News of the day
Tuesday’s scrimmage all but marked the end of the preseason and the beginning of preparation for the opener against North Carolina State, which is eight days away. While the gameplan might not be put in place until Saturday, two-a-days are officially over, and position battles moved closer to being set.
“We’ve been out here for the past three or four weeks, so we’ve just been playing each other. Now it’s time to beat up on somebody else, and I can’t wait,” senior receiver Kenny McKinley said. “I’m tired of playing the same ol’ guys every day. I’m ready to play N.C. State.”
After a quiet preseason, WR Jason Barnes finally distinguished himself by catching a 57-yard touchdown pass. “I think Jason Barnes had a good scrimmage,” quarterback Tommy Beecher said. At best, Barnes is probably fourth on the depth chart (behind McKinley, Dion LeCorn and Moe Brown), but he helped himself Tuesday.
QB Stephen Garcia’s rough preseason continued on Tuesday. The redshirt freshman was 0-for-5 with two interceptions, which is as about as bad as it gets. His competition for the third string, walk-on Zac Brindise, was 0-for-1.
DT Donte’e Nicholls left on crutches after injuring his ankle; DT Ladi Ajiboye (leg cramps) left early; QB Michael McQueeney (eye infection) and RB Mike Davis (illness) did not play.
Quote of the day
“Every aspect, the quarterbacks, receivers, linemen, running backs, everybody has to get better. And until everybody does, we’re just going to be an average offense.” - McKinley.
The other reserve quarterback stats: Chris Smelley was 5-for-11 for 83 yards, Aramis Hillary was 1-for-13 for 15 yards, and Reid McCollum was 3-for-5 for 31 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. … The interceptions were by Jarrett Burns, Jamire Williams and Akeem Auguste. … Taylor Rank was the leading rusher with 24 yards on five carries and a touchdown. Brian Maddox had 14 yards on five carries, Kenny Miles had 23 yards on eight carries, Eric Baker had 10 yards on two carries, and Bobby Wallace had 10 yards on two carries. … Spencer Lanning’s lone punt was for 51 yards, and Ryan Doerr pinned a 41-yarder close to the goal-line.
The Gamecocks practice tonight at 7:15 at the Bluff Road practice facility. It’s closed to the public.