Taking my previous article to heart, I managed to attend the Vanderbilt game in person. It was the first game I've been to this year.
I was generally not pleased with the experience. Attendance was poor. The crowd in the West Upper was dull. A lady behind me kept telling me to sit down. (Sit down? Are you serious? It's a college football game!) I was wearing shorts and it got cold. One of the guys who I went to the game with broke up with his girlfriend during halftime and I had to listen to them argue for the duration of the second half. I felt like section 307 was a divorce court more than a crowd at an SEC football game.
On the bright side, we won the game. I think that may be the only positive thing that any Gamecocks have had to say since the final knee was taken. "Well, at least we won, even though we played sorry football" is the usual refrain.
Let's get away from that for a second. Some good things happened in this game that we should focus on. If we're going to be a "New Carolina" we should focus on the fact that this year we actually managed to beat Vanderbilt. I'd be all for negativity if we lost, but...
We have a very talented young quarterback. Stephen Garcia is coming along very nicely. I was watching a replay of the game and wondering how much damage Garcia would be able to do if he was standing behind the offensive line of, say, Oklahoma circa 2008. When he can set his feet and deliver the ball he's an accurate passer, and his mobility is an added bonus.
We have a very talented young running back. Kenny Miles is a bruising downhill runner who can break tackles and move a pile like we haven't seen here since Cory Boyd left. He has a low center of gravity and a good strategy- he hits the hole, makes one cut, and puts his head down.
We have a defense that only gave up three points to Vanderbilt throughout the entire game. The defense has now given up one touchdown in the last two games and continues to be one of the best units in the SEC, though there is always use for improvement.
All in all, it wasn't that bad. Gamecock fans always seem to find something to be negative about, but I think we should start focusing on the positives for a change. The Gamecocks have some good things for them and the next four games should be instant classics.