The South Carolina Gamecocks sit just 17 days away from the opening kickoff of the 2018 season, and things are starting to fall into place.
South Carolina’s scrimmage on Monday yielded some positive offensive results from the Gamecocks, including the continued maturation of Jake Bentley as a field-surveyor.
Bentley was able to check into more run looks that benefited his unit, as all four of the Gamecocks principal running backs (Rico Dowdle, AJ Turner, Ty’Son Williams & Mon Denson) all had rushing touchdowns on Monday.
The USC QB says the field looks more open not just because of the increased run effectiveness, but the addition of a healthy Deebo Samuel to the fold:
QB Jake Bentley
The one player whose game rose to another level after Samuel’s absence was Bryan Edwards. Despite the increased attention he received last season following the Kentucky game, he’s more than happy to see #1 on the field with him:
WR Bryan Edwards
As for Samuel, he has a healthy anxiousness to return to the field, and feels humbled by the opportunity to showcase his talents at South Carolina:
WR Deebo Samuel
The running backs also return a starter who missed a chunk of time in 2017 in Rico Dowdle, who says he’s begun to trust his body again after suffering a fractured fibula against Tennessee.
Dowdle says he can’t afford to play tentatively:
RB Rico Dowdle
The player who assumed the “Bryan Edwards” role in the running back room was AJ Turner, who emerged as South Carolina’s most consistent running back in 2017. He says he’s developed more parts of his game to make him a better all-around back:
RB AJ Turner
Running Backs Coach Bobby Bentley sees the potential for his rushing attack to flourish in the Gamecocks’ new uptempo scheme. He talked about how effective they’ve been this Fall, and what imprints he tried to bring to new Offensive Coordinator Bryan McClendon in USC’s offseason offensive overhaul:
Running Backs Coach Bobby Bentley
Among the other observations from practice, S JT Ibe and S Jaylin Dickerson added pads to their yellow non-contact jerseys, with LB Eldridge Thompson also practicing in yellow. DB Nick Harvey is still working at safety, with the continued presence of Jamyest Williams, Jaycee Horn & Israel Mukuamu allowing Harvey to mix and match positions.
WR Josh Vann has also been thrusting up the depth chart, he’s been getting some second-team reps at WR, especially in Monday’s scrimmage.
South Carolina continues with practices Thursday and Friday morning with their next scrimmage coming Saturday at noon at Williams-Brice Stadium. All practices after Thursday will be closed to both the public and the media.