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Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Grieving at Happy Valley

In Football, Inspiration on November 11, 2011 at 9:47 am

By the time this post is read, I seriously doubt that there is anyone who has not heard about the horrific scene at Penn State University. The entire nation is horrified and furious, and rightfully so. But this post is not about Jerry Sandusky, or Joe Paterno or even Mike McQueary. It’s not even about a couple of thousand students being ridiculous and shaming the school even further with their protest turned riot.

It’s about the 40,000 or so other students who did nothing wrong and who are absolutely heartbroken over the disgrace brought down on their beloved institution. It’s about the staff and faculty at PSU who are having to struggle past the media into buildings in order to get to work and class.  It’s about the collective heartbreak of a nation, for the victims, for the school and for themselves. It’s about their attempts to reach out, to rebuild and to heal.

Yes, I’m outraged. I’ve cried and read more than I probably should. But I don’t live there, and it’s not my team or my school. When I place myself in the shoes of those in the thick of this, I am even more sad. The disgust of an entire country has been lodged against them all because of the sick and twisted actions of a few.

Again, as a wannabe sports blogger, there are things I would be remiss not to write about here on GG, but I think that the media at large has it pretty much covered. As a person with a friend at PSU, I have become intrigued about what isn’t being covered. There is a glaring lack of reporting on the overwhelming sadness and grief of the students, faculty, staff, and fans, not to mention the complete disruption of life and total chaos both night and day.

PLEASE NOTE: obviously the victims of these horrific crimes are THE focal point and I am in NO WAY putting aside their pain and tragedy, it’s just that this post is not about them. I’m not saying this isn’t the most important thing – it’s just not the only thing.

There has been little to no mention of the efforts of various organizations of students and staff to reach out to the victims or simply to gather together to pray for them. No coverage of bunch of football players who have steadily worked their butts off and secured a very successful season but have about zero chance of a normal Saturday for their game. No mention of mothers taking their children to draw encouraging words and pictures with chalk on the sidewalks near the stadium. These people are fallout from a personal disaster not of their making.

My goal is, like I told my friend, is to shine the spotlight on the good guys. We know who the bad guys are but do we know any of the good ones? I didn’t until today. Did you know that yesterday kicked off the PSU “100 Days to THON”, an event that last year raised over NINE million dollars for pediatric cancer research? I didn’t. Did you know that this is the largest student run philanthropic organization in the world? I didn’t. Did you know that a group called PSU Hope is holding a candlelight vigil tonight to honor and reach out to the victims of these terrible crimes? I didn’t. Did you know that what is normally a nationally recognized “WhiteOut” at Saturday’s game has been changed to “BlueOut” in support of the fight against child abuse? I didn’t.  

What I do know is that there is so much more where those few examples came from. I know that this institution is grieving and wants to change the focus of this circus back to where it belongs – on the victims and their families, back to prevention of child abuse, back to reaching out to those affected by this horrible situation. 

Darkness is simply the absence of light. Light has been shined upon the evil that was visited upon helpless children and that glare is deservedly bright. But there is a shadow that has been cast upon the innocent bystanders of this school and they could stand some light too. Let’s remember that Penn State is more than Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Mike McQuery, etc., and they want to help. To make things right. To be a part of the solution. To say with one voice, “This is not who we are.”

Throwdown in Tuscaloosa

In Football on November 4, 2011 at 11:13 am

So while I realize that the entire college football world is talking about what I’m going to call the national championship semi-final, I would be remiss as a wannabe sports writer not to throw my two cents in as well. Truly, I have been looking forward to this game for weeks – basically since the moment it became apparent that these two teams were going to beat the crap out of pretty much every team they played.  I’m a closet Tide fan anyway, (and no, not just recently), so I follow them behind the scenes of my front page Gamecock obsession. LSU stays on the radar as well, if for no other reason than because of the conference affiliation. 

