Gamecocks get physical in inaugural scrimmage of fall

South Carolina football team held its first scrimmage of the fall Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.

“It was sort of one of our typical scrimmages,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “I don’t think anybody got hurt badly. We had a sprained ankle (Brandon Wilds) and a player (Kelvin Rainey) get a slight concussion in pre-practice, but other than that we came out of it very healthy.”

“Several players played very well. Defensively, a lot of guys, the pass rushers, were very good as usual. Kaiwan Lewis, a linebacker, was flying around out there making tackles. I know he was impressive. The other freshmen on offense, Shaq Roland caught everything that came his way. Jerell Adams had an excellent scrimmage also.

“The quarterbacks were so-so. Andrew Clifford probably looked better than all of them. Andrew hit about everything he threw I think. Dylan (Thompson) and Conner (Shaw) hit a few here and there and missed a few here and there. Overall, it was just very average, but some guys made some big plays, which was encouraging.”

Clifford, the fourth quarterback to see the field, was the top quarterback statistically, connecting on 6-of-9 passes for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The redshirt junior hooked up with redshirt freshman K.J. Brent on a 22-yard scoring pass, then later found Roland in the back of the endzone for a 27-yard TD strike. Shaw was 5-for-10 for 108 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown pass to Adams. Thompson was 4-of-10 for 52 yards and was intercepted by senior linebacker Quin Smith.

Ten different receivers caught passes, led by Roland, who hauled in four passes for 59 yards. Senior D.L. Moore added three receptions for 56 yards, while Adams had a pair of catches for 66 yards.

Wilds was the top rusher with three carries for 40 yards, including a 33-yard burst. Marcus Lattimore carried four times for 25 yards, including an 18-yard gain.

“You get a lot out of a scrimmage like this, a whole lot,” said Coach Spurrier. “You find out who can play ball. This is ball playing out here. This is why we like people in the stands. I want to make it look like a ballgame, especially for these freshmen kids. This is as close to a real ballgame as we can get, so it was encouraging to see a lot of guys play well.”

Senior placekicker Adam Yates got the scoring started with a 52-yard field goal. Yates also had a pressure kick to end the scrimmage. If he connected from 42 yards out, he would earn a scholarship for his final season. He split the uprights, sneaking it just inside the left upright, as the rest of the team roared its approval.

Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day at Colonial Life Arena. The event runs from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

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