Looking ahead at the biggest storylines for the South Carolina football team’s annual Garnet & Black spring game this Saturday.
1.Final Four Rescheduling: Due to another Gamecocks team that is playing in a certain game Saturday night, the spring game has been rescheduled to noon at Williams-Brice Stadium. It’ll air on the SEC Network, commentated by Taylor Zarzour, Greg McElroy, and Peter Burns. Hopefully a big crowd will come out to support the team before watching their basketball team in the Final Four.
2. The Return of Moore: South Carolina’s leading tackler from 2013-2015, who missed all of the 2016 season with a herniated disk in his neck, is making his return to the field. Skai Moore was the statistical and emotional leader of the South Carolina defense for his first three years on campus. However, before his senior season he discovered he had a potentially career ending injury in his neck. Moore went through a full year of rehab, but this spring he is finally back and more excited than ever to go. In an interview with The State, Skai Moore said, “I am definitely looking forward to that first experience where I get to throw my body on somebody.” Moore does not seem to be worried about reinjuring himself. He is ready to leave everything out on the field and “finish what he started” at Carolina. So look for him to show how far he’s come in his return to the field.
“I am definitely looking forward to that first experience where I get to throw my body on somebody.” -Skai Moore
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3. No Sophomore Slump: Sophomore QB Jake Bentley is looking to build on his strong end to the 2016 season. Bentley decided to forgo his senior year of high school to enroll early at South Carolina. Coach Will Muschamp decided to put the redshirt on his freshman quarterback. However, after Perry Orth and Brandon McIlwain struggled at the QB position, Coach Muschamp decided to remove Bentley’s redshirt and start him week 7 against UMass. Bentley went 4-2 the rest of the regular season including a huge upset over Tennessee in his second career start. Bentley’s surprisingly effective play got the Gamecocks a bowl appearance where the South Carolina offense set several Birmingham Bowl records.
The key moving forward is for Bentley to build on last year’s success and become a top quarterback in the SEC. As a coach’s son, I expect Bentley to have put in lots of repetition over the last couple months. Bentley will hopefully impress the Gamecock fans with his sharp accuracy on Saturday.
4. The fans: The normally football crazed Gamecock fans have been all in on their basketball team’s Cinderella run to the Final Four. But Saturday they will have a chance to see their football team in action again. I expect the energy in Williams-Brice to be electric for the spring game as fans are as excited about their Gamecocks as I’ve ever seen them.
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The rescheduling of the game will allow fans to get to the stadium and support the Gamecocks before getting home to watch the Final Four action. With the spring game and the Final Four on the same day this could be a Saturday Gamecocks fans remember for a long time.