The USC football team worked out Thursday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields as preparations continued for Saturday’s SEC Eastern Division showdown at Georgia. The 12th-ranked Gamecocks are 1-0 on the season, while Georgia enters the game 0-1. It’s the first time South Carolina has faced an unranked Georgia team since the 1997 season.
Assistant Head Coach over defense, Ellis Johnson, thinks his unit will be more comfortable against the Georgia offense than what they saw last week against the spread attack of East Carolina or the option style they will face next week against Navy. “They’re a lot more like our offense, which is what you see all spring and what you see all fall, and that makes it a whole lot more comfortable about the things we’re repping our defense,” said Johnson. “They’re going to be more physical, they’re going to get in the “I,” they’re going to run the ball and mix it a lot better. It will be something our players will be much more comfortable seeing. Week 1, week 2, week 3 – this may be the only one our kids are familiar with.”
Coach Johnson isn’t convinced the Gamecocks will be able to get to the Georgia quarterback like Boise State did last week when they registered six sacks. “(Georgia) got behind by 20 points and they were predictable when they had to throw. Last year we only got to him late in the game. If they get the running game going and can mix it a little, it’s not going to be any easier to sack him than the guy from East Carolina.”
True freshman Jadeveon Clowney is slated to make his second start in as many weeks. “We’re going to start (defensive ends) Clowney, Melvin (Ingram) and Devin (Taylor) simply because all three played well, have had a good week of practice and deserve to start. Very soon into the rotation we’ll have two tackles inside,” noted Johnson.
Akeem Auguste is still slated to get some work on Saturday after missing the opener with a foot injury. “He’s had a good day and a half (of practice). We’ll just have to keep checking with the trainer. I think he got good work on it yesterday. He got off the field yesterday with a pretty good practice, a pretty good work day, and didn’t have much problem with it, so we’re hopeful we will have him,” said Johnson.
The Gamecocks will practice again Friday afternoon before boarding the busses to Georgia.