CBS had to be pretty happy with the South Carolina – Georgia game on Saturday night. Despite a 1.5 hour weather delay, the crowd was electric when the game started. Everyone understands that players can feed of that energy. But so do football commentators. Gary Danielson as color commentator and Verne Lundquist on play by play took advantage of the atmosphere and called an excellent game. They certainly did not disappoint their audience for this ball game.
I made some notes of the highlights. There are so many. I will just recount a couple of them here. Just imagine that the @CBSSports broadcast was filled with these kind of nuggets from beginning to end and you will understand the type of quality these dudes bring.
Busta Anderson’s Catch
Danielson works really hard to find great stories for his broadcasts. In the days before the broadcast, Danielson spends time on the practice field with teams that he will cover in his upcoming games. There were several times during the game he relied upon this inside information to describe plays and add impressive color.
In the case of Anderson’s second quarter catch, which gave South Carolina a 21-13 lead, he described Spurrier’s coaching Gamecock quarterback Dylan Thompson (
@DT_ONE_SEVEN) during practice. “He told him to put a little air under it, and that’s just what he did.” In replays, CBS cameras captured how Thompson floated the ball over the defender to Anderson ( @BustaAnderson) for the touchdown as Gary told the story about the HBC.
The How Do You Stop It Moment
Verne Lunquist is special because of his enthusiastic, Wow!s. I guess that must be his trademark now. This Georgia South Carolina game was punctuated with numerous Wows!
But wowing is not all that Lunquist brings to the table in a broadcast. The old dude has a quick wit and is funny. In the third quarter, South Carolina drove down the field for a touchdown with a punishing rushing attack behind left tackle Cory Robinson and left guard A.J. Cann (@AJCann50) to take a 31-20 lead. Danielson observed, “Vern, even the kickoff went to the left.” Georgia had no answers for stopping it. The following exchange took place:
Danielson: “What do you do to stop it?
Lunquist: “You’re asking me? You’re the analyst!
Both announcers were dutifully impressed by Todd Gurley’s play. Gurley caused Verne to emit quite a few “Wow!”s. Often times, the South Carolina defense had Gurley stopped on a play, but he would somehow remain on his feet and turn the play into a positive gain. Gurley was impressive.
The Robber Play
One of the best pieces of analysis during the game was when Georgia’s free safety Damian Swann intercepted a Thompson pass to Nick Jones. The play had been successful for the Gamecocks early in the game and they went back to the well. However, the young Georgia Defensive Coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, called for a Robber defense. As the ball was snapped, Swann moved up into the middle of the field and positioned himself to make a huge play. Georgia executed the defense to perfection. Danielson drew the play on his telecaster and showed how Swann deceptively changed position just as Thompson watched the shotgun snap.
Concluding Remarks By Announcers
Although the two broadcast announcers had just witnessed an amazing game of football they kept level heads at the end and didn’t over-hype it. Danielson declared that neither South Carolina nor Georgia should make the NCAA 4-team playoff. “Neither team has a championship defense.”
The Supremely Irritating Cut-Away
The one disappointing issue was when the CBS broadcast was suddenly interrupted at the most critical junction of the game (the 1:22 4th down measurement) for an “American Television Alliance” commercial. The cut-a-way and cut-ins were so sudden it was obviously not part of the actual CBS broadcast. Was this political advertisement inserted into the game by my provider or local station? I contacted @Dish and @WSTA7OnYourSide to find out.
@Dish has denied responsibility. Waiting to hear from @WSTA7OnYourSide.