COLUMBIA – Finally made it back to the Holy City and as I was driving back from Columbia I had a few thoughts about the 60-minute scrimmage Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Jadeveon Clowney good. South Carolina offense bad.
Not sure if it’s that the defense and Clowney are that good or the offense is that bad. Maybe it’s a combination of both. Maybe the defense played especially well and the offense didn’t.
What it did look like was that JD Clowney was playing at a different speed than everyone else on the field on Saturday. That’s what a lot of “analyst” say about great athletes, but honestly, that’ s just the best way to describe it. Clowney is playing at a different level and at a different speed. Or at least he was Saturday afternoon.
Maybe he was tired of USC head coach Steve Spurrier saying he was tired of talking about him. Maybe all that “jivin’ around” in the locker room during practice on Monday paid off. He was a beast and he only played, maybe 10 snaps.
The HBC obviously wasn’t pleased at all by the offensive line’s effort, calling them “soft” at one point when talking to the media and later saying they were “scared” to block JD.
I would have to agree.
O-Line coach Shawn Elliott has gone out of his way to praise the O-Line during preseason camp. Elliott normally a pretty fiery guy anyway will have plenty to discuss with his bunch during their next film session.
A quick overview of what I saw by position.
Connor Shaw never had a chance, but then again, neither did many of the other QBs that got into the game. Not sure how long Shaw was scheduled to play, but he hurt his hand in his second series when he hit the helmet or shoulder pads of a defensive player with his follow through.
There was some debate on if he had ice on his hand afterwards. He did. I couldn’t see it early on because he had his back to me, but once he turned, there was definitely a bad of ice taped to his hand. HBC said he bruised the thumb on his throwing hand. Didn’t sound serious, but the thumb is very important when gripping the ball.
Dylan Thompson didn’t look much better. He had several high throws and a couple of drops.
Brendan Nosovitch probably threw the ball the best, but he was playing against second and third teamers. Freshman Connor Mitch looked like a freshman playing in his second scrimmage.
See stats below.
See above. Not a good day to be a USC offensive lineman.
They did open a couple of holes running the ball. Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds had a couple of nice runs between the tackles.
“We need to look and see what happened there,” said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.
But all in all a day to forget.
WR Bruce Ellington and TE Rory Anderson are still out, so kind of hard to evaluate the receivers.
Jody Fuller looked good and Pharoh Cooper, who moved from CB to WR during the week, had a couple of nice catches. Shamier Jeffery and Damiere Byrd each had a nice catch down the field.
Shaq Roland, who is having a good camp, couldn’t get open, but again, that was probably due to the pressure.
But that was about it. The Gamecocks will need more production, but that starts up front.
Other than that, not a great day in the passing game.
See Clowney above. If the Gamecocks can get that kind of pressure on the quarterback all season, it’s going to be a fun to watch.
Think about this. DE Chaz Sutton didn’t even play. He was second on the team in sacks last year and he was out and they still got pressure on almost every passing play.
A lot of speculation about the LBs with three new starters at the beginning of the preseason. There are the guys who started Saturday. Marcquis Roberts (will) and Kaiwan Lewis (mike) were out there for the first series along with (spur) Sharrod Golightly.
Don’t know where Cedric Cooper will be in the mix when he returns from his elbow injury. Cooper hoping to be back this week at some point.
They are all athletic and can run. They made plays. We’ll see what happens when the lights come on.
If the QB doesn’t have time to throw, the secondary has it pretty easy. Hard to gauge how good this unit played because the QBs were running for their lives all afternoon.
All three kickers made their field goal from about 35 yards out. Spurrier hoping to name a starter this week.
Gamecocks No. 6 in AP preseason poll
As I was driving up from Charleston, the AP released its preseason poll. The Gamecocks were ranked No. 6, the highest in school history. The Gamecocks were ranked ninth in last year’s A.P. preseason poll. They were ranked seventh in the first 2013 USA Today/Coaches poll, released earlier this month.
The players were pretty blasé about being No. 6.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me,” said defensive end Kelcy Quarles.
Spurrier said about as much.
“I hope we can live up to it,” HBC said. “It’s flattering. I don’t know if we can live up to it or not, but we’ll try.”
The Gamecocks garnered 1,154 points to rank between two other SEC schools, No. 5 Georgia (1,249) and No. 7 Texas A&M (1,104). Defending national champion and SEC rival Alabama received 58 of the 60 first-place votes to easily take the top spot in the first poll of the year. Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford follow the Crimson Tide in the next three spots. Clemson, Louisville and Florida, the fifth SEC school, round out the top-10.
Don’t know how this will show up on the blog, but here’s the rest of the poll.
2013 Associated Press Preseason Top-25
1. Alabama (58)
2. Ohio State (1)
5. Georgia (1)
6. South Carolina
7. Texas A&M
11. Florida State
13. Oklahoma State
14. Notre Dame
19. Boise State
24. Southern California
25. Oregon State
Mediocre seats still available
Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Monday, August 19, at 10 a.m. Approximately 3,000 tickets remain for the August 29 opener against North Carolina. Season tickets remain on sale as well.
For your reading pleasure, here’s a statistical breakdown of the scrimmage
David Williams 1-yard run (Landon Ard kick) Pharoh Cooper 10-yard pass from Brendan Nosovitch (Ard kick)
PASSING: Brendan Nosovitch 5-12-1-82, 1 TD; Dylan Thompson 3-8-0-47; Connor Shaw 2-6-1-25; Perry Orth 4-7-0-23; Connor Mitch 2-4-0-3. TOTALS: 16-37-2-180, 1 TD.
RUSHING: Mike Davis 4-53; Brandon Wilds 3-20; David Williams 5-12, 1 TD; Shon Carson 3-11; Jody Fuller 1-8; Connor Shaw 2-1; Brendan Nosovitch 1-0; Connor Mitch 1-(-5); Dylan Thompson 2-(-8); Perry Orth 2-(-8). 24-84, 1 TD.
RECEIVING: Jody Fuller 5-49; Pharoh Cooper 2-45, 1 TD; Jordan Diaz 2-3; Kwinton Smith 1-22; Shamier Jeffery 1-21; Damiere Byrd 1-21; Jerell Adams 1-12; Connor McLaurin 1-5; Kelvin Rainey 1-3; Shon Carson 1-(-1). 16-180, 1 TD.