Scott Davis has been following Gamecock sports for over 30 years and providing commentary from a fan perspective.

He writes a weekly newsletter that is emailed out every Friday. To subscribe to the newsletter, Click here. Here is the newsletter for Friday, October 1, 2021.

Scott also writes a weekly column that appears on Gamecock Central during the football season.

South Carolina offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield (Katie Dugan, GamecockCentral.com)

My laptop has a bug problem.

Sadly, this is not the kind that can be remedied with a visit to the Arrow Exterminator. Otherwise, I would have called them already.

No, these bugs are the kind that live inside my computer which makes it slow, clunky, and frustrating. Sometimes my computer forgets that it is actually a computer. Sometimes it makes me watch an hourglass or a wheel spin for hours or even days. Sometimes it turns off a video clip just as the person speaking finally starts to say something interesting.

Most of the time it leaves me angry, dissatisfied, and about to cry.

This is also how I feel when I watch the South Carolina offense right now.

That’s also how I felt watching the South Carolina offense in 2020… and 2019, and shoot, while we’re here, 2018. If you want to describe my laptop and the offense from South Carolina at the same time, you could make that happen. Slow, awkward, and frustrating will cover it for both. (If you missed my Kentucky gaming column, “The Identity Project,” you can get lost in the mystery of what’s plaguing the O right here.

As a fan, there isn’t much I can do about the Gamecocks’ offensive woes other than cry alone every night while I’m lying in bed, or praying, or staring longingly out my window. garden while dreaming of better days.

But when my computer is working, I try to take matters into my own hands, and I do so even though I am less familiar with the technology than someone who was born while Christopher Columbus was alive.

If I see an hourglass spinning, a YouTube video freezes on me, or my cursor starts to float on the screen like it’s under the effect of ecstasy, I press three simple buttons and start again.

CTRL. ALT. WIPE OFF.

When that doesn’t work, I wipe the slate. Try again. Cut … Take 2.

Crushing through traffic jams

I have the patience of a hummingbird.

Going through my days with a frenzy, I rarely stop to investigate why I am having problems. I’m just trying to erase whatever is causing a feeling of discomfort in my chest.

If it looks like my car is not accelerating when I press the accelerator pedal, I press harder. If the computer hisses and snores, I don’t fix it – I just keep screaming skyward and pressing the reset button over and over again (which almost certainly makes matters worse).

Remember that scene in “Goodfellas” where Henry Hill discusses how the crowd handled things when one of their restaurant investments started to falter? “When you can’t borrow another dollar from the bank or buy another case of liquor, you pull out the joint,” he says. “You light a match.”

This is my solution to all the dilemmas I face in life: I light a match.

Lucky for all of us, I’m not coaching South Carolina’s offense following a sluggish start to the 2021 season. Because I would probably press CRTL + ALT + DEL. I might even be tempted to restart after each offensive streak. And that would almost certainly make matters worse.

Gamecock offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield is rather staying the course, at least for now. “You try to stick to the plan as much as you can and understand that eventually you will break through and make a play and that he will execute it like you thought it would work in practice that week,” said Satterfield this week. . “It takes a lot of confidence and there are times when you have to trust your gut, trust your gut, and make your adjustments at halftime.” (Read more of his comments here.)

Coaches don’t have the luxury of hitting the reset button every time they step onto the pitch. To keep the chaos at bay, they must have the patience of elephants.

Even when the rest of us are feeling like hummingbirds.

Walking the fine line

Of course, persistence can have its own drawbacks. There is always the danger that you end up with a plan that has no hope of succeeding. There is always the danger of confidently steering the Titanic into an iceberg.

We’ve seen this approach sink in from the stubborn Gamecock coaches of yore, coaches who just weren’t going to change or alter or even massage their philosophies no matter how serious the situation was. I don’t need to name these coaches for you – you are already recalling their faces in your mind even as you read this.

Yes, you can see them now. You can see them stubbornly pushing forward with a nonexistent running game, smashing the middle against a wall of defenders who stood ready to swallow anyone in garnet and black. You can see them trying to force a receding passing pattern despite having a suspicious offensive line and a medium-armed quarterback.

You can see them now. And you will see them forever in your nightmares.

After four offensive wrestling games – which we have now – patience is a virtue.

But after four years, patience is a crime.

There is a fine line between optimistic persistence and hardened inflexibility.

For now, we have to be confident that Head Coach Shane Beamer is on the right side of that fine line, and that he will know when to hold on and when to shake the Magic 8 Ball.

As for me, I will watch Gamecock’s offense take on Troy this Saturday and hope to see an improvement.

And if I don’t… well, you know me. I’m just going to turn the TV off and then turn it back on immediately and hope the result will be different.

Let me know how you handle the Gamecocks’ early offensive struggles and what you hope to see in the Troy game by writing to me at [email protected]

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