Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chicken Soup....Good For The Dawgs


After last week's flu bug, Joe Cox needed a little chicken soup to make things all better within the DawgNation and Saturday night in Sanford Stadium he got just what the doctor ordered. The offense showed flashes of what they are capable of doing by putting 34 points on the board against a better defense than what confronted them in Stillwater. Throw in Brandon Boykin's 100 yard kickoff return and what is usually a low scoring defensive slugfest turned into a high scoring defensive slugfest with the Dawgs Rennie Curran making the deciding play on fourth down at the seven with less than a minute to play and the Dawgs win 41-37.

Curran is the heart and soul of this team, Cox is the brains and even with a bum shoulder, gives the Dawgs the best chance to win.

Cox finished the night 17 of 24 with one interception for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Curran tied his career high with 15 tackles and for the second year in a row made the play that sealed the win against the Gamecocks. Their supporting cast wasn't bad either.

Branden Smith simply smoked the Carolina defense on a reverse that resulted in a 61 yard TD, his speed will become more important as he gains a little experience.

A. J. Green is the best receiver to ever wear the Red and Black, he had 86 yards on 6 receptions and sent most of his old neighbors home feeling that they had been robbed by letting him get away.

Richard Samuel averaged 4.3 yards per carry ending the night with 67 yards and a touchdown,
he caught three passes for another 23 yards.

Boykin had 187 yards returning kicks and set a new Dawg record with the 100 yarder for a score. Thomas Brown (2006 in Athens, Tennessee) and Lindsay Scott (1978 in Baton Rouge, LSU) both owned the previous record after returning kickoffs 99 yards for TDs. The other 100-yard TDs in school history were Jimmy Campagna (punt return, Vanderbilt, 1952 in Nashville) and Charlie Britt (INT return, Florida, 1959 in Jacksonville). Boykin also had a 48-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. He finished second on the all-time list for most kickoff yards in a single game, the record is 190 by Scott Woerner on six returns against Kentucky in 1977. Boykin also registered his first career INT after picking off Stephen Garcia early in the second quarter. This was the first turnover caused by the Dawgs this year.

The Dawgs set a school record with 252 kickoff returns yards on seven returns including 204 in the opening half. The previous record was 190 yards versus Kentucky in 1977. The Dawg's tally ranks fourth best in SEC history.

Blair Walsh kicked field goals of 50 and 42 yards, his two kickoffs for touchbacks had Sanford buzzing.

Sophomore defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson blocked the first extra point for the Bulldogs since Kedric Golston blocked one against LSU in the 2003 SEC Championship Game.

The defense was forced to play 83 plays as Carolina used a short passing game to control the ball for nearly ten minutes more than the Dawgs.

South Carolina recorded a safety against the Dawgs after a snap sailed over punter Drew Butler’s head in the end zone late in the third quarter. The last time the Dawgs surrendered a safety was 2006 against Western Kentucky (holding penalty in end zone).

All the news was not good for the Dawgs on the night as senior defensive end Rod Battle injured his left knee in the second quarter and did not return, he is scheduled to undergo an MRI today.

The Dawgs will head to Fayetteville, Arkansas to meet the Razorbacks next Saturday night, kickoff is set for 7:45.

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