The Daily Gamecock

Davis named starter for first game

Davis will lead USC’s stable of backs against North Carolina

With just one week left until the season opener, South Carolina has a starting runningback.

Runningback coach Everette Sands announced on Tuesday that sophomore Mike Davis would be the starter when the Gamecocks take on North Carolina in next week’s season opener.

“Mike is a little bit ahead of the others,” Sands said. “He made a few more plays in the scrimmage situations. They’re all getting better in pass protection, and they all can get it done, but he just made a few more plays.”

Sands said that Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson will also see their fair share of the field, and head coach Steve Spurrier has said that true freshman David Williams will also play. However, Sands is still not sure what Williams’ role will be on the offense.

“He’s learning, and he is getting better every day,” Sands said. “I’m not going to put my foot down and say he’s definitely going to play, and I’m not going to put my foot down and say he’s not going to play. But we’re getting him ready to play.”

Williams said he wants to play and hopes that he can get eased into the games. He also said that Davis and Wilds have taught him to be patient with his assignments.

Ward starts preparations for UNC

Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said he is preparing his unit for the Tar Heels’ fast-paced offense. However, Ward said that North Carolina runs the ball as much as they throw it, so the defense needs to put on a good showing to slow down the Tar Heels.

“They are going to try and make us winded early; we understand that,” Ward said. “But we played Missouri last year, and they were fast-paced. Our offense has done a good job so far of giving us a hurry-up offense in camp, so I think the key is their understanding.”

Wednesday was the last day of fall camp before classes started today, so Ward said from now on, his unit will be entirely focused on UNC. During fall camp, Ward said the team mainly practiced on technique.

Ward also said he plans to play all the linebackers — rather than redshirt some — in an effort to replace Shaq Wilson and Devonte Holloman and to adjust to the changing nature of college football.

“Depth is an issue,” Ward said. “Teams are spreading it out more nowadays and running hurry-up offenses, so you need as much depth as possible. I think if the game was still more in between the tackles … you would see a lot more kids redshirting.”

Injury Report

Ward said that senior defensive end Chaz Sutton “practiced the entire day” Wednesday after missing some time with a sprained foot. Free safety Kadetrix Marcus, who is nursing a left knee sprain, practiced Wednesday but did not face any contact.

“It’s feeling great, just getting back to where I was when I first left out of practice,” Sutton said. “I’m just trying to get back into the groove of things. I’m a little rusty, but I should be okay.”

Jerell Adams (ankle), Bruce Ellington (hamstring) and Rory Anderson (hamstring) all continue to be sidelined.