The Daily Gamecock

Behind Enemy Lines with The Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope Sports Editor Tripp Larsen answers The Daily Gamecock's five questions Read More


1. What kind of attitude has Garrick McGee brought to UAB?

Garrick McGee has brought a fresh attitude and, for the first time in a while, a positive attitude toward UAB football. UAB has trouble gaining fan support, located between the winners of the last three national championships, Alabama and Auburn, but he has the city talking Blazer athletics again.

2. Since Arkansas’s offense was so successful against the Gamecocks with McGee as the coordinator, are the Blazers feeling confident about replicating that this weekend?

UAB understands that it would be foolish to think it will be easy to go into Williams-Brice Stadium and move the football easily. However, the players here believe in themselves.

3. Does UAB have an answer for Marcus Lattimore? Which quarterback are the Blazers preparing for?

On stopping Lattimore, McGee said in the press conference, “The way you stop any offense is you play fundamentally sound, you understand your techniques and your schemes and you anticipate which plays are about to be run. You have to win on the first down so that you push them into a second down and a long situation, and that gives you the best chance. But it all starts with being focused understanding our scheme, understanding what they are going to do on offense, playing with the right leverage and tackling.”

On the quarterback situation, he said, “What the film says is that they are a lot more aggressive as an offense. What quarterback (Dylan) Thompson gave them was an opportunity to throw the ball a lot more, which gave Lattimore more room to run. I think what (Connor) Shaw brings to the table is that he’s a competitor and he’s a winner. He’s very tough and competitive. For him to play that [Vanderbilt] game with a hurt shoulder and understand that it was a conference game, he had to sell out right then to win a conference game on the road, and he was able to hang in there and do it. [That] shows a lot to me.”

As for me, obviously you have to scheme around Connor Shaw’s running ability. He carried the team last year once Lattimore was injured, but Thompson has the more accurate arm. It is great to have a dual-threat like USC has, and it will be tough to shut down. Communication is the key to a strong defense.

4. How many times has UL-Monroe’s upset of Arkansas been mentioned this week? What would a win over USC mean for the program and McGee?

It has been mentioned, but no one is really focusing on it. UAB has beaten big-name programs before, including a win over Nick Saban’s LSU team, and it took Tennessee into three overtimes in a game where our kicker missed five field goals, beating the Volunteers in nearly every statistic except for field goal percentage. So UAB knows it has the ability to play with big-time programs, as hopefully we’ll see this week against USC and next week as they take on the Ohio State.

5. Prediction time — who ya got?

The speed, power and depth of the SEC may prove to be too much for UAB. I can see the Blazers hanging around for the first three quarters, but with the lack of depth and inability to stop the run, I think USC will win this one pretty safely.