Following a close loss against Missouri last week, the South Carolina football team has used this week’s practice to work on improvements from both sides of the ball, including ball security and team fundamentals.
Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said redshirt senior quarterback Jason Brown needed to play better. He said Brown needs to be better at stepping into the pocket and not bailing out too soon.
“He has to, one, take care of the football," Satterfield said. "Two, I think, pocket awareness; he has to understand he’s got a move that he uses a lot, that teams we play from here on out are going to know where he likes to escape and how he likes to escape, so he’s got to work up into the pocket."
Brown is a dedicated football player, so Satterfield feels these issues will work themselves out with time and experience, he said.
“The great thing about him, and most quarterbacks are wired this way, is it frustrates him so much,” Satterfield said. “I think we’re going to start to see improvement each time he goes out, but the main thing is, he’s committed to getting it fixed, and we’re committed to getting it fixed together.”
Satterfield said he was not pleased with how easily the Missouri defense made it through the offense to pressure the quarterback last week.
“We have to coach better, we have to learn better, we have to execute better as coaches and as players, make sure we get the right box identifications ... make sure our eyes are where they need to be,” Satterfield said. “There were three or four just glaring, where we turned guys loose, and we hadn’t done that a lot since early on in the season. I felt like we progressed from that, and we kind of fell back on some old things.”
One major issue the team has to work out is ball security. Currently, the Gamecocks rank last in the nation in fumbles lost with 12.
“If we give you the ball, we’re saying we trust you, and we trust you’re going to use proper technique, and we teach them proper technique — wrist above elbow, locking the backside elbow — you know, just, we have to have great technique,” Satterfield said. “We got to continue to harp on it.”
As for the defense, coordinator Clayton White said it needs to work on the fundamentals and stay committed to playing team defense.
“It’s linebackers and DB’s, it’s not always just the defensive line, so we'll make sure we preaching team defense," White said. "When those jet sweeps happen, the defensive line has nothing to do with that, so we got to make sure we keep that same mindset with our guys in the defensive room here — that it's team defense. We don’t point the finger."
White said he knows his defense has had its fair share of struggles, but he takes responsibility as a coach and will do his best to “correct that next time.”
White said the team must be prepared for a well-rounded Auburn offense, as opposed to focusing on just the run or pass game.
“You can’t go into a game saying, 'We’re putting 10 guys up and stopping the run,' because you got to be able to stop both,” White said. “You got to play four quarters and situational football. We got to be better in the situational football, and just continue to grind.”