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Aug. 8, 2016

The University of South Carolina football team worked out in full pads on Monday afternoon for about two hours at the new practice fields. It was the team’s eighth practice of the fall preseason camp.

Senior Perry Orth and freshman Brandon McIlwain continue to alternate reps at quarterback. “It was my turn to go with the 1’s,” said Orth following the workout. “Yesterday I was with the 2’s and (McIlwain) was with the 1’s. So it’s been evenly split.” Orth said he expects that to remain the case at least through the team’s first scrimmage, which is set for Saturday.

Saturday’s scrimmage will be the first big test for a lot of players. “It’s a big day for us,” said Orth. “It’s a big day for all the guys on offense and on defense to prove themselves to the coaching staff. A lot of the young guys will get a chance to play with the 1’s and the 2’s. Saturday will be a good test for them.”

Orth, despite being a former walk-on, no longer considers himself in an underdog role. “Not anymore,” he noted. “Maybe last season I probably did, but not now. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve played in games. I’ve played in tough environments. I’ve played in big-time ballgames. I feel I’ve got to take each and every day as serious as I can because I’m in a heated competition with a talented quarterback.”

Orth feels that the offense is starting to come together. “Today may have been our best practice offensively,” he noted. “Not really any turnovers that I remember. We’re starting to get a grip on what (offensive coordinator Kurt) Roper wants of us. The quarterbacks are getting better every single day. Our offensive line has done an incredible job blocking this fall camp. Everybody is doing well.

“Everything is so attention to detail,” continued Orth, “that I feel when we leave meetings we understand what’s being asked of us. That’s a credit to the coaches.”

The Gamecocks are scheduled to work out twice again on Tuesday.