South Carolina held their first scrimmage of the fall Saturday afternoon at Williams Brice Stadium. The team ran 86 plays in a scrimmage that lasted a little longer than an hour and a half. Head coach Steve Spurrier was pleased with the play of a few players, but overall it was just another typical scrimmage.
"We had a typical scrimmage," Spurrier said following the scrimmage. "Nobody got hurt seriously I don't think. It was an interesting scrimmage. I told our guys we looked like the seventh best offense in the league and about the seventh best defense."
As is the case in all scrimmages, a lot of players played on both sides of the ball. Five of the six quarterbacks on the roster played and recorded stats. Nine players had a rush or was sacked and 18 players caught a pass.
Connor Shaw had the best day of the quarterbacks, completing 9-of-11 passes for 147 yard and two touchdown passes.
"Connor Shaw had an excellent scrimmage," Spurrier said. "I think his team went up and down the field and scored every time he was in. He threw it where he was supposed to - got rid of it and did not take sacks. He played pretty well."
Going up against the first team in the scrimmage, Spurrier said Stephen Garcia took too many sacks. Garcia completed 9-of-15 passes for 92 yards. Dylan Thompson completed 5-of-9 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, Andrew Clifford was 4-for-7 with 50 yards and a touchdown, and Tanner McEvoy finished 1-of-3 for 1 yard.
Freshman receiver Damiere Byrd led the receivers with 84 yards on three catches and a 65-yard touchdown pass from Shaw on a fly route.
"Damiere led the receivers in yards by far today," Spurrier said. "Damiere caught (a few) tough catches as well. He's making some good grabs."
Bruce Ellington had a great scrimmage as well, running the Wildcat three times for 20 yards, and caught three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown.
"Bruce had a big scrimmage," Spurrier said. "We ran him in the Wildcat for about (20) yards there and he caught a couple of balls."
The tight ends had a good day of practice as well. Justice Cunningham caught a pass for 20 yards, Rory Anderson caught a pass for 20 yards, Drew Owens caught two passes for 20 yards, Cory Simmons caught two passes for nine yards and a touchdown, and Payton Brady had a 13-yard catch.
Shon Carson led the rushing with nine carries for 56 yards, Brandon Wilds carried it seven times for 36 yards, and Eric Baker ran it five times for 14 yards.
Spurrier normally has a gripe with his offense, particularly at quarterback, with turnovers. He couldn't gripe about the turnovers Saturday so he griped about the other side of it.
"Defensively, we can't get any turnovers - can't knock it loose, can't get a pick," Spurrier said. "I hope we can get a pick or two before the season. We hope our secondary guys can make some plays - we didn't get much out of the secondary. Maybe the coverage was good a few times."
The Gamecocks will host Fan Appreciation Day Sunday afternoon at the Colonial Life Arena from 12:30-2:30 and will return to the practice field Sunday night at 7:30. The practice is closed.
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