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Dowdle: One-two punch with Feaster could be among country's best

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Dowdle: One-two punch with Feaster could be among country's best

Sept. 04, 2019

One game into his timeshare with Tavien Feaster, Rico Dowdle believes the South Carolina Gamecocks running back duo is on track to have a productive season.

The seniors combined for 24 carries and 134 yards with a touchdown in the 24-20 loss to North Carolina. Among SEC rushers with at least 10 carries in Week 1 (and zero), Dowdle and Feaster are ranked No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, in the league’s yards per carry category.

Of course, there’s just a slight difference between Dowdle (5.64) and Feaster (5.54). (VIEW ARTICLE) FREE 247SPORTS

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I sure hope we can manage at least 200yds on the ground with 150-200 in the air, i am pretty certain they will give RH #3 some opportunities to make some quick slants and rb passes to build a little confidence but mostly stick with the run the entire game but what do i know 🤷‍♂️ I thought we were gonna beat the pants outta UNC ? 

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I did notice one huge plus Saturday. I watched Rico run a couple plays and them raise his hand and head to the sideline. A little while later I say Tavien do the same thing. It went on a lot when we managed to get some first downs.

What that tells me is that instead of trying to be greedy and getting more playing time, they were being selfless and trying to help the team. I have seen RBs act upset when a reliever was sent in before. No these two. They were working together to keep fresh legs in there.

It was one of the few good things from Saturday, but it could turn into a tremendous year if our O-line can get them some holes. They know better than any coach when it would be better to leave the field and while they are selfless, they will both make plenty of yards. It was just good to see them working that way.

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The problem with the 1-2 punch thing is we only run single-RB plays.

This is Georgia Tech's first season without Paul Johnson and the triple-option since 2008 and I couldn't help but notice something about the GT fan comments after Clemson spanked them.

My thought is a triple-option system covers up blocking issues and GT is about to fall off the cliff from an offensive standpoint.  Their comments were basically were, "at least we were able to consistently get 8 wins with the triple-option.

An extra back in an I-formation or wishbone can sometimes make up for blocking deficiencies in the OL, but guys have gotten hurt before a HC could even consider something other than a single-back system.

I just believe GT is getting ready to suck as much as us offensively by season's end.  We have 3 really good backs, but we're sticking with a single-back system.

Bring back the Veer, baby!

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I think what McClendon lacked in the last game was the use of Feaster and Dowdle in the passing game as well. I mean Feaster can catch the ball as good as most WRs, so he should be used in packages that also have him as the check down. I barely saw any of that last game. Feaster was hot earlier on, we should have fed him the ball more, no pun intended. Shoulda woulda coulda lets just destroy Charleston Southern please. 

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The O LIne change was needed - UNC was crashing the interior of the O Line, and our Center was exposed. I just don't think that Manos is ready from a physical or experience standpoint. We had similar issues against UVA when Manos started for the first time.

Stanley is back at Center, where he can call the blocking schemes, lead the group, and he has the size and experience. That leaves us with three talented young players at Guard - they will have some growing pains, but they should improve quickly. At least they have the size and strength to open holes - the experience will come. Douglas and Gwyn are having a really good battle for the starting job.

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The passing YPA would flip with the rushing YPA if Bentley does not airmail a wide open Shi Smith for a game-winning TD.

I believe that you take what the Defense gives you. UNC tried to take away the pass early, so we ran with success. Then they shifted up to stop the run, meaning that we should have gone to our vertical passing game. Instead, we continued to go with runs and short passes until we got behind and had to go downfield.

Outside of the first few plays, our Offense tried to do what UNC was taking away. Which is why our play calling sucked and we got 20 points and 270 yards against an average Defense.

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Dowdle and Harris are probably the two best backs on the team, with Feaster being in third place. Ranking our backs, it looks to me like:

1. Harris

.

.

2. Dowdle

3. Feaster

 

I could definitely go for a three back rotation. They are each good enough to make plays, and rotating them keeps them from being prone to injury and causes stamina to last longer throughout the game.

