South Carolina Gamecocks Fall Camp Questions


Finally, football season is upon us, as the South Carolina Gamecocks reported in today. Fall camp starts tomorrow, and the Gamecocks can officially put last season behind them and fully focus on the future. There are a lot of eyes watching South Carolina as there are lots of things to watch out for considering there are so many questions that still need to be answered.

Will the Gamecocks learn to tackle?

We all saw the atrocious defense the Gamecocks had last year that progressively got a little better as the season went on, but if South Carolina wants to compete this year, they will have to come out strong and finish strong. The Gamecocks were one of the worst in the SEC last year and that cannot happen again. New defensive coordinator Jon Hoke should help in this matter as he has been tasked to fix all of what happened last season. He is poised and ready to get started with his number one priority being to become a stronger, more physical, and a better tackling team. Hoke worked on it some during the spring and it showed promise at the spring game, but it will have to carry over into fall camp and throughout the season.

Can the Gamecocks be more physical up front on defense?

The pass rush for the Gamecocks last season was non-existent. When you are able to get pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback, it helps the whole defense out tremendously. South Carolina cannot have the same pass rush they did last season or they will surely struggle just as much. The Gamecocks will have to rely on the play from young incoming players, who have been highly praised and the coaches seem excited about. Ulric Jones, Marquavius Lewis, Dante Sawyer, Shamiek Blackshear and Quandeski Whitlow, may be the answer the Gamecocks are looking for. Only fall camp will tell for sure.

Who will be South Carolina’s quarterback?

The million dollar question that everyone wants to know is a question that will have be solved before the season kicks off. Head coach Steve Spurrier has said that the spot is still wide open at this point, even though Connor Mitch is listed on the depth chart as the number one. There is a wide array of quarterbacks fighting for the spot so there is a lot of talent to choose from. Perry Orth, Michael Scarnecchia and incoming freshman Loreno Nunez are the contenders for the top spot that will be battling against the favorite Connor Mitch. Mitch has showed a ton of promise in his workouts and in the spring game, while Nunez seems to have caught the ‘Head Ball’ coaches interests. It doesn’t really matter who gets the top spot because there really is a lot of unproven talent, and whoever it is, you know that Steve Spurrier will make the best decision.

Offensive line?

Shawn Elliot is faced with finding the best combination for the front five. Alan Knott is pretty secure at the center position and if all goes well for Mike Matulis, he will snag the right tackle spot. That leaves Brandon Shell to find a new spot as the new left tackle. The real questions are found at the guard spots where there are a lot of battles going on. Donell Stanley and Cody Waldrop will be hashing it out for the left guard spot, with D.J. Park and Will Sport could be battling it out for the right guard spot. True Freshman Zack Bailey is also a possibility at a guard spot.