Nov. 24, 2015
The University of South Carolina football squad spent two hours on the new Gamecock Park practice fields on Tuesday afternoon.
The Gamecocks (3-8) are preparing for their final game of the 2015 season when they host the top-ranked Clemson Tigers (11-0) on Saturday, Nov. 28, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN beginning at noon ET.
The Gamecocks have to shake off last week's upset loss to The Citadel quickly with the nation's top-ranked team coming in this week. "You've got to put it behind and move on to the next one," said linebackers coach Kirk Botkin. "That's what you do as players and that's what you do as coaches."
The Carolina defense will be asked to slow down the high-octane Clemson attack. "They have a lot of run-pass options," said Botkin. "The quarterback is a really, really good football player and they do a lot of stuff with formations, smoke-and-mirror, moving guys here and there. They do a really good job with a lot of the run-pass options."
"Their offense is multiple, too," added defensive coordinator Jon Hoke. "They get the ball to a lot of different people and they do a good job with that. That's what makes it a challenge."
Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson is one of the nation's toughest quarterbacks to defend. "I think he's just more mature with another year running the system," said Botkin of Watson's improvement from last season. "He's knows where to go with the football. He makes good decisions."
He's a run-pass threat," noted Hoke. "He throws the ball very well, throws the deep ball very well. And then he's very mobile. He does a good job with their offense. He understands it very well. He knows how to execute it. You don't see a lot of errors in his play. He makes so many plays down the field. He's really accurate down the field."
The Tigers are known for their speed on offense, which gave the Gamecocks fits last season. "Speed is always a difficult thing (to defend), no matter who you're playing," said Hoke. "We've got to be able to set edges. That's the biggest thing. We've got to set the edges as tight as we can and try to keep those guys inside the defense."
Cornerback Chris Lammons was in a yellow "no contact" jersey on Tuesday with a sore back, but Coach Hoke expects him to be available on Saturday. Offensive tackle Mason Zandi did not practice (ankle).
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Wednesday afternoon.
- Women's Sports
- Fan Zone
- Gamecock Club
- Academic Services
- Active Gamecocks
- Annual Reports
- Brag Points
- Communications and Public Relations
- Community Outreach
- Compliance Services
- Facility Rentals
- Facility Projects
- Football Strength & Conditioning
- Gamecock Gala
- Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise
- General Releases
- All Access