As the week progressed, I really thought JSU would be able to exploit a banged up TTU secondary. Of course, I did not know that the Gamecocks were going to be playing without Alan Bonner and Gabriel Chambers, two of their top three wideouts, not to mention Markis Merrill who was lost right before the season.
In no real order, here are a few post-game observations:
*A great part of this game was the way the Gamecocks closed it out. Far too many times in the last few years, JSU has been unable to put teams away. Tonight, the defense made several 4th quarter stops and, after going three and out on one drive, the offense got the ball back and iced the game.
*Marques Ivory is having a spectacular year. His performance tonight with the depleted receiving corps was remarkable.
*If we had game balls to give, Telvin Brown and Trey Smith both deserve them. Brown, who did not see much action against SEMO, got JSU back in it with a long kick return and an even longer td reception. TT had no answer for Trey Smith. Every time the Gamecocks needed a clutch catch he made it.
*Coot James continued his remarkable string of games. For the most part, even when TT knew he was going to get the ball they could not stop him.
*Not sure what is wrong with Ealey, but you have to admire the way he keeps banging. While his yards per carry are way down, he is blocking well for Coot and is also a nice pass receiving threat out of the backfield.
*You wonder if Buster Pope tweaked his knee again. One run – 20 yards and you did not see him again.
*The defense appears to be improving. They really shut TT’ run game down and made a lot of plays in the secondary. Dimetrio Tyson, Caleb Lawrence and Sean “Real Papa” Watson applied the pressure all night long.
*A linebacker that makes the most of the playing time he gets is Brent Tolson. Speaking of linebackers, I wish Spiderman could get that club off his hand. It cost him a pick in the SEMO game and a tfl in this game.
*Hamish is a really good punter.
*Da’Rick Rogers went out in the 4th with an injury. No question it helped the Gamecocks, but JSU did a fairly good job of containing him before that point in the game.
*It appears with JSU’s offensive line this year you have to be ready when your number is called. It looked like Colt Kennedy played most of the entire first half and Tee Hardin played almost all of the second. Not sure who was out, but don’t remember seeing much of Tori Mobley.
*TSU beat EKU today so JSU controls its own destiny. The conference is probably tougher than it ever has been. While Peay can’t quite get it going, the rest of JSU’s games all appear tough.