Sports

Reece: The State Of Gamecock Football

INCONSISTENCY, QUESTION MARKS MIRE SOUTH CAROLINA’S “DOWN YEAR” By REECE FUNDERBURK  ||  Eight games into the season and the University of South Carolina football team is officially 4-4 with a win over a Top Ten team and a loss to a team lucky to be in the top fifty.  So…

INCONSISTENCY, QUESTION MARKS MIRE SOUTH CAROLINA’S “DOWN YEAR”

reeceBy REECE FUNDERBURK  ||  Eight games into the season and the University of South Carolina football team is officially 4-4 with a win over a Top Ten team and a loss to a team lucky to be in the top fifty.  So what exactly do we know about this squad through eight games?

The answer?

Nothing.  We know nothing.

If you had to pick a game this year that represented this South Carolina team – which one would you pick?  The letdown performance recently against top five Auburn on the road?  A game that head coach Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks took to its final play?

Or would you pick the Kentucky game – where Spurrier’s high scoring offense competed for sixty minutes only to watch the Gamecock defense surrender 21 points in the game’s final eight minutes.

We know South Carolina is talented on the offensive side of the ball.  We know fifth-year senior Dylan Thompson is a gunslinger who will throw the ball and that wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and running back Mike Davis are NFL caliber players – but have we honestly seen that level of effort in every single game this season?

On defense, we’ve seen South Carolina slow down one of the better passing offenses in the country in East Carolina – and contain the high-powered Georgia running game (with Todd Gurley).  But then there are the disasters – like the defense’s total inability to stop Kentucky’s Wildcat formation (fifteen times in a row) or the season opening shredding administered by Texas A&M.

Ask yourself: What’s one thing you can count on with this team?  What’s one thing you would guarantee the Gamecocks will do the next game?  If I asked you that, what would you tell me?  What constant exists with this team?

I don’t see one.

That’s not to say South Carolina is not talented.  They nearly beat a top five team on the road (at night) and have beaten a top ten team at home.  Heck, if two plays were to have gone their way, the Gamecocks would be 5-2 and still competing for most of their goals at the start of the season.

But they are not … which leaves many fans questioning what’s left to play for the rest of the way.

What could help salvage the season?  A win on the road over Clemson is the most obvious answer.  In fact most Gamecock fans would take a win over the in-state Tigers than a trip to a lesser bowl game.  And the Tigers are nowhere near as good as they’ve been in recent years – although star freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected to have recovered from his broken finger in time to play the Gamecocks.

Spurrier’s team is sitting at 4-4 – but despite the letdowns they remain more than capable of finishing the regular season 8-4 – a good mark for what most fans recognize is a “down year.”

Following the season, coaching decisions will have to be made. Special teams coach Joe Robinson is most likely out the following season and no one is safe on the defensive side of the ball, whether it be linebackers coach Kurt Botkin or even defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, whose unit is clearly suffering from the lack of elite talent it enjoyed during the first two seasons on the job.

Even Spurrier’s status is unknown at this point.  I believe he rides it out another season but does he want to take on what some might call “another rebuilding project?”  South Carolina is not reloading at this point.  The golden window of opportunity has since been shut as Tennessee and Kentucky are starting to revive their programs.

So do we know who will be staying or going on the coaching side?  Do we know who will be staying around for another shot next year and avoid the temptation to go on and try the next level?

The answer is no we don’t and until we do, inconsistency is the only fingerprint that matches this season.

Normally, I’d tell fans to relax and look forward to next season but at this point there are far too many question marks regarding the state of Gamecock football to do that.

Reece Funderburk is currently the producer for the “Reynolds and Gunter” show on 560TheTeam Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m.  He also hosts own show “The Saturday Morning Blitz” on Saturday morning from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET on WUSC 90.5 FM.  He can be found on twitter @TheSMBlitz.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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62 comments

Toyota Kawaski October 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

Oh great i see Liz has dressed in drag today. See the John Hunt Era: at the end of this season which will end with a 4 game winning streak counting the Belk Bowl (ha ha) win over GT. When all that is done look for a major house cleaning (players/coaches) and SOS setting up for one more run with the ones coming in and the ones we have with some different coaching. Lets include Elliot in this group as well all he wants to do is train up 5 and ride them. All the lineman need to be ready to go. That is why the backups are lost he only coaches up the 5. At least Liz has the female excuse for having very little football knowledge whats yours?

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SC Political Digest October 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

“Even Spurrier’s status is unknown at this point.”

What do we know: You’re delusional, and TOTALLY out of touch to say that. Spurrier would NEVER leave after this debacle. He spent years building USC. He loves the challenge to prove this year in an aberration based

On coaching changes: You don’t even mention Deke (no sack) Adams or Grady – play 10-yrds-off-on 3rd and 2 – Brown? I bet the WHOLE Defensive staff is fired. You mention Botkin as a casualty. He’s the ONLY defensive coach w/ even a slight chance to stay. And I doubt he’s not fired, too.

