Gamecocks Uncrown The King
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags:
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A recap of week six's action. There will be a new number one later this afternoon. The Gamecocks of South Carolina used a balanced offensive gameplan and a hard-nosed defense to defeat Alabama in Columbia, SC before 82,933 fans. The win means that for the first time since 2008, there will be a new team sitting at the top of the polls when they are released later this afternoon. The Alshon Jefferey, Marcus Lattimore show was fired up for the nation to see and South Carolina suddenly appears to be a real threat to win the SEC.
South Carolina 35, Alabama 21 - There is nothing you can say here but hats off to South Carolina for the big win. They had big runs from Marcus Lattimore, big catches from Alshon Jeffery, and big stops by the defense. They defeated the number one team in the nation plain and simple, and will be ranked at the edge of the top ten this week. This is a milestone win for this program, and well earned at that. My apologies to the Gamecocks. I picked Alabama. I was wrong!
There was certainly no quarterback controversy for USC this week as Stephen Garcia played the full game and ran the offense beautifully. Time and again he picked up first downs, utitlizing Jeffery and Lattimore - two of the most potent offensive threats in the SEC. He threw three touchdowns to just one interception to go along with his 201 yards.
Freshman running back Lattimore had two scores in his 23 carries. He had 93 yards on the day. This guy is 100% the real deal. There is absolutely no doubt about it.
Alshon Jeffery is also the real deal. The 6'4" wide receiver caught seven passes for 127 yards and two scores. He is a beast.
For South Carolina, this is the biggest win in school history. Luckily for them, it was at home where 80,000 of their fans could enjoy it. Alabama was clearly the number one team in America for the first half of the season, and the Gamecocks looked like the better team yesterday. This was no fluke. This was a physical hard-fought win.
Now, USC must quickly refocus as they head to Kentucky in six days. The Wildcats are pretty low this year, but can ruin a season none-the-less. This could be a real big year in Columbia if the Gamecocks stay focused.
North Carolina 21, Clemson 16 - It is a bit painful to wake up on Sunday morning and the first thing you remember is that your arch-rival knocked off number one, and your own team lost to North Carolina. I hate it, but I picked this game correctly. The Tigers simply have nobody to throw the ball to, and therefore opposing defenses stack the line and shut down our run, as well. Basically, the offense sucks.
The Tigers managed just 16 first downs and 305 total yards on the day, snagging only three points in the first half. The Tiger defense once again played pretty well (surrendered just 16 first downs themselves), but when you don't score its hard to win.
Clemson pulled to 14-10 with a whole quarter left to play, and it appeared they had found new life. But Johnny White's 26-yard touchdown run for UNC with six and half minutes to play proved to be the difference in the game.
Clemson fans can't be happy right now, and that is understandable. But the consolation - if any - is that we know where the problem is: wide-receiver. The problem with that, though, is that there might not be anything that can be done about it. Until someone can figure out how to catch the ball, this is going to be a long year in Tiger Town. This is a crossroads time for Tiger football.
Meanwhile, UNC's folks must think that better days are ahead. Kenan Stadium with all of it's construction looks like Donald Trump got a hold of that place!
Georgia 41, Tennessee 14 - In the first Pick'em Contest game of the day, I was in limbo over who to take. Luckily, I chose correctly as UGA whipped up on the Vols. UT seemed to be tired, while UGA had new life back at home and with the services of AJ green. Green was very impressive, catching six passes for 96 yards, with one play that really showed his toughness - a long completion over the middle where he got pounded by the safety. Good win for the Dawgs! They have a long road to climb back to get to a major bowl. But with a lot of football left to play, maybe this win will spark UGA. Tennessee has fought hard in every game, but doesn't have much to show for it.
Michigan State 34, Michigan 14 - In a game I missed, it appears as if the Spartans are going to be a force to be reckoned with! They went into the Big House and not only won, but won by two touchdowns. This might very well be the ost underrated team in the nation, and better be near the edge of the top ten this week. 21st? I dont think so! I honestly thought coming in that Denard Robinson would be too much to stop. Turns out that MSU had little problem, holding the Wolverine quarterback - and national rushing leader - to just 86 yards.
Florida State 45, Miami 17 - Man, I really missed this one. Not only did I pick Miami, I thought the 'Canes would be able to win going away. This is almost always a good, close rivalry game, and I didn't see this coming at all! FSU looks to be a team on a mission right now. They have won four in a row, dismantling each. Maybe Jimbo was right when he said he just needed a little time. This is not a good sign for Clemson, who just lost somewhat decisively to UM a week before. The 'Noles are looking like the ACC favorite as of right now.
Auburn 37, Kentucky 34 - I hate it when I try to pick an upset, because I almost always feel like I'm just throwing a win away in the Pick'em Contest. In this game, I thought there was a decent chance UK could pull an upset, and once again, it cost me. Despite the fact that they played the Tigers to the last minute, and I was close in my prediction, the fact is that it is a L for me, and that bites. Auburn has now moved to 6-0 and welcome Arkansas to Jordan-Hare Stadium next weekend. This is becoming a dream season of sorts for Auburn, especially now that Alabama isn't invincible.
Oregon State 29, Arizona 27 - While I was busy picking Kentucky to upset Auburn, I should have gone with my gut that Arizona would lose in an upset to Oregon State. That is a two-game swing right there for me in a bad way. The Wildcats hadn't proven to me they were top 10, and OSU is the upset king. I mentioned in the capsule that I was feeling the Beavers might win - I should have gone with that. For the Beavers, the hero is Ryan Katz. The sophomore quarterback threw for over 300 yards and accounted for three scores.
LSU 33, Florida 29 - The Tigers of LSU remain unbeaten and will move on into the top ten. The SEC west will have Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Arkansas all in the top ten. Four teams from one division in the top ten. Is that really even possible? I missed this game in my picks. I honestly thought the Gators would be too tough at home, but it turns out LSU had some weapons. This game had a thirlling 4th quarter where the teams combined for 28 points The winner came when LSU's Jarrett Lee hit Terrence Toliver for a three-yard core. This came after a wild, crazy, controversial fake field goal. This game will be replayed many times!
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