April 8, 2006
The Garnet team used a 21-point second quarter and cruised to a 35-7 win over the Black team in the annual Spring Game, played in rainy conditions on Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium. A crowd of 10,210 was on hand to see 2006 spring drills for the South Carolina Gamecocks come to a close.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Cade Thompson led the Garnet squad by completing 10-of-13 passes for 136 yards and a pair of scores. Thompson connected with redshirt freshman wide receiver Freddie Brown from six yards out on the game’s first drive to put the Garnet on top, 7-0. He later hooked up with another redshirt freshman wide receiver, O.J. Murdock on a 42-yard touchdown strike midway through the second stanza.
Brown was the game’s top receiver, catching four passes for 75 yards. In addition to his six-yard TD in the first quarter, he was also on the receiving end of a 56-yard touchdown pass from Brett Nichols early in the fourth quarter, which capped the scoring for the Garnet squad.
Junior Cory Boyd, who sat out all of last season after a violation of team rules, was the game’s top rusher. The Orange, N.J. product rushed five times for 87 yards, including a 71-yard burst up the middle for a second quarter touchdown, which gave the Garnet a 14-7 lead, one they would not relinquish.
Junior signal-caller Blake Mitchell, the incumbent for the Gamecocks at quarterback, completed 10-of-27 passes on the afternoon for 133 yards with one touchdown and one interception for the Black squad. In the Black’s first possession of the game, Mitchell marched his unit down the field, which culminated with a 20-yard scoring play to senior wide receiver Noah Whiteside. Whiteside led the Black team receivers with four catches for 68 yards and a score.
Nichols, a senior walk-on quarterback, relieved Thompson for the Garnet team and responded by completing 4-of-6 passes for 80 yards and a pair of scores. In addition to the 56-yard pass to Brown, he found Kenny McKinley on a 14-yard TD late in the second quarter.
The Garnet team accumulated 377 yards of offense on just 38 plays, averaging 9.9 yards per play. The Black team ran 54 plays for 261 yards, an average of 4.8 yards per play.
Defensively, Sophomore Yvan Banag led the Black team with six tackles including a sack, while freshman safety Mychal Belcher had six stops to lead the Garnet squad. Walk-on linebacker Cody Lucas recorded the game’s only turnover with an interception of a Mitchell pass.
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields later this summer when they begin preparations for the 2006 season opener, scheduled for August 31 at Mississippi State.
2006 South Carolina Football Spring Game Awards
Steve Sisk Outstanding Blocker Award: Thomas Coleman
Ernest A. Brooks Memorial Award (MVP of Carolina/Clemson game):Mike Davis
Outstanding Off. Lineman: Chris White
Most Improved Off. Lineman: Gurminder Thind
Outstanding RB: Mike Davis
Weight Room Effort Award: Blake Mitchell
Outstanding TE: Robert Pavlovic
Most Improved TE: Jared Cook
Unselfish Award: Mike West
Everyday Effort Award: Cory Boyd
Carolina Hustle Award: Kenny McKinley
Most Improved WR: Noah Whiteside
Outstanding Kicker: Ryan Succop
Outstanding DL: Marque Hall
Most Improved DL: Ryan Brown
Outstanding LB: Marvin Sapp
Outstanding DB: Fred Bennett
Most Improved DB: Ty Erving
Unselfish Award: Lemuel Jeanpierre
Everyday Effort Award: Jasper Brinkley
Weight Room Effort Award: Brent Davis
Carolina Hustle Award: Nathan Pepper
Outstanding Walk-On: Aubrey McKay
The Harold White G.P.A. Awards: Offense – Tommy Beecher/Defense – Gerrod Sinclair
The Andrew Sorensen Scholar Athlete Award For Football: Jamon Meredith
Joe Morrison Award (Off/Def Player of the Spring): Mike Davis/Marvin Sapp