Defensive line coach Deke Adams indicated that defensive end Gerald Dixon was held out of Tuesday’s session after getting banged up in the game on Saturday and hopes he will be able to practice on Wednesday.
Dixon, who spoke after the Missouri game last Saturday, was an important part of the defense success on the field and said it’s important for the Gamecocks to finish against the Wildcats on Saturday.
“We should’ve stayed focused on the game. I mean I feel like we took it as we won the game already and shouldn’t have,” said Dixon. “We have to start focusing more on the end of the game and finish.”
Coach Kirk Botkin made it clear that the Mike linebacker position between T.J. Holloman, Kaiwan Lewis and Marcquis Roberts was based on the field performance.
“It’s the same thing week in and week out,” stated Botkin. “Whoever makes the most plays, whoever practices best and shows improvement is going to play and we’re going to reward them for that. We’re trying to put the best ones out there and (Roberts) is one of the better ones right now. T.J. is still doing a good job. Kaiwan is a little banged up right now. We’ve got quality depth there. They’re still pushing for the starting job.”
Roberts has really let his talents be known on the field and is expected to make his second straight start against Kentucky this Saturday. He spoke on his new role at the presser on Tuesday and the improvement of the defense.
With its new-found success, coaches Deke Adams and Kirk Botkin were pleased with the peformance of the defense in the game against Missouri as a whole.
“I thought Coach Ward did a great job with the game plan,” said Botkin. “They executed what we asked them to do. (Missouri) is a good football team. They’ve got some high-powered guys. We knew they could score and score fast. We’ve got to start faster and finish stronger.”
Adams agreed and noted on the defense did exactly what they were told.
“They played hard. They ran to the football. We just didn’t finish. We didn’t finish strong the way we needed to. At the very end, we didn’t make plays the way we needed to. If you look at the whole game, I thought we did a good job. Obviously, we didn’t get the result we wanted,” said Adams.
The Gamecocks will return to the practice field on Wednesday.