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King: Truths and Dare

Truth: South Carolina football is extremely important to me. Frankly, it makes my life a lot easier when South Carolina wins. I can make a much better video, create a much better film study, and write much more upbeat articles just to name a few things. When that clock reads 0:00 and South Carolina is winning, I am one happy camper.

Stephen Garcia is one of the players that should give Gamecock fans hope for the remainder of the season.

If you ever want to see me in a bad mood though, let the Gamecocks lose.

Need an example? I cut the ESPN highlight for the game when South Carolina, fresh No. 10 ranking after taking down Alabama at home, went into Lexington, Ky., and faced a underdog Kentucky team.

Worst. Night. Ever.

Truth: South Carolina was supposed to beat Navy. The Gamecocks were massively favored and Navy’s coach even went on the record saying his team barely stood a chance (although everybody knew what he meant was “we want South Carolina to THINK we don’t stand a chance”).

Going strictly by the numbers, this game wasn’t supposed to be as close as it was. However numbers don’t take heart into account. Heart is what drove both teams that night and heart is what gave Navy a 21-17 lead late in the game. Heart is also what gave the Gamecocks the ability to take the lead back.

So if you take into account the fact that South Carolina football can alter my emotional state just about as well as anything else, and we were losing late in the game to an opponent that was in one of our slots for “cupcake teams”, you would think that I was nervous, panicky, and probably freaking out the entire time I was watching the game on Saturday right?

Wrong.

Truth: I believe in this team more than I have any of its predecessors. The secondary is suspect, the quarterback play isn’t as good as I have seen it be, and the offensive line can still sometimes miss an assignment…but I still believe.

Marcus Lattimore is on several Heisman Trophy candidate lists- he rushed for a career-high 246 yards on 37 carries and three touchdowns against Navy last weekend.

There is not a single game on the schedule that I look at and say “we don’t stand a chance”, and I have never been able to say that before this year.

So what makes me believe, gives me hope, and keeps me calm?

It’s having a leader on the field the team believes in. It’s having a person who I have seen play with bruised ribs in a do-or-die situation (Ole Miss). It’s having a guy who I know is capable of making all of the throws and getting tough yards on the ground It’s our warrior of a quarterback- Stephen Garcia.

It’s having a player with the most heart, character, and the highest work ethic I have ever personally witnessed. It is having an individual who, through sheer talent and will, will take a 2 yard run and turn it into 12 It’s our Heisman Trophy candidate running back- Marcus Lattimore.

It’s having a player who, though heavily criticized, still believes in himself and his talents. It’s having a guy who has shown he can put any receiver in the country on an island and keep him there It’s having one of the most versatile athletes in the country. It’s our All-American cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

It’s having a man who will catch anything thrown even remotely close to his body. It’s “throw it up and he will get it” It’s “how did he even catch that!?”. It’s our All-Everything wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

Above all else though, it’s having a collective group of individuals who are friends and brothers and who will fight for each other with everything they have because they are a team.

Guys, it is easy to look at this team and think about how they haven’t played up to the potential that they were deemed to have by the fans and some media (boy am I guilty…), but lets be real here. This team is winning and doing whatever it takes to do so, and at the end of the day that really is all that matters. They are banning together and lifting each other up every week.

As for the rest of the schedule, it shakes out very much in South Carolina’s favor. There are some tough road games (at Tennessee, at Arkansas, at Mississippi State), but I am very interested to watch this Georgia team we beat in week 2. I have a sneaking suspicion we might have already won our toughest road game of the year.

Final Truth: A team is made up of players, and every player on the South Carolina roster is capable of greatness.

Dare: I dare you to take a look at this team and, if you already don’t, believe. I dare you to watch every game not hoping, but believing that South Carolina can win. I dare you to know that no matter what adversity this team faces, it will find a way to WIN ANYWAY.

P.S: Shout out to San Antonio Gamecock Club President Matt Holycross and his wife Julie, it doesn’t hurt having such an awesome group of Gamecocks to watch these games with and they have done an amazing job getting the Alumni in the area together.

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