Gamecocks Fans Are More Confident Heading into Game Two


Although USC held on to win a close one last Thursday night, Gamecocks fans are more confident heading into game two.  How can that be?  After coming back to win 17-13, you’d think fans would be just as shaky as before the season.  But they’re not, and I think fans will be pumped and confident Saturday night at Williams-Brice when Kentucky shows up.

I think there are several key factors as to why fans will feel better going into this game:

1) A win is a win.  After the way last season started, just winning game one feels good.  Also, Gamecocks fans saw a lot of other teams playing cream puff opponents the remainder of the weekend and that made them feel even better about beating a solid team like North Carolina.

2) The Gamecocks won in the ways they normally lose – defense, special teams, and clock management.  Look at last year, and you’ll see pretty much all six losses came from there.  But all three of these were much improved, and in fact special teams and clock management were pretty much superb.

3) The defense looked remarkably better, especially when it counted.  Although they did give up too many yards, it was to a team returning 10 starters, so that’s somewhat expected.  But they had four sacks and three interceptions, along with a fourth down stop.  Skai Moore continues to be fantastic, Isiah Johnson looks like he’s going to be a big name, and the front four rotation looked much, much better as they had four sacks in the first game, something fans haven’t seen in a couple years.

4) After a shaky start, the QB position looked pretty good, regardless who was in there.  Connor Mitch improved as the game went along, and Perry Orth looked good when he came in as well.  Basically we have multiple people we can rely on, and most of the poor ball movement after the first quarter seemed to be from play-calling rather than execution.  After months of speculation and worry, I think fans are at least breathing a little easier here.

5) Game two is against Kentucky, not Georgia.  This week is usually reserved for the Bulldogs, and it seemed a little weird when the scheduled was released to see the Wildcats in there.  But this may be just the game the Gamecocks need on a Saturday night in Columbia before they have to go out of town to face UGA.  Kentucky seems to be very vulnerable right now, especially on defense, and I think the Gamecocks will look to exploit that.

Last season’s opening game loss was such a letdown after the three previous seasons and the hype heading into last year.  The fact that so many people went into game one this year fearing the worst and South Carolina ending up beating a solid North Carolina team may be just what the fans needed to boost their confidence and get back on track.  I’m pretty sure you’ll hear it around 7:25 Saturday night when 2001 starts in Williams-Brice.

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