Finally Dominating an Inferior Opponent
This was a game that in the past few years, and even going back into the Spurrier era, South Carolina would have let a weaker opponent hang around in the game until finally using superior talent to pull away in the 4th Quarter. It was refreshing, therefore, to see such competency, especially on Offense, from the opening kick. The Gamecocks were able to score TDs on 7 of 9 possessions in the game, with the Jake Bentley-led first team Offense scoring on 6 of 7. The Defense was able to hold Coastal to only 238 yards of total offense and 3.2 yards per rushing attempt. That is hard to do regardless of the opponent. Muschamp's teams have always looked well prepared in each of the past two season openers, but it was evident in this one that the overall talent level of the team has certainly been improved. The most noticeable improvement to me was the play of the Offensive Line. According to Pro Football Focus the SC O-line was the best run blocking unit in the nation during the first week of play. We haven't heard anything like that about SC O-line play since maybe 2014. I don't have much else to say about the win; we were supposed to win big and we did. We get to find out very soon if this team is going to compete for the division title.
Teriyaki Chicken Wings
After every Gamecocks win I'll hand out a dozen wings to the players most responsible for the victory.
Bentley was outstanding, completing 75.9% of his passing attempts for 250 yards and 4 TDs (a career best). Jake looked very confident and appeared to be in complete control of the new-and-improved Offense.
105 yards rushing and a TD on 15 carries? Another TD receiving at the end of the 1st Half? That gets Rico multiple wings.
Deebo Samuel returns and does Deebo Samuel things.
Rushed for 7.5 yards per attempt and scored a TD.
Back when Scarnecchia and I shared some classes together at USC in the early 2000s we used to talk about how great it would be when he finally got some game action and threw his first TD pass. Great job, Mike, you're living the dream.
In his first college game did not look anything like a freshman, and was even able to grab a sack.
Got an easy 24-yard TD reception in the 2nd Quarter.
Accounted for 3 TFLs with a sack in his first game back in action. Instead of a game ball, nearly received Chanticleer QB Kilton Anderson's head as a trophy.
Recovered a fumble on one of his first few snaps as a Gamecock.
The oft injured receiver snagged his first TD reception with a phenomenal catch in the 4th Quarter.
Took his first ball into the end zone on a busted play pass from Bentley.
That's all I've got for the win over the Chanticleers. Watch the game again below.