Random late night observations on the JSU – Arkansas game
*Alan Bonner was an absolute beast with over 100 yards receiving;
*Highly touted freshman Telvin Brown looked impressive;
*This new kick rule has nullified one of JSU’s best weapons in Gabriel Chambers. Chambers had a couple of nice catches though as did Kevyn Cooper. All in all, this wide receiving corps may prove to be a strength of the team. It would have been great to have Markis Merrill in the mix.
*Buster Pope was as good as advertised. Pope had a nice move on a reception and ended up scoring;
*Coot James had an excellent game running the ball and was every bit as physical as anything Arkansas offered;
*Ealey went out relatively early, but appeared to be ok on the sideline. It was great to see Ealey constantly encouraging Pope.
*JSU ran a fullback, #46, that, to my knowledge, was not on the roster until this summer. He seemed to play well, but we hope we continue to see Jerry Slota as well.
*T. Hardin made a surprise start on the offensive line. It was great to see how many people played on the offensive line. In addition to the starters, Rush, Colt Kennedy, Preston Hatcher and others played meaningful minutes. I think I saw Thomas Williams in the game as well.
*Most of the time, the line gave Ivory and Blanchard time to throw. You don’t always see that in games between SEC and FCS teams.
*JSU mixed Coty and Ivory in seamlessly and seemed to run about four different offensive schemes. UTC will have a challenging week of preparation. Its amazing how effective Blanchard is after missing spring/summer with baseball.
*Considering the level of competition, Ivory made some great throws and had one of his better games as a Gamecock. He looked particularly good throwning mid to deep balls down the sidelines.
*The number of new faces on defense was amazing. Leon Jones, Dustin Gayton, JR Hough, Jordan Jackson, Santavious Oden, Sean Watson and Trub Buxton all got their first meaningful minutes. While the defense gave up a lot of points, they also created several turnovers and played much better in the second half.
*Dimetrio Tyson had a great game finishing with one sack and a tackle for a loss.
*Caleb Lawrence is a force in the middle. Adam Wright played a lot as his backup. Its remarkable that Wright was a backup offensive lineman two weeks ago.
*Although he appeared to get beat on one ball, Rashad “Spiderman” Smith was all over the field finishing with eight tackles.
*Nick Johnson, who we thought was injured, played a ton for the Gamecocks.
*Brent Tolson played a really good game at linebacker and appears to be emerging as a star for the Gamecocks.
*Rashod Byers had some bright spots at cornerback.
*It is unlikely that JSU will see a team that can throw it like Arkansas. Their QB put the ball on the money time and time again.
Griffin Thomas kicked a 49 yard field goal.
Coty and Hamish looked good punting the ball.