Garnet & Black Spring Game Set for Saturday
COLUMBIA, SC April 9, 2015 – The University of South Carolina football team held its final tune-up prior to Saturday’s annual Garnet & Black Spring Game on a warm Thursday afternoon in Columbia.
The few healthy offensive linemen will be asked to do yeoman’s work on Saturday, as injuries have taken a toll on the unit. “We ended up with five or six guys going in the spring and got a lot of quality reps for these guys,” said offensive line coach Shawn Elliott. “The experience they gained – guys like Donell Stanley – I told him the other day he probably went 1200 snaps over 14 practices thus far, so that’s really important for a guy like him. Normally he wouldn’t have an opportunity to go out and garner that experience and reps. Those are great learning tools and learning experiences for a guy like him. A lot of guys got better,” continued Elliott. “Alan Knott became a much better football player. We got exactly what we thought we would out of the spring, fundamental football, assignments and working hard,” noted Elliott. “I think spring is an opportunity for your young guys to get in there and play. That’s what you want. You want to gain valuable reps for those guys who haven’t been in game-type situations.”
Connor Mitch, Perry Orth and Michael Scarnecchia have been battling for the quarterback duties all spring, and each will have one more chance to make an impression on Saturday. “It’s been really good,” said Scarnecchia of the competition. “We’ve been getting equal reps – me, Connor and Perry – and I think each of us has progressed very well throughout this spring. We’re getting a lot of reps and just trying to gel with the team and get a chemistry going. I’ve been happy getting equal reps,” continued the redshirt freshman signal-caller. “It’s given me a chance to show what I can do. It’s given me a chance to learn everything because this offense is a little bit complicated.”
Scarnecchia is looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd on Saturday. “It’s going to be different. The most I’ve probably ever played in front of is 10,000,” noted Scarnecchia. “It’s probably going to be triple that. I’ve just got to calm myself down and tell myself this is what I do. Even when the crowd is there, it’s just a game. We’re just playing football. Stick to what Coach Mangus teaches us and what Coach Spurrier teaches us and just play the game.”
The Garnet & Black Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 11. That contest is scheduled for noon at Williams-Brice Stadium and admission is free. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network + with Dave Lamont and Booger McFarland in the booth and Kaylee Hartung working the sidelines. Several of the Gamecock athletic programs will be introduced at halftime, along with those players on hand who played for Coach Spurrier over the last 10 years at South Carolina, as part of a reunion weekend, which includes a private reception on Friday. In addition, Coach Spurrier will present the annual spring football awards at the intermission of Saturday’s contest.