Honestly, I just can’t decide what I think about the outcome of this game. LSU’s Les Miles is some kind of mad genius with, forgive my language, balls of steel. Nick Saban of Alabama is widely considered to be the Dark Lord of football, turning players into special forces operatives. Both teams have amazing, deep talent all over both sides of the ball. Both teams are undefeated.

Here are some stats that may help those of you who like me, are really on the fence about who you think emerge the victor.

Under Les Miles, LSU is 18-1 in night games played on the road.  Under Saban, BAMA is 26-1 at home.

Ranked Opponents faced:

LSU:5
BAMA: 3

Average ranks for opponents total offense:

LSU: 71
BAMA: 95

Average ranks for opponents total defense:

LSU: 46
BAMA: 51

Sacks and Turnovers forced:

LSU: 19/18
BAMA: 17/14

Offensive balance (passing yards / rushing yards):

LSU: 1465/1512
BAMA: 1827/1834

Thanks to Saturday Down South’s Robert Hopkins for the summary! http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/blogs/calling-baton-rouge/

Honestly, I don’t really think that there is any predicting this game. All I know is that it is going to be AWESOME. My pick is Bama but I’m really going on emotion because I just can’t decide.

Check out this video, also from Saturday Down South – goosebumpy! http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2011/are-you-ready/

I’m so stoked about this one that I keep forgetting about the other game I’m supposed to watching, USC v Arkansas…and y’all, I’ve had it up to the proverbial here with everyone discounting the Gamecocks. Yes, Arkansas has an outstanding offense. Yes, South Carolina is hampered by injuries and will definitely miss Marcus Lattimore’s run game much more so than last week against Tennessee. But everyone seems to forget that the Gamecock defense is one of the best in the nation. I’ll repeat: The best. In the. Nation. Gilmore, Ingram, Allen – these guys are good and so is the rest of the defense as well. I’m confident they will not be sitting around wringing their hands before this game.

Stats don’t lie y’all, so deciding that Carolina has lost this game before they even get there is absurd. Yes, the offense is re-learning how to do pretty much everything – run without Marcus, throw with Connor, return with Sanders etc, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win. I agree that the Gamecock defense is going to have to lean on the Hog offense with everything they’ve got because if Arkansas pulls out ahead far enough, I don’t know that the Carolina offense can catch up. But I feel still strongly that this is going to be a game.

Clemson is off this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier about that because I just do not have the energy for them on top of Bama/LSU and USC/Ark. Oh and last week when I said that The Citadel was boring me so badly I couldn’t even come up with anything to say about them?  I think they must have heard me somehow because they actually played an exciting game against VMI that included THREE blocked punts, which is awesome no matter who you are. The Dogs go to Georgia Southern this weekend, and I really hope the momentum is with them and that the second half of their season goes better than the first.

Alrighty then y’all – I hope you enjoy football this weekend as much as I plan to ’cause it’s going to be EPIC!!!  And as always, have a very happy and safe Gameday!

Gameday Greatness

In Football, Inspiration on November 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

In this age of being so connected, it so often seems that we are inundated with nothing but bad news. This carries through into the world of college sports, with so much talk about cheating, drinking, drugs, and other selfish/destructive behavior. So much so that I would like to point out some examples of the positive.

Like this past summer in St. Joseph, Missouri, where two members of the Missouri Western football team spotted a woman frantically trying to get into her car. It was August and exceptionally hot, so the behavior struck these two young men as odd, and they went to investigate. Turns out, the woman had accidentally locked her keys in her car along with her toddler grandson. All her efforts to break into the car were not effective and the baby was beginning to get sick and losing consciousness. Defensive back Shane Simpson took one swing at the window and that was all she wrote – little Liam was out of the car and back into his granny’s arms. Completely unscathed other than some minor dehydration.

Check out this tear-jerker. At Middlebury College in Vermont, there is a tradition called “Picking Up Butch”. The story originated in 1960, when a student named Ralph helped a grandmother with her grandson Butch’s wheelchair after a game on a snowy day. The tradition has carried on with various student athletes assisting Butch to this day. During football season, the basketball players pick Butch up for games and during basketball season, the football players take over. Butch suffers from cerebral palsy, and in 2003, was able to earn his GED with the help of, you guessed it, a Middlebury student athlete named Sara.

