Discussion

Gamecocks could have elite offense

If Spurrier can get his QB to reach his potential, there may be no stopping S.C.

Updated: August 17, 2010, 1:33 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Steve Spurrier's professional football alter ego is Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Both coaches run a high-risk/high-reward passing game and believe in the benefit of placing a lot of pressure on players to run the system exactly as structured.

When these philosophies work, it can be a thing of beauty. Martz's Greatest Show on Turf offense helped lead the St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowl berths, and his constant cajoling was one of the main reasons Roy Williams had his best season as a professional player when Martz was offensive coordinator for Detroit in 2006.

The problem is that when these tactics don't work, they can be disastrous. The most costly example of this was Martz's unwillingness to change his game plan in Super Bowl XXXVI. His stubbornness in sticking with the passing game instead of attacking the New England Patriots' nickel and dime packages with runs almost certainly helped cost St. Louis a win in that contest.

Spurrier is at the same kind of all-or-nothing crossroads with his junior quarterback, Stephen Garcia. In taking a closer look at this situation, it is easy to see how this approach could be quite a detriment to the championship chances of the 2010 Gamecocks. The surprising thing is that if the move succeeds, the numbers indicate South Carolina could actually end up with one of the best passing games in the SEC.

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