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Aug. 16, 2009

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The South Carolina Gamecock football team had a busy day on Sunday, first signing autographs for a big crowd at the annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day, then taking the field at Williams-Brice Stadium for its second scrimmage of the preseason. The offense showed signs of being more productive this season as it generated 677 yards in 100 plays, mixing in both the run and pass effectively.

“The most encouraging part of the scrimmage is that we were able to run the ball,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following the two-hour workout. “We ran the ball decently out here today, which we have not done very well on the practice field.”

The Gamecocks showed off their trio of running backs who are competing for touches this season. Redshirt freshman Kenny Miles had the biggest day, carrying 16 times for 98 yards, including a 39-yard jaunt, and two touchdowns, both five-yard bursts. Junior Brian Maddox rushed eight times for 50 yards, while true freshman Jarvis Giles carried eight times for 39 yards and a touchdown. The ground game churned up 276 yards on 59 tries.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Reid McCollum had the best numbers among the signal-callers, completing 7-of-11 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He connected with redshirt freshman Tori Gurley on a 57-yard scoring strike and later hit freshman Alshon Jeffery on a 46-yard scoring pass. Sophomore starter Stephen Garcia completed 8-of-16 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown with one interception – a 48-yard “pick-six” by junior safety Chris Culliver. Four quarterbacks combined to hit 23-of-41 passes for 401 yards.

Reid McCollum threw some good balls,” said Coach Spurrier. “Reid had four or five really nice throws in there. He is a pure drop-back passer. If he ever gets his mind really, really straight, he can be real good. And he can run – he can run that spread offense. It’s just a matter of he and Stephen making that total commitment to learn everything about football. These guys have ability. Our offensive linemen have ability. We should be a dang good offense,” continued the Head Ball Coach, “but we’re still careless and don’t do all the little things right most of the time. We’ll keep practicing and keep hammering into our players that we have to cut out the careless mistakes. I wish Stephen had played a little bit better. He wasn’t particularly sharp early in the scrimmage. He’s our quarterback, but Reid needs to be ready to play. He’s definitely our second right now.”

Junior tight end Weslye Saunders was the top receiver, catching three passes for 93 yards. Jeffery caught two passes for 68 yards, while freshman DeMario Bennett added two catches for 73 yards, including a 47-yard TD pass from Zac Brindise. In addition to Culliver’s interception return for a score, Cedrick Snead picked off a pass. The defense also recovered three fumbles – two of which came on bad snaps.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. The practice is closed.


Tori Gurley 57-yard pass from Reid McCollum

Jarvis Giles 2-yard run

DeMario Bennett 47-yard pass from Zac Brindise

Chris Culliver 48-yard interception return

Kenny Miles 5-yard run

Alshon Jeffery 46-yard pass from Reid McCollum

Bryce Sherman 3-yard run

Mike Triglia 1-yard pass from Stephen Garcia

Kenny Miles 5-yard run

Cliff Matthews 15-yard pass from Aramis Hillary

PASSING: Reid McCollum 7-11-1, 166 yards, 2 TD; Stephen Garcia 8-16-1, 110 yards, 1 TD; Zac Brindise 5-10-0, 96 yards, 1 TD; Aramis Hillary 3-4-0, 29 yards 1 TD. TOTALS: 23-41-2, 401, 5 TD.

RUSHING: Kenny Miles 16-98, 2 TD; Bryce Sherman 9-51, 1 TD; Brian Maddox 8-50; Jarvis Giles 8-39, 1 TD; DeAngelo Smith 1-25; Reid McCollum 6-22; Zac Brindise 2-13; Patrick DiMarco 1-10; Dalton Wilson 1-1; Aramis Hillary 2-0; Stephen Garcia 4-(-15); Team 1-(-18). TOTALS: 59-276, 4 TD.

RECEIVING: Weslye Saunders 3-93; Lamar Scruggs 3-26; DeMario Bennett 2-73, 1 TD; Alshon Jeffery 2-68, 1 TD; Stephen Flint 2-21; Bryce Sherman 2-16; Patrick DiMarco 2-8; Dalton Wilson 2-7; Tori Gurley 1-57, 1 TD; Cliff Matthews 1-15, 1 TD; Joe Hills 1-11; Jason Barnes 1-5; Mike Triglia 1-1, 1 TD. TOTALS: 23-401, 5 TD.