A 2016 study by analytics website FiveThirtyEight.com found that NFL teams had converted 47.9 percent of their 2-point conversion attempts in the previous 15 years. That puts into some perspective how unlikely South Carolina’s success in that area has been this season.
The Gamecocks are 3-for-3 on 2-point conversions this season and all three have come in their last two games.
“It certainly energizes and charges your team up and if you’re at home the crowd up,” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp. “There is no doubt in both of those games you felt that in our crowd and it helped charge up our football team.”
Against the Aggies, the Gamecocks evened what had been a 16-0 game with a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions. Both came on throws from Jake Bentley to Bryan Edwards. Saturday night, the Gamecocks knotted the score against Tennessee at 24-24 with a touchdown and two-point conversion with five seconds left in the third quarter. This time, Bentley scrambled into the end zone
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Muschamp linked his team’s unlikely success rate on the plays to their work in the red zone during in-season and out-of-season practices.
“We spend a lot of time in the red zone,” Muschamp said. First-year quarterbacks coach “Dan Werner said, ‘It’s the most time I’ve spent in the red area in my coaching career.’ We spend a lot of time down there. I think it’s critical for your football team to perform well down there. Part of that is two point plays.”
So far, the two-point success is far outpacing the overall red zone success. The Gamecocks are 11th in the SEC in red zone offense, scoring on 28.6 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line.
“It’s all about situational football and or your players to understand the different things people try to do to you, how they will defend you,” Muschamp said.