South Carolina’s offense struggled to get much going against Missouri, as its only touchdown came on a play where Shon Carson caught a tipped pass and ran it into the end zone.
USC coach Steve Spurrier said the reason the Tigers had so much success against the Gamecocks’ offense may have been because Missouri’s defense knew what plays were coming. The Gamecocks will try to make their signals more complex moving forward.
“We’ve probably not hidden our signals as well as we should have. We’ve worked on that a little bit this week,” Spurrier said. “Somebody told me the other day, ‘Missouri looked like they had some of your plays.’ I said ‘I bet they did.’ ”
He added that the Gamecocks did not dig very deep into the playbook for running plays last week.
“First of all, we only had two running plays that we used, and we had one guy doing the signals basically. It’s not hard to look over there and see what the play is,” he said. “So we’ve been guilty, I think, of not hiding our signals as well as everybody else does. … That’s part of the game is hiding your signals, and we need to do a better job of that.”
Spurrier hoping Wilds plays the whole game
USC starting running back Brandon Wilds is slated to return this week after missing the previous two games, and Spurrier is hopeful Wilds can stay healthy throughout the game.
“Brandon has practiced all week. He should be ready to go. I asked him the other day, ‘You think you can play an entire ballgame?’ And he looked at me funny,” Spurrier said. “I don’t know if he has except maybe his first year here. I think the more he plays, if he can stay in there and stay healthy, it will help us.”
Wilds has 35 carries for 181 yards in three games.
Receivers need to get a shot
South Carolina’s receivers have struggled outside of Pharoh Cooper, but Spurrier said that is due partly to them not getting many chances.
Quarterback Lorenzo Nunez ran on several pass plays instead of giving receivers an opportunity to make a catch, Spurrier said.
“Our receivers don’t have much of a chance unless the ball gets slung in their direction, so hopefully we can get some balls out this week,” he said.
Spurrier impressed by Clemson
Clemson is 4-0 after a win over No. 6 Notre Dame last week, and Spurrier, who has taken shots at the Tigers during his time at South Carolina, said he has been impressed by what he’s seen.
“Clemson’s got a good team this year. I’ve watched them on TV. They can play defense, and they’re winning their close games,” he said.
▪ USC co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said a challenge in stopping LSU star Leonard Fournette is that if a team loads the box up and he breaks free, there is no one in the secondary to make a tackle. He added that LSU’s offensive line is an underrated part of its offense.
▪ Gerald Dixon Jr. should be available to play. Chaz Elder is questionable. He’s limited but has been practicing.
▪ Players who were injured or wore yellow jerseys were: WR Christian Owens (left foot), WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring), WR Carlton Heard (lip), QB Lorenzo Nunez (sprained shoulder), TE Connor Redmond (back), QB Gage Pucci (knee), C Zack Bailey (hamstring) and C Cody Waldrop (ankle). QB Connor Mitch (shoulder) is out 1-3 weeks. WR Shaq Davidson (knee) and WR Jerad Washington (left leg) are out for the season.
Staff writer David Cloninger contributed to this report.