Five storylines to watch in Saturdays Garnet and Black Game.
Starters Akeem Auguste (cornerback) and D.J. Swearinger (safety) wont play due to injury, but there still is plenty to learn. Cornerbacks Victor Hampton and Ahmad Christian must become more consistent, and safety Brison Williams is on the rise. At spur, DeVonte Holloman probably wont play much so watch for sophomore Sharrod Golightly.
Drew Owens development
The 6-foot-6, 236-pound freshman redshirted last year while classmate Rory Anderson blossomed on the field. With Anderson out this spring due to injury, Owens has made the most of the opportunity. If he keeps making plays, the Gamecocks will have to find a spot for him in the fall.
The linebacker rotation
The Gamecocks have four seniors to fill two linebacker positions. Shaq Wilson and Damario Jeffery are listed as the starters, but Reginald Bowens has been as impressive as any of them this spring. Saturday will give fans the first idea of how first-year linebackers coach Kirk Botkin will work the rotation.
The backup quarterbacks
Starter Connor Shaw will play fewer than 20 snaps Saturday. Sophomore Dylan Thompson will get most of the snaps, but senior Seth Strickland will get a chance, too. Freshman Tanner McEvoy and junior Andrew Clifford are out of the race for playing time this season.
The return of the Smurfs?
The early 1980s Washington Redskins featured a group of productive receivers who all stood 5-foot-10 or under. The 2012 Gamecocks may do the same. The most impressive wide receivers of the spring have been 5-foot-8 Ace Sanders (the top receiver on the team), 5-foot-9 Damiere Byrd and 5-foot-9 Bruce Ellington.