VIDEO: USC's needed defensive changes are simple, Shawn Elliott says
Linebacker Skai Moore’s revelation that he made key suggestions for defensive adjustments in the second half against Texas A&M hardly qualifies as a revelation.
Moore, a junior, said following last week’s 35-28 loss to the Aggies that he told defensive co-coordinator Jon Hoke the two base sets he and his teammates seemed most comfortable with, and that Hoke used mostly those two calls throughout the second half. While that may seem like a reversal of roles, it’s actually fairly standard operating procedure, interim head coach Shawn Elliott said.
“They've got some common sense, too. They can come to us,” Elliott said of his players. “It's no different than a Brandon Wilds coming up to us and saying, 'Hey, this play right here, I see it a lot better than this. Our line can block it a lot better to the left side than the right side.' Simple suggestions, this is what it's about.”
The Gamecocks defense, as bad as it’s been, has performed well in most second halves this season. South Carolina has surrendered 137 points in the first half this season, and a less egregious 82 in the second half (49 of those by Georgia and LSU). If the adjustments that are making that happen are a group effort, that’s fine with Elliott.
“There's not one of us sitting right here in this room today that has all the answers and for a player to come up and have the ability to communicate to his coach about, 'Hey, let's try to do this,' I think that says a lot about what they can say to a coach and vice versa, and for him to say, OK, let's go do it,” Elliott said. “I think it's a pretty good situation, to tell you the truth.”