This game is a big game for S. Carolina as they need it to avoid another horrific late season slide. When the year began, I said if S. Carolina goes 6-6 it would be a successful season as they are very inexperienced and young, the youngest team along with Duke in all of College Football. Well, 6-6 is the minimum record these guys are going to have before the bowl game, which is a tremendous accomplishment.
The Gamecocks continue to have the same problems: 1) Offensive line play is horrible, but it has improved. 2) Turnovers have haunted them all year. Turnovers definitely cost the Gamecocks in Knoxville against UT. 3) Cannot stop the run between the tackles. Power runners have been able to smoke this interior Defensive line. Below, I will list things I think that USC can do to change the tide of things.
1. Implement a Florida-style of offense. I know Spurrier is a pass happy coach, but this has to change for the Gamecocks to be successful. They have talent that they are not utilizing properly. With the stable of running backs they have, coupled with the fact they have a running quarterback and a kid that is lightning fast that can play both offense and defense, they should easily be able to run an option style offense like Urban Meyer runs with Tim Tebow. Line up Garcia along with Stephon Gilmore and I prefer Jarvis Giles in the backfield. Run an option read to Giles or a spread option read to Giles or Gilmore. Option to Gilmore and let him throw if you really want to throw; he proved he could throw in high school as a quarterback. This kid is a stud and can flat out fly. If the pass isn't open, then he runs. Have Garcia run a play action to himself like Tebow and then hit the open receiver... There are so many options from the style of offense that Florida runs... You can even include the wide receivers in the option mix.
2. Find the biggest, fastest guys you can find to help out with the offensive line in this style of offense; it doesn't matter if these guys have ever played football in their lives because a good coach can coach them to play the position.
3. Use the same strategy in #2 when recruiting Defensive Tackles or just looking for Defensive Tackles. Using huge guys in the interior defensive line will allow them to fill more space to allow less space in the gaps. This will free up the Defensive Ends to rush freely as now the middle, between the tackle, power runners' lanes will be shut down and the speedy guys at LB and SPUR, along with the fast SS and Corners will be able to run this guy down quickly and put an end to these massive russhing yards against the Gamecocks. A good coach like Ellis Johnson could easily take a big dude, 300+ pounds and make him a stud on the defensive line... This method works... Look at Alabama's Terrence Cody... The guy is huge and slow; I don't think he has that much talent but he is big and is coached well and that is why people cannot run up the middle on Alabama and he is just one man in a 3-4 schemed defensive system.
4. If you are worried about implementing all of these new changes, DON'T! You cannot do any worse than you currently do by sliding late in the season. You have a great defense and have had a great defense the past several years and you continue to recruit great defensive players.
This is a recipe for success.... Trust me. Someone give Spurrier my email so we can chat.
As far as this Clemson/Carolina game, I hate to say it, but Clemson wins this game 27-24.