The Gamecocks broke camp Wednesday night following their third and final scrimmage – full contact, anyway. With players headed to class Thursday, it seems as good a time as any to do the old, "Five Things We Learned" list.
In no particular order …
1-There could be some anxious moments in the kicking game.
We like Spencer Lanning/Lanning Spencer. Good guy and all that. But he did not exactly pound the ball the final two scrimmages, going 4-for-10 on field goals.
Steve Spurrier says he’s not worried. And really, what other options does he have? Adam Yates has a groin injury, UNC transfer Jay Wooten isn’t eligible until next year and walk-on Brandon Berger hasn’t gotten much of a look.
2-The running game/offensive line will be better.
It has to be, doesn’t it?
Eric Wolford seems to have changed the attitude up front, and the Gamecocks now have some tailbacks with burst.
3-The corners will have some long days giving up long plays.
The talent is there, no question. But you start a freshman and a redshirt freshman at corner in the SEC, you can’t expect them to be perfect.
4-Cliff Matthews and Eric Norwood must stay healthy.
The two veteran play-makers sat out Wednesday’s scrimmage, and well, there weren’t many defensive players making momentum-changing plays. (Exception: C.C Whitlock’s 93-yard interception return for a TD one play after the corner was whistled for holding.)
5-The freshman sensation on offense might not be who you think.
Jarvis Giles is an exciting back. Alshon Jeffery seems to have that Sidney Rice knack for pulling down jump balls.
But the guy who puts up huge numbers every scrimmage is WR DeMario Bennett (see his four catches for 93 yards and a TD in Wednesday’s action). Granted, Bennett has been carving up the second- and third-team defenses, but the 6-3, 185-pounder has looked incredibly smooth and fluid in doing so.
One Thing We Didn’t Learn1-Whether Stephen Garcia can be an upper-echelon SEC quarterback.
The gut reaction is yes, but he has to get more consistent. No. 5 looked like a different QB Wednesday compared to the one who was all over the place Sunday.