South Carolina freshman quarterback Jay Urich is impersonating Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant on the Gamecocks scout team this week. South Carolina could hardly have picked a better player.
Not only is Urich similar in size and athleticism to Bryant, but he’s very familiar with Bryant himself. Urich and Bryant both were quarterbacks at Wren High School.
“I know Jay knows him pretty well and he talks to him every few weeks,” Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley said. “Jay says he’s a great guy, and obviously he’s a great football player, too.”
Stopping Bryant will be the most important job for the Gamecocks defense on Saturday when No. 4 Clemson (10-1) comes to Williams-Brice Stadium. Stopping in on the ground is where that starts. Bryant leads Clemson in carries with 159 and has 772 rushing yards before sack yardage is subtracted.
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"You have to be really cognizant of your rush lanes and fill your rush lanes up,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “I told our defensive line, ‘Don't be selfish.’ At the end of the day, you have to play within the scheme and the system of why we are trying to do and understand that this guy is a really good athlete and he can hurt you throwing it and obviously he has hurt people running it as well.”
Bryant is completing 66 percent of his passes for 2,154 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.
“We want to make him throw the ball and not use his legs this week,” said South Carolina safety D.J. Smith, who added he expects to spy on Bryant throughout the game. “We have to respect him all over the field. He’s a great player.”