When you get to the bottom of all the questions about South Carolina’s football team entering Thursday night’s season-opener against Texas A&M, it ends with the same question that every football team faces.
How will the quarterback play? The quarterback this year, of course, is senior Dylan Thompson, who has understudied behind Connor Shaw each of the last two seasons. He’s had some highs (beating Clemson in Death Valley in 2012, finishing off Michigan in the Outback Bowl later that season) and some lows (Missouri and Tennessee last year).
So how will he respond now that he is The Man? Offensive guard A.J. Cann, Thompson’s roommate and friend, has a better perspective than any of us, so let’s ask him.
“He’s been waiting since the day Connor left,” Cann said. “He’s been waiting to step up and take control, and I think he’s going to be ready come Thursday. He’s focused, he knows what is going to happen. He knows he’s going to have control of this team.”
In order to keep that control, Thompson has to focus on one thing above all others – ball security. His career touchdown-to-interception ratio is 2.8-to-1. It needs to be 4-to-1 to be considered statistically successful by his coaches.
How will he throw fewer interceptions? By being more conservative, especially on first down. If Thompson comes out Thursday night throwing a lot of 4-yard passes to running backs on first-and-10 or second-and-10, breathe a little easier Gamecock fans.
Around the SEC:
Awwwww. The best story in the SEC yesterday was about a kiss shared by two 6-year-olds. Those 6-year-olds were Clint Trickett, who is now West Virginia’s quarterback, and Kristen Saban, daughter to Nick Saban, who will coach Alabama against the Mountaineers on Saturday.
"His daughter was my first kiss, back in the day,” Trickett told reporters Tuesday. "So yeah ... I don't know if I should have said that. … For clarification, we were like six years old! Just so everybody knows that."
Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson, a preseason first-team All-SEC selection, is not first-team with the Bulldogs at the moment. Motivation or something else?
Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder is a big fan of Mike Davis.
“The kid at Georgia and him, based on what I have seen, are probably the two best backs in the country,” he said. “He’s a really talented player. He’ll stick it up in there.”
Here’s the rest of what Snyder said Tuesday about the Gamecocks.
And here are the basics on the Aggies.