The statistics back up what those watching South Carolina football have seen this season: The kickoff coverage is abysmal.
While the kickoff part of that has gotten plenty of blame, special teams coach Shane Beamer said the coverage part also is a problem.
He pointed to the Tennessee game on Saturday, when walk-on Blake Baxley was "leading the charge" downfield for the Gamecocks, five yards ahead of teammates every time.
"I love Blake, and that's great for Blake, but it's bad for the rest of us because Blake shouldn't be out-running some of those other guys," Beamer said.
That was a big reason why on Monday, for the first time this season, Beamer told the players on the unit that the effort was lacking.
"We have some guys on there that are playing some snaps on defense that probably were a little worn down," he said. "We had some other guys that had no excuse."
The Gamecocks rank 115th of 120 teams in the FBS in yards allowed per return (25.67). Most of the problem has been with the kicks - they have one touchback, and seldom kick the ball inside the 10.
It is too late for Beamer to hold open tryouts or grab someone off the soccer team. Instead he has adjusted the plan for the kicks, and seemed satisfied with how kicker Adam Yates did at Tennessee.
Two of the three kickoffs landed between the 10 and 20 with decent hang time. The middle one, however, landed on the 20 with no hang time.
"We talked to him about height all week and may have over-coached the height," Beamer said. "He did a pretty decent job of kicking."
Jarriel King's status for Saturday at Arkansas is "up in the air," according to South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.
The Gamecocks' starting left tackle was taken to the hospital with concussion-like symptoms after Saturday's loss at Tennessee. He did not practice Monday or Tuesday.
"They think he got bonked in the head somehow, I guess in the game last week," Spurrier said.
King posted on his Facebook page that he would not play against Arkansas.
Kyle Nunn would start if King is out. Nunn has started three games at left tackle, with King moving to left guard for two of them. But King moved back to left tackle for the Tennessee game while Nunn sat.
Competing, not complementing
Tori Gurley and Alshon Jeffery continue to push each other for snaps at their outside receiver position. But plenty of fans would love to see the lanky freshmen, who have each shown star potential, play together.
Gurley said the team was "still working on it," but didn't appear to be in a hurry.
"We have a core of receivers that are really good, and we don't really want to take away from anyone else," Gurley said. "Because we have Jason Barnes, he's playing really well. Moe Brown, D.L. Moore, Stephen Flint, I mean we just have a core of guys that are very talented. So it really doesn't matter if me and Alshon are on the field at the same time because everyone is being productive."
He said it
"It was one of them quick naps and I overslept. It won't happen again. But coach doesn't have any favoritism, so I didn't start." - Akeem Auguste, asked how he overslept a 3 p.m. meeting the day of the Tennessee game.