The Calm Before The Sandstorm

By Charlie Drafts 09/13/2019 |

In order to win, you must first expect to win.

After the devastating loss against UNC to start the college football season, the South Carolina Gamecock fan base were left reeling, grasping for answers and demanding change. We were then dealt another blow after learning that Jake Bentley was injured and likely done for the season and possibly his career as a Gamecock.

You couldn’t ask for a worse start to the season.

The coveted starting quarterback role was turned over to true freshman, Ryan Hilinski, for the Charleston Southern game and he stepped right in and owned it. The caveat of the lack of competition was trendy on social media, as fans begin to dissect the performance.  If no other team had lined up against us and he ran the same plays that he ran against Charleston Southern, he still looked incredible. The ball speed, the quick reads, his eyes always down field, the look-offs, the accuracy. He looked nothing like a true freshman.

Gamecock Nation now feels somewhat rejuvenated. We needed that blow out win. We never blow anyone out.

Now we face our next game, our next challenge.

Tomorrow afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium, we have an opportunity to shock the nation. No one expects South Carolina to win. We will not get picked by any analyst or “expert” on any of the pregame shows. We are okay with that and used to it. We go into this game with absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The weather tomorrow will be hot. The heat will be intense as you debate at your tailgate all of the questions; Which Gamecock team will show up? Is Hilinski the real deal? Will our defense be able to hold Alabama? Will our run game be able to do anything?

Just know, that inside the locker room there will be an intense atmosphere, this team knows this is far more than just another game. They know what a win will mean.

So tomorrow, as you make your way inside the stadium with 80,000 of your closest friends, by this time you may even have become miserable and irritable because of the weather and anticipation for the game to start. You find your seat, as you have 100’s of times before. You begin to look around to find your bearings and gather your thoughts.  You look down upon the field and spot a familiar face.

Stephen Garcia has returned.

As he leads the Gamecock chant, all is right in the world.  You scream as loud as possible. GAME!!... COCKS!!... GAME!!... roars throughout the house. You look around and it might as well be 70 degrees outside. Everyone around you is engaged and ready.

2001 begins playing.

Smoke is seen blasting from the tunnels as Hilinski leads the team out onto the field. The team is hyped and ready as they begin filling the sidelines facing the stands sending the already pumped fans into a frenzy.  The entire stadium is now rocking and swaying, as a Sandstorm blows through.

Big game garnet is the armor of choice as we prepare for battle.

Hilinski jogs out to the line of scrimmage ready for the first possession.

He points to the sky up above. Tyler, this is for you. Buckle up and hang on for the ride.