I was able to attend today's scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium for what is likely the last open practice for the Gamecocks. I was able to meet up with #TeamGarcia and we spent most of the time talking about the Gamecocks and having some fun along the way.
Here are a few scrimmage thoughts from today:
- Overall, it was a pretty average practice. There was some nice individual performances but a lot of work needs to be done.
- The highlight to see was Shaq Roland's leaping touchdown in the back of the end zone. Thompson felt the pressure, stepped up and launched a ball to Roland over the defender as he came down with the ball in the back of the end zone getting his foot down. He made some real nice catches today. It seems like things are starting to click for him and he could be a player for the Gamecocks real soon.
- Another freshman highlight today was Jerell Adams. Adams is physically gifted and has all the attributes you look for in a tight end. He made several impressive catch but one stuck out the most. He caught a ball over the middle for a big gain with a few defenders around him, broke a tackle or two and outraced the rest to the end zone. Speed, size, strength...great weapon to have.
- There were at least four bad, high snaps from the centers today. I'm pretty sure they all came from the second teamer, who is Kyle Harris. This just goes to show you how important it is, health-wise, for TJ Johnson to remain at full strength this year. It could have been the wet ground from the rains early today but no excuse for that many bad snaps.
- The defensive line was able to bring plenty of pressure on the quarterbacks today and were in the backfield often. Obviously there was no hitting aloud but that front four is a dangerous group.
- The kicking position actually had some good things happen today. Tyler Hull looked solid punting the ball on occasion and Adam Yates seems set as the field goal kicker. I will say Landon Ard hit a few good balls today as did freshman Nick St. Germain.
- A cool way to end practice was the team all circled around Adam Yates and began to yell and scream to put on the pressure for the kicker. Yates nailed the kicked and everyone celebrated like crazy. Come to find out, the kick gave Yates a scholarship that was vacated by the transfers of Tanner McEvoy and Cadarious Sanders.
- Quin Smith did get an interception on a tipped pass today of Dylan Thompson.
- KJ Brent had a few nice catches today including a 20+ touchdown pass this afternoon.
- Marcus Lattimore carried the ball a few times including one big 15+ run that showcased the Marcus of old. He broke through the line, made a cut and got up field for a big gain. Brandon Wilds also had a big run this afternoon of 30 yards or so but twisted his ankle so that will be something to watch going forward.
Like I mentioned earlier, it was an average day for the Gamecocks. Quarterbacks hit some throws tonight but were pressured a good bit. Receivers looked good today, including D.L.Moore, which is a good thing for South Carolina. If these guys can continue to perform at this level, the offense should put up big numbers this year.
Defense is always held back on days like today as there generally aren't many blitzes and things are very basic. I was as keyed in on the defense today as I was offense so I didn't notice any real standouts.