CHARLOTTE, N.C. – At the very least, Saturday was a nice tune up for left tackle Malik Young and the rest of the South Carolina football team’s offensive line.
After months of hearing folks talk about how good North Carolina State’s defensive line was, they kept the vaunted unit at bay for much of the Gamecocks 35-28 win over the Wolfpack at Bank of America Stadium.
“They had a really good d-line, honestly. I’ve got the utmost respect for them. They’re well-coached,” Young said. “But at the end of the day, I honestly feel like we’ll play better d-lines in the SEC than what we saw today.
“But this goes back to technique and everything [offensive line] coach [Eric Wolford] has taught me. … Everything coach Wolf taught me worked out there, honestly.”
Preparation, Young added, was key.
“We went over everything so many times, there wasn’t any way we didn’t know anything they were doing,” he said.
N.C. State had 2 sacks, both of which were recorded by blitzing defensive backs.
“It was a big task for them,” quarterback Jake Bentley said of his line.
“Two of the sacks, they brought more than we could pick up. It’s not their fault,” he said. “We’ve got to do things in our concepts, to get the ball out faster – and the one pressure on the interception.
“Other than that, they did an unbelievable job protecting me against a really good d-line.”
10 is back
Once the fourth quarter anxiety dissipated, South Carolina fans got back to worrying about Skai Moore, a feeling they know all too well.
Fortunately, for all Gamecocks, Moore was just fine, after going down on the final defensive series of the day.
“I jumped up for the ball and I just landed on his cleat,” Moore said. “I didn’t want to get up. Coach tells us to stay down, so I stayed down.”
The senior finished with 8 tackles. More importantly, he remains undefeated at the Carolina Panthers stadium.
“We’ve got a young team, a lot of young guys who are inexperienced, a lot of young guys who are getting a first time in a game,” Moore said, “So to come out here and be a senior on this team and bring those young guys up and bring them along and get the win with the other seniors I’ve been here with for so long, it’s a great feeling.”
Yards per play
N.C. State needed 99 plays to total 504 yards of offense, which equates to 5.09 yards per play.
Once the dust settled on the first full college football Saturday of the season, the Wolfpack ranked 77th in the country.
South Carolina’s 50 plays netted 246 yards of offense. The Gamecocks 4.9 yards per play was tied for 84th.
With a few more games left on the Week 1 docket, there’s bound to be some fluctuation, but here’s the point: South Carolina’s defense wasn’t as bad as most might think.
However, playing 99 snaps every week isn’t a formula for success, especially if you’re team that lacks experienced depth and the Gamecocks certainly do, even though a handful of first-year players saw time on Saturday.
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