We all knew that nothing would be definitive after Thursday. South Carolina went into the game with far too many questions to think that 60 minutes were going to answer all of them.
There are still questions, a lot of them. But they’re a whole lot easier to work on after a win.
“They got the best of us,” USC coach Steve Spurrier said, and he wasn’t just Lou Holtz-ing the opponent. The Tar Heels would have won the game if they hadn’t turned the ball over, and they knew they let one get away.
So from USC’s perspective, what do you look at? The Gamecocks are 1-0 and that’s the biggest thing, and they get a couple of extra days to prepare for Kentucky. The Wildcats run a more “traditional” offense, but nobody’s going to relax knowing that that traditional offense dragged USC up and down Commonwealth Stadium last year, much like Elijah Hood did to the Gamecocks’ battered defensive front.
Connor Mitch settled in after a rough first quarter and I think he’ll only get better. Pharoh Cooper is Pharoh Cooper. USC knows it can run the ball, and now has a new weapon — Shon Carson was the offensive MVP. Having a punter who can consistently bang ’em (among other things) helps, too.
The defense improved, although there was still way too much real estate in the middle of the field and tackling was shoddy. It got three takeaways and four sacks, though.
So a little bit of good, a little bit of bad. A whole lot of victory, which no matter how it was obtained, is a victory.
USC went into the game with several unknowns. It’s begun identifying them.
And thus far, the solutions are coming up Ws.
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