Steve Spurrier said he challenged his defense this week. The HBC told the defensive players to start playing the same way they do in practice. His challenge was simple: “Bring it to the ball park.” Bring it they did Saturday afternoon against Arkansas. Statisticly it was one of the more dominating defensive performances the Gamecocks have put together in recent memory. Arkansas only ran 37 plays, and only managed to pick up seven first downs in the 52-7 loss. The Razorbacks only trip to the red zone was on their first possession and they finished with 248 yards of total offense. They only completed four passes the entire game.
In short, the USC defense answered Spurrier’s challenge. The HBC adamantly defended defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward last week when the arm-chair defensive minds employed on social media and message boards began to question the Gamecocks defensive coaches. Ward’s unit looked like it was playing with a chip on its shoulder Saturday. Even with the dominant numbers and results against Arkansas, Ward says his unit is capable of playing better. That remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure; the Gamecock defense left Arkansas Saturday with some of the swagger they’ve been lacking in the first five games of the season. For the first time this year, they looked like a defense that is capable of taking over games.
Take a listen to Ward’s review of the defensive performance against Arkansas below: