Saturday, October 24, 2009

USC Advances As Criticism Continues

The USC Football Team may not yet be the 1984 "Black Magic" squad, nor the 1969 ACC Championship group, but the 2009 gridiron gang is an aggressive group of talented young athletes being led by a few upperclassmen who believe they can play with anybody and are giving us efforts to prove critics wrong and provide the younger talent with inspiration. Steve Spurrier brought a genius of a football mind to Columbia SC four years ago and like the US Marine Corp, he is looking for a few good men (In this case, a few good young men) to carry out the precision necessary to complete plays designed to take advantage of trying to out think or out coach the Ol' Ball Coach.  If you are a true student of the game, in most case the down field plays he calls are there, but over throws, under throws, no throws, route cutting, and misreads have left the Gamecock leader grimacing and toying within his visor to calibrate and harness his frustration.  Even the efforts of Coach Spurrier to be patient with his young players has begun to pay dividends, as the 23 ranked Gamecocks enter week 8 with an opportunity to continue a dream season and exceed the win total predicted by many local critics in the media and the general public, not to include the SEC performance predictions.  Even the mid-season national ranking is being taken lightly, a place the program has not seen as often as losing seasons and national obscurity.

While the season is far from over and the team goals have not yet been reached, the performance of the team warrants a little more complimentary response and supportive encouragement.  Playing solid football this season winning 5 of even games and just a few player execution plays away from winning 7 of 7, which includes the close loss to now #1 Alabama, and the same season that adds a solid win against then 4th ranked Ole Miss.  Playing a top 10 toughest schedule this year leaves the Gamecocks sporting a schedule that will see this team visit the #1 team in the country and host the #2 and 4th ranked teams in the country in the same season.  While results are not in the Cocks are off to a great start of a season and another leg in the journey to building the much desired strong, respectable and potential championship program. 

If you hadn't noticed like others around the league and on the national sports desks, name like; Norwood, Geathers, Jeffery, Garcia, Culliver, Miles, Gurley, Saunders are becoming household names in scouting reports and players to watch.  The program through recruiting, coaching staff adjustments, player accountability, leadership motivation and player commitments has moved USC one, if not, two steps closer to the national prominence that all supporters in Gamecock nation having been craving for decades.  The time is near, don't let the nations economy cause your focus on sports to be too critical and miss the positive advancement of the team and the personal efforts of its players and coaches. 

Did you know that USC ranks 19th in the country in total defense, with Alabama (1), Florida (2) and Tennessee (12) sporting better defensive rankings.  They are 5th in pass defense, trailing only Florida (2) and Vanderbilt (3) of SEC schools in this national superlative.  USC is 6 touchdowns away from a top 25 offense, touchdowns called back due to individual mental mistakes along with 6 plays over 20 yards negated for similar reasons.  The result, 5-2,2-2 in the toughest football conference in America and favored by 12 points to go 6-2, 3-2 Saturday against an undermanned Vanderbilt team. 

Steve Spurrier was hired to revive a football program, synonymous to Rehabilitation.  If you understand rehab, it take a series of steps, consistent and diligent commitment to extra activity and taking the improvements, change and rehab "one day at a time".  So what am I trying to say?  Be patient the rehab process is working, so lets be a part of the support group, the team is doing their part they are just a few plays way from possible greatness.

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