South Carolina cornerback Chris Lammons goes into games expecting he’ll play every snap. This season, that’s become as much reality as a mindset.
“I play the whole game, every game,” Lammons said.
Does that put any pressure on him, having to be on the field the vast majority of the time?
“It’s more reps for me and more opportunities for us to make plays out there,” Lammons said.
Earlier this year, South Carolina coach Will Muschamp laid it out: the Gamecocks only have three corners. Outside Lammons, they’ve got junior college transfer Jamarcus King, who has blossomed in his first year on campus, and sophomore Rashad Fenton.
Juco transfer Stephen Montac, who followed King from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, was recruited as a corner, but moved to safety to help when injuries plagued that position.
Then an ankle injury sidelined Fenton against Georgia, forcing the staff to shift Montac back from safety to help on the outside when Lammons shifted in to nickel. Lammons and King played every non-goal line snap.
Jordan Diggs and Antoine Wilder provide some help at nickel as bigger bodies against the run, but the Gamecocks remain woefully short on available options. Despite that fact, the pass defense might be the biggest strength of the team.
USC ranks 16thth in opponents’ passer rating and is allowing 5.6 yards per attempt (5th-best nationally against FBS competition).
The bye week helped give Fenton a chance to get healthy, but Montac could still be a helpful option there. He only learned the Sunday before the Georgia game he’d have to play at corner, his natural position.
Montac has already been asked to step up at a different spot once this season, and it looks like he’ll have to do it again.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Monac said. “I prepared for the week of practice, and that’s what I came in as, a corner.”