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Harris impressed the crap out of me yesterday. I'm eager to see what he can do this Saturday!  I think he and Feaster will have the most success against Alabama.  Use all 4 backs to keep them fresh, and have plenty of Dak and Ryan on the field at the same time to confuse the D.

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If I was our RB coach, I'd ask myself if I didn't have something real special in Kevin Harris. I'm optimistic, but if he's special then he needs to be our guy and the rest can deal with it. 

It's easy to forget, but some RBs get better as the game goes on and if we keep the rotation thing going, we may never find if one of them can carry the team like Marcus did. 

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6 hours ago, 2k15 said:

Dowdle and Harris are probably the two best backs on the team, with Feaster being in third place. Ranking our backs, it looks to me like:

1. Harris

.

.

2. Dowdle

3. Feaster

 

I could definitely go for a three back rotation. They are each good enough to make plays, and rotating them keeps them from being prone to injury and causes stamina to last longer throughout the game.

Lets not forget Mon Denson

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6 hours ago, Cockyandproud said:

Harris impressed the crap out of me yesterday. I'm eager to see what he can do this Saturday!  I think he and Feaster will have the most success against Alabama.  Use all 4 backs to keep them fresh, and have plenty of Dak and Ryan on the field at the same time to confuse the D.

The usual excuse for keeping Freshman on the bench is that they have not learned to pass protect or lack polish as receivers. That might limit Harris to short yardage or obvious passing situations for now. Plus, Boom tends to be loyal to his veterans (I know that Feaster is new, but he has experience and was not brought in to sit). 

But it is a nice problem to have - when your 4th teamer might be your best runner. AND he is a true Freshman.

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One other thought. The really good running teams usually have a QB that can run. I like that Hilinski is not afraid to carry the ball, but the real success with carrying the ball occurred when Dak Joyner was in the game.

I would like to see Dak getting some WR snaps against Alabama, but also have him shift to QB without substituting Hilinski out. Swing Hilinski out as a WR and let Joyner do some Wildcat, with the option to throw it. Joyner throws a good deep ball and could really mess with Alabama's Defense - run, run, throw a bomb.

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I just hope if Rico and Feaster are not able to break away on their runs that Champ will give Harris and Mon a chance. We saw how they both can break tackles. It really is great to have so much talent and have them be healthy. As we have seen, season ending injuries can happen when least expected.

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If we are bringing the plays in with subs, then lots of guys are going to be running in the different plays to the huddle.

I think that's one of the reasons our scoring was spread out in the CSU game.

If we can keep it up, we'll have tempo with the added benefit that different guys will have more chances to touch the ball and be engaged throughout the season.

We are also good at the TE position for now as well and I think Markway and Muse will add another dimension to the offense like Hurst did.

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23 hours ago, Ace Dilcock said:

One other thought. The really good running teams usually have a QB that can run. I like that Hilinski is not afraid to carry the ball, but the real success with carrying the ball occurred when Dak Joyner was in the game.

I would like to see Dak getting some WR snaps against Alabama, but also have him shift to QB without substituting Hilinski out. Swing Hilinski out as a WR and let Joyner do some Wildcat, with the option to throw it. Joyner throws a good deep ball and could really mess with Alabama's Defense - run, run, throw a bomb.

I like where you are going with this.....last week's game should make Alabama's gameplanning for us a real nightmare.

If we can make some big plays early and get Willy B in the game it can be a whole new ballgame.

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Harris looked great, but I have to ask myself how much was his talent and how much was it that it was late in the 4th quarter and he was fresh playing against a gassed defense? He could/should be a very good back for us, and at this point, even if he just supplies fresh legs going into the 4th quarter is a valuable player.  Having 4 backs that can run is certainly a blessing, especially in the SEC. 

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kevin harris has a lot of potential and mon showed me something with that spin move in the backfield that i dont think ive seen out of him before.  having said that i stick with a dowdle/feaster rotation because theyre probably our best all around backs and its best to stick with two unless youre running it 30+ times and then you trickle down a few carries to your 3rd back.  harris keeps his role as a short yardage back.   i have confidence in denson and harris if they were in the top 2, but in a competitive game its best to avoid rotating so many backs to the point that a guy has a good series and hes sitting out the next 2 series. 

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