April 10, 2010
SPURS UP BLOG: Five Good Things About the Spring Game
The White team rallied with two third-period touchdowns to post a 21-17 come-from-behind win over the Garnet team in the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game held at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia on Saturday. A sun-drenched crowd estimated at 22,000 was on hand as the Gamecocks wrapped up their 2010 spring practice drills.
The Garnet team got on the board first midway through the opening quarter when freshman quarterback Connor Shaw led an eight-play, 79-yard drive, culminating with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Patrick DiMarco. Shaw completed all four of his pass attempts for 59 yards on the drive.
Stephen Garcia led the White team right back down the field for a game-tying score. Garcia completed 5-of-7 passes for 39 yards as the drive covered 70 yards. Garcia hit tight end Justice Cunningham for a two-yard touchdown pass to even the contest at 7.
Andrew Clifford took over the reins for the Garnet team on its next possession. Clifford hit Cedrick Snead on a 70-yard touchdown bomb on the “come off the bench” play, which has become a Carolina spring game staple under head coach Steve Spurrier, only to be called back due to penalty. Despite the setback, Clifford engineered a 70-yard scoring drive. Three plays after Shaw hit D.L. Moore on a 34-yard pass on a fourth-down play, Brian Maddox burst up the middle for a 3-yard plunge and a 14-7 Garnet advantage midway through the second period. Clifford completed 5-of-8 passes for 63 yards on the drive.
Stephon Gilmore intercepted a tipped Zac Brindise pass giving the Garnet the ball back in good field position. When the drive stalled, Spencer Lanning booted a 39-yard field goal, increasing the Garnet’s lead to 17-7 with 4:38 remaining in the half. The Garnet held that 10-point advantage into the intermission.
The White team got back on the scoreboard when Zac Brindise found DeMario Bennett on a 34-yard touchdown pass on the first drive of the second half. The seven-play, 70-yard drive pulled the White team to within three at 17-14. Brindise completed 4-of-5 passes for 61 yards on the drive.
The White team took the lead for the first time on its next possession. After Brandan Davis intercepted a Stephon Gilmore pass in Garnet territory, walk-on Seth Strickland led the White squad into the endzone on a four-play, 36-yard drive, with Kenny Miles toting the pigskin the final 10 yards to paydirt and a 21-17 advantage. The White team held on for the 21-17 win, as the game was called after the third period.
Clifford posted the most impressive quarterback numbers on the afternoon, completing 8-of-12 passes for 100 yards. Garcia was 8-for-15 for 79 yards. Brindise was 5-for-8 for 79 yards, while Shaw was 4-for-8 for 59 yards.
Tight end Justice Cunningham and wide receiver DeMario Bennett matched numbers as the game’s top receivers, each catching two passes for each squad and totaling 57 yards. Lamar Scruggs also had four receptions on the afternoon for 46 total yards.
Miles was the top rusher for the White squad, carrying eight times for 35 yards. Bryce Sherman led the Garnet attack with four carries for 32 yards.
SPRING GAME AWARDS -2010
Steve Sisk Outstanding Blocker Award: Justice Cunningham
Ernest A. Brooks Memorial Award (MVP of Carolina/Clemson game): Stephon Gilmore
Weight Room Effort Award – Offense: T.J. Johnson
Weight Room Effort Award – Defense: Ladi Ajiboye
Everyday Effort Award – Offense: Jarvis Giles
Everyday Effort Award – Defense: Devin Taylor
Most Improved Offensive Lineman: Jarriel King
Most Improved Defensive Back: D.J. Swearinger
Most Improved Defensive Lineman: Byron McKnight
Most Improved Wide Receiver: D.L. Moore
Special Teams Award: Blake Baxley
Outstanding Walk-on – Offense: Kevin White
Outstanding Walk-on – Defense: Marty Markett
Harris Pastides Scholar-Athlete Award: DeVonte Holloman