The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock football continues to search for its identity

Gamecock players singing the school song “We Hail Thee Carolina” during the Kentucky game.
Gamecock players singing the school song “We Hail Thee Carolina” during the Kentucky game.

Following a 16-10 loss to Kentucky, the South Carolina football team continues to search for an established identity. 

The Gamecocks are 2-2 so far this season and head into a match-up where its offense will be put to a test. The Troy Trojans have the fifth-best defense in the country and are led by the FBS leader in sacks, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Javon Solomon. 

South Carolina knows it has to tweak the game plan on both sides of the ball to make the necessary adjustments for the game Saturday. 

“We're constantly trying to find the right combinations and the right plays and the right personnels, and we haven’t had any consistent success on offense,” Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said during his weekly press conference Wednesday.

Satterfield is right, the Gamecocks have not found success on offense this season. The run game, which was supposed to be a strength for this team, is underperforming. 

So far this season, the team has 503 rush yards. If you take away the 254 yards accumulated against Eastern Illinois, the team has totaled 249 yards on the ground in its last three games. 

“We’re not running the ball the way we should, obviously,” Satterfield said. “Some of it’s the o-line, some of it’s the play call... it’s all little layers and pebbles and nuggets of just little things that drive you absolutely insane, it’s not cohesive yet,” 

Satterfield believes this issue will lessen as the team starts to come together and establish an identity. South Carolina wants to be a team that runs the ball while playing quickly and physically. 

“We're going to be physical, tough, we’re going to run the football, we’re going to play-action pass, utilize the screen game, get the ball to the perimeter, let our receivers make plays,” Satterfield said. “We’re not there yet, but we will get there.” 

While the offense is working out its kinks, the Gamecocks defense is looking to build on its success and continue to improve in the areas it has struggled. 

South Carolina has forced 10 turnovers so far this season. The defense knows how important it is to get the offense the ball, so the team spends plenty of time at practice working on this. 

“It’s one of those things you just want to keep harping on as a football team. We do ball security drills as a team every single day,” Defensive coordinator Clayton White said. “Every single day you’ll hear coach Beamer, myself, every coach, managers, everybody yelling punch to the ball out, strip it out,”

The Gamecocks shut down Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, holding him to 102 pass yards, his fewest all season. The defense kept South Carolina in the game Saturday and will need to continue to play at this level this week against Troy. 

The defense hasn’t been perfect though. While the team’s run defense hasn’t been a big issue so far, against Kentucky it was a noticeable problem. 

"You just got to continue working on the things that we talk about, obviously we have to be great in our gaps, be great at getting off blocks… we have to do a great job of changing the math,” White said. 

South Carolina has improvements to make on both sides of the ball. The team acknowledges this from top to bottom and believes that it will all come together in due time. Until then, all the team can do is go out, give it its best, then go back to practice and adjust accordingly. 


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