David Cloninger

Gamecocks will have to cover against Aggies

Jon Hoke has said that if anyone has trouble understanding his defensive scheme, it can be boiled down to two words — “Rush, cover.”

About to play Texas A&M on Saturday, South Carolina’s defensive philosophy stands to be tested more than its defense already has.

The Aggies unload the ball quickly. They spread the field and work fast. That they won’t name a quarterback until Friday has no bearing on the Gamecocks — T.J. Holloman and Darius English each said Tuesday it was still going to be the same system.

The first part of Hoke’s command can’t really be followed. Not much good to rush a quarterback who gets rid of it two seconds after the snap. Holloman recognized that and admitted that Hoke’s tweaked words this week have been “11 hats to the ball.”

“We’ve just got to run to the ball,” Holloman said. “We’ve just got to be ball-hawks to the ball, that’s it. Eleven guys, D-linemen, just put your foot in the ground and rush to the ball.”

Thus far, every QB the Gamecocks have played has had a wide-open middle-of-the-field to work with. With no rush expected Saturday, defenders really need to cover if they’re going to have a chance.