Q&A: Cock Talk with Garnet and Black Attack

Every week we like to check in with a fellow SEC blogger to get a different perspective on the upcoming game. As you may heard, this Saturday's matchup is kind of a big one, so we're especially pleased to share the following Q&A with Gamecock Man from the excellent South Carolina blog, Garnet and Black Attack. And, be sure to check our answers to his questions over at G&BA. Enjoy!

Recent history shows that the Gamecocks tend to start strong and then fade in November. Is this the year you avoid the swoon, or do you see it coming again? And either way, what does that answer mean for Steve Spurrier's future?

Whether we avoid it this year or not remains to be seen, of course. However, I do think the chances of it happening are better than they have been in the past. One thing that many folks (cough*UGA fans*cough) oftentimes leave out regarding the infamous Carolina November swoon is that the teams Carolina plays in late October and early November are all tough teams that give most programs problems--Tennessee, Florida, and, yes, even Arkansas, although you'll grant that you're not exactly in Florida territory. Carolina may tend to tally up most of its losses late in the season, but it's not like we're going into most of these games as favorites and then totally wetting the bed. We're usually just losing to the teams that are supposed to beat us. That should be a bit different this year. Out of the typical Tennessee-Arkansas-Florida-Clemson run, only Arkansas looks to have a team approaching or measurably better than the norm. Combine that with the fact that Carolina looks a bit better than usual, and I think you have the recipe for a strong finish in Columbia. We'll see, of course, but that's the way I see it right now.

As far as Spurrier's future goes, I think it depends on who you ask. Most fans, I think, would be happy with a respectable finish of 3-1 or, at worst, 2-2. There are some out there that don't want anything worse than winning out and making a good showing in the SEC Title Game, but they're probably in the minority. One thing is certain, though--1-3, which would mean another embarrassing loss to a struggling Clemson team, would be unacceptable to just about everyone. I'm not sure if the administration would fire Spurrier over that, but I probably would be pretty apathetic to calls for his head at that point, as much as I've defended him over the past few years. There's just no excuse for anything less than eight regular-season wins at this point.

What's a more favorable offensive matchup, the Hogs' passing attack vs the Cocks' passing defense, or the Cocks' ground game vs the Hogs' rushing defense?

Well, there's probably no more favorable offensive matchup in the country than the Hogs' passing attack against the Cocks' passing defense. We've been atrocious this year, and if we play anything like we did against Tennessee, I expect Mallett to throw for around 400 yards with multiple 35+ TDs. The one reason that I'm holding out hope that we'll do better this weekend is that there really is some good athletic talent in our defensive backfield--the problem hasn't been not having the right kind of talent, it's been inexplicable mental snafus and the like. When we're not committing mind bending busted coverages, we're generally pretty good. Of course, part of the problem here is that we lack depth, and spending too many minutes on the field has probably taken its toll, especially on SS DeVonte Holloman, who more or less never comes out of the game and has, not coincidentally, been the culprit in some infamous late game mix-ups. Still, I think a little more focus could go a long way with these guys--the talent is in place.

Who's more awesome, Alshon Jeffery or Marcus Lattimore? Why?

I'm not really sure which one is more awesome--I guess I'd have to go with both there; it kind of depends on which game we're talking about. Lattimore was the flavor du jour against Georgia and Tennessee, while Jeffery was the big man on campus after Alabama. As far as who is more important to the team, though, I'm going with Lattimore. Lattimore has really made an inestimable difference with this team, changing 2009's one-dimensional offense into a truly well-rounded, effective one. We wouldn't be where we are now without him, and I look for him to have a big game Saturday.

What South Carolina defensive players need to step up and have a big game to slow down the Razorbacks in a potential shootout? Which players on the Gamecocks' D will drive Hog fans particularly crazy?

Well, all of the defensive backs need to play better than they have been, with Holloman, Stephon Gilmore, and C.C. Whitlock needing particularly big games in this one. The reasons should be obvious, given our pass defense woes.

Hogs fans should also keep a close eye on Gamecocks DEs Devin Taylor and Cliff Matthews. Taylor is a rising star and one of the conference's top sack artists, while Matthews is a mainstay who was having a slow year before he exploded against Tennessee. If they can get constant pressure on Mallett, they could help assuage the bleeding in the secondary.

Arkansas and South Carolina both joined the SEC in the same year, both have awesomely weird mascots and both tend to drive their fanbases crazy by shooting themselves in the foot at the worst possible time. Please discuss.

The only thing I have to say is that this series needs a nickname of some sort. The Farmyard Brawl? The Other vs. the Real White Meat? The Trenching of the Sty and the Coop? Maybe the humor of a good nickname could add a little spice to this series and give us something to laugh about as our SEC Title dreams go down the drain each year.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Arkansas Fight

You must be a member of Arkansas Fight to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arkansas Fight. You should read them.

Join Arkansas Fight

You must be a member of Arkansas Fight to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arkansas Fight. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker