The South Carolina Gamecocks opened up practice to the public on Saturday, and, if you weren't one of the people that got up bright and early to see the action, here's the scoop from the people who were there.
LB Skai Moore and DE Dante Sawyer out due to illness. WR Pharoh Cooper out with wrap on left knee, but they're being very careful with him.— David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) August 8, 2015
We wouldn't expect anything of extreme seriousness for Cooper. It looks like a few days off the field will do him good and it's fair to think that he might be "full go" early next week when the team returns to the field, if not Monday.
That all-important QB battle
Steve Spurrier: "Connor Mitch probably played a little bit better than the other guys today."— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) August 8, 2015
...but he didn't name a starter yet. He was very complimentary of Lorenzo Nunez earlier in the week, as the fans know. One name we haven't heard much (yet) is Perry Orth, recently granted a scholarship by the team, so it might (might!) be entirely possible that Nunez has at least a fighter's chance at the #2 slot. Despite nothing official being announced, it would be hard to imagine anyone else besides Connor Mitch being the day one starter right now.
How about the new guys?
The Gamecocks are certainly hoping for big things from Isaiah Johnson, their transfer from Kansas, and he showed a little of what he could do on Saturday.
Another player the Gamecocks are hoping can make an impact: Toure Boyd, who qualified earlier this week and arrived out East in time to get in on this practice session. Obviously, it's a bit early to get a read from him, but if his JUCO stats are any indication, he should add a boost to the backfield.
What about the defense?
Spurrier being cautious with defensive praise. Last year, defense was lights-out in scrimmages. Then came A&M.— David Cloninger (@DCTheState) August 8, 2015
Practice is certainly a different animal. It looks like the challenge for the staff is keeping the defensive unit grounded - preventing from taking too much stock in their performance in the preseason but at the same time hoping that the they don't enter the season opener against North Carolina in a few weeks a little skittish after last year's opening loss against Texas A&M.
If you weren't there, it probably won't be the last time practice is open.
Steve Spurrier on having an open practice: "Fans wanted to come. We may open up one day a week, and so forth."— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) August 8, 2015