Kendall's Morning Meeting: Gamecocks must tighten up down stretch

Posted by JOSH KENDALL on October 31, 2013 

South Carolina Tennessee Football

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier watches his players warm up before an NCAA college football game against Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn.

WADE PAYNE — Associated Press

    South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier touched on a number of subjects during his Tuesday news conference, but the one he kept coming back to was this: “We need to play well. We need to play a lot better than we have been playing. We have been playing with a lot of careless errors.”

    Spurrier opened his statements on that theme and came back to it again and again. The Gamecocks are 6-2 overall and right in the middle of SEC East race. In some ways, they are the most well-positioned team in the race (specifically because they have only two conference games left and both are at home), but there’s no question that Spurrier is right – there is a lot of room for improvement.

    South Carolina isn’t hitting on all cylinders in any area of the game. The Gamecocks are ninth in the SEC in scoring offense, sixth in scoring defense and 10th in penalties. They are 12th in the conference in turnover margin and no one in the SEC has lost more turnovers (15). Special teams? Well, you know how that has gone. 

    “Obviously, the Arkansas game the score looked like we played super, and then you look at the stat sheet and they averaged 9 yards a carry. How do you average 9 yards a carry and get beat 52-7? That’s what happened that game, though,” Spurrier said. “We’re not a super duper team, but we are 6-2 and trying to play better. We need to play better so that’ll be our challenge to our players this week. Coach better, play better against Mississippi State.”

    He’s right.

    Around the SEC:

    Whatever you think of Florida, what is happening to the Gators this season is horrendous. Florida lost another starter for an extended period this week, and it will go into Saturday’s crucial (for South Carolina) game against Georgia with a patchwork offensive line.

    Maybe Alabama should just lend Florida some offensive linemen. Nick Saban is on the verge of hording every quality big man in the country in his next recruiting class. Mobile’s Josh Casher became the seventh offensive lineman to commit to the Tide this week, giving Alabama the nation’s top two rated centers in the Class of 2014.


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