And in Michigan, MSU has begun what I hope will become a tradition forever. Ticket holders can donate their tickets to an exchange so that the children nominated have an opportunity to see the Spartans in action. I love this idea, because college football can be pretty cost prohibitive anyway, especially given the current economic situation of this country. Michigan has been even more hard hit than the bulk of the US, so the idea of affording children an opportunity to witness the awesomeness of a football game is fantastic!

Last but not least, let’s not forget Eric LeGrand. Eric suffered a horrific spinal cord injury last season while on defense for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Originally told he was paralyzed from the neck down, Eric has been making steady improvement over the last year and now is able to stand for about 40 minutes at a time. Currently an analyst for the Rutgers radio network, Eric led the Knights onto the field last week via motorized wheelchair. Not only have the Rutgers faithful rallied around Eric, he is motivating others to keep believing that odds are there to be overcome and that faith can move mountains. I wish Eric all the best in his rehabilitation and recovery.

I’m glad to read about these people, and I’d love to know more of these stories. In today’s depressing times, I need all the inspiration I can get. If anyone reading has something similar they’d like to share, I would love to hear about it…and as always, have a happy and safe Gameday!

Watkins. Boyd. Clemson. Wow…

In Football on October 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

Y’all. As much as it pains me to do this, I think we need to talk about Clemson. I’ve tried to turn a blind eye to their meteoric and completely unexpected rise to glory but number five in the AP poll is just not something I can ignore.  I wrote just before preseason how Clemson was not expected to do anything great this season, but that I had heard rumblings that this team was better than people may have thought. Turns out I was wrong. They are FAR and AWAY better than anyone thought.

Chances are if you are an ACC defensive player, you’ve been waxed at least once by the speed demon who goes by the name Sammy Watkins. Have you seen this kid run? It just doesn’t even look real. Fast people sit around and feel bad about themselves after he comes around, because he is just that quick.

And don’t even get me started on Tahj Boyd. I’m pretty sure that he has some kind of laser scope in his head or something because he just does not miss. He’s gotten roughed up a little in the past couple of weeks, but it doesn’t seem to really be slowing him down much. The combination of these two players plus several other stars has been deadly.

I fully expect Clemson to win their division (barring anything completely unexpected) but I’m still not convinced about their all around power. These high scoring games are wins, definitely, but they also point to there being little to no defense on either side. It’s no secret that I’m a Gamecock fan, but I really do think it’s going to be a different tune when the Tigers come to Williams-Brice in November. The Gamecock defense is generally very solid and frequently outstanding, so I have a feeling this is going to be a hell of a game.

All that being said, I have a confession to make. I really really like Dabo Swinney. I love seeing his enthusiasm and his genuine connection with the kids on his team. Oh, and his sound bites are fantastic too. Here’s a summary of a personal favorite: “I don’t really give a crap how many snaps we’ve got left. We just need to move the ball.” Love it. Anyway, no matter my feelings about our upstate rivals, it’s great to see outstanding leadership in college sports.

Back to my battered Gamecocks. South Carolina is on the road this weekend in Knoxville, and while TN really hasn’t put on a good show this season, the Gamecocks are so wounded right now that I really just have no idea what to think about this game. Like most Carolina fans, my suggestion would be to throw the ball to Alshon Jeffrey every chance they get. But apparently that secret strategy is not a secret, as Alshon frequently gets tangled up in double, triple and sometime quadruple coverage, thus slightly hindering his catching ability. Only slightly, of course – he’s still the man with the hands.

South Carolina still has a viable chance at being the SEC East champions but that is overshadowed by the fact that A. Georgia is on a serious roll and more importantly, B. whoever wins the West will obliterate the East. LSU and Alabama (Roll Tide!) are ridiculous this year. I’m looking forward to that match-up on November 5 like it’s the last game of college football ever to be played. There will be bloodshed, I guarantee it. This game is going to be EPIC.

