South Carolina's preseason can be defined by one word. LATTIMORE. Marcus Lattimore's commitment to USC gives fans what we have been missing for a long time, a substantial running game. While QB Stephen Garcia has shown steady improvement while at South Carolina, having the 91st ranked rushing attack in the NCAA put extra pressure on Garcia to carry the offense. USC FB Patrick DiMarco praised Lattimore's work ethic in coming out and doing everything coaches have asked for. As a fan, I think the addition of Lattimore to a young but experienced team may give us enough to break the glass ceiling of the SEC East. The feeling is that there is a two year window the Gamecocks have to do the unthinkable and make the SEC Championship game. In Spurrier's tenure at Carolina he has brought Carolina to a level of play where USC has a chance to win every game on the schedule. Spurrier is known as a genius in the passing game however his most successful year have come when he had a great running game at his disposal. At this point in time Lattimore is not expected to be the starter, but a lot could change during camp.
With great additions such as Lattimore some fat must be trimmed from the team. Reserve offensive lineman and one of the top recruits of the 2009 class returned home to Asheville, NC choosing his girlfriend over football. Backup QB Zac Brindise joins the list of Quarterbacks fleeing USC. Reid McCollum, and Aramis Hillary both have transfered this offseason. Brindise is expected to transfer to Western Carolina. According to The State newspaper Defensive Lines coach Brad Lawing states that Defensive Tackle Ronald Byrd may be out the door as well. Lawing's quote "He's not doing everything he is supposed to do. We're not going to mess around with that." The future does not look good for the redshirt freshman from LaGrange, GA.
The first three game times have been set. First game is against Southern Miss at home on ESPN Thursday night September 2nd at 7:30. Game two against those nasty Georgia Bulldogs is a noon kick on either ESPN or the Duce. The third game is a home game against the Paladins of Furman University. A 7pm kick and our one PPV game of the year. Going into the Auburn game 3-0 would be a great start however Southern Miss and Georgia are two teams not to be overlooked.