Will Muschamp’s first spring game went off without a hitch. The Black team beat the Garnet squad 35-14 in front of 32,000 plus fans at a blustery, but sun splashed Williams-Brice Stadium. Not that final scores matter much in the spring. There was plenty to take in, so we’ve shared our observations of the game along with Will Muschamp and a few players post game interviews, and a video recap of the events of the day. You better savor every drop of it; football is on hiatus until late July.
Thoughts and observations of the Garnet and Black spring game:
- Brandon McIlwain was the best quarterback on the field. He finished 19-26 for 169 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown and looked good on a few scramble plays.
- Connor Mitch, for whatever reason, just doesn’t seem to have that “it” factor you would expect from a guy with his credentials out of high school.
- The defensive line is going to be much better this season.
- Byran Edwards and Deebo Samuel are the best two receivers. Edwards caught two touchdowns.
- USC’s offense could struggle next season. Has a “work in progress” look and feel to it.
- USC takes a lot few deep shots in the passing game sans Steve Spurrier on the headset.
- 32,916 people showed up for the game. It will a god presentation and a good setup by Will Muschamp
- They blared AC/DC’s Hells Bells over the PA about 10 million times during the game. It’s not that it’s a bad song, but it was annoying.
- Walk-on wide receiver Javon Charleston looked impressive. Then again, he could be the spring game hero you never hear about again during the season.
Brandon McIlwain doesn’t have a lot of height, but he’s strong and he’s pretty fast.
- Walk-on redshirt freshman wide receiver Javon Charleston was the “Who is this guy?” spring game. He caught 5 passes for 54 yards.
- Michael Scarnecchia, the forgotten quarterback in the race, had a very nice scoring drive in the 3rd quarter that was capped with his touchdown pass.
- Michael Scarneechia looked more poised, polished than Connor Mitch.
- Ulirc Jones, best known for his Twitter and radio rants, had a very solid game on the defensive line.
- Deebo Samuel did a little bit of everything, he had a run and pass over 20 yards and caught several passes as well.
- In true spring game fashion Will Muschamp declined an offensive holding penalty that would/should have negated a Brandon McIlwain touchdown run. He also threw a 2-point conversion to former Gamecock and current NFL player Melvin Ingram. Those two options probably won’t be available this fall.
- Sean Kelly booted a 49-yard punt in the first half. Punting shouldn’t be an issue for USC next season.
- Elliott Fry missed a field goal, but connected on two others, including a 48 yarder.
- Converted running back, current slot receiver Jamari Smith looked pretty good with 5 catches for 49 yards.
- Will Muschamp said his biggest concerns coming out of the spring are finding a quarterback, finding offensive play makers, and his defensive secondary.
Interviews with Will Muschamp, Deebo Samuel, Javon Christian, Chris Moody and T.J. Holloman (ed. note: They did not make McIlwain or Edwards available to the media because freshman are off limits until after they do something in a regular season game):
SportsTalk at the Stadium recap of the game: