Honesty Hour: Evaluating hot takes after Vanderbilt game

Well, file last week under absolutely insane. Between the changing of the guard with Steve Spurrier and Shawn Elliott and the team trying to prepare for an SEC game, fans barely had enough time to buy their commemorative visors.

Now, the Gamecocks have a bye week and fans are left to crochet, finish their “Forever to Steve” mementos or whatever happens during the wasteland that is an open date.

One thing it definitely gives is more time to react and let Shawn Elliott’s first performance as head coach swish around our heads.

The Gamecocks got their first SEC win and stopped their two-game skid with a 19-10 win over Vanderbilt. Here are some hot takes after Elliott’s victory and how valid those takes are going forward in this week’s Honesty Hour.

Shawn Elliott is the real deal

Yeah, absolutely. Coming into the game, Elliott was well liked by players and a proven winner from his time at Appalachian State. He showed his intensity throughout the game and his team a had a little bit of added swagger it seems like, evident by the players jumping up and down during Sandstorm and on third downs. He called the game well, and if not for a few dropped passes, he could have put up a few more points in his head-coaching debut. His team’s amped up intensity helped vault the team to the 19-10, and his likability showed during the mosh pit in the locker room afterwards with Elliott at the middle of it.

The defense finally showed some promise

Yes and no. They showed promise because they forced five turnovers, but the same problems still plagued the team throughout the game. Vanderbilt running back Darrius Sims slashed his way through the defense for 104 on six carries, and defenders didn’t know where their assignments were some times, including on the lone Commodore touchdown. On the bright side, the line had six quarterback hurries, the most its had all season. Marquavius Lewis also played well with four tackles, two for a loss and one sack.

The offense is still just as sluggish, with or without Spurrier

Yes. You can change coaches, schemes, play calls, whatever, but if the top-level talent isn’t there, it’s hard to change an offense midseason. Aside from Pharoh Cooper (duh.) and Brandon Wilds, the offense didn’t muster up much. The team had a season-high 424, but take away the 78-yard touchdown by Cooper and even just half of Wilds’ 119 yards, the Gamecocks only amassed 286 yards. Take away Cooper’s 160 total receiving yards and the team only caught for 112 yards, including some major drops from Matrick Belton and Jerell Adams. Yes, without Wilds and Cooper (who seem to have their best games when wearing black) the Gamecocks may not have won that game, but lucky for South Carolina, the two were able to suit up and play.

Now, let those thoughts and theories sink in as you enjoy a week without the heart problems that come from watching college football.