David Cloninger

All things Gamecocks, especially basketball and football

Cloninger's five gameday storylines: USC vs. Georgia

09/06/2013 3:00 PM

09/06/2013 3:13 PM


After hearing about his lack-of UNC statistics from TV announcers and his own coach, Jadeveon Clowney will doubtless be ready to bring it every play against the Bulldogs. Seeing what Georgia left tackle Kenarious Gates did (or didn’t do) in a loss to Clemson last week should only help the phenom really get his season started. USC defensive coordinator said, "I think you'll see the real Clowney on Saturday."


Will center Cody Waldrop play? He’s been lame all week with a sprained foot. While he and backup Clayton Stadnik share a class membership (redshirt freshman), Waldrop won the job because he was head and shoulders above Stadnik. But now he’s hurt. Will bench strength be enough? Steve Spurrier mentioned true freshman Alan Knott as a possibility at center.


Bruce Ellington played last week, but as a late-game substitute. Fully healthy this week, does that change USC’s game plan? He was the top returning target and doubtless figured into many plays during the offseason planning. Could be he’s not needed if the running game is working, but if he is, how many times will Connor Shaw target him?


Todd Gurley is a freak, combining the lower-body strength of an Olympic weight-lifter with the speed of an Olympic sprinter. If he gets in the open field, he’s gone. USC’s linebackers will have to hit and hold on to try and limit him, because he’ll get past the defensive line on some plays. With room to cut, Gurley will only add to his Heisman campaign.


The Gamecocks have never beaten Georgia four times in a row. But they hadn’t done a lot of other things over the past three years before leaping those hurdles, either. With Georgia’s weakness at left tackle coming right into USC’s wheelhouse in ther person of Jadeveon Clowney, some are already penciling in the victory.


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