Kendall's Morning Meeting: Season's extra bye week a boon this year

Posted by JOSH KENDALL on September 18, 2013 

    When the 2013 schedule was first announced, it looked like the South Carolina’s early bye week would    do the Gamecocks no favors.

    With an extra weekend to schedule games this year, South Carolina and the rest of the FBS teams in the country get two instead of one off weekend. The Gamecocks’ second break is scheduled perfectly, on Nov. 9, one week prior to hosting Florida in what still could be a battle for the Eastern Division crown. The first one, though, didn’t look so good … until now.

    It’s not as if South Carolina needs an extra week to prepare for UCF (even though the Knights are an impressive 3-0, including a win at Penn State), but there are plenty of internal issues South Carolina would like to address before it plays anybody next. For starters, there’s the health of the defense, which has been a question mark all season long. Now, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward tells us there may be an overhaul at linebacker, a position the Gamecocks knew could be a problem but had been optimistic about heading into the season. And, finally, as David Cloninger points out, any extra time South Carolina can spend on special teams will be a help.

    So, while you may have withdrawals Saturday after just getting started on the 2013 season, rest assured your team can use the break.

    Around the SEC:

    Is there a new Coach Boom in the SEC? Florida head coach Will Muschamp earned that nickname when he was the defensive coordinator at Texas, when a colorful sideline exclamation of his was caught on tape. Now, first-year Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has had a similar “Boom” moment, albeit without the sailor talk.

    Malzahn said his excitement on the sideline is mostly reserved for the football field, where he sometimes chews 40 pieces of Double Bubble on game days.

    Remember when we talked in The Tape about how slowly Vanderbilt’s linebackers reacted to their pass coverage duties on Saturday against South Carolina? Commodores coach James Franklin noticed as well. He’s not happy with Vandy’s linebacker play.

    Arkansas is making a change at quarterback and going with A.J. Derby. Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema was a teammate of Derby’s father at Iowa. We’ll see if Derby can hold onto the job until Oct. 12, when the Gamecocks visit Fayetteville, Ark.

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