The University of South Carolina football squad worked out at the Bluff Road practice fields again on Thursday as they are now about 48 hours from kicking off the 2011 season. The opener is set for 7 p.m. ET Saturday night in Charlotte against the East Carolina Pirates. Tickets still remain for the contest through TicketMaster.com at $60 per person.
Following Thursday’s practice, Assistant Head Coach – Defense Ellis Johnson said senior cornerback Akeem Auguste has not been ruled out of the game, but would only be available in an emergency situation. “It’s a wait and see if we can do anything to get an couple of emergency snaps out of him,” said Johnson.
Johnson also indicated he is uncertain of which players will start on the defensive line. “We’re working different personnel packages, but the actual starting lineup is the same one we’ve had in there with Devin (Taylor), Melvin (Ingram), Travian (Robertson) and Aldrick (Fordham). But we may start the game with the other package. We just don’t know. They’ll all be playing a lot.”
The Pirates’ quick-passing attack certainly does not lend itself to being one that sees a lot of blitzes. “I don’t think we’ll have to adjust our scheme,” said Johnson, “but it’s not a scheme that you blitz to get to the quarterback. Most of the time when you’re going this way, the ball is going that way. His average time the ball is in his hands in their offense is two seconds at the most. They make you blitz real “choicy.” You have to be kind of picky when you bring the heat.”
The Gamecocks will practice again in Columbia on Friday before busing later in the afternoon for Charlotte.