David Williams ended South Carolina’s win against UCF with 14 carries for 32 yards. He wasn’t happy.
Even when it started with six carries for zero yards, he wasn’t happy with a slight improvement.
“It was hard because they had six in the box,” Williams said. “You’d make one miss and then there would be two more.”
With Brandon Wilds expected to miss Saturday’s game at Missouri, Williams knows he’ll face another difficult task. The Tigers will know the Gamecocks’ biggest home-run threat at running back isn’t playing, and the others didn’t do very well against the Knights.
UCF has a strong defense, but Missouri’s is the seventh-best in the country. Williams is confident, though, that he can get himself going.
“I think the O-line made the right blocks, they saw what they were doing and came out expecting what was going to happen,” he said of the UCF adjustment. “I get frustrated because I’m getting tackled six yards back and I’m in the negative. I’m not making anything happen for my team.”
USC might look to get Rod Talley some carries behind starter Shon Carson and Williams.
Much has been made of USC’s preferred defensive alignment, which is leaving the middle of the field open and working to deny the big play. Opponents have noticed, throwing short quick passes to take advantage of the Gamecocks’ lack of pressing defensive backs.
Going against a freshman quarterback in Drew Lock who could use some “safe” passing routes, will there be a change?
“We play 5 yards off, but we do have certain change-ups to stop that slant,” Al Harris said. “We feel like slants aren’t going to beat us. The big shots down the field will. We’ve mainly been working on that.”
I’m still here
T.J. Holloman’s ascension to middle linebacker and Skai Moore’s move to weakside LB has left Jonathan Walton as odd man out.
It doesn’t matter. One snap or 90 snaps, he’ll do whatever he can.
“He’s got a banged-up knee. He’s got a hurt shoulder. He’s playing,” Kirk Botkin said. “He’s a very physical player, and he comes out here every day and practices physical.”
Too soon to label
Junior defensive end Qua Lewis, thus far, has not lived up to the hype attached to his name. He has one quarterback hurry in four games with no sacks or tackles for loss.
Lorenzo Ward pointed out that USC has played four opponents who have known USC is susceptible to a quick pass, which negates a pass rush. He also said to give Lewis time.
“I know everybody’s looking for Qua to sack a lot of quarterbacks and that type deal, and I think it will come,” Ward said. “The games that we played, he hasn’t had a tremendous amount of opportunities, because we’ve played him inside.”
Ward said the staff might play Lewis at more of an outside spot, such as the locations that treated Eric Norwood and Melvin Ingram so well.
USC will wear white jerseys and garnet pants on Saturday.
Red cross report
Spur Jasper Sasser sat out of practice with an undisclosed injury. He should be back Thursday. WR Deebo Samuel missed practice again with a tweaked hamstring. D.J. Neal is set to start in his place if he can’t play.
Other players who were injured or wore yellow jerseys were: C Alan Knott (sprained left ankle), RB Brandon Wilds (ribs), TE Connor Redmond (back), QB Gage Pucci (knee) and C Cody Waldrop (ankle). QB Connor Mitch (shoulder) is out 2-4 weeks. WR Shaq Davidson (knee) and WR Jerad Washington (left leg) are out for the season.
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