From the University of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Gamecock football squad scrimmaged at Williams-Brice Stadium on a cool Saturday morning. It was the squad's second scrimmage and ninth spring practice overall.
It was a good day for the backup quarterbacks, as both Andrew Clifford (10-for-13 for 86 yards) and Zac Brindise (5-for-8 for 72 yards and two TDs) showed they are not willing to concede the top two roles to incumbent Stephen Garcia and newcomer Connor Shaw. Overall, five quarterbacks combined to complete 31-of-52 passes for 397 yards and three scores, although they were sacked numerous times during the 90-play scrimmage.
"We're a long way off from being a very good offense right now," noted head coach Steve Spurrier following the scrimmage. "Stephen Garcia's team didn't score the whole day. Zac Brindise's team scored almost every time. Andrew Clifford took them down the field to score. Brindise threw it about where he was supposed to, so he did pretty good today," continued Coach Spurrier. "Connor's arm was hurting a little bit, he couldn't grip it very well today so his throwing was not near as well as last week. (Brindise and Clifford) are in contention for the starting job today. They were the two best out here."
Thirteen different receivers caught at least one pass with 10 of those players catching at least two throws. Tori Gurley led the way with three catches for 70 yards, while Alshon Jeffery hauled in three passes for 67 yards, including a 5-yard scoring pass from Stephon Gilmore. A dozen different players had carries with Gilmore doing the most damage from the Gamecocks version of the "Wildcat" formation. The sophomore from Rock Hill rushed four times for 27 yards, including a 15-yard burst. Gilmore also completed 2-of-3 passes for 23 yards and a score. In that same package, Melvin Ingram broke a 16-yard run.
Two plays later, Ingram was back on the other side of the line of scrimmage, playing defensive tackle. "Gilmore got a touchdown out of his stuff, so we're trying to utilize that a little bit more," noted the Head Ball Coach. "Melvin had one long run there. Melvin's part of our 'Gilmore' package. He'll be in there running. He's a natural athlete. He's a good player."
Former track athlete Marty Markett had the game's lone turnover, as he picked off a Clifford pass. It was Markett's third interception in two scrimmages. "Devin Taylor – we had trouble blocking him," Coach Spurrier said of the Carolina defense. "Our offensive line is still making a lot of mental errors, like we've done historically around here. We're trying to get smarter but we're not quite there yet. That's why we practice. We're a long way off from being a decent team. I believe we've got a chance to, but we're a long way off right now."
The Gamecocks have three practices scheduled for next week. They are slated to be at the Bluff Road practice fields on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with each practice scheduled for 4 p.m. All practices are open to the public.
SCORING PLAYS: Spencer Lanning 37-yard field goal Bryce Sherman 2-yard run (Joey Scribner-Howard kick) Alshon Jeffery 5-yard pass from Stephon Gilmore (Jay Wooten kick) Lamar Scruggs 12-yard pass from Zac Brindise (Adam Yates kick no good) Cedrick Snead 16-yard pass from Zac Brindise (no PAT)
PASSING: Stephen Garcia 10-17-0-149; Andrew Clifford 10-13-1-86; Zac Brindise 5-8-0-72, 2 TD; Connor Shaw 4-11-0-67; Stephon Gilmore 2-3-0- 23, 1 TD. TOTALS: 31-52-1-397, 3 TDs.
RUSHING: Stephon Gilmore 4-27; Kenny Miles 6-24; Jarvis Giles 5-22; Brian Maddox 4-21; Melvin Ingram 2-16; Tori Gurley 1-12; Connor Shaw 3- 11; Bryce Sherman 3-7, 1 TD; Patrick DiMarco 1-3; Zac Brindise 2-2; Andrew Clifford 2-(-6); Stephen Garcia 5-(-18). TOTALS: 38-121, 1 TD. R