2010 SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS FOOTBALL REVIEW
The most current info is at 2011 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Preview
Wow, HUGE, HUGE win over Bama; followed by Florida's loss to LSU combine to put the Gamecocks in the drivers seat for the SEC East Championship. Wow. Next up is a tricky game at Kentucky. You can get your tickets at 2010 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Tickets
“We will have two (quarterbacks) ready to play next year. That’s the first time in my coaching career of about 28 years we only had one guy that could play. We will play two if the first guy doesn’t play the way the coaches ask him to play.” So says Coach Steve Spurrier of the coming 2010-11 season in Columbia and Gamecock fans are probably happy to hear that as their expectations are high for their team to come out of the gate fighting for respect in the SEC East.
The two quarterback promise puts junior Stephen Garcia in the forefront again. In 2009 Garcia had people’s attention with 239 completions, 2,862 yards, and 17 touchdowns despite an unreliable offensive line. If the line can step it up, Garcia has a chance to thrive. True freshman Connor Shaw will be in the QB mix and looked good in early spring practices.
Getting the quarterback position mechanically sound is just one of the hurdles for Coach Spurrier. Getting their offensive line to be effective so the quarterback can perform will be at the hands of new offensive line coach Shawn Elliot from Appalachian State. Last year the Gamecocks gave up the most sacks in the SEC and were dead last in rushing for the third consecutive year. Those kinds of stats are not going to relieve Spurrier’s surly expression any time soon. Developing continuity on the line is a key priority for South Carolina.
The Gamecocks have a solid foundation of playmakers on the offense. Fans would like to see even more of the receiver with the #1 jersey standing confidently in the end zone, Alshon Jeffrey, who accumulated 763 yards with 46 receptions and 6 touchdowns last season. Add in the strong capabilities of tight end Weslye Saunders, wide receivers Tori Gurley, Jason Barnes and D.L. Moore and well, Garcia or whoever is at QB has plenty of pass-catching targets poised to get the fans excited and the scoreboard jumping.
On the defense, Eric Norwood (LB) a SEC leader in sacks and tackles is gone from the roster but South Carolina should be strong on this side of the ball with many quality starters returning including the bulk of their secondary. Some of the defensive players have sat out of spring practices, like middle linebacker Rodney Paulk, due to injury or preventative measures so newcomer linebacker Toquavius Gilchrist (you can call him “Qua-Qua”) has had sufficient time to display his talents for the coaches. Gilchrist is a highly-recognized junior college transfer from Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. South Carolina also has returning lead tackler Shaq Wilson to count on for production.
A recent notion coming from Columbia is Spurrier calling all the offense in the coming season. Considered by a majority a great play-caller at Florida, Spurrier has lacked the same results in and out of Williams-Brice Stadium. With all the talent, a commitment to the running game is probably in order to also open up Spurrier’s pass attack. Success at Florida included a running game and to be truly considered as challengers in the SEC East, the Gamecocks are going to have to put up significant rushing yards onto their stats in the 2010-11 season.
Going into the fall the South Carolina Gamecocks are #11 in the SEC, but that is not where they will end up at the close of the season. Things are going to click in Columbia and on the road for Spurrier and squad, despite seven conference games in a row, and the descriptive term “contender” will prove to be true when they come out near the top of the SEC East, turning their non-stellar ’09 conference record into a distant memory.
Bold = Home Game. * = Conference
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