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Tuesday Question - 9/22

Generally, we are the "authors" of "content" around here - "here" being a blog and not a message board. Recognize, we do, that you've come here not to contribute, but to consume. Nevertheless, there is the sporadic occasion where, either for our benefit or for to exercise the thinkifiers of the masses, we ask you a question. Today's question is ...

Which South Carolina offense will show up Thursday

For all the accusations of schizophrenia being lodged at Georgia, has everyone forgotten that South Carolina won their season-opener against N.C. State in a 7-3 race to the bottom?  The hero of that game was Brian Maddox and his spicy 66 yards rushing.  That same Brian Maddox had only 12 yards against Georgia, while the team rushed for a fairly pedestrian 133 on 3.8 yards per carry.  On the other hand, Stephen Garcia played like, well, like Steve Spurrier was his coach with 58 yards rushing, 313 yards passing, and two touchdowns.  


But their most recent match-up against Florida Atlantic was a mixed bag, but was balanced.  The rush offense finally exploded for 287 yards on 8.2 per carry, but Garcia seemed to take a back seat.  And nobody wants to be leading a Sun Belt Conference team by 1 going into the half.  Then again, the Gamecocks first half drive chart (Touchdown, Field Goal, Punt, Touchdown, Punt) inspires more confidence than the Rebels' (Touchdown, Fumble, Punt, Punt, Punt, Touchdown, Field Goal, Punt, Touchdown).

Here's my take:  the Rebels' pass rush will have to find that elusive balance between getting pressure on Stephen Garcia and over-pursuing.  The Rebels will need create some third and long situations and end a couple of drives early to keep our shallow stable of cornerbacks effective.  However, if "Party" Garcia shows some of the elusiveness he displayed against Georgia, he will extend Carolina's time of possession, exhaust our corners, and finish with a big aerial performance in front of the home crowd.  If my prognosis sounds negative, well, at least we have the offense to keep up.