AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Backup quarterback Connor Shaw of the South Carolina Gamecocks looks to pass against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The South Carolina Gamecocks travel on Friday to Clemson, S.C. to face the Tigers for will certainly be a Saturday showdown. As noted in our preview of the game, both teams have a lot riding on the game and both teams desire the win at all costs.
In this blog post, I want to share my three concerns that I have for my beloved Gamecocks when they battle the Tigers. Here they are:
1. The 1st Quarter. The Tigers are like a heavyweight fighter, they desire to come out fast and throw everything at you. The purpose is to stagger you and for the Gamecocks they have to remain calm while playing tight defense. South Carolina has to come out of the gates ready to play. I would love to see USC score first and then force CU to go three-and-out. This would stun the Tigers a little and take the crowd out of it.
2. Connor Shaw. I really hope he can play and hope his foot does not limit him. No offense to Dylan Thompson but I feel against CU, Shaw is the best option due to his play-making abilities on the run.
3. Gamecocks Tackling. In this game, the South Carolina defenders have to play their best game in the tackling category. Clemson has speed in the skill positions and if you miss, there could be a touchdown to follow. Sammy "Smoke'em If you got them" Watkins is always one miss tackle on the screen pass from hurting you. The other Ellington, after he dances around a little, can make a defender miss and his the ability to take-it-to-the-house. USC must tackle well in this game.
Ok so to recap, the Gamecocks have to come out and have a strong start. The must withstand the Clemson 1st quarter assault. USC needs Connor Shaw and he needs to perform like last game against the Tigers - effective decisions. And lastly, the Gamecocks must tackle well in this game.
I still feel like USC will win but they must overcome the above three concerns.