A loss is a loss and there is no getting around the fact that we are 0-2 right now. There will be a great deal written over the next few weeks about all that is bad right now but I am going to keep it to the short and obvious when talking about the negative tonight and try to dwell on the positive.
The Bad - 3 turnovers overs = 21 points given up. Walsh misses a 33 yarder that turned out to be the difference in the game. Being 0-2. Losing 3 out of 5 to Carolina. Six points on three trips inside the Carolina 25 yard line in the first quarter.
The Ugly - Letting a defensive tackle take it to the house from 68 yards out to give up a lead right right before halftime in a game we were dominating. Sack, fumble, touchdown return for touchdown by Carolina when we had the ball with time on the clock and only down 3.
The Good - Despite a few drops several recievers started to step up, primarily Bennett and Mitchell. King also had a great catch for a touchdown. Charles was doubled covered the entire game and after what he did against Boise I expect teams to double him every game until the other recievers prove that they can beat you. Wooten had a touchdown as well. The fact it was more than one guy is a great sign going forward. If several guys can play at a high level it make the offense very hard for other teams to game plan against.
The line play was greatly improved. They were able to give holes to Crowell and do a much better job of protecting Murray. There were times of break down but given the talent in the Gamecocks front seven the play of the line was night and day better than last week. If they can continue you improve they can be a very solid unit.
Isaiah Crowell showed why there is so much hype surrounding him. While his carries were limited, supposedly due to a shot to the ribs early in the game that was giving him trouble breathing, he made the most of each of them. When the line opened up holes he made big runs. When there was not much of a hole he still managed to get the tough yards. He showed he can be a threat in the passing game as well. His blocking was not great but without having rewatched it I don't remember any UH-OH moments like the one he had against Boise. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best threat at running back we have had since Moreno left for the pros. He is the real deal. His ability is going to help the passing game as teams will have to start focusing in on him.
Bonus thought: With Lee stepping up in the absense of Gates there could be a long term benefit to the team. It has been made clear that should something happen to either of the tackles Gates would be shifted over. If Burnette has locked down the starting job at guard then Gates would be free to be a "super" sub. He could be used to back up both guard and tackle positions allowing a breather as needed at all of the positions. While this would not make the line a whole lot deeper it would