There’s a questions fans, college football fans especially, like to ask. At the end of a game, usually after a loss, the query comes: Where was that guy?
For South Carolina’s football team, it might be, where was a running back such as Mon Denson or A.J. Turner? It might be, why didn’t Bryan Edwards or OrTre Smith get more targets? (Or the tight ends.) And often with how the Gamecocks are currently built, it’s why didn’t the staff get the ball in the hands of Dakereon Joyner more as a receiver or quarterback?
This came up after the Alabama game, as Joyner was going through the experience of splitting time and waiting for chances. A less mature player might hint at wanting more touches. Joyner’s response showed a measure of maturity in his outlook.
“It’s only one ball,” Joyner said. “We’ve got a lot of playmakers and you got to find a way to get some other people involved. But like I said, there’s only one ball, you know, so sometimes things work out that way.”
This is notable because the Gamecocks simply have a lot of options. Edwards and Shi Smith are anchors of the passing game, but the likes of OrTre Smith, Josh Vann and Xavier Legette are there too, not to mention Nick Muse and Kyle Markway.
Then there’s the backfield, with Rico Dowdle and Tavien Feaster, but also Mon Denson and Kevin Harris who could also use carries.
And in an offense averaging 32 carries (including sacks) and 25 completions per game, not every mouth will be fed as much as it could be each game.
That’s not to say Joyner shouldn’t get more chances. He had 53 yards on his four carries against an FCS team. He’s caught at least one ball a game and is still working his way in as a wide receiver, at a spot he’s only played for about a month.
More chances at quarterback will likely come his way. And as he waits, he said there wasn’t any angst about having to do so.
“Not frustrating at all,” Joyner said, “because I know my boys are eating too, and as long as my boys are eating, and we’re productive on the field, there’s not a problem at all.”