If Everette Sands gets his wish, Marcus Lattimore would get plenty of carries this weekend when the Tennessee Volunteers come to town.
Coach Sands said on Wednesday night that the plan was to give Marcus Lattimore the ball.
"That is the plan. We're saying we're going to give him the ball and let's get this thing rolling."
Lattimore carried the ball three times this past weekend against Florida for just 13 yards as the Gamecocks gameplan changed once South Carolina fell behind against the Florida Gators. The Gamecocks felt they needed to throw the football more as the score rose to 21-3 before a field goal at the end of the first half brought the score to 21-6 in favor of the Gators.
If you look at the last two weeks, Lattimore has carried the ball just 16 times for 48 yards and one touchdown. Clearly not what South Carolina had in mine for their star running back but this weekend will be a good chance for South Carolina to move the football on the ground. Tennessee is giving up 186.4 yards per game on the ground to their opponents.
Marcus Lattimore's health was certainly a question heading into the Florida game, but not this week.
"He's good. He's 100%. He's good," said Sands when asked about his running back's health.
Sands does have an idea on his ideal situation going forward with his running backs.
"If I could draw it up, we'll run the ball a good bit and both Kenny (Miles) and Mike (Davis) would be able to spell Latt at times," said Sands. "So we'll see how it works out."
Speaking of Mike Davis, coach Sands thinks his freshman running back is in a good place right now after getting more and more comfortable in this offense.
"I think his attitude is real good now. Of course, he's always got some up and downs as a freshman coming from a superstar to being another guy behind one of the best running backs in the country. I think his attitude is in the right spot. I think his mind is in the right spot and he's ready to contribute when we ask him to."
Davis received the most carries of the season last weekend against the Gators as he rushed the ball six times for 20 yards.
Make no mistake, getting Lattimore the ball is the main goal starting this Saturday. Lattimore is known to be a player that gets better the more carries he receives in a game.
"Even when you get him into the high teens, I think that's when he starts getting a little bit tougher."
The Gamecocks will see if Lattimore will showcase that toughness once again this weekend when Tennessee comes to town.
-Coach Sands was asked about Shon Carson's health and gave this update:
"He's doing well. Just had second surgery to get the pins out and everything but he's doing good. He's in rehab right. It's probably going to be about three weeks before he'll have full flexing in his wrist."
-Brandon Wilds was also mentioned after practice but Sands said that the plan is still to redshirt Wilds at this time.
-Freshman Kendric Salley is another injured running back for the Gamecocks but hasn't been cleared for practice yet.
"He has not yet," said Sands when asked if Salley has practiced yet. "He's still running around just getting ready but he's not been cleared to go yet."
-A big question this season will be whether or not Marcus Lattimore will head to the NFL draft. Coach Sands said it's a discussion that hasn't even been mentioned yet.
"We haven't really been thinking about that. Right now, we're focused on, at this moment, focused on Tennessee."
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