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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Midseason report: South Carolina

By Edward Aschoff

SOUTH CAROLINA

Record: 6-1 (4-1 SEC)

Well before the season started, you could hear the Head Ball Coach chirping. Steve Spurrier was talking so everyone could hear, and he only does that when he knows his team is pretty good.

And he was right.

Despite having a running back that was coming back from a season-ending knee injury, a young secondary and a quarterback with a hairline fracture in his throwing shoulder, Spurrier’s Gamecocks are 6-1 and No. 7 in the BCS. The Gamecocks haven’t been flashy, but have been very balanced with how they use Connor Shaw and Marcus Lattimore. Even though neither is 100 percent, both have been extremely effective and Shaw’s ability to extend plays with his legs makes this offense that much better.

The defense has been pretty good thus far. While it was gashed by LSU’s running game in the loss to the Tigers, this unit is extremely talented, especially up front. When the defense is on, it’s hard to get much on it.

The Gamecocks do have to get improvement from the offensive line. It has been inconsistent all season, and was pushed around in the loss to LSU. We all know poor line play is a recipe for disaster in this league. South Carolina was rattled against LSU last week, and both Spurrier and Jadeveon Clowney wondered aloud if players were scared. That fear better dissipate quickly, because Atlanta is still in sight.

Offensive MVP: Shaw: He’s playing with a fracture in his throwing shoulder and doesn’t seem to care. Shaw has proven to be one of the league’s toughest players, and he had been very efficient before the LSU game. He’s passing for 151.7 yards per game, but is also rushing for another 47 and has 10 total touchdowns.

Defensive MVP: Clowney: Some around the league think he might be the best player in the SEC, regardless of position. He can play multiple positions, but all he wants to do is tackle anything and everything in the opposing backfield. He’s second in the SEC with 6.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss.