The University of South Carolina football team began its final week of spring drills, as they worked out at the new practice fields for their 12th practice of the spring on Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re getting better,” said defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson of his defensive unit through the first dozen spring practices. “Day by day, obviously we’re putting in a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of install every single day. My kids are doing a good job of adjusting to the install. One thing we have to keep working on is our effort. That’s one of the things were hitting on all spring and our guys are improving at. If we continue to do that, we’re going to be fine,” said Robinson.
Coach Robinson, who coaches the secondary, knows that there’s still a lot of work to be done in the defensive backfield. “We have to focus on the details,” noted Coach Robinson. “That’s one of the things I control. We need to be tackle better, we need to get off blocks, those different things to make us successful. Just the details – if we take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.”
The defensive staff is working to instill more toughness this spring. “We have a physical practice every single day,” said Robinson. “Practice is set up that way. Practice is set up for us to be physical. The way we’re doing things right now, we’ve got to continue to do that. We have to embrace the physicality of practice, and embrace the physicality of the practice schedule.”
While the secondary has some work to do, Coach Robinson knows that a strong pass rush can cover up some deficiencies. “One thing I do know, pass rush can make up everything,” admitted Robinson. “We’ve got to find rushers. We’re doing a good job of identifying that. We’ve got to continue on that track. Once we do that, we’ll be fine.”
On the other side of the ball, the offense has made some positive strides from the first practice. “The general consensus is everyone is working hard trying to get better,” said co-offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon. “I think everybody is understanding the importance of every single day. Guys are coming out here with the right mindset of getting better.”
Coach McClendon was complimentary of quarterback Perry Orth’s play prior to the injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the spring. “I thought he did a very good job of understanding what we were doing,” noted McClendon. “I think the experience helped him, the experience of being out there with the guys and taking command of the field. The thing that stood out when he was out there was his ability to go out there and feel comfortable, just because he had that game experience.”
Jockeying for the starting quarterback position will continue into the start of fall camp. At the end of the day, the best man, regardless of their year in school, will earn the spot. “I think just like any other position, you have to put the guy in who gives you the best chance to win on Saturdays, whoever that is,” said McClendon.
The squad will return to the practice fields on Thursday.
The annual Garnet & Black Spring game will take place in Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, April 9, beginning at noon. The game will be televised live on SEC Network with Bob Wischusen and Mack Brown in the booth and Shannon Spake working the sidelines. With several recruits expected to attend, Coach Muschamp is hoping for a strong attendance from Gamecock Nation. Prior to the spring game, Carolina football alumni will take part in a flag football game, beginning at approximately 11 am at Williams-Brice Stadium.