Victor Hampton offered a new theory Tuesday for why South Carolina gave up 536 yards and 41 points to Georgia.
“After (watching) the Georgia tape, I think a lot of guys clued in that we don’t have to go and make an extra play,” Hampton said. “You can just do what you have to do and the guy beside you, trust him and we’re going to be alright. When we trusted each other in that Georgia game, they didn’t get anything so it was definitely frustrating that we just didn’t focus and that’s when they didn’t get those plays.”
The trust improved against Vanderbilt, Hampton said, and the Commodores gained only 268 yards. The thing with trust though is it’s an earned reaction, and it can be fragile, particularly when the competition rises above what Vanderbilt provided.
UCF does just that. With a balanced attack and a future professional at quarterback, the Knights will put South Carolina’s belief in itself to the test. Sophomore Kaiwan Lewis looks like he will remain at middle linebacker as Cedrick Cooper said Tuesday he’s only taking 20 percent of his practice snaps in the middle and 80 percent at his familiar weak side spot.
Lewis’ production must improve, which will be helped if junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles plays better in front of him, and Lewis’ teammates must trust him to do his job. If that doesn’t happen, the Gamecocks are going to have the same kind of feeling watching the UCF film as they did watching the Georgia film.
Around the SEC:
I still have a tough time convincing myself that Ole Miss is going to give Alabama much of a game, but there’s no question the Crimson Tide hasn’t looked unstoppable thus far this season. The Rebels expect to get Alabama’s best shot, though.
“We’re absolutely expecting the best Alabama team to be out there,” Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt said. “That’s what we want. We want to line up and play them.”
Remember Monday when I said Florida was better off with Tyler Murphy at quarterback? Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley, who knows more about the Gators than me, isn’t sure that’s true. Dooley also points out that Florida will have a real logjam at the position next year with six quarterbacks who all believe they could be the starter in 2014.
If you’re looking for reasons to get excited about LSU’s chances of beating Georgia, look no further than Odell Beckham Jr. The Bulldogs gave up a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last week against North Texas and Beckham Jr. is the best special teams player in the SEC. Georgia may juggle its special teams personnel this week, including its long-snapper.
LSU coach Les Miles had some kind words about former South Carolina and LSU coach Paul Dietzel, who died Tuesday. Dietzel retired to Baton Rouge, La.