South Carolina’s offense looked good enough in Saturday’s scrimmage that coach Steve Spurrier was disappointed more people didn’t see it.
“I think it was the first scrimmage since I have been here that there wasn’t a punt,” the Gamecocks’ ninth-year coach said after his team held its first full pads scrimmage of fall camp. “Defense did some good things, but overall, the offense was a little bit better today.”
Spurrier closed practices, including scrimmages, to the public and the media last week partly because of frustration over fans asking players for autographs and taking and disseminating cell phone pictures and videos.
“I wish you guys could have been here,” Spurrier told the media after the scrimmage, indicating he planned to open the next scrimmage to the media but not the public.
The Gamecocks were powered by their running game Saturday, and that could become a theme in 2013.
“Tailbacks ran hard,” Spurrier said. “We’ve got four good running backs who can run, five really.”
Sophomore Brandon Wilds, No. 2 on the depth chart behind Mike Davis, led all runners with five carries for 34 yards and also caught two passes for 18 yards. Davis, a sophomore, was right behind with four carries for 27 yards. Shon Carson had four carries for 25 yards and a touchdown, and true freshman David Williams had three carries for 25 yards. Freshman Jamari Smith had one carry for 6 yards and added a 13-yard reception.
“You can’t play them all, but they are all doing well right now,” Spurrier said. “We’ll get them all ready. Remember two years ago? Brandon Wilds was fifth team and became the starter by midseason.”
Carson scored on a 15-yard run. Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson had a 1-yard scoring run, and Shaq Roland had a 55-yard touchdown reception from walk-on quarterback Perry Orth.
Davis and Wilds are competing for the Gamecocks’ starting spot, while Carson, despite considering himself an every down back, appears headed for a complementary role, albeit a potentially important one.
“He could play 20-25 plays,” Spurrier said. “He’s a good little screen runner, too. He’s quick. He’s nifty. There’s a place for Carson.”
Davis and Wilds are splitting practice snaps equally, Wilds said.
The competition “is intense, but it’s really fun,” Wilds said. “I think I did well (today), caught all my passes, got a lot of long runs.”
Carson added, “We are just trying to go out there and get each other better every day. I think I did pretty fair. I can get better.”
Connor Shaw 3-10-27-1; Dylan Thompson 5-7-74; Brendan Nosovitch 2-4-5; Perry Orth 2-2-68
Brandon Wilds 5-34; Mike Davis 4-27; Shaw 1-7; Shon Carson 4-25; Thompson 2-6; David Williams 3-25; Jamari Smith 1-6; Orth 1-0.
Jerell Adams 1-9; Wilds 2-18; Shamier Jeffery 1-31; Carson 1-5; Kwinton Smith 1-13; Williams 1-5; Jody Fuller 1-20; Carlton Heard 1-4; Jeff Homad 1-1; J. Smith 1-13; Shaq Roland 1-55.
Nick St. Germain 36 FG
Dylan Thompson 1 run (St. Germain kick)
Shon Carson 15 run (St. Germain missed kick)
Shaq Roland 55 pass from Perry Orth (Elliott Fry kick)