Playmakers, you want playmakers?
USC might have found a couple Friday during its hourlong scrimmage, which the Gamecocks moved up an hour to beat the rain.
Receiver Tori Gurley was the star, hauling in three passes for 123 yards – a 56-yarder from Stephen Garcia and a 28-yarder from Reid McCollum on which Gurley out-jumped walk-on Brandan Davis on the final play of the scrimmage.
Out-leaping opponents is nothing new for the 6-foot-5 Gurley, who was an accomplished basketball player in high school and is still known to throw down a few dunks in intramural ball.
Gurley, known as Tori Childers his first season at USC, changed his name during the offseason to honor his father, Norris Gurley, a former Virginia Tech basketball player who died last year at 42 in a car accident.
(Look for much more on Gurley in Saturday’s editions.)
Tailback Jarvis Giles also had a nice day, rushing for 80 yards on 12 carries and showing the quick burst and elusiveness that USC backs seemed to lack last season.
Garcia didn’t get a chance to do much, thanks to faulty protection. Garcia was sacked six times, although in fairness, he probably could have escaped the rush on a couple of those but the refs employed a quick whistle to prevent injuries.
(USC has made it through its first two scrimmages without a serious injury.)
McCollum displayed surprising arm strength on a laser down the middle of the field to Gurley (his one catch that did not produce a TD).
Otherwise, the defense ruled the day. Backup cornerbacks Cedric Snead and Addison Williams each had an INT, while Eric Norwood, Nathan Pepper and Clifton Geathers all spent ample time in the offensive backfield.
Here are the unofficial stats:
Passing—Garcia 3-9-1 73 yards, 1 TD; McCollum 5-13-0 77 yards, 1 TD; Brindise 0-2-1 0 yards.Rushing—DiMarco 2-16, Garcia 7-(-40), Baker 7-13, Maddox 6-25, McCollum 1-4, Giles 12-80, Miles 3-4, Hillary 2-5.Receiving—M. Brown 1-6, Gurley 3-123, 2 TDs, Giles 1-0, Hills 1-1, Saunders 1-11, Power 1-9.