Changes are coming to South Carolina’s defense.
That’s the way it sounds after a 35-28 win against Kentucky, anyway.
“Our guys, I think, are trying,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “Some of them are not trying the right way. Some of them are doing their own crap. I’m not going to mention any names. Y’all watched it. I think we will make some changes. We will make some changes.”
For a coach trying hard to put a positive spin on things, it was the one moment of his postgame news conference where his voice rose. What the changes will be, neither Spurrier nor defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said, but chances are they will come in the secondary.
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In the fourth quarter, the Gamecocks blew assignments in both zone and man coverage schemes, Ward said, and tackling remains an issue, Spurrier said.
“Our guy is diving over here and they are running over there,” Spurrier said. “I don’t know how you change that. As long as they try hard, that’s all you can say as a coach, ‘Just keep trying the best you can, and we will try to put you in the best position possible.’ We are happy with our players. Effort wise, most of them are pretty good.”
Defensive tackles Kelcy Quarles and J.T. Surratt and linebacker T.J. Holloman led the Gamecocks with six tackles each, and freshman linebacker Skai Moore played more than last week, although he notched only two tackles. As for the rest of the defenders, we will see who emerges from what could be an interesting week of practice.
“We haven’t stopped anybody in the fourth quarter all year,” Spurrier said. “I don’t know if we’ve forced a punt in the fourth quarter, maybe one. I don’t know if we can change it or not. We are coaching our tails off as hard as we possibly can. We are 4-1, I do know that.”