Saturday, September 8, 2007

Change is afoot

Head coach Jack Crowe has finally pulled the trigger many JSU fans suspected would happen for some time. He announced after the Gamecocks beat Chattanooga 33-19 Saturday that mobile junior Cedric Johnson would replace fifth-year senior Matt Hardin as the starting quarterback next week in Memphis.

Johnson just seems to fit the offensive personality the Gamecocks have this year better.
There are things that Hardin does better than Johnson and vice versa. Johnson didn’t endear himself to the JSU fans too well on his first two series Saturday. He got caught on a wild 27-yard loss on his first series and threw an interception on his next.

The decision to go with Johnson was solidified at halftime. Johnson moved the offense for 155 yards and their first touchdown of the year in the second half. The pass he threw to Derrick Harris for the score was placed in such a way only Harris could have gotten it; quality throw.

The defense and Gavin Hallford saved them on this day, though. Hallford kicked four field goals for the second game in a row (JSU’s offense has failed to score a touchdown in 11 trips inside the red zone this year) and the defense came up with six takeaways and three scores.

The Gamecocks dodged a big bullet by winning Saturday. Had they lost to the Mocs, they were looking at 2005 all over again. That’s the year they started 0-3 – with all due respect to App State, you can’t expect them to beat FBS Memphis -- and these 2007 losses would’ve have been nearly as close as the ones they took from Furman and Chattanooga before losing to UAB in ’05.

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