Gamecocks Hold Second Scrimmage Saturday

March 25, 2017


The University of South Carolina football team went through about a two-hour workout on Saturday morning at Williams-Brice Stadium, with the bulk of the practice in a scrimmage format. It was practice number 11 of the 15 allotted spring practices. The practice took place in front of several hundred women who were on hand for the annual Ladies’ Clinic.

Head coach Will Muschamp visited with the media after the scrimmage:

On today’s performance:

“Our guys did a good job today. We approached it well. We did some situational work and then we did some move the ball. We did a one-minute (drill), third down, and some red zone work, just continuing to introduce situations to our team. I think our guys have responded pretty well to what we’ve done. I’ve been pretty pleased. We’ve made some good strides in my opinion, but still have a ways to go.”

On the performance through spring camp overall:

“I like our attitude. I like our effort. I like the way the guys have responded for the most part. We’ve had a very physical spring and that’s what we needed to have. I think we’ve improve our physicality. We won’t know until September 2nd how far we’ve come, but I feel we’re an improved team, a team that has taken some positive steps forward from where we were last fall.”

On the offense:

“Bryan Edwards is doing well. He looked really good today. He’s still in a non-contact jersey but made a couple really nice third-down catches. Deebo (Samuel) looked good. OrTre Smith did some nice things. Some young guys are coming along and doing some nice things for us. Hayden (Hurst) had a really good spring. I thought Jake (Bentley) threw the ball extremely well today. Very accurate in his throws, especially in the third down period I thought looked really sharp directing our offense. I think Rico (Dowdle) has had a very good spring. He’s been able to go through a whole off-season. He’s never been through a full training program as far as just concentrating on getting stronger and all the things we talk about. He’s very strong in his lower body and I’ve seen some really nice runs as far as one-cut, vertical, north-south runs that he’s made. I’ve been very impressed. I think Michael (Scarnecchia) has done some nice things. I think Michael has arm talent. He’s got to continue to play as fast as the game is going. And that’s a problem because Mike’s been out so long. He hasn’t taken a bunch of snaps. That’s not his fault. He continues to improve and get better.”

On the defense:

“We’ve got to continue to make some strides up front and being able to affect the quarterback with four guys rushing. We’re struggling to do that. But I do think we’ve improved our team speed defensively. We’re going to have to have some cats come in and help us defensively in the fall that aren’t here yet. That’s always a concern when you leave spring, but that’s where we are.”

On the injury front:

“Sadarius Hutcherson might have gotten an ankle right there at the end. He was limping off. I’ll know more next week on that.”

On the goals for next week’s spring game:

“We want to get better. It’s another opportunity to go and play the game. Iron sharpens iron. We’ve got some younger guys we’ve got to find more about, especially in a game-setting situation when there are fans there. We’ve got to be able to have guys that we know going into the fall camp (whether) we need to continue to rep this guy or we need to give a freshman an opportunity. I’ve made some decisions in my mind on defense that we’ve got to give some news guys some opportunities. I’ve seen enough of what I’ve seen with some of these guys.”

On Jake Bentley becoming more vocal as a leader:

“I don’t know that I would say vocal, I would say more direction of getting guys aligned, showing guys where the hots are, making sure the protection is set, change the protection, changing the run. I think there’s a quiet confidence in himself which helps our team and helps some of our younger players especially, to understand that this guy understands what we’re trying to do.”

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields three times next week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), before wrapping up the spring with the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game on Saturday, April 1. Game time is set for 2 pm at Williams-Brice Stadium. Admission is free.