The roller coaster of Ty’Son Williams’ season just hit another climb. His three games before Saturday went zero carries, lead the team in rushing, zero carries.
So he was due for a big one.
Getting his first start in a Gamecocks uniform against Louisiana Tech, Williams delivered. His 95 yards were the best for a USC runner this season. His 35-yard touchdown in the late going gave South Carolina its first lead.
And he started early, with 47 yards on eight touches on USC’s opening possession. He got the sense it was coming early in the week.
“When I practiced on Tuesday, I was first in the rotation,” Williams said. “Kind of had it in my mind that I would start this game.”
That also came with Rico Dowdle being limited by a thigh contusion.
But Williams also had at least one drop in the midst of the game. Moments after a deep pass set USC up inside the Bulldogs, he fumbled the ball on a counter run, one of a multitude of moments when USC tripped itself up.
But that didn’t stop him.
“I just hate to put my team in that position,” Williams said. “But tonight I was able to bounce back.”
He was in a few drives later, cutting back behind a tight end’s block and galloping 35 yards for one of USC’s bigger plays of the first 59 minutes.
“He didn’t get down,” quarterback Jake Bentley said. “You’ve just got to keep battling, keep fighting.
“He made an outstanding run.”
The performance likely could mean a more substantial amount of work in coming games, though the same could have been said of his 78 yards against Missouri. Dowdle also took another hit to that thigh, which could mean a little less work on his part.
But both, along with A.J. Turner, have their coach’s confidence, and Will Muschamp recognizes what he has in Williams.
“Ty’Son’s a good football player,” Muschamp said. “We’ll go back, and I know we’ll all reflect, but he’s a guy that, got to take care of the football, but certainly gets positive yardage.
“He’s a heavy back and people get tired of hitting him.”