Josh Kendall

Gamecocks’ tale of two tailbacks

One week into the college football season, and A.J. Turner is 11th in the SEC in rushing. Not what anybody expected from South Carolina’s redshirt freshman a month ago.

Turner rushed for 70 yards on 13 carries against Vanderbilt last week. His 5.38 yards per carry were the ninth-best among SEC runners.

“I thought A.J. played really well,” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said. “I thought he runs through contact and did a nice job catching the ball.”

Turner did hold up well under contact and got tough yards, which was the concern considering he’s somewhere south of 200 pounds.

That was the good news for South Carolina’s running game. The bad news? Junior running back David Williams averaged 1.4 yards per carry. Williams got five carries totaled 7 yards, but Muschamp didn’t blame all that on Williams.

“In the first half as far as the run game was concerned we had a lot of miscommunication,” Muschamp said. “We just had some mental errors that really hurt us. I thought David did a nice job.”

The mental mistakes in the running game in the first half were so bad they would have been hard for anyone to overcome, Muschamp said.

“That was the exciting part watching the tape, a lot of very correctable things,” he said. “We are going to continue to improve throughout the year.”

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC