Practice Recap: It's All About Fundamentals

No. 21 South Carolina is in preparation for its match-up against East Carolina on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Televised on ESPNU, the Gamecocks will kick-off will Cara Capuano on the sidelines and Anish Shroff and Kelly Stouffer in the booth. Take a look at some notables from Thursday’s practice.

1. It’s all about fundamentals for the defense. “It’s all fundamentals. Last week we didn’t play well in space,” said Ward. “They spread us out. We couldn’t generate a pass rush and we didn’t cover them in the perimeter. We’ve got to be able to make plays. We had 17 opportunities on third down and I think 10 of those we’re five yards or more where we had an opportunity to get off the field, but we didn’t make a play.”

2. Skai Moore will be back,and Gurley will take over safety. “Skai (Moore) will go back and start at WILL linebacker,” said Ward. “T.J. Gurley will start for Chaz Elder at safety. Rico (McWilliams) will start at corner. Depending on David Johnson, how his toe is, he could start at (defensive) end for Darius (English). But that remains to be seen.”

3. Brison Williams is questionable. “Brison practiced today,” noted Ward. “If Brison isn’t ready to go, then Rico and Al (Harris Jr.) will start (at cornerback).” “He hurt his forearm in a field goal rush situation,” said Ward, “but he’s getting better every day.”

4. 4-2-5 and 3-4: A numbers game for the defense. Ward said the Gamecocks would continue to play both the 4-2-5 and the 3-4 defense against East Carolina. “We’ll play both. The offense will dictate what we do as far as the personnel. We’ll definitely play some 3-4 and some 4-2-5.”

Take a look at the full practice report below:

The Bluff Road “Proving Grounds” has seen its fair share of action this season, and certainly this week.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward knew his defense struggled in last Saturday’s game and notes it’s all about fundamentals this week.
“It’s all fundamentals. Last week we didn’t play well in space,” said Ward. “They spread us out. We couldn’t generate a pass rush and we didn’t cover them in the perimeter. We’ve got to be able to make plays. We had 17 opportunities on third down and I think 10 of those we’re five yards or more where we had an opportunity to get off the field, but we didn’t make a play.”
Skai Moore is back on the scene at ‘WILL’ linebacker, and T.J. Gurley will be posted at safety for Saturday’s game.
“Skai (Moore) will go back and start at WILL linebacker,” said Ward. “T.J. Gurley will start for Chaz Elder at safety. Rico (McWilliams) will start at corner. Depending on David Johnson, how his toe is, he could start at (defensive) end for Darius (English). But that remains to be seen.”
On the injury report yesterday, Brison Williams was on the field putting in some reps.
“Brison practiced today,” noted Ward. “If Brison isn’t ready to go, then Rico and Al (Harris Jr.) will start (at cornerback).” “He hurt his forearm in a field goal rush situation,” said Ward, “but he’s getting better every day.”
Continuing to play both 4-2-5 and 3-4 defense against ECU, Ward liked the way the team has responded.
“I thought they came out Saturday ready to practice. We changed up our Monday schedule this week. We went longer than we normally do on Monday, so the guys responded well. I was satisfied with the practice,” added Ward, “but I want to see it in the game. We’ll see how we respond two days from now.”


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