To be honest, I’m kind of let down with football this season. Not entirely because of the Gamecocks erratic playing, but because overall the good teams are phenomenal and the okay teams are just okay. The not so good teams are truly awful but there just hasn’t been really anything in the middle. A few upsets, some drama, but mostly, just meh. And I know this is mean, but The Citadel is so boring this year that I can’t even figure out anything to write about them. Sigh.

Thank God CofC basketball is approaching soon – I’m really interested to see how they will do without the leadership of  Andrew Goudelock but with the addition of Adjehi Baru, the highest rated recruit ever to join the Cougars. CofC basketball is always fun though – great fans, great venue and history. Looking forward to this season for sure – last year was awesome and I’m excited about this one too.

Be back soon and have a happy and safe Gameday!

Gameday Funny

In Humor on October 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

As a Southern fan, I found this particularly amusing, but I’m sure any fan could find the humor in it.  This joke has made the rounds before, but it’s just so awesome that I can’t help but read it and it’s various incarnations every season!

Planning for the fall football season in the South is radically different than up North. For those who are planning a football trip in the South, here are some helpful hints.

Women’s Accessories: NORTH: Chap Stick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket. SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary – that’s what dates are for.

Stadium Size: NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people. SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

Fathers: NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath. SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor: NORTH: Statues of founding fathers. SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen: NORTH: Also a physics major. SOUTH: Also Miss America .

Heroes: NORTH: Rudy Giuliani SOUTH: Herschel Walker & Peyton Manning

Getting Tickets: NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus. SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus, make a large financial contribution, and put name on a waiting list for tickets.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game: NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they’re going to the game, because they have classes on Friday. SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don’t want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.

Parking: NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking. SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.

Game Day: NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV. SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting ‘Game Day Live’ to get on camera and wave to the kids up north who wonder why ‘Game Day Live’ is never broadcast from their campus.

Tailgating: NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down. SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance from the Dave Matthews Band,… Who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off bottle of bourbon.

Getting to the Stadium: NORTH: You ask ‘Where’s the stadium?’ When you find it, you walk right in. SOUTH: When you’re near it, you’ll hear it. On game day it is the state’s third largest city.

Concessions: NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda. SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team’s mascot on it, filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.

When National Anthem is Played: NORTH: Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up. SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

The Smell in the Air After the First Score: NORTH: Nothing changes. SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.

Commentary (Male): NORTH: ‘Nice play.’ SOUTH: ‘Dammit, you slow sumbitch – tackle him and break his legs.’

Commentary (Female): NORTH: ‘My, this certainly is a violent sport.’ SOUTH: ‘Dammit, you slow sumbitch – tackle him and break his legs.’

Announcers: NORTH: Neutral and paid. SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.

After the Game: NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends. SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, while somebody goes to the nearest package store for more bourbon, and planning begins for next week’s game.

Nothing else in the universe comes even halfway close to the glories of Southern football! And for SEC Fans:

HOW MANY SEC STUDENTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHT BULB?

At VANDERBILT: It takes two, one to change the bulb and one more to explain how they did it every bit as good as the bulbs changed at Harvard.

At GEORGIA: It takes two, one to change the bulb and one to stabilize the rolling beer cooler the bulb changer is using for a ladder.

At FLORIDA : It takes four, one to screw in the bulb and three to figure out how to get stoned off the old one.

At ALABAMA : It takes five, one to change it, three to reminisce about how The Bear would have done it, and one to throw the old bulb at an NCAA investigator.

At OLE MISS: It takes six, one to change it, two to mix the drinks and three to find the perfect J. Crew outfit to wear for the occasion.

At LSU: It takes seven, and each one gets credit for five Semester hours.

At KENTUCKY : It takes eight, one to screw it in and seven to discuss how much brighter it seems to shine during basketball season.

