Monday, September 21, 2015

The Gamecock rewatch

Some final notes and observations after watching the televised version yesterday. Let's start the only place you can after that game, with Greyson Lambert.

The only blemish for Lambert on what really was about a perfect a day as a quarterback can have was a few wide open receivers downfield that were missed somehow. I wouldn't even mention it considered the day that Lambert had throwing the ball, except that there have been a few of these a game that he's either not seen or checked into a closer option. My analysis is that he is set on one option pre-snap most of the time (remember, he's only been on campus a couple months).

Otherwise, Lambert was a a machine. Seriously, he never made a questionable throw. Even the one incompletion was a ball thrown where the defender could not make a play on it. The Jay Rome completion was a dart that set up the first touchdown nicely. The back shoulder fade to Mitchell was reminiscent of another #11's signature throw in recent memory. And when Lambert's checks allowed some measure of a pass rush to develop, he appropriately extended the play or tucked it and ran.

In short, Lambert unequivocally shut up the doubters. I think the progressions downfield is something worth keeping an eye on as he continues to mature under quality coaching. But how can you argue against him being the starter on a team that doesn't need a world-beater? Just a smart guy that can make the throws and the handoffs alike.

Onto the bullets:
- The only blemish overall was the kick coverage. I think Morgan only had one kick that wasn't either in the endzone or near it, yet still their returner had gaping holes to choose from as he jaunted toward midfield. We're lucky Morgan was there to plug it up and wrap him up a couple times. A kick return for a touchdown could've changed the mood dramatically.
- This offensive line is a joy to watch. Blackledge and Nessler made mention of their experience. But we've had experienced lines before. These guys are road graders. I guess we'll see how good they are when Alabama comes to town, but they've been a joy to watch the first three games and I think Coach Sale deserves some kudos for how clean Lambert's jersey has been.
- Sounds like the media just caught wind of Ramsey's punt last night since it happened towards the end as the clock was draining. We noticed it in the stands but tv was busy elsewhere I guess to give it much airplay. But when the timeout is called you can clearly see Ramsey mouth to the sideline "You want me to punt it?" The stories that emerged last night mostly attributed it to giving him a live rep in preparation in case he's ever needed to punt. have to think it has at least an added benefit of giving opponents something else to look at.
- And what a nice punt it was!
- Malkom Parrish is a joy to watch. He has a nose for the ball and seems to embrace run defense on the edges so much I'm not sure why teams run to his side. I know I've said that before, but it deserves repeating. I won't compare him to #4, but I have a special place in my heart for defensive backs that play physical on the edges like Champ did.
- Jenkins and Floyd get a lot of the attention (and very much deserved), but Ganus and Kimbrough are earning their own mentions in the middle. The future Mrs. Ganus must've been impressed. :)
- The flags got old, did they not? I thought this crew did as good a job as they could've when the game was getting out of hand from an emotional standpoint. And the targeting call was the right call on the field, at game speed. Then the replay officials rightly overturned it. But a few other flags were excessive or questionable at best. Especially the offsides on the pooch kick.
- On the drive back the wife turned to me and asked, "So, South Carolina is really bad right?" That's a good question and my quick answer was "Yes, yes they are." So there's a word of caution there in getting too excited. I do believe Vanderbilt is better, at least defensively. And we had the added benefit of getting the Gamecocks a week after their quarterback went down. Once that Nunez kid can add some passes to his skillset, they should be much better offensively.

Still, all in all, just a masterful game. Especially for Coach Schottenheimer and his gameplan. Georgia didn't punt until late in the third and only had to face three third downs all night. I guess if you want to pick nits you could point out we only converted one of those. But really, that would be like eating a delicious steak only to complain about the steak knife needing to be sharpened.