Scrimmage report: Tricep injury ends Anderson's spring

Connor Mitch gains ground in face for backup QB; Brison Williams could stick at corner

jkendall@thestate.comApril 5, 2014 

South Carolina’s tight ends got a chance to show off in Saturday’s scrimmage, but it came at a potentially high price.

Senior tight end Rory Anderson, who started nine games last year, will miss the rest of spring practice and potentially much longer after suffering a triceps injury while trying to stiff arm a defensive player.

“I think Busta Anderson may have torn his tricep,” head coach Steve Spurrier said. “He’s done for the spring. They are going to check and see if it’s torn. If it’s torn off (the bone) then they have to go in there and repair it. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go by next year.”

A complete triceps tear can take a year of recovery time, according to Dr. Umasuthan Srikumaran, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who was quoted in the Baltimore Sun in 2012 discussing Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ triceps tear.

“Hopefully, that can be repaired by the time August gets here,” Spurrier said.

Anderson, 6-5, 230 pounds, caught 17 passes for 235 yards last season. His one reception Saturday went for 52 yards.

The good news for the Gamecocks is they showed plenty of depth at the position during Saturday’s scrimmage. Junior backup Jerell Adams had one catch for 45 yards, Kelvin Rainey had one catch for 30 yards and walk-on Jacob August had three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown.

August is a 6-6, 242-pound freshman from Cardinal-Newman High School. Spurrier calls him Dan August, from a 1970 TV show in which Burt Reynolds played a policeman by that name.

“For some reason, that’s the only August I knew,” Spurrier said. “This kid likes to play, he can catch the ball. He’s doing very well.”

Williams woes

Freshman running back David Williams remains sidelined by a hamstring injury. He has missed a week of practice and may not return in time for Saturday’s spring game.

“He’s doing to hopefully be back by Saturday, but if not we have plenty of running backs ready to go,” Spurrier said. “We have three or four walk-on kids who are really good players. I really admire these youngsters coming out for the team. They are helping us.”

Walk-on running back Darius Paulk had four carries for 16 yards.

QB rotation

Freshman Connor Mitch has distanced himself from Brendan Nosovitch and is closing in on backup Perry Orth in the quarterbacks race, Spurrier said. Mitch was 8-of-10 for 95 yards and a touchdown in the scrimmage.

“All four of (the quarterbacks) did well,” Spurrier said.

Senior Dylan Thompson, South Carolina’s starter, was 5-of-10 for 118 yards.

“Dylan hasn’t played sometimes as much as we think he has so he got a little extra today,” Spurrier said.

Orth was 2-for-8 for 24 yards, and Nosovitch was 6-for-9 for 75 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Brandon Wilds also threw a touchdown pass.

Secondary shakeup?

Senior Brison Williams continues to impress at cornerback, and it looks like it’s getting harder and harder to move him back to safety.

“We are getting a lot better at safety. We still have a ways to go at corner,” defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. “Brison knows what he is doing when he is out there. Rico (McWilliams) had a little setback with hamstring and his knee is starting to bother him, and it’s just taking Jamari (Smith) a little while to pick it up.”

T.J. Gurley stands to inherit Williams’ starting spot at safety if Williams is moved to cornerback for good.

“We haven’t progressed as far as I would like in the secondary,” Ward said. “I think we have enough good safeties where Brison can move if we have to. We will see where the freshmen are and where Rico and Jamari finish. If we feel we have to move Brison, we feel good about the safeties.”

Scrimmage stats

The offense had eight scores Saturday, including five touchdowns, with no turnovers during the 69-play session. The last four scores came when the ball was placed at the 25-yard line like an overtime situation.

SCORING PLAYS:

... Elliott Fry 38-yard field goal

... Shon Carson 6-yard run (Landon Ard PAT)

... Elliott Fry 28-yard field goal

... Jacob August 7-yard pass from Brandon Wilds (Landon Ard PAT)

... Elliott Fry 38-yard field goal

... Shon Carson 1-yard run (Landon Ard PAT)

... Jody Fuller 19-yard pass from Connor Mitch (Jonas Price PAT)

... Carlton Heard 11-yard pass from Brendan Nosovitch (No PAT)

PASSING: Dylan Thompson 5-10-0-118; Connor Mitch 8-10-0-95, 1 TD; Brendan Nosovitch 6-9-0-75, 1 TD; Perry Orth 2-8-0-24; Brandon Wilds 1-1-0-7, 1 TD. TOTALS: 22-38-0-319, 3 TD.

RUSHING: Devin Potter 4-24; Darius Paulk 4-16; Mike Davis 3-10; Brandon Wilds 2-10; Shon Carson 3-8, 2 TD; Rod Talley 3-(-7); Dylan Thompson 3-(-13); Connor Mitch 2-(-17). TOTALS: 24-31, 2 TD.

RECEIVING: Andrew Bunch 3-42; Jacob August 3-32, 1 TD; Carlton Heard 3-16, 1 TD; Jody Fuller 2-25, 1 TD; Matthew Harvey 2-20; Matrick Belton 2-10; Rory Anderson 1-52; Jerell Adams 1-45; Kelvin Rainey 1-30; K.J. Brent 1-17; Darius Paulk 1-14; Shaq Roland 1-10; Nick Jones 1-6. TOTALS: 22-319, 3 TD.

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