In this new piece called Honesty Hour, I’ll go over some of the biggest takeaways from Saturday’s game and see if there is any truth to them.
1. Lorenzo Nunez is the real deal
That’s the truth. Nunez put up 307 yards of offense, which is roughly 77 percent of the Gamecocks total yardage. He seemed at ease in the Spurrier offense, busting off some big runs and finding the open receivers most of the time. He made some good reads, especially to Jacob August on his first career touchdown pass, and some better throws, the touchdown pass to Pharoh Cooper a prime example. He did miss some deep throws, so he’ll have to get better with that, but he seemed a quality quarterback that could thrive later on in Spurrier’s system.
2. The defense rebounded.
That’s a half-truth, which, according to every parent ever, is just as bad as a lie. So following my dad’s teachings, it’s a lie. The defense looked good and forced its first first-half punt of the season against UCF, which is both relieving and shocking considering it’s the fourth game of the year. The defense also stymied the NCAA-worst Knight offense to 3.8 yards per play. But, on the other hand, it gave up a 93-yard touchdown drive after a silly facemask penalty and a few blown coverages. The defense only gave up 14 points, which is a good sign after Georgia hung half a hundred on it last week. But it still got burned on slants and curl routes all game, just like last week. So, while the defense showed some improvement, I’ll be more inclined to say it’s a truth if they can duplicate their performance on the road at Missouri.
3. Shon Carson is a serviceable back.
It’s a lie if I’ve ever seen one. Carson has been great this season coming in to relieve starter Brandon Wilds, but with Wilds hurt Carson had to shoulder most of the running back load. He didn’t do it well. And his backup, David Williams, wasn’t much better. The two combined for 67 yards on 21 carries (3.2 yards per carry) and couldn’t do anything against a mediocre Knight defense. Williams had a shining moment when he made a block that sprung Nunez for a big gain, but missed some blitz pickups. It was evident they missed the big, bruising Wilds.
4. The Gamecocks are back on track.
I’ll go ahead and give this a truth. Going into the game Saturday, they weren’t off track terribly, they just didn’t execute well on either side of the ball. But they got a lot of those kinks worked out against UCF. The defensive players seemed to know where their assignments were most of the time and the passing game seemed to get synced up after a dismal Georgia game. And, of course, Elliot Fry and Sean Kelly continue to be the team’s MVPs this season. So if that execution can stay constant or get better, it could mean more than the five wins the team is projected to earn.