It’s early in South Carolina’s bye week still, but chances are the Gamecocks offensive coaching staff already has addressed ways to fix their red zone offense. May have even asked the defensive guys for a suggestion. Or their barber.
Something’s gotta change. South Carolina is 89th in the country in red zone conversions, scoring 80.95 percent of the time it moves the ball inside the 20-yard line.
As bad as that ranking is, it’s not even the worst part.
The worst part is the touchdown percentage. The Gamecocks are last in the country in red zone touchdown production at 28.57 percent. In their 21 trips inside the 20, they have managed six touchdowns. UTEP is the only team in the country that has scored fewer red zone touchdowns (five), and UTEP’s percentage is actually higher because it hasn’t made as many red zone trips.
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There are options for dramatic changes, most notably using wide receiver Pharoh Cooper or freshman Lorenzo Nunez as the dedicated red zone quarterback. Interim head coach Shawn Elliott, the Gamecocks offensive line coach until his promotion, thinks the heart of the issue is blocking. Receivers and running backs have had their share of miscues down close, too.
Whatever the problem, South Carolina has two weeks to get it fixed and try to get out of the NCAA’s statistical cellar.