Chicken & Waffles. Your new favorite daily dish for all things Gamecocks. Grab a cup of joe and hide your screen from your boss as we fill you in on everything happening in the world of South Carolina athletics. Get your Chicken & Waffles right here, Monday through Friday.
“All Positions Are Open”
With another lackluster offensive performance in the Sunday’s 28-14 loss to Georgia, coach Will Muschamp opened his postgame presser with a strong declaration.
“I wish we played better … offensively, field position, three turnovers, third-down. We’ve got to get back in the open week and find some things we can improve on. All positions are open.”
A point of major frustration seems to be the running game, or lack thereof.
Positive signs have been there — a long run from A.J. Turner, broken tackles courtesy of Rico Dowdle or a brilliant option with Brandon McIlwain and David Williams. But these big plays have been few and far between.
With Turner and Dowdle each going for just 30 yards on Sunday, it’s obvious that something has got to change to get this offense on track. The team’s inability to run the football is nullifying strong defensive efforts in nearly every game.
The Gamecocks are currently the worst scoring offense in the country, posting just 14.0 points per game — a full 1.2 points behind No. 127 Buffalo. To get off the mat, South Carolina is likely to shake things up at every position outside of wide receiver and tight end. Another change under center wouldn’t shock me at all.
Jake Bentley: Coming Soon?
The weekend’s best teaser wasn’t at New York Comic Con (I mean, c’mon, did you see that Power Rangers trailer? WHERE ARE BULK AND SKULL?), but rather in the halls of Williams Brice.
Muschamp on Jake Bentley: We need to evaluate where we are moving forward. That's at all positions.
— David Cloninger (@DCTheState) October 9, 2016
Could freshman quarterback and former 4-star prospect Jake Bentley be making his debut in two weeks against UMass? With an offense desperate for playmakers, a bye week on the horizon and the next game being a home contest against a non-conference foe, it sure seems like it’s now-or-never for Bentley in 2016.
As someone firmly in the “play for the future” camp earlier this season, albeit the Brandon McIlwain-led future, I’m a fan of throwing Bentley into the fire on Oct. 22 against the Minutemen.
Has QB Perry Orth done anything in particular to justify his move back to No. 2 on the depth chart? No, but he hasn’t made a really strong case to remain entrenched as the starter either.
Redshirting Bentley gives the would-be high school senior another year to learn and grow and puts a year between he and fellow frosh signal caller McIlwain. But conversely, YOLO … as the kids say.
We’re sure to learn more about this potential move as the Gamecocks enter a much-needed bye week.
In Case You Missed It
- The State notes that yesterday was the first Sunday game at Williams Brice since Sept. 29, 1946, a rousing 21-0 throttling of Newberry.
- The Hayden Hurst as punt returner experiment has come to a close, according to The Post and Courier.
- Hale McGranahan has the scoop on 4-star offensive lineman T.J. Moore de-committing from the Gamecocks and re-opening his recruitment.
- The Big Spur says, “The offense can’t get out of its own way.”
- Spurs & Feathers with a look at wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s promising play (when healthy).
- The Daily Gamecock applauds the athletic department’s handling of Hurricane Matthew.
A theory on Muschamp’s mysterious bloody face…
Watching his terrible football team play made Will Muschamp's face bleed https://t.co/BPP60eQnXM
— Danny Garrison (@DannyLGarrison) October 10, 2016
Could this be the reason behind the Gamecocks’ recent run of bad luck?
You tore down Bojangles and now the chicken curse is back.
— Chris Gillespie (@LivinNThePast) October 9, 2016
Where was MY personalized Gamecock comic when I was looking at USC???
South Carolina game today ? pic.twitter.com/NhTY5MthmP
— Matthew DaShawn Hill (@Matt_D_Hill) October 9, 2016
Good to see a media member sharing my blind optimism.
— Matt Connolly (@MattatTheState) October 10, 2016
The Gamecocks’ Sunday afternoon tilt was warmly received by the Twitter collective.
Football fans reveled in the smooth vocal stylings of Brett Musburger on a lazy Sunday, perhaps a welcomed change to the less colorful, more low-key NFL broadcasts?
Brent Musberger calling an SEC game on a Sunday afternoon? Please and thank you.
— Jeremy Reeder (@TheJeremyReeder) October 9, 2016
The Non-Rev Report
- South Carolina women’s soccer team tops Arkansas in Top-25 showdown. With the win, the Gamecocks snag sole possession of first place in the SEC.
- It wasn’t a completely fruitless weekend against UGA. The Gamecock equestrian team defeated the Bulldogs Sunday morning.
- The beach volleyball and men’s soccer teams took advantage of their time off from classes and practice to aid in Hurricane Matthew relief.
— Gamecock Beach VB (@GamecockBeachVB) October 7, 2016
Gamecocks in the Pros
The Muschamp-led squad weren’t the only Gamecocks playing yesterday, here are some top performances from former players in the NFL…
- DE Jadeveon Clowney (Houston Texans) vs. Minnesota Vikings – 7 solo tackles in a 31-13 loss
- WR Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears) vs. Indianapolis Colts – 5 catches, 77 yards in a 29-23 loss
- DE Devin Taylor (Detroit Lions) vs. Philadelphia Eagles – 3 solo tackles, 1 sack in a 24-23 win
Devin Taylor sack https://t.co/hxqa9Wp3Mz
— Detroit Lions Vines (@DetroitVines) October 9, 2016
Yardbirds (Gamecocks in the MLB)
If you’re like me, your team was horrible and is moving to the suburbs (Braves). That’s where that quip ends, thankfully.
Without a real rooting interest in the playoffs, I find myself cheering on former Gamecocks that are lucky enough to make it to the postseason.
- 1B Justin Smoak (Toronto Blue Jays) – 1 AB, 0 H, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO vs. Baltimore/Texas in ALWC/ALDS
- OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (Boston Red Sox) – 6 AB, 0 H, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 5 SO vs. Cleveland in ALDS
Inaugural Gamecocks World Champ
As a wrestling fan (don’t you dare you judge me), I’m going to be giving out a figurative Gamecocks title belt every so often here in Chicken & Waffles. Daily or weekly, I don’t decide when the challenge is laid out. All I do is call it like I see it.
So, your inaugural champion from the Gamecocks universe … star of the Netflix series Marvel’s Luke Cage, Luke Cage himself, Mr. Mike Colter. The Columbia native (and rumored FSU fan) graduated from USC in 2009 with a degree in theater.
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) July 21, 2016
Could JBJ come for the strap with a strong postseason performance? Does Dawn Staley have what it takes to become No. 1 contender with another huge commitment? Is Darius English primed for a title shot as he racks up the sacks? Time will tell, but if he’s anything like his on-screen counterpart, Colter could be tough to topple.