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Observations from Week 1

Random observations from the first weekend (which is not yet complete, it’s halftime of the Clemson-Alabama game and I’m in between Yuenglings):

Chris Smelley gives the Gamecocks the best chance to win right now.

Tommy Beecher is not as bad as he looked for three quarters against N.C. State, and the Gamecocks obviously aren’t going to score every series Smelley is in the game — as they did vs. the Wolfpack. That said, the offense just ran more smoothly with Smelley under center.

The fact that Beecher is banged-up should make the decision easier for Steve Spurrier, who doesn’t want to seem like he’s giving up on Beecher (whom he said would have a chance to go the distance this year) after one game.

The Gamecocks’ secondary is outstanding.

I know, I know, N.C. State is an average-at-best ACC team. Still, you’ve got to be impressed when Ellis Johnson’s D throws a shutout on a night when Jasper Brinkley and Eric Norwood combined for two tackles.

The reasons: Captain Munnerlyn showed great closing speed the couple of times his receiver had a step on him; Emanuel Cook had his usual nine tackles; and senior cornerbacks Stoney Woodson and Carlos Thomas each had an interception.

USC’s trip to Oxford will be no picnic.

My feeling that the Ole Miss game is the most pivotal on USC’s schedule was further reinforced by the Rebels’ 41-24 win at Memphis. Didn’t see the game, but I saw the stat sheet: Rebs had two runners who averaged at least 9.5 yards a carry.

Ed Orgeron’s players + Houston Nutt coaching them = scary team.

Alabama has a man-child playing tight end.

Either that, or Clemson is just making him look good.

All for now — SWMBO informs me the second half is underway.

Tags: Captain Munnerlyn, Carlos Thomas, Chris Smelley, defense, Ellis Johnson, Eric Norwood, Jasper Brinkley, N.C. State, offense, steve spurrier, Stoney Woodson, Tommy Beecher

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