Cloninger Soundoff: Linebackers, DBs will be tested

August 17, 2013 

USC's Brison Williams, left, and Jimmy Legree

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com

The strength of South Carolina’s team this year was supposed to be the defensive line. After watching the Gamecocks scrimmage on Saturday, it certainly is.

This means two things.

USC will make life very difficult on offenses.

The rest of the Gamecocks have to start making the same kinds of plays because no matter how good the D-line is, some runs are going to break and some quarterbacks are going to get passes off.

It’s a double-edged sword for Lorenzo Ward and his staff. Since the Gamecocks are equipped with several elite pass-rushers, they also know that when those big plays pop — and they will — the linebackers and secondary must fill the gaps. Thus far, they’re doing a great job against USC’s offense.

But that offense is being crushed by USC’s defensive line. So are the linebackers and secondary getting the kind of tests they need before North Carolina visits?

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