When South Carolina Gamecocks fans are imploring their team to run the ball more, that's one thing. When it's your starting running back, quite another.
Maybe it was just frustration of losing a game they should have won that was eating away at Brandon Wilds after Saturday night's game against the Kentucky Wildcats, but he let his feelings known in the postgame press conference. South Carolina had the ball several times in the Kentucky red zone, but decided to pass it when they clearly should have run and gotten yardage on the ground - especially since it had worked for them for a good portion of the night. Wilds, though, had sixteen carries for 106 yards, and afterwards, let everyone know how he was feeling.
Brandon Wilds bluntly says, 'We need to run the ball more.' Problems in the red zone? 'I didn't get the ball.'— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) September 13, 2015
Well, he's right.
Granted, the Gamecocks ran it more times (34) than they did pass (27), but when you're close to the end zone, keeping it on the ground is usually a good option. You can point to several plays - the third and four at the 17 where Connor Mitch fumbled it and got injured, the second and eight at the nine early in the second half, the second and third and eight after that, etc. - in the red zone where the Gamecocks should have run instead of going to the air. It cost them valuable points, and in the end, it was part of the reason why they lost.
If Steve Spurrier and the staff didn't get the message that they need to run the ball more, that message came across loud and clear from one of their own players. And if they don't explore ways to get it to their running backs more, they'll run the risk of developing discontent - and not just among the guys in the backfield.