There’s one key question for South Carolina as it prepares for East Carolina and the 10 games beyond that.
It’s not: “Why can’t we tackle better?”
It’s not: “Why can’t we rush their passer?”
It’s not: “Why can’t we protect our passer?”
It’s this: “Who on the roster do the Gamecocks look to and say, ‘We’re going to turn this around behind THAT guy?’”
Dylan Thompson says the answer is easy. It’s the quarterback, and Thompson has some perspective given that he is the quarterback.
“That’s my role on this team, to be somebody everybody can look to no matter what the situation is, if we’re winning by 50 or getting blown out,” Thompson said after Wednesday night’s practice. “We are on the latter end of that right now, and we have to come out here and work.”
And how does he go about grabbing a team by the scruff of the neck and pulling it out of the ditch dug by a 52-28 loss to Texas A&M?
“I think everyone watches a whole lot more than they listen so I try to do my job the best I can,” he said. “You lead by example a lot more than you do by talking.”
Thompson is partially right on both counts. He has to lead the way, but others have to help him and the rest have to follow. Anyone who has played team sports for any length of time understands there are certain players who make everyone else on the team feel good about their chances of winning.
Connor Shaw, Jadeveon Clowney, Marcus Lattimore and Stephon Gilmore have been those types of players. Who are they now? And where are they? If South Carolina can’t answer those two questions quickly, this won’t be the season it hoped it would have.
Around the SEC:
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is really laying it on thick this week.
“I still don’t think people think we’re any good,” Sumlin said at his weekly news conference.
Sumlin clearly is feeding this line to his team. They’re smart enough not to believe that, right? Here’s more of what the Aggies coach had to say a week after beating South Carolina.
If you think Will Muschamp’s one-play suspension for three of his players is a bit weak (as I do), the Florida coach will be quick to tell you he doesn’t care what you think about it.
“There's a lot things that go into discipline. It's about altering and changing behavior, which we've done. I think our discipline speaks for itself and how we've handle our football team, OK?” Muschamp said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference. "If it was about suspension, you'd never have an issue. Right? At the the end of the day, it's more than that. There's a lot of things that go into those situations, a lot more than people know. And it's very frustrating for me as a coach ... to have someone being critical and you don't even have all the information. At the end of the day, I make the decisions in this program, I handle the discipline in this program and it's been handled very well."
The Gators also announced they will not make up Saturday’s rained-out game against Idaho. If things don’t go well this year, losing that (expected) victory could cost the Gators bowl eligibility.
You’ve got to be fast to play for Gus Malzahn. Heck, you’ve got to be fast just to be a ball boy for Auburn.
Georgia coach Mark Richt still isn’t saying if speedy wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley will play against the Gamecocks. Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is “day-to-day” due to a knee injury.
Is anybody else tired of Alabama’s quarterback competition yet? Just pick one and let’s get rolling.