November 1, 2014

Gamecocks gettting ready to host Volunteers (AUDIO)

Pharoh Cooper makes one of his catches vs Auburn

Pharoh Cooper makes one of his catches vs Auburn

The South Carolina Gamecocks (4-4, 2-4 SEC) worked out Tuesday afternoon at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds.” The Gamecocks are preparing for Saturday’s SEC Eastern Division matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers (3-5, 0-4 SEC) at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The SEC Network will televise the 7:30 p.m. ET game nationally with Tom Hart and Matt Stinchcomb in the booth and Heather Mitts on the sidelines.

The Gamecock defensive coaches know there is still a lot of work to be done to become a more solid unit over the final four games of the regular season. “All the kids are making mistakes,” said defensive line coach Deke Adams. “Obviously, that’s part of the problem. But they are working hard. They are playing hard. That hasn’t been the problem. We’ve got kids making mistakes all over the field. We’ve been talking about focusing on doing our job, trusting the guy next to us, trusting the guy behind us and be where we’re supposed to be.”

True freshman Bryson Allen-Williams had his first taste of duty at the defensive end spot at Auburn. “He made some mistakes, but that was his first week,” said Adams. “When you hadn’t played there all year and then you line up against the No. 5 team in the country, it’s tough. He played hard, he did some good things, but he made some mistakes as well.” Adams noted that Allen-Williams played that position in high school. “It’s been a pretty smooth transition, but he still needs to learn some things,” said Adams.

Adams is aware that Tennessee may play a couple different types of quarterbacks on Saturday. “We’ve got to play whoever they put back there,” said Adams. “We know it’s different when they change and put No. 11 back there. He’s a different type of quarterback. He’s a running quarterback. That changes things a lot, but we’re prepared. We know some of the things we have problems with and we feel like we know what we’re going to see.”

The Gamecocks are scheduled to work out again on Wednesday afternoon.

AUDIO: Kirk Botkin [0:56]

AUDIO: Sharrod Golightly [2:04]

AUDIO: Deke Adams [4:19]

AUDIO: Chris Lammons [2:06]

Talking Tuesday: Spurrier says spread the blame around for Auburn loss (AUDIO)

At his Tuesday news conference, Steve Spurrier had one point he wanted to make clearly…the defense alone didn’t lose the Auburn game.  Spurrier pointed out that the offense failed to capitalize on three trips into the red zone and should have scored eight touchdowns instead of five.  So, it was a “we” loss, a team loss, according to Spurrier, and not just the fault of one part of the team.   That’s not to say Spurrier isn’t perplexed by the lack of improvement on the defense.  He is.

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Swinney to use off week to get team healthy for stretch run (AUDIO)

Clemson is into its second bye week of the season and considering the Tigers have several walking wounded, the break should do them some good.  The Tigers are 6-2 and with four game left, Dabo Swinney is looking for a strong finish beginning with the next game a week from Thursday at Wake Forest.  Monday morning on his weekly conference call Swinney reviewed some of the key points on the win over Syracuse and other aspects of his team.

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Clemson’s Anthony moves along in Butkus competition

Stephone Anthony

Stephone Anthony

Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony is one of 15 semifinalists for the 2014 Dick Butkus Award.  The honor goes to the top linebacker in college football each year.   Anthony and Denzel Perryman of Miami are the only ACC players among the final 15.

Anthony is the leading tackler on a Clemson defense that ranks third in the nation in total defense, seventh in pass defense, 11th in rushing defense and 11th in scoring defense.   The Tigers also lead the nation in third-down conversion defense and tackles for loss per game.

The senior from Polkton, N.C. has 58 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four passes broken up, two caused fumbles and an interception.  In Clemson’s win over Syracuse last Saturday, Anthony had seven tackles, a sack, a caused fumble and an interception in helping the Tigers to a 16-6 victory.

The list of Butkus Award semifinalists include Stephone Anthony (Clemson), Myles Jack (UCLA), Jordan Jenkins (Georgia), A.J. Johnson (Tennessee), Eric Kendricks (UCLA), Hau’oli Kikaha (Washington), Bendardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), Denzel Perryman (Miami-FL), Hayes Pullard (Southern California), Reggie Ragland (Alabama), Jake Ryan (Michigan), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Eric Striker (Oklahoma), Shaq Thompson (Washington), Ramik Wilson (Georgia).

Finalists for the Butkus Award will be announced on November 24 and the winner will be announced December 9.

USC beats Benedict in exhibition game 92-47 in front of more than 10,000 (AUDIO)

Ty Johnson led USC with 23 points (File Photo)

Ty Johnson led USC with 23 points (File Photo)

USC played Benedict College for the first time Sunday afternoon in an exhibition game at the Colonial Life Arena.  USC was the winner 92-47, but the big winner might have been basketball in the city of Columbia.  USC announced a crowd of just over 10,000, by far the largest ever for an exhibition game at the CLA.

The Gamecocks dominated the smaller Tigers inside outscoring them 42-10 in the paint, winning the rebounding battle 61-31  and blocking 9 shots.

Five Gamecocks scored in double figures led by Ty Johnson’s 23 points in his first game since breaking a bone in his foot last January.  Demetrius Henry added 15 points and Sindarius Thornwell knocked down 14 points.

Inside, Laimonas Chatkevicius recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.  And Michael Carrera grabbed 15 boards.

Kareem Ransom was the only Benedict player in double figures with 12 points.  Te Tigers made only 13 of 69 shots (18.8%).

USC coach Frank Martin said after the game freshman guard Temarcus Blanton is out for the season after having hip surgery on Friday.  And walk on guard Austin Constable will miss the season with a torn ACL.  Also Justin McKie missed the game with a concussion.

AUDIO: Frank Martin [13:13]

Final Stats