At TENNESSEE: It takes ten, two to figure out how to screw it in, two to buy an orange lampshade, and six to phone a radio call-in show and talk about how much they hate Alabama.

At MISSISSIPPI STATE : It takes fifteen, one to screw in the bulb, two to buy the Skoal, and twelve to yell, ‘ GO TO HELL, OLE MISS’.

At AUBURN: It takes one hundred, one to change it, forty-nine to talk about how they did it better than at Bama and Georgia, and fifty to get drunk and roll Toomer’s Corner when finished.

At SOUTH CAROLINA : It takes 80,000, one to screw it in and 79,999 to discuss how this finally will be the year that they have a decent football team.

At ARKANSAS : None. There is no electricity in Arkansas .

Y’all send any clean and mostly clean jokes you want to my way – I’m always up for a good laugh! Have a happy and safe Gameday!


Gamecock Down

In Football on October 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

Normally I try to include all three teams (Clemson, Carolina and the Citadel) in each post about football, but the South Carolina Gamecocks have really just stolen the limelight in the past week or so, and not for anything fantastic. First there was the dismissal of QB Stephen Garcia, which, while not unexpected, still was a shock to the Gamecock nation. And this past Saturday a young man by the name of Marcus Lattimore suffered a season ending knee injury.

I have written about Marcus before and am a huge fan of his, not only for his insane talent but also for his character and attitude. Humble, hard-working, honest, and a true role model in every sense of the word, Marcus has put the Gamecock football team on his shoulders on more than one occasion yet spends his free time bowling and witnessing to youth at local churches. Being a Heisman candidate hasn’t seemed to affect him one bit – just doing his job and being the best he can be are his top priorities and the fact that he is a household name across the country appears to have not fazed him in the least.

There is no denying Marcus’ influence on the outcome of South Carolina football games, but if there ever was a time to rally for and around someone, this is it. Marcus himself would tell you that it takes a team to win and a team to lose, so I encourage the Gamecock nation to keep the faith and not throw their hands up in defeat. To write this team off would be a mistake. The Carolina baseball team has written the playbook on overcoming adversity and in the words of star pitcher Michael Roth, “We battle. We’re a bunch of average Joes who love each other and come out and battle.”

The battle is not over and all is not lost. Marcus Lattimore will be back next year and ready to regain his status as running back extraordinaire. In the meantime, true freshman Brandon Wilds will have to step into some pretty big shoes. But victory is sweetest when it seems impossible and I suspect that Wilds will be highly motivated to show what he can do in Marcus’ absence. I’ll leave you with this:

WIN ANYWAY

 

 

Garcia Goodbye

In Football on October 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you will have heard by now that South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the Gamecock football team. Apparently he did not adhere to the terms of his sixth reinstatement agreement by failing a test for alcohol consumption. Fans have been frustrated by his erratic performances over the past couple of seasons, but I don’t think anyone will argue the fact that he is an exceptional athlete who has plenty of potential.

I admit that I wanted him replaced just as much as anyone else, but I still can’t help but be sad about the end of his college career. To have that kind of opportunity and to implode like this is such a waste. People point to the drinking, partying, etc., but I also wonder about how someone like this has been coached. Just having coached my little rec soccer team has taught me that you have to inspire not deride. You have to command rather than demand the best of your players – and know that there is a big difference between the two.

Does he truly have some kind of substance abuse problem? Confidence problem? Both? We’ll never really know and it really doesn’t matter.  No one knows what it’s like to be one of these kids unless you ARE one of these kids. Let us all remember that judging people before you walk in their shoes is never a good idea. We don’t know them, the large majority of us have never been one of them and what happens in the inner circles is rarely public knowledge. Anyway, I wish Stephen well and hope that he finds peace and success in his future endeavors. 

