Monday, November 05, 2007

This can’t be what he envisioned

Before I dive into this topic, I want to acknowledge that South Carolina will in all likelihood give the Gators one hell of a game this coming weekend. I take nothing for granted, knowing we will get their best effort of the year.

That said, they are terrible team.

Sure 6-4 overall doesn’t look terrible, merely average. Wins over Kentucky and Georgia look pretty good in fact. As good as the loss to Vandy looks bad.

This past weekend, the Gamecock’s supposed strength – their defense – was imploded and laid bare by the Arkansas Razorbacks. The numbers involved boggle the mind – 651 yards total offense by the ‘Hogs, including 542 yards rushing. Arkansas converted 10 of 13 third down attempts.

South Carolina blog Garnet and Black Attack has the take-down on last weekend’s debacle, opening calling for the firing of South Carolina “defensive staff”.

Even after the McFadden Massacre, the Gamecock’s defense still ranks a not-to-dreadful 47th in total defense, and a reasonable 27th in scoring defense. No, the true weakness of the 2007 Gamecocks is the offense.

Be it lack of talent or whatever, the Spurrier led Gamecock offense is 75th nationally in total offense gaining an average of only 371.4 yards per game. This places them behind obviously offensively challenged teams like FSU (72nd) and Georgia Tech (73rd).

Broken down further, the Gamecocks are 95th in rushing offense, and 44th in passing offense.

In terms of scoring offense, the ‘Cocks are 65th, averaging 26.1 points per game. They are worse here than FAU (62nd), Minnesota (63rd), and even the Fighting Zooks of Illinois, who rank 58th.

In the first two years at South Carolina under Spurrier, their average points per game have been (with NCAA rank) –

2005 – 23.7 (75th)
2006 – 26.6 (44th)

Not at all what you would expect from Spurrier.

Compare this to the points per game from the first two Spurrier years at Florida –

1990 – 35.2
1991 – 32.4

Notably, the first two years at Florida the offense improved markedly from the 22.3 average of both 1988 and 1989. At South Carolina, the offense has shown little improvement against the averages of 22.3 and 22.1 in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

Why South Carolina has failed to improve much I cannot really say.. Moreover, I don’t find this a totally distasteful situation, seeing as South Carolina is an annual opponent of the Gators. And no doubt, they will give Florida a great game this weekend.

But this can’t be what he envisioned.


Robes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robes said...

We have a habit this year of making average quarterbacks look like All-Americans. Hopefully what we saw against Vandy will continue this weekend and we really will have turned it around.

Year2 said...

The problem on offense is mostly a lack of speed and talent at receiver. Sidney Rice and Kenny McKinley have been good, but I can't name another SC receiver in his tenure there.

Of course, Blake Mitchell is also Spurrier's Chris Rix. Think about it - it makes sense on nearly every level.

Anonymous said...

Mergz, you're jinxing us. Did you watch the SC/TN game? SC moved the ball at will in the second half. The OBC can still call a great offense game, and I'm veeery afraid what he will come up with against his old team. All my fingers and toes are crossed!


Anonymous said...

In spite of South Carolina's woes, we can't afford to take them or ANY team for that matter lightly, especially knowing what's at stake for our team.

Mergz said...

Oh, I am plenty afraid of South Carolina. I think we will get one hell of a game out of them.
And I said so in the post.

The point was that a Spurrier coached team has not improved markedly on offense in 3 years. And that puzzles me.