USC Gamecocks Football

August 16, 2014

Scrimmage report: Offensive revival for Gamecocks

Saturday’s scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium belonged to the Gamecocks running game, coach Steve Spurrier said.

Saturday’s scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium belonged to the Gamecocks running game, coach Steve Spurrier said.

“The offense did some things, ran the ball, came out and ran it and ran it and ran it,” Spurrier said. “Our d-line didn’t play near like they did in the first scrimmage, or our linebackers. I think it was about attitude. The offensive guys had a little bit better attitude and knew that we needed to run the ball. We came out running too. We came with a little bit more of a running attitude today which as you know is always good. It’s good for the o-linemen.”

Junior Brandon Wilds led all rushers with five carries for 43 yards. Freshman David Williams had eight carries for 36 yards, and junior Shon Carson had three carries for 17 yards.

“The o-line played well today,” Spurrier said. “They were getting tired of getting pushed around a little bit and it seems like our d-line wasn’t quite as active as they have been lately.”

Starter Mike Davis had three carries after suffering a slight hip bruise when he was struck by a tackler’s helmet.

“But he’s OK,” Spurrier said.

Wilds, a junior with 707 career rushing yards, indicated after the scrimmage that he is hoping to have a big season and will consider early entry into the NFL Draft after this year.

“I still have another year of eligibility left, but how the season goes you just never know,” he said.

Passers sharp

Sophomore walk-on Perry Orth completed just 3-of-6 passes on Saturday, but he deserved a better fate, Spurrier said.

“He had three drops,” Spurrier said. “He had an excellent day. He hit everything he threw. He stayed in the pocket, got rid of it, avoided sacks. If we had to put somebody in today (as a backup), there’s a good chance he’d probably be in there, but we’ll let them practice all the way through the week. He and Connor Mitch will keep fighting for it.”

Orth threw for 73 yards with one touchdown. Mitch was 7-of-11 for 68 yards and one interception.

Starter Dylan Thompson 6-of-8 for 65 yards.

“Dylan hit about everything, made some nice checks there,” Spurrier said. “He’s ready to play. Got to keep him healthy. He’s ready to have a big year I believe.”

Freshman Michael Scarnecchia completed 8-of-15 passes and “played like a freshman,” Spurrier said.

“Scarnecchia is going to be a good player. It’s just all new for him, but he’s capable,” Spurrier said. “Scarnecchia will be good in about a year or so. If we don’t have to play him, we can redshirt him and he’ll be ready to compete for the starting job next year hopefully.

Freshman Taylor Stallworth had an interception off a deflected ball from Mitch. Sidney Rhodes deflected it. D.J. Smith picked off Scarnecchia.

Time to go

The Gamecocks will begin their game plan installation for Texas A&M on Sunday, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said, and that means setting a depth chart. In the secondary, South Carolina has decided to start with sophomores Chaz Elder and Chris Moody at safety and senior Brison Williams and true freshman Al Harris Jr. at cornerback.

Senior Kadetrix Marcus and junior T.J. Gurley are “real, real close” to Elder and Moody, Ward said.

“I am pretty comfortable with all the guys on defense right now,” Ward said. “We are still not there. We still have about 13 days or so to prepare or so, but we are close. We are actually probably a little bit ahead.”

Receiver rewarded

Junior wide receiver was being congratulated by teammates on Twitter this weekend for receiving a scholarship for his junior season. Spurrier said earlier in camp that Heard would be one of the top candidates if he were hand out any available scholarships.

Heard played high school football in Athens, Ga., and transferred to South Carolina after playing at Gardner-Webb in 2012.

Injury report

Players who did not practice or wore yellow jerseys were: TE K.C. Crosby (right foot), TE Rory “Busta” Anderson (right tricep), DE Blake McClain (foot), OL Alan Knott (right knee), OL Brock Stadnik (knee), DE Michael Washington (back), DE Devin Washington (hamstring), QB Brendan Nosovitch (shoulder) and OL Donell Stanley (wrist).

SCORING PLAYS

... Brandon Wilds 2-yard run (Elliott Fry kick)

... Shon Carson 3-yard run (Landon Ard kick)

... Damiere Byrd 20-yard pass from Perry Orth (Elliott Fry kick)

... Elliott Fry 48-yard field goal

PASSING: Perry Orth 3-6-0-73, 1 TD; Connor Mitch 7-11-1-68; Dylan Thompson 6-8-0-65; Michael Scarnecchia 8-15-1-48. TOTALS: 24-40-2-254, 1 TD.

RUSHING: Brandon Wilds 5-43, 1 TD; David Williams 8-36; Shon Carson 3-17, 1 TD; Darius Paulk 1-17; Mike Davis 3-15; Devin Potter 2-3; Michael Scarnecchia 2-(-8); Connor Mitch 5-(-13). TOTALS: 29-110, 2 TD.

RECEIVING: Deebo Samuel 3-32; Brandon Wilds 3-25; Pharoh Cooper 2-41; Damiere Byrd 2-38, 1 TD; Matrick Belton 2-22; Jerell Adams 2-13; Rod Talley 2-11; David Williams 2-10; K.J. Brent 1-35; Drew Owens 1-15; Shon Carson 1-9; Terry Googer 1-5; Kane Whitehurst 1-3; Darius Paulk 1-(-5). TOTALS: 24-254, 1 TD.

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