The Dylan Thompson era at the University of South Carolina began with an incomplete pass. Then another. Then another, that saw yardage awarded to the Gamecocks on the first of four Texas A&M pass interference calls on the night.
Fortunately, Thompson settled down, somewhat. But if not for a couple of deep touchdown passes, the night could have gone worse.To the untrained eye, Thompson’s line wasn’t bad: 20-40, 366 yards and four touchdowns. Strip away the 69-yard scoring pass to Nick Jones and the 46-yard bomb to Damiere Byrd, though, and that line doesn’t look as good: 18-38 for 251 yards.
That won’t cut it. Especially here in the SEC.
We’ve seen Dylan Thompson play much better, which makes me wonder if he was dealing with opening night jitters. I noticed a couple of things last night: 1) several of his throws were either too far or too tall for his receivers to make catches and 2) he didn’t look like he had full command of the offense. Sure, he made those two long throws to Jones and Byrd, but at times it looked like he was depending too much on getting big chunks of yardage rather than throwing to open targets and getting those yards little by little. Case in point–the third pass of the opening drive. Instead of a pass down the middle to Nick Jones (who was open and would probably have gotten the first down), he locks onto his receiver on the left side and tosses a pass that ultimately turned out to be a pass interference, but would have been a three and out if not.
Overall, I think that this look on Steve Spurrier’s face after Thompson’s late-3rd quarter INT summed up the night quite nicely.
Gamecocks nation feels your pain, HBC.