may, if the secondary takes some time to develop, be the unit that the Gamecocks fall back on. All four are talented, young, and return from last season.
Offensively, the team enters the 2009 season without a lot of consistent production to fall back on. We all know that Steve Spurrier is not shy about using creative, aerial style offenses. But he just doesn't seem to have the personnel to run his own offense effectively. And as he has now had more than ample time to recruit in South Carolina, he can no longer blame the previous coach's recruits for this lack of a fit. Stephen Garcia is expected to enter the 2009 season as the starter. He has a decent arm, but makes bad decisions, piling up INTs during the 2008 season. Much of the fate of this offense will depend on Eric baker being able to step in to the shoes of departed RB Mike Davis, as he will need to carry this team in 2009.
All told, there seem to be far too many question marks for this team as it enters the 2009 season to feel all that good about predicting another bowl game appearance. The Gamecocks won't be awful, but may just miss out on the postseason.
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