Spurrier: “QB’s Weren’t as Bad as We Thought”
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — The University of South Carolina football squad returned to their new practice fields on Monday afternoon. It was the squad‘s first workout since holding a scrimmage on Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium. “We had a pretty good practice today,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following Monday‘s workout. “Guys were really fresh and ready to go.” The Head Ball Coach had a chance to evaluate the tape of Saturday‘s scrimmage. “What jumped out is that the quarterbacks weren‘t as bad as we probably had thought at the time. We‘re emphasizing getting the ball out of their hands and they did a little bit better today. That‘s why we practice. Connor Mitch finally threw a good one today. We hit a deep ball because he threw it on time instead of waiting to throw it. It‘s all timing in the passing game.” The defensive line was able to get consistent pressure on the quarterbacks in Saturday‘s scrimmage. “We did some good things,” said co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “We have some guys we think can break down guys one-on-one, but we didn‘t have that happen enough. We still have a ways to go, but we saw enough stuff to be encouraged.” Ward knows his staff will need to develop depth to handle North Carolina‘s high-paced offense on September 3. “They‘re one of the fastest teams in the country as far as running plays. Oregon might be the only team in the country that is faster running plays than North Carolina,” noted Ward. “It‘s going to be a hot, muggy day in Charlotte, North Carolina so we‘re going to need depth. We‘re starting to develop some depth and that‘s what we need, especially up front.” “We did a lot of good things (up front),” added defensive line coach Deke Adams. “We‘ve still got a long way to go but I felt like we played hard. We still had some mental busts we‘ve got to get cleaned up, but I felt like we did some good things and made a lot of progress.” “Overall, they did some good things, some of them,” said Kirk Botkin when assessing his linebacking corps. “Some of them still have some stuff to work on.” Botkin confirmed he would like to have six linebackers ready to go for the three spots. Three players who have been held out of drills for much of camp – defensive end Gerald Dixon (lower leg), offensive lineman Malik Young (ankle), and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth (pec muscle) – returned to practice on Monday. Safety Antoine Wilder (right knee sprain), tight end Connor Redmond (back), and kicker Joseph Charlton (back) remained sidelined with injuries. The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields for morning workouts on both Tuesday and Wednesday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. They will have Thursday off, as fall semester classes begin at the University.