Tag:Stephen Garcia
Posted on: October 10, 2010 12:04 am
Edited on: October 10, 2010 1:07 pm

What I learned from the SEC (Oct 9)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Les Miles is the smartest, craziest moron to ever coach a college football team.   Seriously, the man took nothing but grief all week from the media and his own fans following the near debacle against Tennessee last week.  And it was well deserved!  It's not like it was the first time he's had problems with clock management at the end of the game.  Then the Mad Hatter goes and pulls another white rabbit out of the hat against Florida by calling that fake field goal in the video above.  You know what kind of guts that takes to make that play call when your fan base is already calling for your head on a plate? Then he managed to have his team spike the ball following a big catch by Terrence Tolliver to set up a first and goal.  A few plays later it was Jarrett Lee hitting Tolliver on a fade to win the game, and the Mad Hatter had struck again.  LSU is 6-0.

2. Alabama is mere flesh and bone, just like you and I.   Following its 31-6 win over Florida last week, Alabama had been crowned as the clear-cut best team in the country, and people like me were wondering if it would ever lose again.  Turns out it would.  The Tide saw their 19-game SEC win streak come to an end in Columbia on Saturday, 'Bama's first regular-season loss since 2007.  Now they find themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to win out to have a chance to get back to the SEC title game.

3. The Ol' Ball Coach still has it.   With the win over Alabama, and Florida's loss to LSU, the Gamecocks find themselves in the driver's seat in the SEC East.  Odds are that when they roll into Gainesville on November 13 there will be a trip to the SEC Championship on the line.  As long as Stephen Garcia doesn't try throwing any more passes through the uprights, I like their chances.

4. The Auburn defense needs work.   Listen, it's nice that the Tigers are 6-0 and tied with LSU atop the SEC West standings, but if their defense doesn't play better than it did in Lexington on Saturday night, they can kiss any hopes of an SEC title goodbye.  The Tigers were torn apart through the air, as Kentucky completed 24-of-29 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns.  They needed a last second field goal to get out of Lexington alive and keep this from being one of the saddest Saturdays in the state of Alabama's history.

5. Mark Richt and the Bulldogs have a pulse.   The first five weeks of the Georgia season had been a nightmare for Richt and his team, and it was one it had to be wondering if it would ever wake up from.  Richt will have to thank Tennessee for remembering to set the alarm.  Georgia finally played like the team we're all used to seeing on Saturday, putting up 402 yards and 41 points on the overmatched Vols.  Georgia needs four wins in its last six games to go bowling, and looking at the schedule, suddenly it seems manageable.

Posted on: October 9, 2010 5:27 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2010 5:42 pm

Alabama has some work to do

Posted by Tom Fornelli


Those two touchdown passes by Stephen Garcia to Alshon Jeffery gave the Gamecocks a 21-3 lead before Alabama managed to miss a field goal following a long drive and put a touchdown on the board just before the half.

Of course, they missed the extra point following that score, so it's 21-9 as the third quarter gets underway.

While there is no need for the Crimson Tide to panic being down two scores with 30 minutes left to go, there are some adjustments they need to make.  First of all, you can't let Stephen Garcia complete all nine of his pass attempts for three touchdowns.  Some pressure on the mistake-prone quarterback would be a good idea.

When they have the ball, though, Alabama can't give up on a ground game that has been stuffed for the most part through the first thirty minutes.  The Tide are averaging 2.2 yards per carry, but experienced some success when running out of the Wildcat in the first half.  Considering what Cam Newton and the Auburn spread option attack did to the Gamecocks earlier this season, the Tide may want to keep trying it in the second half.

Also, if there was ever a game in which Greg McElroy was going to have to put his team's offense on his shoulders to win, this is it.  You have Julio Jones, use him.  Run some deep routes and hope you can open up some running lanes by doing so.

This isn't the first time Alabama has trailed at halftime this season, trailing Arkansas 17-7 at halftime in Fayetteville a few weeks ago, so we know they can come back and win this game.  Whether they do it this time around remains to be seen.

Posted on: October 9, 2010 4:26 pm

Gamecocks off to fast start against Alabama

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's still very early in Columbia, but in the second quarter the South Carolina Gamecocks are beating Alabama 21-3.

Alabama started the game with a nice drive that resulted in a field goal, but since then it's been all Gamecocks.  The Gamecocks followed the Tide's opening drive with a 7-play 63 yard scoring drive that was capped by Marcus Lattimore 's first career touchdown catch.  Then, after forcing an Alabama punt, South Carolina went on another 7-play 62-yard drive that ended when Stephen Garcia hit Alshon Jeffery for a 26-yard touchdown catch.

