Mitch Shines at USC Scrimmage

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By Sports Department

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – The University of South Carolina football squad moved into Williams-Brice Stadium for the first time this spring on Thursday afternoon as they scrimmaged for the second half of practice number seven.

“It was a good practice for most of the guys,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “I don’t think anybody got hurt, so that’s always good. We’ll probably do this again next Thursday and Saturday. Hopefully we can get a little crowd here. Maybe we’ll look better on offense.

“We’ve got a good bunch of guys,” continued the Head Ball Coach. “We’ve just got to play better. The offensive line has got to learn how to block. They’re pretty good at everything except blocking. Unfortunately that’s all we ask them to do. If we can block a little bit better, we’ll be in good shape.”

Freshman quarterback Connor Mitch was the offensive star of the scrimmage, completing 9-of-11 passes for 78 yards with the game’s only touchdown, a five-yard pass to Shamier Jeffery. Sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland was the top receiver with three catches for 40 yards, while sophomore tailback Mike Davis was the top rusher with three carries for 31 yards in a contest that saw primarily the younger players take the reps.

“I thought we ran to the ball well on defense,” said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “We missed some tackles, which is going to happen the first scrimmage. As far as assignment-wise, we’ll have to look at the video. One guy who looked faster was Mason Harris, so that was exciting to see, because that’s what he’s going to have to be able to do for us if he’s going to help us on defense.” Ward feels Harris, a sophomore who is listed at 6-3, 215-pounds, will be able to use his speed and quickness to get to the quarterback.

The Gamecocks’ “rabbits” package on defense would include junior Jadeveon Clowney and senior Chaz Sutton inside, and Harris and redshirt freshman Darius English outside, if the season started today, noted Ward. “We’ll definitely use (the rabbits package). It puts the offense at a disadvantage when you put four guys out there that can get to the passer.”

The Gamecocks will return to the Bluff Road practice fields next Tuesday.

SCORING PLAYS:
Landon Ard 37-yard field goal
Shamier Jeffery 5-yard pass from Connor Mitch

PASSING: Connor Mitch 9-11-0-78, 1 TD; Brendan Nosovitch 5-11-0-55; Dylan Thompson 1-3-0-16; Perry Orth 3-4-0-13. TOTALS: 18-29-0-162, 1 TD.

RUSHING: Mike Davis 3-31; Kendric Salley 3-16; Devin Potter 2-15; Brandon Wilds 2-7; Brendan Nosovitch 1-(-1); Dylan Thompson 1-(-3); Perry Orth 2-(-8); Connor Mitch 6-(-21). TOTALS: 20-36.

RECEIVING: Shaq Roland 3-40; David Wilkins 3-13; K.J. Brent 2-27; Jerell Adams 1-28; Rory Anderson 1-14; Jody Fuller 1-11; Kendric Salley 1-9; Drew Owens 1-7; Tevin Bradshaw 1-7; Shamier Jeffery 1-5, 1 TD; Mike Davis 1-2; Brandon Wilds 1-0; Dwayne Duckett 1-(-1). TOTALS: 18-162, 1 TD.

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