South Carolina won’t be wearing any special equipment for Saturday’s game against Navy, although some of the Midshipmen’s opponents do, Gamecocks defensive line coach Brad Lawing said.
Navy runs the option offense, which means its offensive linemen cut block (dive at the legs of their opponent) on almost every play. The defensive linemen from some of Navy’s opponents have worn soccer shin guards to protect their legs, Lawing said.
“As long as we don’t come out wearing soccer shin guards, we’ll be fine,” he said. “The defensive coordinator at Navy, he told me they played two or three teams over the years at Navy that come out wearing soccer shin guards. He said, ‘Those teams are done before the game even starts.’ ”
The defensive linemen’s focus should be keeping the offensive linemen off their legs, Lawing said.
“If you get your hands on a guy and he chops you, you have something to brace yourself with and you’re fine,” Lawing said. “If you don’t play with your hands, they will grind you up like a meat grinder.”
The Gamecocks are tied for fourth in the league with two sacks.
“We’ve got some great pass rushers, but we need to be great pass rushers in ball games and not on the practice field,” head coach Steve Spurrier said. “We have been very fortunate to win a couple games. We’ve got a lot of work.”
The Gamecocks practiced for two hours Wednesday evening. Backup running back Kenny Miles wore a yellow, no-contact jersey due to a minor hand injury but is expected to play Saturday.
“He practiced today and did some good things, caught the ball even,” running backs coach Jay Graham said.