Steve Spurrier

The Alabama Crimson Tide Should Be on Upset Alert against the South Carolina Gamecocks

Today, the Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Columbia, South Carolina to face the South Carolina Gamecocks. Although South Carolina is coming off a tough loss against the Auburn Tigers, it is mighty tough to go on the road in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and win. Alabama got a chance to experience just how tough it is to win a game on the road in the SEC when they were lucky to escape from Fayetteville, Arkansas with a win against the Arkansas Razorbacks, arguably the best team in the nation. In the game against Arkansas, the very weak defensive secondary of Alabama got exposed against Heisman hopeful Ryan Mallett, as he was able to pass the ball with ease. Although the Arkansas offense was not able to have many possessions in the second half to continue to exploit the Alabama secondary and to get the win, Steve Spurrier had to be salivating during film study looking at how he can continue to exploit this weak secondary.

If his team is going to get a chance to exploit the secondary, three important things will need to happen: (1) The South Carolina defense will need to play well enough to give its offense plenty of opportunities to score; (2) South Carolina’s quarterbacks will need to play smart football and not turn the ball over; (3) South Carolina’s offensive line will need to play well. If South Carolina is able to do these three things, they will beat Alabama. Arkansas showed us that Alabama is certainly a team capable of being beat. South Carolina is a team that can play really physical and the team will need to play physical against Alabama in order to win. Steve Spurrier lives for these types of games—he is such a big game coach. He is one of the most sophisticated and best playcallers in the game.

Do not underestimate South Carolina’s defense—this is a good and physical defense. They will play their best game at home against Alabama today. They will need to benefit from their offense not putting them in difficult situations. The South Carolina defensive coordinator will need to challenge the Alabama Crimson Tide to throw the ball, which will help to keep the Alabama running game out of the picture. They should load the box up and keep single coverage on the wide receivers. I would make someone else beat me besides Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. Just think about it, if you get defeated by the Alabama passing game, at least you took away what they do best. I feel that you can live with Alabama passing the ball, but you should not make it so easy for them on offense by just letting them run the ball down your throats.

Expect South Carolina to play particularly well and overcome some adversities at home, and defeat the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide today.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Proud of the Performance of the Arkansas Razorbacks against Alabama

On Saturday, the Arkansas Razorbacks performed tremendously well against top-ranked Alabama. Until the 4th quarter, Arkansas really dominated the game. In the 4th quarter, Alabama was able to control the time of possession so well that it did not leave the Arkansas offense many opportunities to get on the field. Ryan Mallett had an outstanding game, but he did have a few costly interceptions. He is not the reason that Arkansas lost the game. Arkansas did not lose the game because of its defense. Everyone played tremendously well. The Arkansas Razorbacks lost the game because Alabama dominated the 4th quarter—the quarter that you have to win the game in.

The Arkansas players have nothing to hang their heads about. I have to be honest—I did not think that Arkansas could match Alabama’s physicality, but they certainly proved me wrong. Now, I knew Arkansas was more talented than Alabama and that talent proved to help them against Alabama, but Arkansas just did not perform well in the 4th quarter. The Razorbacks will need to improve how they perform in the 4th quarter of games if they want to win all of the remaining games on the schedule. I certainly believe that they are going to win the rest of the games on the schedule. Although the Razorbacks will need some help from some other teams in the SEC, they can still win the SEC Championship and play in the national championship game.

I would like to thank the Arkansas Razorback fans for how supportive and Hog Wild they were at the game. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium had its largest crowd ever. Arkansas fans, I know that the players appreciated your great support and your support will be needed for the remainder of the season. Continue to give our great Razorbacks your super support! Go to road games and let them know you really support them. The Arkansas Razorbacks are going to do some special things this year!

I heard some people really trying to downplay how great of a program Arkansas is—saying that we are not in the same class with Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Florida, but I would like you to know that Arkansas has won a national championship before in football. Arkansas is 4th all-time in overall total number of national championships. Arkansas has outstanding academics and tremendous facilities. Fayetteville, Arkansas is one of the most pleasant places to live and with some of the nicest people you can find in America. Please don’t try to downplay the value of the University of Arkansas! Arkansas is a Tradition like none other!

I would like to congratulate Alabama on defeating Arkansas. You certainly beat what I think is the best team in the nation. You were simply the better team on Saturday. I take my hat off to you for overcoming great adversity to find a way to win on Saturday. Arkansas is the best team you will face all year. This Saturday Alabama will have to face Florida and things are not going to be easy for you. Next, Alabama will face South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. As we all know, going on the road in the SEC is always tough. Plus, having to deal with the Old Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, is not any fun.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the Arkansas Razorbacks’ Special Teams—you performed wonderfully against Alabama. Keep up the good work! Good job, Arkansas defense! Keep playing hard and improving!

In closing, I would just like to tell the Arkansas players to get over this tough loss because it is not the end of the world. Go out and win the SEC and win the national championship! Keep fighting!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison