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Film Room: What to Expect from Drew Lock against South Carolina

For the second time in 3 years, a freshman QB with a bit of experience is taking over the starting job. What's going to happen this time around?

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Well, I guess many of us (myself included) are getting their wish, even if it’s not how anyone expected it would go down. Drew Lock is now the starting quarterback for the Tigers. And as much as we all hope he’ll be the savior of a stagnant offense, it’s important to remember that any true freshman will make drive-killing mistakes. But what can we expect from Lock in his first extended college action?

A lot of play action

One consistent theme when Lock has been on the field is utilizing run action and letting him throw it down the field. Deep crossing routes to Wesley Leftwich in particular can be successful, as it was during the Kentucky game.

As long as Lock throws with good timing he can be successful. He also doesn’t quite step into his throws enough. His arm has good natural strength, but using his lower body and his core more in his throwing motion can help him put more behind the ball on longer throws. His touchdown attempt to Emanuel Hall could have been had a little more zip to the throw, possibly putting Hall in the endzone.

That’s not to say Lock can’t throw the ball with some heat. Back in the SEMO game, he had this particularly awesome long throw to Tyler Hunt for a touchdown.

And seriously, can we see some more Tyler Hunt? He just seems to make plays when he’s on the field, some way or another.

Freshman Mistakes

Talented as he is, Lock is still a true freshman, and one who didn’t join the program a semester early, as some incoming freshman do. Because of this, he’s bound to make a couple mistakes that cost the Tigers some points against the Gamecocks, as he’s done a couple times now.

This was a crucial fourth down late in the game against UConn, and just picking up the first down would have seriously changed the game, giving the defense another 3 points as a cushion at the end of the game.

With a similar situation happening in the Kentucky game, we still haven’t seen an example of how Lock can bounce back from an adverse situation. A young quarterback can often be a bit overwhelmed after making a drive-killing mistake. We’ll finally get a chance to see how he recovers, a good test of maturity.

All in all, I don't expect Lock to come in and set the world on fire. At the moment, the rest of the offense isn't playing well enough to give the freshman the help he'll need moving the ball and scoring. If the offense can at least be average against South Carolina, I expect the defense and special teams to lead the Tigers to a victory.