As always, have a happy and safe gameday…I’ll be back in a day or so with something a little more festive. 🙂

Don’t Call it a Comeback

In Football on October 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

So because I’m a big weinie, when faced with personal difficulties, I tend to hide, figuratively. Which also means bloggy block. However, I am trying to force myself out of this hole I’ve been cowering in and get back in the game.

So let’s talk about some football shall we? Honestly, as a Gamecock fan, this whole post could be dedicated to all kinds of wonderful topics, like: how Stephen Garcia has lost his mind, or how Steve Spurrier will definitely throw a clot this season, or my personal favorite, how the Gamecocks lost the stupidest game ever to a pretty mediocre Auburn.

But I choose to be positive and focus instead on a bright spot named Melvin Ingram. In case you’ve been under a rock this season, you’ve heard about the defensive player who it seems can do about anything. Special teams? Sure, he’s a hands guy. Sack the quarterback? No problem. Catch an interception and run all three hundred pounds of him into the end zone? Easy peasy. Point being, Ingram has been an enormous influence on the outcome of the games so GUESS WHAT? He’s injured and may not play this coming Saturday against Kentucky. At home. With a second string QB. Siiiiggghhhh.

To be succinct, the above section of the post really could have just gone like this: AAARRGGGHH &*^@#^#&*$&@!!!! and everyone in the country would know what I was talking about.

Lifting our eyes unto the hills, HELL-O, Clemson!  Wow. Just wow. The Tigers have surprised pretty much everyone this season, including their own fan base. Which is great for them, and bad for the three ranked teams that they have rolled all over. I think Dabo went a little far with his comment that every ranked team they’ve beaten could be a national champion (Auburn?), but whatever. I cannot hardly deny that the Tigers have some serious momentum and are well on their way to a fantastic season.

The Tigers will host Boston College at home this weekend, and if the last few weeks are any indication, they should have no problems. Plus their home crowd is gonna be NUTS, which is always fun.

And back here in Chucktown, the good news is that The Citadel picked up their first conference win last week against Chattanooga. Hopefully they’ll be able to ride the wave of victory at home against Wofford this Saturday. This game is their Military Appreciation Day game, and with El Cid being a military college, they are sure to put on a good show for that at the very least.

Normally, I focus only on these three teams, but as a closet Tide fan I just have to say, HOLY.FREAKING.CRAP! Bama is ridiculous good this season. Personally, I think the Bama/LSU game is going to be EPIC and I cannot wait to see it. Rolllll Tide!

That’s all for now – I’ll be back with someone more entertaining soon. Thanks to all three of my readers for stopping by and always, have a happy and safe Gameday!

Weekend Wrap-up

In Football on September 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

Let the record show that I am no kind of football expert. I suspect that I am slightly more educated about the details of the sport than the majority of women you run across, but that is about as far as it goes.

All that being said, I am going to venture out on a limb and say that the play that my beloved Gamecocks brought against Navy this past weekend is just not going to cut it. The next seven games are conference games and include people like Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Florida, just to name a few. And let’s not forget about Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Auburn and Kentucky – all threats in their own way.  What is most frustrating as a fan is that this team has so SO much potential and an amazing amount of athletic ability. To an armchair observer, it just reeks of a lack of cohesion and team work.  Now, in all fairness, Navy has one outstanding offense and the Gamecocks did win, but I’m just really concerned about this kind of play while entering the most challenging part of their season.

But there was a bright spot and that was Marcus Lattimore. That kid is unfreakingbelievable.  Check out this video from Saturday Down South – not only is Marcus a phenomenal athlete, he seems to be just such a nice person. I mean, who’d expect one of the best college running backs in the country to be talking bowling and church? Have a look…http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2011/video-marcus-lattimore-interview/

Bringing this back closer to home, The Citadel had the weekend off, so no real news there.  Next game is on the road in NC at Elon, and hopefully they will be able to put up a better showing than they did against Furman.

