Nov. 25, 2014
The University of South Carolina football team (6-5, 3-5 SEC) practiced Tuesday afternoon at the indoor facility, as rain enveloped the Columbia metropolitan area. The Gamecocks are preparing for Saturday’s annual Palmetto Bowl against the Clemson Tigers (8-3, 6-2 ACC). Game time is set for noon ET at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has to prepare his unit for two different types of quarterbacks that Clemson may use on Saturday. “You have to be concerned with (Deshaun) Watson because he can run the football,” said Ward. “Not that they won’t run it with (Cole) Stoudt. I think he’ll run the ball some too, but they’ll run it a lot more with Watson playing quarterback.” Ward said not knowing which quarterback would play will have no effect on their preparation this week. “We’ll prepare just like we’ve done in the past for an athletic quarterback and one that’s not so athletic. The game plan will be very similar.”
Despite not knowing which quarterback will take the bulk of the snaps, Ward has some familiarity with what the Tigers will try to do offensively. “Chad (Morris) has done a great job at Clemson,” said Ward. “His system is what’s in place. They’ll continue to run the system. Their plays are no different than what they did with the quarterback they had last year. It’s very, very similar.”
Ward’s unit has been very successful in recent meetings with Clemson. “The guys take pride in the state rivalry,” said Ward. “We try to execute better and create some turnovers that have helped us. We’ll try to do the same on Saturday. We’ll have to create some turnovers, especially because they’ve got a great defense. We’ve got to give our offense an opportunity with the football if we can.”
Ward confirmed that Brison Williams would start at one cornerback position, with Rico McWilliams sidelined for this contest with a concussion. Chris Lammons and D.J. Smith are working at the other cornerback spot this week in practice. Ward indicated that if the game were played today, Lammons would be the starter and hopes that McWilliams will be back for the bowl game.
ESPN will televise Saturday’s game nationally, with Steve Levy and Kelly Stouffer in the booth and Dawn Davenport on the sidelines. Sports USA will have the national radio broadcast with Mike Morgan and Gary Barnett describing the action. As always, the Gamecock IMG Sports Network, including WNKT, 107.5 the Game in Columbia, will have all the action, with Todd Ellis and Tommy Suggs in the booth and Langston Moore working the sidelines.