For our members: Scrimmage updates here at GoGamecocks.com starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday
South Carolina will hold its third fall scrimmage Saturday morning in Williams-Brice Stadium, and it’s open to the public.
Several thousand fans attended Wednesday night’s scrimmage at the stadium, but if you weren’t one of those (or even if you were), you might want to check out this one. It’s time for the Gamecocks to starting writing out the starting lineup in pen instead of pencil, and I expect a lot of lineup decisions to be finalized, if not outright made, based on this practice.
The main action is expected to begin at 10:30 a.m., and here are five things to watch if you go.
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Will Connor Shaw be able to practice?
Shaw, the sophomore backup, looked good playing with the first team Wednesday, but he left early with a dislocated thumb. It’s not a serious injury, but I don’t expect him to participate Saturday based on head coach Steve Spurrier’s latest evaluation of his health. If Shaw can go, he’ll have one more chance to unseat Stephen Garcia, although the chance of that remains very remote.
Who plays where at wide receiver?
Alshon Jeffery’s spot as No. 1 on the depth chart and No. 1 in Garcia’s heart is unchallenged. What’s left to be determined is how the rest of the unit stacks up. Jason Barnes and Ace Sanders have looked like Nos. 2 and 3 at times, but that may not be official. Freshmen Damiere Byrd and K.J. Brent continue to impress as well. Bruce Ellington, DeAngelo Smith, D.L. Moore, Lamar Scruggs and Nick Jones also are vying for playing time.
What’s South Carolina going to do at fullback?
Junior Dalton Wilson lined up with the first team for Wednesday’s scrimmage, but the Gamecocks also will use starting tight end Justice Cunningham as a fullback in some sets. Also watch for Brandon Wilds to get a look. He was headed for a redshirt season until last week when he impressed the coaches with his running ability and special teams work. Fullback might be a spot where they can get him on the field.
How does the linebacker rotation work?
I think the defensive coaches would love for somebody (Damario Jeffery, we’re looking at you) to step up at weakside linebacker and allow them to use Shaq Wilson and Rodney Paulk in a middle linebacker rotation. However, that hasn’t happened yet. Wilson and Paulk would be a very solid starting linebacker duo, but there are some other guys who could get in the rotation.
Who’s the punter?
It’s still a dead heat between Joey Scribner-Howard and Patrick Fish. Both need to be more consistent.