Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alshon, welcome to your close-up

So this Alshon Jeffery kid? Yeah, he’s good.

That’s three, count ‘em, THREE touchdowns for the freshman receiver. The last Gamecock to have three or more TDs in a game was … wait for it … Sidney Rice, in 2006, when he had five against Florida Atlantic.

Think we’ll hear more Jeffery-Rice comparisons after today?

Jeffery’s latest was a 22-yarder from Stephen Garcia, and allowed USC to pull back ahead, 21-17.

Garcia threw the ball while being rushed from the left side, a lob that stayed in the air forever. Jeffery was single-covered, and for awhile it looked like he wouldn’t be able to get to the ball. But the cornerback looked lost while the ball was in the air, while Jeffery had a bead on it, came back and grabbed it.

It wasn’t Jeffery’s first catch of the drive.

USC had an unusual formation on consecutive plays there. Four receivers on top of each other. The first time, Garcia hit Moe Brown out of the group and the result was a 3-yard gain.

Then the Gamecocks loaded the four on the other side, lining up Jeffery alone on the left – and Garcia hit Jeffery, who had another big gain.

That smelled like a setup, the first play almost a throwaway to lull the defense into not being ready for the throw to Jeffery. It’s almost a high school maneuver, but it worked.

– Sett Emerson, The State