Defense shines as Black outlasts Garnet in SC Spring Game

Photo credit USA Today Images

The Black Team got a win over the Garnet Squad 19-17 in double OT in South Carolina's Spring Game. An announced crowd of 51,000 were on hand at Williams-Brice. It marked the 2nd straight year the Gamecocks have held the Spring Game at night.

Spencer Rattler has long been criticized for his inconsistency at Quarterback. He was pretty lackluster on Saturday, although Spring Game performances don't necessarily mean much. Rattler was 12 of 20 for 120 yards and a TD. QB2 Luke Doty struggled going of 7 of 14 for 41 yards.

True Freshman QB Lanorris Sellers was a bright spot, as Gamecock fans got a 1st in person look at him. Sellers was able to extend plays by using his athletic ability to scramble. He also showed arm strength throwing a 50 yard bullet to DJ Black. Sellers signed with SC in December after backing off his commitment to Syracuse. The SC native led South Florence to the 4A State Title in 2022.

Defense stood out for South Carolina on Saturday. The two defenses combined for 10 sacks and forced 3 turnovers. Redshirt Sophomore LB Colin Bryant had a pick 6 in the game. Juco Transfer D-Tackle Elijah Davis shined on Saturday night. Davis was used both inside at Tackle and outside at D-End, given SC's injury and depth issues at D-End. The East Mississippi Community College product had 2 sacks, a forced fumble and a QB pressure on the night.

Edge Rusher Bryan Thomas Jr. also stood pout for the defense. He had 6 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Thomas played significant snaps in 2022 and looks to take on a bigger role this season.

On Offense, a couple of pass catchers had good showings. That is the expectation for Juice Wells and he delivered. Wells was one of the SEC's top receivers in 2022. On Saturday, he played limited snaps but had 2 catches for 89 yards and a TD. Arkansas Transfer TE Trey Knox had 3 catches in the 1st quarter. That included a TD catch, he caught a 3 yard pass from Rattler and held on through a big hit in the end zone.

Knox will be counted on to give the Gamecocks on an answer at TE after they lost so much of their TE production from 2022. Wells also will be looked on to provide stability to a WR core that is replacing personnel.

South Carolina fans are excited after the 1st two seasons under Shane Beamer. They have momentum after beating Clemson 31-30 last season to break the Tigers win streak in the series. They also have momentum on the recruiting trail , how will that carry over in year 3 of Beamer's tenure? We will find out early on in 2023. SC opens with ACC Runner-Up North Carolina Sept. 2nd, they then host Furman before facing two time defending National Champs, Georgia Sept. 16th.

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