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3 Things That Worry Me About South Carolina

We finally have a good kickoff time, but we pay the price with commercials and Gary Danielson. Kirby is facing one of his former assistants, the SEC opener, a division foe, and the last team that beat Georgia at home. And we’re likely still missing RB1 and WR1. What, me worry?  

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Duke’s Mayo Classic - North Carolina vs South Carolina Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here is what I’m NOT worried about as we face the Palmetto State Poultry:

1. Baba O’Reilly > Sandstorm. The ‘Dawgs are staying at home again this week, and there are a myriad of benefits to that. All of the freshmen and walk-ons forced into action can get acclimated to the game in the friendly and supporting confines of Sanford Stadium. The injured players can both attend the games, and stay with the training staff to keep their rehab on schedule, and eventually get activated quicker. And no one wants a euro-techno earworm in their heads, so not going to Williams-Brice is especially welcome.

2. The defense is ahead of the offense. The Georgia Bulldogs have held 16 of the last 32 opponents to 10 points or less. That is 6 more games than the next closest team (Alabama). While I’m not worried that ratio to worsen slightly in case they score a little, I have faith that they are going to look more fondly on the Gene Chizik-led argyle defense they faced in week 1.

3. Balance. And SC doesn’t have any. The Gamecock rushing totals are skewed by the 10 sacks given up (9 by UNC alone), but even so they’re only up to running around 80 yards a contest. Against Furman, they ran it 39 times for only 108 yards. Not only is the ground game bad, and they’ve allowed those 10 sacks, but they’ve also surrendered 13 other tackles for loss. That is a lot of plays for the defense to be in your backfield. And against our front 7? Yeah, that should work out nicely.

Now forgive me, as I was weaned at the nipple of Larry Munson’s scratch. So here’s what does worry me about facing the Roosters from Richland County:

1. Georgia has been fortunate with turnovers lately. And USCjr has been either neutral or positive in the turnover margin in 10 of their last 12 games. They’ve only lost 1 fumble on the current season, and Spencer Rattler has yet to throw it to the wrong jersey. It seems they’ve focused on ball control and the message is received. I worry because of 2019 – Georgia threw 3 interceptions which kept giving SCAR life. If Georgia doesn’t turn it over, that game would have been a convincing Bulldog victory. And that was the last time the Bulldogs lost in Sanford Stadium.

Most of those 4 interceptions Saturday (on both sides) were fortunate bounces for the intercepting team. Not to mention that Georgia has fumbled in each of it’s first two games, but fortunately has been able to recover them. The law of averages, plus the funny bounces, means I’m worried fate is going to catch up to us and history is trying to repeat itself.

2. Carson needs to get more comfortable with his reads. He hasn’t made the bad mistakes some first time starters are prone to, but he also hasn’t faced much pressure. Between lesser competition and excellent pass blocking, he has had the time to move through progressions. I’m still not sold he’s always making the right decision.

At least twice against Ball State, I saw check down throws when there was a better option. If I can see it on a TV screen, it must be even more obvious to the coaches and film study. I hope we can put that down to jitters, and that Bobo is coaching him up quickly during the week.

3. Sacks don’t bother Rattler. I know what I said above, yet it doesn’t take away that he is throwing it very, very well. Even if UNC sacked him 9 times, and he had no running game to take off pressure, he was still 30-38 for 353 yards. And he’s completing over 80% of his passes. We haven’t faced a gunslinger like that since CJ Stroud, and the Daniels/Nussmeier combo in the SEC Championship game. While the good guys were victorious in both games, those QBs were giving us fits and racking up yardage. My fingernails and liver aren’t looking forward to seeing Cocks marching up and down Dooley Field.

Call me crazy, just don’t call me late for dinner. Sound off in the comments below what worries you about the Bulldogs of Georgia versus the Gamecocks of South Carolina. And as always…