The rest of your article is WAY yoo wordy (filler to up word count.) You’re just small-talking, and wasting the time and effort of readers. And to think beating Clemson is the only silver lining shows you have no insight into Gamecocks fans and the program. Beating Tennessee is THE ONLY thing that matters now. This is a BIG game. Especially since Spurrier showed us he will do anything now to keep the offense on the field. That is a decision to change the Gameplan based on the total failure of Lorenzo Ward on the D.

PS: ” The golden window of opportunity has since been shut as Tennessee and Kentucky are starting to revive their programs.” …

That may be the most-ignorant F*#king sports comment I’ve seen in a while. Spurrier has been building at SC for almost 10 years. And you bury him based on accepting a bad recommendation on a defensive coordinator. He lives to Crap on idiots like you, and FITS.

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Smirks October 30, 2014 at 9:05 am

2 many wurds hertz muh brane

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SC Political Digest October 30, 2014 at 9:14 am

That’s why you need to stick to the Bazooka gum comics. This is NOT down on your level, for sure.

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Squishy123 October 30, 2014 at 9:27 am

So I’m curious, do you write more words per day on this blog or your own blog?

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SC Political Digest October 30, 2014 at 11:03 am

I’m curious, too. Why don’t you have any substance in your brain, other than your thoughts about me? …perhaps you should write a book. I’ll even let you interview me. If you are so mesmerized, others will be too. I’m quite interesting, with a very intriguing story. And if you write a book, you won’t be just wasting your time, and looking stupid in the process. It may turn your life around to contribute something for a change. Think about it, and get back to me.

E Norma Scok October 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

Not even a good redirection.

Just the inability to answer a simple question.

Squishy123 October 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

You didn’t answer my question… just started blabbering on about something (I quit reading after the second line).

mamatiger92 October 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm

“Why don’t you have any substance in your brain, other than your thoughts about me?”

LMAO HAHAHA (in my best SCPD voice)

That just may be the lamest comeback I’ve ever read.

Squishy123 October 30, 2014 at 9:06 am

“You’re just small-talking, and wasting the time and effort of readers.”

You just summed up your entire blog.

“Wait ’til next year”, the “Chicken Curse” is back!!!

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SC Political Digest October 30, 2014 at 9:12 am

plagiarize much?

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Squishy123 October 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

No… you???

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E Norma Scok October 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

ESS that Spurrier DEE, Tango.

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GoodEFFINGRiddance October 30, 2014 at 10:27 am

Take off the garnet glasses, remove the giant Spurrier banner from the stadium and accept the fact the Gamecocks chance of being relevant in the SEC is over.

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E Norma Scok October 30, 2014 at 11:29 am

So beating TN is the goal now..lulz…how the mighty have fallen.

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SC Political Digest October 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

Winning ANY game is a goal Dumb@$$…I’m guessing you’re not a coaching major…LMAO…
FITS sure breeds some idiots…..Hahahaha…

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E Norma Scok October 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm

You write more here than I do, and curse about it a WHOLE lot more. Why are you so upset GT?

Wait..I went through Cayce last week. I get it.

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tippin cows October 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Was that on your way to 6 mile you redneck Hillbilly?

E Norma Scok October 31, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Must have hit a nerve with jab about your hometown. Sucks for you dude that you have to live in that. Maybe you should try finishing high school…and put down the crack..unless you just like it there.

tippin cows November 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I would bet salaries against each other I finished a higher level of degree than you, and make more too.

E Norma Scok November 1, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Were I you, I wouldn’t bet on either of those. But if you somehow you do have more education than I do, its just a shame–obviously you didn’t learn anything. You still like living in a shithole.

Scooter November 2, 2014 at 11:48 am

You wish that you could live in Six Mile.

CootLogic October 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

If SCAR fires the entire defensive coaching staff, wont they be just as bad next year, and the year after? How will a new staff recruit any better or worse than the current staff? Lorenzo Ward should go, no doubt. Its obvious that with all of Ellis Johnson’s recruits gone, that Whammy Ward has been unable to replace the vacated talent. But simply replacing Ward isn’t going to fix the problem immediately.

I think Spurrier could be done, this year or next. Its obvious that this team is going to take a while to rebuild from the talent it had in 2010, 2011 and 2012. SCAR wins one, maybe two more games this season.

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HazyArc October 30, 2014 at 10:54 am

Of course, one of those wins will be against the offensively inept team from the Upstate.

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CootLogic October 30, 2014 at 11:04 am

Only if Cole Stoudt is QB

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E Norma Scok October 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

Maybe so.