Now, here is what all five of you have been waiting for…the BIG story, which was the Clemson Tigers ending the Auburn Tigers seventeen game winning streak. Auburn was slightly favored in what I began calling the Tiger Track Meet, as up to this point neither team had shown much defense, hence the running up and down the field, hence the track reference…or just never mind. Anyway, things were pretty even steven until the third quarter when the Clemson offense just collectively lost its mind and went nuts on Auburn. And seeing how Auburn’s defense has been already called into question, well, 1+1=2, or, in this case, = 38-24 handily. Score still too high for my impeccable tastes, but that’s a story for a different day. (see LSU/MSU game – much more realistic numbers for teams of that caliber)

Like I’ve said before, the Gamecocks are my team, but I have a soft spot for Clemson too. Not when they play each other of course, but for the most part, I like to support my state as a whole when I can. But any good fan should be able to give credit where credit is due and Clemson did great this past weekend. Plus I’m still mad at Auburn from last year as well as being a closeted Bama fan (Roll Tide!), so they get no love here.  Or maybe a little, just due to the conference association but only as a last resort.

I sound crazy today, I realize that, thankyouverymuch.

ANYWAY. Here we all are.  South Carolina actually slipped in the rankings, despite the win against Navy, down to 12, and Clemson has joined the top 25, jumping in at 21, which in my humble opinion is a little too high, but whatevs.

Clemson still is having defensive issues, regardless of how well their offense can put the ball in the air so I do not see their next game be nearly as much fun for them.  #11 Florida State is coming off a heartbreaker and would probably love to throw a conference rival against the wall just to make themselves feel better, so the Tigers better bring their A game next Saturday at Death Valley. The Noles’ offense is no joke.

South Carolina is hosting Vanderbilt next week and this game is notoriously unpredictable, no matter anyone’s record or stats. Hopefully BOTH the O and D lines will arrive at the game simultaneously and that our QB Garcia lays off the hooch. (you may interpret that any way you like). I’d love to see the Gamecocks find their rhythm and be the team that the whole freaking world knows that they can be by putting up some huge numbers and not just those of Marcus Lattimore.

We’ll see how it goes at Elon for the Dawgs – hopefully they’ll get some momentum going and put up a decent showing in the SoCon but it’s not looking great. Got to be able to put up something other than field goals…

Stay tuned and as always, have a happy and safe Gameday.

Trifecta

In Football on September 5, 2011 at 9:20 am

So this past weekend was pretty darn good for the three teams I follow here.  The Citadel went to town on Jacksonville, Clemson shook off some early on fumbling around and roared back to dominate Troy and South Carolina brought the pain against ECU.  All in all, I’d say it was a winning Saturday.  The Citadel’s game was probably the most consistent, as both Clemson and South Carolina made several mistakes that their opponents quickly capitalized on, thus technically making the second half a “comeback”, but once they got their respective games rolling, it was pretty much over.

Next week is where it really gets interesting for South Carolina, as they take on Georgia between the hedges in Athens.  Georgia had an abysmal showing against Boise State, who took advantage of every mistake the Bulldogs made.  This will be the first conference game for both teams and thus begins South Carolina’s attempt to secure another SEC East  championship. Georgia has also been considered a contender for that prize, but if they don’t tighten their game up, they won’t have a chance.  However. The Bulldogs are extremely difficult to beat at home, so I am not writing them off in the least.

Clemson will play at Wofford, and if they play like they did in the second half of their game against Troy, they should have no problem.  There is some SERIOUS speed in the freshman class and that is exactly what the Tigers needed to get some momentum and begin the rebuilding of their program.

The Citadel/Furman game is always interesting if for no other reason than it is CRAZY. This is a huge rivalry as well as a conference game, so all smart bets are off.  The Paladins got the W last year but there just really is no calling this game – it is notoriously unpredictable.  Lots of fun to watch in person too, and being  a smaller conference/venue, it’s easier on the wallet, especially for families.

So that is my weekend wrap-up.  I’m planning that my next post will be about my second favorite thing about college football – FOOD. I’m going to be throwing down some awesome tailgating recipes, so be sure to check back in mid-week!