Making matters worse?  Greg McElroy just fumbled after being blindsided and South Carolina recovered and has the ball deep in Alabama territory.  A few plays later Garcia hit Jeffery for another touchdown.

Still, as we already said, it's early in this one.  Let's not forget that Arkansas had a 17-7 lead over the Tide at halftime two weeks ago before Alabama came back to win 24-20.

That being said, this has been just about as good a start that Steve Spurrier could have wanted for his team.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: September 29, 2010 10:36 am

Garcia still Gamecocks starting QB, for now

Posted by Chip Patterson

After three turnover-less quarters, the South Carolina offense became their own worst enemy in the fourth quarter of their 35-27 loss to Auburn on Saturday.  Head coach Steve Spurrier opted to pull quarterback Stephen Garcia after the starter gave away two fumbles to the Auburn defense in the fourth quarter.  Ol' Ball coach replaced him with freshman backup Connor Shaw.  There had been rumors coming into the season that Shaw might challenge Garcia for the starting job, and Spurrier's didn't help defuse the quarterback controversy.  

But as the Gamecocks run through their off-week practice schedule, Spurrier is saying that Garcia is his man.  At least for now.
"We plan on him starting against Alabama. He actually played three quarters pretty well and then obviously the two fumbles were really bad plays. Now, can he stop fumbling? We're going to give him a chance to stop fumbling. He hasn't thrown a lot of picks this year. Other than the fumbles, he's played pretty decently."
Spurrier's defense of his quarterback continued, as he seemed to place much of the blame for their inefficiency on the offensive line.
"I don't have an answer, you need to ask (offensive line) Coach (Shawn) Elliott that. Maybe we just can't block guys well enough to allow our quarterbacks to stand back there a long time. We're stuck with what we got. When losing begins to hurt these guys as much as it hurts some of us, we'll have a good team here at South Carolina. But I'm not convinced losing hurts these guys much, or else they'd play better. They would really play their assignments and play better. They're either not smart enough to play or losing doesn't hurt - one or the other, because they're big, strong guys. Our line looks pretty good running out there. They look pretty good and then the ball is snapped and sometimes we just don't compete hard enough. But they're our guys and we're going to try to get them to play better."
Goodness gracious Ol' Ball Coach is yapping.  Clearly an attempt to light a fire under the big boys up front, looking for a little improvement before the Gamecocks host top-ranked Alabama on October 9.  Realistically, there HAS to be improvement if the Gamecocks want to stand a chance against the Alabama front seven.  

The Gamecocks have enough talent to challenge the Tide, especially on their home turf.  But the turnovers and mental errors will need to be limited, if not completely eliminated, in order to do so.

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Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:10 am

Spurrier pondering QB change

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Prepare to be shocked, ladies and gentlemen, for I come with news sure to shake the very foundation of your being.  Steve Spurrier, a coach who has always showed the utmost patience with every quarterback he has ever coached, is thinking of making a change at quarterback at South Carolina.

I'll let you compose yourselves before I continue.

Okay, so it's not that shocking, but it is true.  Following the Gamecocks loss to Auburn on Saturday night that saw Spurrier's team turn the ball over four turnovers in the fourth quarter -- including two fumbles on consecutive drives by Stephen Garcia -- the ol' ball coach is wondering if he'll be better off with freshman Connor Shaw under center when Alabama comes to town.

"I don't know what we'll do," Spurrier said about the quarterbacks. "We've got too far to go for (a decision). But we're not going to have competition.

"We know what both can do. We've watched both of them now for quite a while. We'll just make a decision on what's best for the team -- and maybe what's best for Stephen Garcia."

Spurrier was referring to Garcia's penchant for putting his head down at the point of contact.  As Spurrier put it, "I think he closes his eyes and he dives right in there.  That's a recipe for disaster."  So Spurrier is using his concern for Garcia's well-being for his decision this time.  Of course, while Garcia was responsible for two of South Carolina's four fourth quarter turnovers, Connor Shaw was responsible for the other two with his two interceptions.

Personally I think South Carolina's problem against Auburn wasn't their quarterback.  It was the 334 rushing yards the defense surrendered to Cam Newton and Michael Dyer.   With Alabama bringing both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson with them to Jordan-Brice Stadium on Saturday, that's the area the team should be worried about fixing.
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