And you can be proud of beating a team that you keep saying “sucks”.

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HazyArc October 30, 2014 at 11:35 am

I’m sure they will revel in it.

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pot / kettle October 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I guess its better than acting like it doesn’t suck to lose once again to the team YOU say sucks.

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E Norma Scok October 30, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Whoever wins the years football contest..The sun will still come over a lake in the foothills of the blueridge mountains, where every morning begins that of another beautiful day.

And I guess it will also come up over the railroad tracks of Shop road, where the shadows of the pallets, busted beer bottles and cracked syringes litter the ground, where drunk football fans have sex in the trashed parking lots of what was once a fairground.

I took a wrong turn off of I-26 last week coming home from a beautiful, pristine Clemson campus, and ended up in Cayce near the interstate.

Good god people…well, all i can say is that I hate it for you. I get why you are all so bitter and upset.

Maybe you (collectively) are right. Maybe the world is against you. It certainly looks like it.

coming home? October 31, 2014 at 7:12 am

Wait, why don’t you actually live I “beautiful Clemson”? Oh thats right no one does, except the cows.

E Norma Scok October 31, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I would live there any day, unemployed before I’d spend a night in Columbia, thats for damn sure.

I’d move there tomorrow if I could.

It’s sad that you just don’t know any better. You were probably the one having sex on video on top of the chicken bones in front of the car.

coming home November 1, 2014 at 8:31 am

If it were me having sex on the video, at least it was with a girl, or more to your point a human. How were all the cows up there? Did you at least give them some hay before you got behind them?

Scooter November 2, 2014 at 11:46 am

Tell them, girl.

E Norma Scok November 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm

I’m sorry your town looks like a scene from the walking dead. Face it – Columbia sucks. Its disgusting there.

fat ass taters on the couch October 30, 2014 at 11:04 am

The Taters have been saying (or wishing) Spurrier is “done this year or next”. I guess with that clown of a coach you have that cant beat him, I can see why you pray and give your useless opinions for it every year. Spurrier isn’t going anywhere for a while, and the Gamecocks win out and beat the Clems6n yet again

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CootLogic October 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

I love how the Coots season goals have changed from “We’re gonna win the SEC” too “Well at least we can beat Clemson again” yall crack me up with your coot logic. Ole Slurrier will be done one day, and its awesome how many of your cracked out inbred fans keep calling for him to be fired. Keep chanting SEC, SEC while still at the bottom of it. The SEC-East is the short bus of the SEC. You may win against Clemson but you still lost to Kentucky.

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HazyArc October 30, 2014 at 11:33 am

So where does that leave Clemson?

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CootLogic October 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Well currently Clemson is 6-2, bowl eligible, and ranked in the Top 25.

Taters have no logic October 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm

you do realize the “short bus” of the SEC east is still better than every team you have in the ACC? You are a typical dumb ass Tater that chants the same thing over and over never understanding how stupid you sound. Fine we aren’t playing this year for a division title, or a conference one, but last I noticed, neither are you idiot, Your conference has 1 team in it and it isn’t even you, lmao. That shit sucks man huh? You know if we lost to UK but do beat you, that makes you the team that lost to the team that lost to Kentucky. Ouch, What will you have then? Hell you already lost to a team we beat, why would you think you could beat us. You put up a might 16 points on mighty Syracuse. Wow you guys are so good!! When we beat you we both will be bowling and no you wont be ranked anymore. Let it sink in a bit you stupid retard, we will knock you out of being ranked and you will have nothing to claim for your countdown clock to the game with USC.

COOTLOGIC October 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Well one thing from your incoherent rambling is correct, at the end of season we will find out. But until we play the only thing for certain right now is Clemson is 6-2 and SCAR is 4-4. No one said Clemson was going to be better than where we are currently. Preseason had Clemson either 10-2 or 9-3. Finishing second in the conference behind Florida State.

However, SCAR’s garnet glass wearing retards did assert y’all to win the SEC-East and potentially the SEC. I guess you shouldn’t go to media day and talk shit about Saban’s work ethic then blow double digit leads to Missouri and Kentucky, and I guess you shouldn’t hang a jumbo sized banner of your coach down the side of the stadium before getting your ass handed to you by Texas A&M.

The SEC-East is a joke and yes more than couple teams in the ACC could hold their own against SCAR, Vandy, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. The only glimmer of success in the $EC-East this year is UGA. Any team in the SEC-West beats y’all.

Look I know success must have been nice and the last four years SCAR fans felt like maybe, maybe just once in over 100 years of attempting to play football you would achieve some level of success higher than a bowl win over a team from the Big 10. But the chicken curse is here to stay, ole ball coach or not. I cant wait for yall to take your sorry coot asses out of Death Valley proclaiming, “wait till next year!”

