Aug. 24, 2011
The University of South Carolina football team started its Wednesday practice at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds” before moving into Williams-Brice Stadium for an hour-long scrimmage.
The quarterbacks had one of their more productive scrimmages in recent memory, as the three signal-callers who saw action combined to complete 19-of-25 passes for 310 yards with two touchdowns. Fifth-year senior quarterback Stephen Garcia hit on 9-of-13 attempts for 136 yards and a score. Sophomore Connor Shaw threw an incompletion on his first attempt, then hit on eight consecutive passes to finish the day 8-for-9 for 100 yards with a touchdown. Andrew Clifford connected on two of his three pass attempts for 74 yards in limited action.
“The defense took a lot of the D-linemen out, so it was a little easier to throw today and get some balls off,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following the scrimmage. “Overall, it was ok. The receivers caught everything. Nobody got hurt, so that was good.”
Shaw got the team in the endzone first when he connected with Lamar Scruggs on a 37-yard completion. Shon Carson had the scrimmage’s only rushing touchdown when he scampered in from three yards out to get the Gamecocks on the board for the second time. His touchdown run was set up by a 63-yard pass play from Clifford to D.L. Moore. Damiere Byrd continued his impressive fall camp with another touchdown reception, this one a 38-yarder from Garcia. Jay Wooten capped off the scoring with a 44-yard field goal.
“Connor’s done pretty well,” said Spurrier of his sophomore quarterback’s performances in the recent scrimmages. “He’s throwing it around, zipping it around. He can make all the throws. Stephen did a lot better today, although he had a couple errant mental errors that hopefully he can learn from.”
Victor Hampton recorded the scrimmage’s only turnover on the first drive of the day when he picked off a pass that was underthrown by Garcia near the end zone.
In other news, senior defensive back Akeem Auguste was in a white jersey for the first time this fall. Defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Melvin Ingram, who were both injured during Tuesday’s practice, did not participate on Wednesday.
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Thursday afternoon at 4:15 p.m.