The Gamecocks scrimmaged this evening at Williams-Brice in front of a fairly large crowd. There are some good post-scrimmage interviews up here at Gamecocks Online. A few thoughts on those interviews and what went down at the scrimmage:
--Although the first-team offense struggled a bit here and there tonight, Spurrier was pretty upbeat about its performance. That suggests to me that he feels a bit more confident in what he's got there than he has in past years.
--Spurrier also stated that Kenny Miles is definitely the second-team tailback, which answers a lingering question for us. I'm not sure how I feel about that decision. I've been watching some film from the second half of last season, and it seems pretty clear to me that Brandon Wilds has better vision and is a more physical runner than Miles. That's not to say that Miles isn't good, but I think Wilds has the ability to be an upper-tier SEC back. He's not a Lattimore-caliber back, but he's good. Of course, the knock on Wilds last year was that he fumbled (the one against Arkansas may have cost us a chance to win that game, and he had a bad one against UT, also) and that he blocked poorly, but he's presumably worked on these issues over the off-season. I don't know. I like both guys, but I'm a bit more in favor of Wilds. We'll have to see how things go. Wilds is currently injured, but he's supposed to be back soon, and in any event, Spurrier certainly sounded like Miles was the guy regardless of Wilds's health.
--In his defense, Miles did stretch out and catch a nice ball on a wheel route, which suggests how much he's improved catching the ball over the course of his career. As many of you will remember, this was a bit of a problem for him when he started for us in 2009.
--I also enjoyed the interview with Jerrell Adams. Seems like a humble, hardworking kind of guy, despite the fact that he's clearly very talented. He had several big plays tonight and may be the best receiving threat we have at TE, even with Buster Anderson being a pretty good threat, himself. In any event, if there are any growing pains at WR (and it's looking less like that will be the case than it once did), I think our ends will help us weather that storm.
--Marcus Lattimore played well in this scrimmage. The defensive line was getting the better of the offensive line, but Lattimore still averaged almost five yards per carry doing his thing: being patient, waiting for a chance, and getting physical as he plows down the field. I see no reason to believe that he's not capable of having an All-SEC-caliber season.
--One thing to note about the defense is that we blitzed a few times tonight, usually with solid results. One of the things that Lorenzo Ward has promised is a more aggressive approach than what we got with Ellis Johnson, and you saw a bit of that tonight.