Lecorn's emergence sparks offense

The offense is back at South Carolina, and a true freshman is helping the seniors produce points. Freshman wide receiver Dion Lecorn began starting in September because of his blocking. Saturday night against Arkansas he showed off his playmaking ability, turning in a career best 8 catches for 109 yards as USC rolled up 489 total yards, 364 through the air.


"Dion had an excellent game," said USC Head Coach Steve Spurrier. "I'm really proud of him. Shoot, he caught everything he touched."

Spurrier also mentioned the strong performances Saturday of sophomore tight end/split end Jared Cook and senior standout Kenny McKinley, but it's Lecorn who has and needs to continue taking pressure off of McKinley in the USC passing attack.

"Now I feel like I am more of a second receiver now, as part of the offense," said Lecorn. "Coach told me before the game they probably might double Kenny, and we would need somebody to step up."

The soft-spoken freshman was happy that senior quarterback Blake Mitchell threw more passes his way against the Hogs than in earlier games. He has no real answer as to why the USC offense has had slow starts the last three games, all losses. "We always come out the second half knowing we've got to play. We just try to, hope we come out the next game, ready to play in the first quarter."

According to Lecorn, senior Cory Boyd stepped up in the locker room after the game and said they can come out and win the next two games, against Florida and Clemson. Each game is at home.

"We've just got to find a way to get the whole team clicking at the same time, for the whole game," said Lecorn.

After the Arkansas game, where USC totaled 489 yards following the 501-yard performance against Tennessee, McKinley lamented the failure of the offense and defense to play well in the same game. "All year those guys (defense) have been stopping them, and we haven't been scoring. We can't get both of them going at the same time."

But McKinley compared this year's offense to last year when the Gamecocks put together solid offensive performances down the stretch, capped by the 38-point output against archrival Clemson.

McKinley said USC will just have to come out and work harder in practice this week to secure USC's first win since October 13. While others might have been thinking about a bowl game, McKinley has been focused on each game. "Can we still make it to a bowl if we keep losing?" he asked after the Arkansas game. If USC wants to be one of the eight or nine SEC teams in a bowl game, a solid offensive performance is needed Saturday against Florida.


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