The Gamecocks are spending some of their spring practice time investigating options for a Wildcat quarterback.
“We have to have some alternatives,” head coach Will Muschamp said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “That’s something we’re working through.”
The mid-spring transfer of quarterback Brandon McIlwain has left South Carolina without a running threat at the position.
“Brandon and I had a really good conversation. I respect his decision. Totally understand,” Muschamp said. “I respect his contributions to South Carolina, and we wish him the best.”
After planning to have no more than 40 scrimmage snaps Saturday, the Gamecocks had nearly 75 thanks to the offense’s pace and efficiency.
“I was kind of pleased with the tempo and some things we were doing, so we kept on going,” Muschamp said. “We have a long way to go, but we certainly are much improved from where we were.”
The scrimmage was closed to the public and media, and Muschamp did not reveal any details about who excelled.
“We got a lot of good things accomplished today,” he said. “We got the coaches off the field and let the players play.”
The Gamecocks will return to the practice field Monday. The annual spring game is April 1 in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Former Green Bay Packers quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Brett Favre spoke at South Carolina’s coaches’ clinic on Friday night and then threw a few passes to the Gamecocks wide receivers before Saturday morning’s practice.
South Carolina tight end “Hayden Hurst looked at me and said, ‘I’m catching a pass from Brett Favre. How neat is that?’ ” Muschamp said. “(Favre) loved it. He can still spin it, let me tell you.”
Favre received a standing ovation after his address to Friday night’s group of mostly high school coaches.
Muschamp was not happy with his kickers’ first effort of the spring in the stadium. Freshman Alex Woznick is expected to win the starting place-kicking job, while Joseph Charlton and Michael Almond are competing for the starting punter spot.
“We are far too inconsistent snapping it, kicking it and punting it,” Muschamp said. “We have to get much, much more consistent.”
South Carolina’s pass rush potential still isn’t where Muschamp wants it to be. The Gamecocks were 11th in the SEC in sacks last year with 21.
“We have to get more guys we can count on up front,” Muschamp said. “We are very thin from the standpoint of experience and guys we feel like we can win the SEC East with. I’m just being honest. We have to get faster twitch and we have to get better rushers.”
Sophomore end Dennis Wonnum has had a good spring, and sophomore Danny Fennell has had two good practices consecutively, Muschamp said.
“We’ve got to have (Fennell) come along for us,” Muschamp said.
“Deebo Samuel is having an outstanding spring. I’ve been extremely pleased with him and how’s come out and worked,” Muschamp said.