The University of South Carolina football squad held its second scrimmage of the spring on a beautiful Saturday morning at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The offense put up eight scores, including five touchdowns, with no turnovers during the 69-play session. The last four scores came when the ball was placed at the 25-yard line like an overtime situation.
“I thought we had some pretty good work here today, a pretty good practice,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “Our defense seemed like it had the best of the offense early and then the offense got together and scored some touchdowns. All the guys did well.”
The four quarterbacks who played on Saturday turned in solid performances, combining for 21 completions in 37 attempts for 312 yards with no interceptions. Thompson paced the quartet with 118 passing yards including a 52-yard toss to Rory Anderson, but Connor Mitch was the most efficient, hitting on 8-of-10 attempts for 95 yards, including a 19-yard scoring strike to Jody Fuller.
“All the quarterbacks did some good things here and there,” noted Coach Spurrier. “(Dylan Thompson) is coming around. Dylan hasn’t played as much as sometimes we think he has. So he got a little extra (work) in today. Perry (Orth) did well. Connor Mitch is fighting for number 2 there. (Brendan) Nosovitch does better in the scrimmages than he does in the passing drills. He did some good things. They all did. All four of them did well.”
Coach Spurrier was also pleased with the play of the tight ends. “The tight ends caught everything,” said Coach Surrier. “Jacob August likes to play. He can catch the ball very well. He’s doing very well. (Kelvin) Rainey and Jerell (Adams) also some good plays in there.” August, a true freshman who prepped at Cardinal Newman in Columbia before spending last fall at Fork Union, caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. The trio of Anderson (52 yards), Adams (45 yards) and Rainey (30 yards) combined for the three-longest receptions during the scrimmage.
Coach Spurrier has also been impressed with some of the walk-ons. “We’ve got about three or four walk-on kids that are really good players,” said Coach Spurrier. “They could be playing at some of these smaller schools but they realize the importance of a degree from South Carolina and I really admire these youngsters coming out for the team. They’ve been helping us.”
Defensively, the Gamecocks forced one fumble but could not come up with any turnovers. “I thought we came out with more emotion (on the defensive side of the ball) at the start of the scrimmage,” said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “We talked about it after last Saturday’s scrimmage about how we came out slow. It was good to see some of the guys try to come out and play with some emotion to start the series. From that standpoint it was pretty good. I think we’re getting a lot better at safety,” continued Ward. “We’ve still got a ways to go at corner. We haven’t progressed as well as I would have liked in the secondary.“ Ward noted that Rico McWilliams has been slowed recently by a hamstring injury and Jamari Smith is still learning the cornerback position.
The Gamecocks came out of the scrimmage with one notable injury. “I think “Busta” Anderson may have torn his triceps stiff-arming a guy,” said the Head Ball Coach. “Hopefully that can be repaired by the time August gets here. He’s finished for the spring. If it’s torn off the muscle, then they’ll have to go in there and repair it. Other than that I think we came out in pretty good shape.”
The Gamecocks have one week of spring practice remaining. They will return to the Bluff Road practice fields on Tuesday and again on Friday, before wrapping up the spring with the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game on Saturday, April 12. That contest will start at noon and will be televised on ESPNU. All spring practices are open to the public.
Elliott Fry 38-yard field goal
Shon Carson 6-yard run (Landon Ard PAT)
Elliott Fry 28-yard field goal
Jacob August 7-yard pass from Brandon Wilds (Landon Ard PAT) Elliott Fry 38-yard field goal Shon Carson 1-yard run (Landon Ard PAT) Jody Fuller 19-yard pass from Connor Mitch (Jonas Price PAT) Carlton Heard 11-yard pass from Brendan Nosovitch (No PAT)
Dylan Thompson 5-10-0-118; Connor Mitch 8-10-0-95, 1 TD; Brendan Nosovitch 6-9-0-75, 1 TD; Perry Orth 2-8-0-24; Brandon Wilds 1-1-0-7, 1 TD. TOTALS: 22-38-0-319, 3 TD.
Devin Potter 4-24; Darius Paulk 4-16; Mike Davis 3-10; Brandon Wilds 2-10; Shon Carson 3-8, 2 TD; Rod Talley 3-(-7); Dylan Thompson 3-(-13); Connor Mitch 2-(-17). TOTALS: 24-31, 2 TD.
RECEIVING: Andrew Bunch 3-42; Jacob August 3-32, 1 TD; Carlton Heard 3-16, 1 TD; Jody Fuller 2-25, 1 TD; Matthew Harvey 2-20; Matrick Belton 2-10; Rory Anderson 1-52; Jerell Adams 1-45; Kelvin Rainey 1-30; K.J. Brent 1-17; Darius Paulk 1-14; Shaq Roland 1-10; Nick Jones 1-6. TOTALS: 22-319, 3 TD.