Tales From The Cockpit: Down But Not Out

Mike Venditti
November 14, 2018 - 4:15 pm
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Crushing.

Inexcusable.

Frustrating.

These are all words that us South Carolina faithful have used to describe the Gamecocks' 35-31 loss to the Florida Gators last Saturday in The Swamp. 

Carolina seemed to snatch defeat from the hands of victory as they blew a late lead in Gainesville and allowed the Gators to bounce back from what was about to be a full-on downward spiral of their season.

Of course, immediately after the collapse on the field, the cries for Will Muschamp's job rang out on social media and the "told you so" tweets rained down (or up) from Gator fans....but I'm still not having it. 

Any of it.

Has there been a lot to be frustrated about as a Gamecock fan these past three years...of course, but does it warrant moving on from the Boom Era already? 

Absolutely not!

With a win over Chattanooga this Saturday, the Gamecocks are bowl eligible for the 3rd straight time under Muschamp.  Something that has never been done by any coach at South Carolina in their first three years in the job.  Also, a 7 or 8-win season this year not only gives Boom more wins in 3-seasons than Spurrier had, but it also gives him a better record in his 3rd season as Spurrier finished 6-6 in his. 

Sure, things are a bit different these days, but remember, Muschamp took over a team that had gone 3-9 and lost to The Citadel the year before and Lou Holtz left Spurrier a 6-win team.

There is talent on this roster right now, there is more talent on the way and I for one am not willing to sit through another coaching search of endless rumors just to get another partially proven coach that has to start from scratch, yet again.

Coach Boom has earned more time and to be honest, it's time for fans to give it to him.

Things really aren't that bad for the Gamecocks.

Most of us were hoping for another step forward this season and I really think we saw it on the field, even if the team's record doesn't show it.

The offense has been much better this year than in the first two seasons under Muschamp and contrary to popular belief, Jake Bentley has been pretty solid when healthy. 

Dropped passes and missed tackles have killed this team in 2018.

As a defensive coach, the poor tackling does fall on Muschamp and really the defensive performance as a whole. Should this put some heat on Muschamp's seat heading into his 4th season in 2019, of course...but it doesn't warrant him losing his job now.

The dropped passes will have to be addressed by Bryan McClendon and the offensive staff this off-season, but I don't see that continuing with the talent the Gamecocks have at that position. 

This Gamecocks team only definitively lost one game, that was to Georgia in week 2 when the Bulldogs simply outclassed Carolina. 

The other loses came as the Gamecocks fell apart late against Texas A&M, couldn't keep pace with Kentucky and folded in the end against Florida.  Looking at the rankings and the way the 2018 season has played out...those aren't that bad of loses.

The 5th and final loss (hopefully) will more than likely come at the hands of the one team that analyst give a chance to unseat the Crimson Tide this season...and as much as it sucks for us as Gamecock fans, we have to admit that Clemson is that team and our boys will have to pull the miracle of all miracles in Death Valley to collect the beyond unlikely W next week.

So right now, to look at things in a more positive light, we have to view Chattanooga and Akron as wins number 6 and 7, be happy about our Gamecocks earning another bowl bid and once again enjoy some post-season football drinking, eating and cheering on our boys.

I'll take that and keep my cautious optimism alive for at least one more off-season....but if nothing has changed by November 14, 2019, then let's talk about what's next.

Until then, Go Gamecocks!

Forever To Thee.

-Ditti

Find me on Facebook (/InsideTheMindOfDitti), Instagram (dittius33) and Twitter (@Ditti33).  Any and all feedback is welcomed....as long as you aren't vile.

 

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