Aug. 15, 2015
The University of South Carolina football squad moved inside Williams-Brice Stadium for a scrimmage on Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd estimated at 2,500.
The defense held the upper hand most of the day, holding the offense to just a field goal during the regulation part of the scrimmage. The offense did muster three touchdowns while working in an overtime situation, starting from the 25-yard line.
Overall, the offense snapped the ball 68 times from scrimmage, with the quarterbacks completing 24-of-39 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions, while the running attack was held to 50 yards on 29 carries, including two scores. The defense was able to put steady pressure on the quarterbacks, causing either a sack or a short pass attempt.
“It was a struggle out here,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following the workout. “We couldn’t make many first downs. We went backwards about every time. The offensive guys acted like they’ve never seen what the snap count is, jumping offside. The freshmen guys got scared to death with a couple hundred people in the stands. The quarterbacks were a little shaky at times. But its just practice. Hopefully we can continue on and try to find out who the best is. Obviously you can’t play four quarterbacks like we’re doing right now. We’ll look at the tape and try to make some realistic decisions.”
None of the four signal-callers were especially effective today. Redshirt freshman Michael Scarnecchia had the best numbers, completing 11-of-14 passes for 81 yards. The only touchdown pass came when Perry Orth hooked up with Shon Carson on a 25-yard completion. Darius Paulk and Rod Talley added short touchdown runs.
“We didn’t have a “best” (quarterback) today,” said the Head Ball Coach. “We’re all too slow. They act like we don’t know we have a flare guy. Scarnecchia did a few good things here and there. Perry struggled a bit today. But we’ll keep practicing. I probably need to be a little tougher on the offense.” Coach Spurrier indicated the quarterback situation was no clearer now than before the scrimmage. “How could we be?” he asked. “We have to stop training four, we do know that,” added Coach Spurrier.
Coach Spurrier did note that Carson stood out today. “He played well. He made some guys miss. In fact, when he made the guy miss on the first one, that’s the first guy all day that missed a tackle that I remember. Nobody else missed a tackle. So the defense is different than in the past. Our guys tackled very well, all of them. They understand the leverage and they don’t dive at them. That was encouraging.”
“I thought we did some good things,” said co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward of his troops. “We had some young offensive linemen who were in there at times, so it will be interesting to see how much pressure we got on the quarterback when we had our starting offensive line in there.”
The defense started a front line of Marquavius Lewis, Gerald Dixon Jr., Dante Sawyer and Cedrick Cooper. “We’re going to play the four best, so that’s what we’re trying to figure out. To build a championship defense, you have to be good up front and so we’re trying to figure out the best players. We’re getting there,” continue Ward. “We still have another 10-12 days, then we’ll start to figure out what we’re going to do for North Carolina. But we’re getting there. Guys are starting to separate themselves.”
Those who were held out of Saturday’s scrimmage included defensive end Gerald Dixon (lower leg), offensive lineman Malik Young (ankle), safety Antoine Wilder (right knee sprain), tight end Connor Redmond (back), defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth (pec muscle) and kicker Joseph Charlton (back).
The team will sign the official schedule poster for fans on Sunday afternoon at the annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day. This year’s event will be held at the Convention Center beginning at 1 p.m. The team will return to the practice fields on Monday at 4:15 p.m. That practice is closed.
Elliott Fry 30-yard field goal
Shon Carson 25-yard pass from Perry Orth
Darius Paulk 5-yard run (Fry kick)
Rod Talley 1-yard run
Michael Scarnecchia 11-14-0-81; Connor Mitch 5-11-1-42; Perry Orth 3-6-1-42, 1 TD; Lorenzo Nunez 5-8-1-25. TOTALS: 24-39-3-190, 1 TD.
Brandon Wilds 2-28; Darius Paulk 2-25, 1 TD; Lorenzo Nunez 7-14; Connor Mitch 3-11; Shon Carson 2-6; Rod Talley 2-6, 1 TD; David Williams 3-(-1); Michael Scarnecchia 4-(-10); Perry Orth 4-(-29). TOTALS: 29-50, 2 TD.
Jacob August 5-32; Rod Talley 3-12; Brandon Wilds 3-7; Terry Googer 2-40; Jerad Washington 2-15; Shon Carson 1-25, 1 TD; Deebo Samuel 1-14; D.J. Neal 1-13; David Williams 1-9; Kyle Markway 1-7; Hayden Hurst 1-6; Kevin Crosby 1-6; Matrick Belton 1-5; Christian Owens 1-2. TOTALS: 24-190, 1 TD.