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Gamecock Defense might be the most underrated in the conference...

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#1
cocky4ever

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http://www.saturdayd...sec-underrated/


Linebacker was supposed to be an area of weakness last season for South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney-led defense, an inexperienced group led by newcomers and late-bloomers.

By the end of a third consecutive 11-win campaign however, two of the Gamecocks’ top three tacklers were linebackers while a third, spur Sharrod Golightly, led the team in fumble recoveries and all non-defensive linemen in tackles for loss.

Skai Moore, a rangy linebacker who inspired the Gamecocks with a team-leading four interceptions and 56 tackles as a freshman, is a focal point on a new-look defense faced with the arduous task of replacing five starters.

“We’re all our brother’s keeper and we all have each other’s backs,” Moore said after Tuesday’s first day in pads. “We know the talent that we have in our linebacker room and we’re just confident about each other playing together.”


Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward expressed after last week’s first fall practice that “there’s a little something different” about this year’s team, acknowledging his players’ business-like approach and togetherness.

The Gamecocks, preseason Eastern Division favorites, are confident they’ll be just as good defensively as they were last season, but that same level of conviction hasn’t been expressed nationally.

Steve Spurrier’s recently voiced his displeasure with Moore not being voted preseason All-SEC, but the Cooper City, Fla., native says isn’t bothered by the lack of notoriety. He’s using it as motivation as the leader of a defense many are expecting to take a step back thanks to a youth-laden secondary and the loss of two All-Americans up front.

South Carolina’s linebacking corps, its strongest and most experienced level on defense, boasts an abundance of talent for the first time in years. The rotation features Moore, Golightly, Kaiwan Lewis, Marcquis Roberts and Jonathan Walton and will lead by example.

“We know the defense really looks to us to put them in the right position,” Moore said. “They (expect us) to have their back and make plays when something happens.”


Up front, the Gamecocks don’t anticipate a drop in production.

With 85 percent of the defensive playbook already installed, Ward said Tuesday he was impressed with the competition in the trenches during the “Oklahoma” drill and praised his team’s depth along the defensive line.

Tackle J.T. Surratt’s one of the top returning players and the coaching staff’s expecting a breakout season from Darius English who added 20 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-7, 250-pound frame during the offseason.

“We feel like we have good football players and we want to make sure we practice toughness,” Ward said. “I thought the defensive line really came off the ball and showed that we can win our gap and beat the main in front of us. We normally don’t do the Oklahoma drill in the fall camp, but coach (Spurrier) wanted us to get a little tougher. So we did it today and it was a good drill.”

Early in camp, Ward and secondary coach Grady Brown surprisingly haven’t seemed worried about the loss of veteran corners Jimmy Legree and Victor Hampton at the back end. Early-impact true freshmen Chris Lammons, Wesley Green and Al Harris Jr. have picked up their responsibilities quickly in coverage, which could allow multi-year starter and senior Brison Williams to move back to his familiar safety spot by the opener against Texas A&M after working at corner during the spring and first few fall practices.

“It didn’t take them long to show that they can play,” Spurrier said.


If Lammons, Green or Harris plays the first snap on defense against the Aggies, they’ll become the Gamecocks’ first true freshman starting corner since Stephon Gilmore in 2009.

Added Brown: “Whoever is playing the best, those are the guys that will start the game. Oftentimes it’s not about who starts, but who finishes the game; who makes the tackles during the game. Starting is just one play, so it’s about who is making the plays to help us play well on defense to help us win the ball game.”

While most are quick to discredit South Carolina’s defense as a strength following Clowney’s departure, the Gamecocks are confident this year’s group could be even better.



#2
bbqit

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Wtf is underrated about USC? We all didn't choose ya 10 or 11 wins cause we didn't think something about your team wasn't good
Du-te la dracu 'LSU

#3
cocky4ever

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View Postbbqit, on 06 August 2014 - 07:14 PM, said:

Wtf is underrated about USC? We all didn't choose ya 10 or 11 wins cause we didn't think something about your team wasn't good


But going into the season I'd say a lot of people are expecting SC to have the 6th or 7th(or worse) defense in the conference. It could surprise some people.....hopefully.

#4
bbqit

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View Postcocky4ever, on 06 August 2014 - 07:22 PM, said:




But going into the season I'd say a lot of people are expecting SC to have the 6th or 7th(or worse) defense in the conference.

Don't see that
Du-te la dracu 'LSU

#5
cocky4ever

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View Postbbqit, on 07 August 2014 - 05:05 AM, said:



Don't see that

So if they do would that mean they were underrated??

#6
bbqit

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View Postcocky4ever, on 07 August 2014 - 05:11 AM, said:



So if they do would that mean they were underrated??

If they end up with the 6th or 7th defense it means I had them over rated
Du-te la dracu 'LSU

#7
cocky4ever

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View Postbbqit, on 07 August 2014 - 05:14 AM, said:



If they end up with the 6th or 7th defense it means I had them over rated

Smart man.



It seems like a lot of the talk is about Bama, LSU, Ole Miss, MSU, UF, and even UGA. I can't remember the last time SC wasn't in the top half of the conference in defense though.

#8
zartan

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I chose a 9-3 record for the Cocks because I don't buy this argument
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#9
ALA2262

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By unit, Phil Steele says:

The DL lose arguably their top 3 and look less talented in 2014.

LB, by the end of last year, the 3 deep was made up of 1 Jr, 3 Soph, and the rest Fr so naturally this unit is vastly more experienced.

DB, despite going from 3 returning starters to 2, they don't lose a #2DC like last year, so I'll call them equal.



#10
Based Potato

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It looks like the Chavis defenses of the early to mid 00's. Good front seven, solid safeties, liability at CB.
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View PostHoganknows, on 23 June 2013 - 05:47 AM, said:

Tennessee will rise to the top very soon

#11
ALA2262

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SC Total Defense ranked #19 nationally in 2013. Fifth in the SEC, behind #5 Bama, #8 UF, #15 LSU, and #18 MSU. Don't see why they would be any better or any worse than that in 2014.

http://stats.ncaa.or..._sport_year_div

Edited by ALA2262, 07 August 2014 - 06:46 AM.


#12
cocky4ever

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View PostALA2262, on 07 August 2014 - 06:45 AM, said:

SC Total Defense ranked #19 nationally in 2013. Fifth in the SEC, behind #5 Bama, #8 UF, #15 LSU, and #18 MSU. Don't see why they would be any better or any worse than that in 2014.

http://stats.ncaa.or..._sport_year_div


I'd be happy with that

#13
bbqit

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View Postcocky4ever, on 07 August 2014 - 05:21 AM, said:



Smart man.



It seems like a lot of the talk is about Bama, LSU, Ole Miss, MSU, UF, and even UGA. I can't remember the last time SC wasn't in the top half of the conference in defense though.

They and msu will have good defenses. Stats will be padded on certain games so don't let stats fool you. Game plan, half time adjustments and execution determine how good you really are once you have the players.
Du-te la dracu 'LSU

#14
DJSdawg

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View Postcocky4ever, on 07 August 2014 - 06:47 AM, said:




I'd be happy with that

That would be top half and it could still be good.






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