Spring game storylines: QBs, LBs and more

April 13, 2012 

  • SPRING GAME WHAT: Garnet and Black game WHEN: 1 p.m., Saturday WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium ADMISSION: Free ALSO: Pregame kids event with motivational speakers starts at 11 a.m.; Fan Fest presented by the Gamecock Club starts after the game

Five storylines to watch in Saturday’s Garnet and Black Game.

The secondary

Starters Akeem Auguste (cornerback) and D.J. Swearinger (safety) won’t 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 won’t 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.

Go Gamecocks is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service