That could have gone better. The Gamecocks lost in horrific fashion to their hated in-state rivals last night. I’ll be the first to say I didn’t expect an upset, even though last season’s showdown went down to the wire. However, I thought a competitive showdown was nigh. As it turned out, something much different transpired: a 56-7 loss. With the regular season in the books, the more I observe and review the past games, the more I see a disturbing pattern. Jake Bentley took the reins under center seven games into the season. South Carolina improved drastically at home after the switch-up. The disturbing bit comes in the away games. It seems as if there’s two Gamecocks’ teams at the moment. That’s bad.
At home, USC looked great down the stretch. On the road, it’s the same old song. Road games spelled trouble all season long. In fact, South Carolina’s only road win came in the opener in Nashville. Even then, there were more Gamecock fans present than Commodores. In addition, they had to rally from behind to come away with the victory.
After the opener, South Carolina lost at Mississippi State as well as in Lexington. Even though they had led at halftime, the team had been unable to wrap it up. There were clearly two teams in Columbia.
When Jake Bentley took over, the team got off to a quick start with an upset over Tennessee. However, old demons haunted the team on the road in The Swamp. The team could never get into a rhythm.
That ugly pattern continued in the regular season finale on the road in Death Valley. Only that was the worst loss yet. The team may get a chance to shake this nasty habit in the bowl game. As it is, there are two Gamecocks’ teams: a competitive home team and a deplorable away team. In fact, the away team largely resembles last year’s 3-9 team. A long off season is forthcoming in Gamecock land.