Toyota Kawaski October 30, 2014 at 4:29 pm

10-2, 9-3 preseason for Clempson
Funny how those preseason guys went ahead an built in the F$U and the annual Carolina Beating.

E Norma Scok October 31, 2014 at 5:35 pm

I never heard any 12-0 and NC win predictions for the cocks, either

real logic not just tater talk November 1, 2014 at 10:11 am

And no one said that either here you dumb fuck. Let me ask you a question because clearly you are to stupid to understand. You (and many other of the same trolls on here) repeatedly claim the USC game means nothing to you Tigers, as you have so much more to play for, and this is just one game, so it doesn’t matter. Well then why do you constantly post on a page that mentions nothing about Clemson? The headline, picture, and articles you post usually only mention the Gamecocks. The simply act of clicking on a link that is about USC proves you care, and the unsolicited posts or reply you take the time to write prove even more how much rent free space the Gamecocks have in your head. If you truly didn’t care you wouldn’t even bother to read, comment, or reply. Riddle me that? There is no logical answer you can make, because even if you say to laugh at or pick on USC fans you have to admit you are thinking of them. Im sorry to burst your bubble but that’s 100% check mate!

ramble on and on and on October 30, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Um, I think your parents should have advised to have had an abortion. And By the way didn’t Dabo go on a rant after a bowl win about Clemson being a “National Championship team”? You retards keep forgetting that

E Norma Scok October 31, 2014 at 5:34 pm

And you lost to Kentucky and were having problems with Furman.

You retards seem to have forgotten that.

thats funny October 30, 2014 at 8:40 pm

“wait till next year!”, isn’t that what the Clemtech fans said last year, or the year before, or the year before, or…..

E Norma Scok October 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm

No, differently than most Cock fans, I only ever heard..”hopefully next year”.

And that’s all you ever heard too, but you’ll never admit to it.

Squishy123 October 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm

The only conference championship USC-e has won was an ACC championship. They’re like the SEC’s retarded family member. Maybe if USC-e went to D-1 AA they’d at least make the playoffs every year.

Squishy is my bitch October 30, 2014 at 7:15 pm

hey how’s that old in the dirt pecker loving mother of yours doing? Were you her “retarded family member”?

Scooter November 2, 2014 at 11:43 am

We’re tough. Aren’t we Butch?

simmer down little girl November 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

did you just call yourself a bitch?

Crooner October 30, 2014 at 10:41 am

Chicken Little can write??!!

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Same ol' Same ol' October 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

forget the analysis, you can sum up most of the cocks’ problems in one word: ward. shoulda been gone on 8 Sep., there you go, fify.

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Pitchfork Ben October 30, 2014 at 11:31 am

Who. Cares. Seeing as how the chicken curse has come home to roost, its been nice not having reece the homer spewing his garbage along w sic willie. 8-4?? That’s rich. Ol ballsack will be lucky to go bowling in his last season as a coot.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein October 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm

The modern game has passed Spurrier by. He can’t relate to 19 and 20 year olds.

Spurrier is to football coaching what the oceans are to national defense and health.There was a time that Spurrier won and a time when the oceans protected us from attack…Not anymore. It’s a brave new world out there…not your father’s Oldsmobile.

Sakerlina needs new, modern coaching. As luck would have it, Will Muschamp will be available at the end of the season.

NOW IS YOUR CHANCE, SAKERLINA!! GO FORWARD!! MOVE AHEAD!!!

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idcydm October 30, 2014 at 12:49 pm

FITS, do you pay SCPD by the word?

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9" October 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm

We’ve always got spring practice…

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RHood2 October 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm

“Or would you pick the Kentucky game
– where Spurrier’s high scoring offense competed for sixty minutes only
to watch the Gamecock defense surrender 21 points in the game’s final
eight minutes.”

Unless that game went into overtime, your math is a little off. That’s 68 minutes that USC played.

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Barbarossa October 30, 2014 at 11:13 pm

If our defense had been working, we’d be 7-1… that’s hardly a bad season. Fire Ward and hire the best D coordinator available now so that he can begin recruiting for next year…. there, problem solved…

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Beartrkkr October 31, 2014 at 1:34 am

The defense working is not the problem. Lack of experienced talent is. Why no one saw the drop coming after losing the number and quality of starters from last year is fascinating.

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the sky is not falling October 31, 2014 at 12:04 pm

this was the year they were going to get the experience as backups, but4 guys made dumbass decisions to go pro and didn’t even get drafted. the season isn’t over, USC can and more than likely will win out, win the bowl finish 9-4 and come out experienced next year. The end of the world is not coming

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Tiger fan win or lose November 2, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Apparently fans have gone back to their old ways of only being a gamecock supporter when they’re winning. The stadium was empty. The team isn’t the only losers.

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