Monday Morning Thoughts
Its a lot easier to go to work when you are winning. Here are some thoughts about the Murray game and the first 5 weeks of the season:
*The Gamecocks’ opponents have more 1st downs, more yards rushing and more yards passing. Yet, Jacksonville State is an amazing 5 and 0. Statistically, JSU does dominate time of possession and leads on third down conversions.
*Jamal Young is turning in a season to remember. He is averaging an amazing 7 yards per carry, plus he has not fumbled since the UTC game. Against Murray, on what seemed like back to back plays he torched them for a long run, then took a short pass and turned it into a big gainer.
*There is another hidden gem in the Gamecock backfield, Alphonso Freeney. Freeney is averaging 6 yards per carry from the FULLBACK spot and is also a good receiver. Keep giving it to him until somebody stops him.
*Tig Barksdale is also looking good. It seems like the Gamecocks are a little predictable with Tig though, almost always running it up the middle. Loved the option play with him and Coty at Ole Miss, hopefully the Gamecocks will run it again this season.
*Speaking of Coty, his QB efficiency rating is 200.8. I don’t know what that means, but its really good. Combined, Coty and Ivory have a 141.7 QB rating, compared to the opponents’ 115.3 rating. That may be why Jax State is undefeated.
*If you looked close on special teams Saturday night, you saw 3rd string QB Thomas Darrah on the punt return team. Its tough to play 2 qbs, much less 3, but its great to know there is another talented qb on the roster.
*AJ Davis says Jeff Cameron is the Gamecocks’ best receiver, but he had been pretty quiet until Saturday night. The Tupelo native took two long receptions to the house. It was also great to see Jax State stretch the field on Saturday night.
*Another player that broke out Saturday night was Alan Bonner. His kick return for a touchdown was huge.
*It followed a punt return set up by the fact that Murray seemed to know exactly where JSU was going to punt. Interestingly, on the next one, Coty punted to the left and it resulted in JSU putting Murry inside the 10.
*JSU was robbed of a safety. Go to http://www.jsugamecocksports.com to see the photo.
*On defense, the Gamecocks went with a quick lineup against Murray frequently playing Robert Gray in what looked like more of a linebacker spot. In what sounds like a broken record, Big Texas Garrott was flying around the field hitting people all night. Brannon Byrd, #45, was a great JUCO pickup. He really hits people. Another linebacker that stood out was Brent Tolson, the redshirt freshman from Anniston had 10 tackles.
*If anything, the Gamecocks were unpredictable against Murray. JSU tried a reverse on the opening kick-off, converted a fake punt from deep in their own territory on 4th and 14 and successfully executed an on sides kick. Late in the game, JSU threw it a couple of times when most folks were expecting a run.
*One of the biggest improvements in the Stadium is the lighting. It is so much better and just creates a big time atmosphere for the games.
*If you have not tried the club level, by a single game ticket and do so. Great food, tvs everywhere, lockers if you want a beverage and good fellowship. It is a phenomenal experience.
*Someone at Jax State deserves a lot of credit for working with the students to create a great student section. Their enthusiasm is contagious.
*One of these days the Gamecocks are going to get lucky and not have to go up against a big Alabama game on TV. Its probably keeping 2-3k away. Its a shame, but that’s how it is.