Last week, I reassured Gamecock Nation that the sky was not falling. When the Gamecocks went down to Georgia, they did everything they could to prove me wrong. I think the time has come for everyone, including the most ardent believers in South Carolina, to admit a hard truth: The Gamecocks are in trouble.
Over the past four years, Steve Spurrier has pulled in the 19th, 16th, 16th and 19th ranked recruiting classes, according to Rivals. So if the Gamecocks have Top 20 talent, why are they performing so poorly? Well, let’s look at some of that talent.
There are seven four-star recruits nowhere to be found on the Gamecocks depth chart. There are at least 10 three-star recruits missing in action. We’re not talking about guys who have graduated or left early for the draft. We’re talking about guys who either weren’t developed, were highly overrated or are simply no longer with the team.
Following the 2014 season, 10 players left USC for various reasons. Several recruits decided they wanted to play elsewhere as well. At this point, regardless of what you might think of Steve Spurrier, it appears it might be time to start looking to replace the HBC. His age wasn’t a factor until he said he would be around two or three more years, and even correcting that hasn’t seemed to help.
The SEC is the toughest conference in college football and the Gamecocks’ road isn’t going to get any easier.
Following the Gamecocks’ “clobbering,” as Steve Spurrier put it, by Georgia, the team and fans are searching for any positive signs they can find. Spurrier commended his kickers on their performances, but was then forced to look to the game’s announcers to find any other quality performances. Look for several new starters on both offense and defense as the coaches look to shake things up.
The biggest change this week will be Lorenzo Nunez getting the start. Lorenzo Nunez completed four of his five attempts, but for less than 20 yards. Nunez brings perhaps the best opportunity to move the offense with his athleticism, but Spurrier has had him buried on the depth chart behind both Connor Mitch and Perry Orth.
Orth did say this week that he expects to play, and against a struggling team like the University of Central it would certainly be beneficial to get as many players on the field as possible. Perry Orth completed only six of 17 passes, but saw several quality passes dropped by his receivers.
It’s not all bad news this week though. The Gamecocks will host a school capable of restoring some positive feelings this week when Central Florida (0-3) comes to town. The Knights are coming off a loss to Furman and haven’t been able to muster much in the way of offense.
That doesn’t mean USC should take anything lightly, they will need to play their best if they hope to get the win.
James Inabinet is the Customer Service Representative for The Herald Independent and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.