Sep 24, 2011; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore (21) stands on the field during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Williams Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks defeated the Commodores, 21-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Why UAB is a Huge Game for the Cocks

Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE

It’s now officially Friday morning.  That means tomorrow is gameday yet again.  This particular gameday feels different.  It feels special.  The Gamecocks will take the field against the University of Alabama-Birmingham (0-1) from Conference USA.  The opponent, while never to be overlooked, isn’t the reason tomorrow feels special.  Rather, it’s because after all the great accomplishments over the past few years…tomorrow, the Gamecocks can again make history.

With a win against UAB, the Gamecocks would extend their current win streak to 7 games, tying the second longest streak in school history.  With only one touchdown carry, Marcus Lattimore would become the career leader in rushing touchdowns, surpassing the long-standing record set by Heisman-winner George Rogers.

 

 

 

 

Finally, a win would give Steve Spurrier his 200th career victory (it would be his 57th at Carolina, drawing nearer to Rex Enright’s career record as well).

This is a much bigger game for the past, present and future of Gamecock football than most would believe.  A solid win could continue this new tradition of rewriting South Carolina record books.  I don’t have to remind you of what a loss would do.  With so much on the line against the Blazers, there is still not clear indication who will start at quarterback Saturday night.  But, that is much less stressful after witnessing the “Dylan Thompson Show” just over a week ago.

A week ago against Troy, UAB fell by 10 points.  They were surprisingly potent on offense, racking up 134 yards on the ground and another 325 through the air.  They scored each time they reached the red zone.  But, getting to the red zone was a challenge itself.  The Blazers turned the ball over 4 times.  Defensively, UAB struggled to contain Troy.  The Trojans passed the ball efficiently and racked up nearly 275 yards rushing.

Look for UAB to spread the field and test the Gamecock secondary.  Look for that secondary to come up with some big plays that make them pay for that game plan.  Look for our pass rush to be a major factor early on, even though Jadeveon Clowney is less than 100% and may see limited playing time.  Finally, look for Marcus Lattimore, et al. to have a huge night between the tackles as the coaching staff looks to attack an already porous run defense.

We should never overlook any opponent.  We should never skip-ahead.  I’m not doing either.  But, this opponent causes multiple matchup and gameplay issues that all seem to swing in the Gamecock’s favor.  If the Cocks are focused, this should provide another opportunity for our boys in garnet to shine.  Not only that, but it provides the opportunity for a magical night in Williams-Brice Stadium while record books are rewritten.

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Tags: Football Gamecocks Lattimore SEC South Caroina Steve Spurrier

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