COLUMBIA, S.C. — In this SEC Country mailbag, Hale McGranahan takes questions about South Carolina football, recruiting and where things stand after Week 1.
The questions below were received via Twitter and Facebook.
What type of recruiting impact did the win have Saturday?
For South Carolina to keep trending in the right direction on the recruiting trail, they’ve got to show signs of improvement on the field, so that means last season’s 6-6 regular season record needs to improve to 7-5, 8-4 etc.
I didn’t think South Carolina would beat N.C. State, but I did think they would finish this season 7-5, so in my eyes, this is an ideal start. Going into the home opener at 2-0 would be a tremendous boost, especially for a guy like 4-star linebacker Channing Tindall, who’s supposed to make a commitment at some point this month.
It’s certainly helps, that’s for sure.
Should fans expect a similar defensive plan from South Carolina as Week 1?
I think it’s safe to say, yes. As you know, Missouri likes to throw the ball deep and I don’t see South Carolina’s defensive brain trust allowing many, if any opportunities for him to beat them over the top.
Keep it front. Bend, but don’t break. Try to be opportunistic and force a couple of turnovers and see if Jake Bentley, Rico Dowdle and/or Deebo Samuel can go get you some points.
Who do you think we close the class with? Rick Sandidge, Channing Tindall, Dax Hollifield, Dylan Wonnum, Jermaine McMillian, Trajan Jeffcoat: Does that seem like a realistic finish?
At this point, I doubt we’ll see McMillan or Jeffcoat in this class. I just don’t think there will be any room, unless they miss on some of those other guys.
Time will tell with Wonnum, who’s leaning towards Auburn right now. He could be one of those prospect who got tired of hearing everybody say he was lock to go to (insert school) — that happens on occasion. South Carolina has some work to do, to get back in favor, but we’re a long way from December.
I’ve heard from one source who thinks Hollifield will go to South Carolina or Virginia Tech. He’s one prospect who’s really paying attention to what the Gamecocks record is this season. Fortunately, for them, they have a need a linebacker and Hollifield knows it.
Tindall, I think, commits to South Carolina, especially if he makes good on his plan to wrap up his recruitment before the end of the month. While Sandidge wants to prolong the process as long as possible, I think he ends up at South Carolina.
Is South Carolina going to be able to recruit the Big 3 from N.C.?
See above for Hollifield and Sandidge.
As for K.J. Henry, I think we’re still a little ways away from getting a true feel. A lot of folks seem to believe Clemson has the upper hand, but it’s been a while since he was last on campus there — I think since their spring game, but he’ll be back this weekend this weekend for the Auburn game.
Alabama has long been perceived as the biggest threat. Both schools are certainly among the nation’s best programs, so they’ll be tough to top.
But South Carolina is firmly in the mix. I expect the Gamecocks to get him back on campus at some point this weekend for an official visit.
Is N.C. State’s d-line overrated or did the Gamecocks o-line really play that well?
I think South Carolina played pretty well, but they sort of game planned around N.C. State with a lot of quick passes and didn’t try to do too much in the downfield passing game, though they did take some shots.
The Gamecocks didn’t really anticipate getting much yardage on the ground, which, of course, they didn’t.
I don’t think N.C. State’s defensive line is overrated, but I also don’t think South Carolina’s offensive line played particularly great or anything like that, though they didn’t play poorly. The line kept Jake Bentley protected — both sacks were his fault, but he did get pressured on the interception, which was a shot downfield.
What changed defensively in the second half that created all of that pressure on the N.C. State QB?
South Carolina played better on first- and second-down, which didn’t make things so easy for N.C. State on third-down – the Wolfpack went 5 of 8 on third-downs in the first half and converted 4 of 12 in the second.
More manageable distances played a part, but South Carolina’s front four just played better in the second half and they were able to generate more pressure with those guys.
O/U for the amount of wins this year for us to flip at least one of Dorian Gerald, Jaycee Horn or Trey Dean from Tennessee?
For starters, I don’t really anticipate Dean being a flip candidate. As far as Gerald and Horn, both of whom are, I’m not certain if there’s a number of wins to put on it, because I’ve never really gotten the sense that it was a big deal for either one of those guys.
If I was you, I’d be pulling like heck against Tennessee, because if they struggle to finish bowl eligible, that would probably mean a little bit more than South Carolina just winning 8 or 9 games.
Why is our secondary playing back so soft? Also, what about the kicking game? We didn’t get to see it.
Facebook: Jamie Blanton
I think that’s the plan. Don’t let anything get behind you. Keep things in front. Try to be opportunistic when the opportunities for turnovers are presented. I don’t see that changing, especially this week against a Missouri team that likes to throw the ball deep.
Alex Woznick with handle field goals up to about the 40-yard range. Anything that’s beyond that will be kicked by Parker White.
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