Saturday, October 29, 2011
Brandon Wilds with solid starting debut
By Edward Aschoff
Life without Marcus Lattimore was never going to be easy for South Carolina, but Brandon Wilds filled in nicely in South Carolina's 14-3 win over Tennessee.
He started the year fifth on the running back depth chart and was almost headed for redshirt city. But once Lattimore went down, Wilds went to No. 1 at the position and had quite the starting debut. Wilds rushed for 137 yards and even carried the ball 28 times. It was as if Lattimore never left.
Well, maybe not, but South Carolina had to be happy with what it got from Wilds. He isn't nearly as strong as Lattimore, but he sure is tough and he toughed out some extra yards here and there against Tennessee all night.
It was a good thing, to,o because the Gamecocks weren't real big on throwing the ball. Connor Shaw finished with just 87 yards passing and a touchdown. He rushed for South Carolina's only other score.
Tennessee showed once again that it just doesn't have the manpower to really compete in this league. Injuries to key players have ravaged this team, but depth across the board is a major issue. There just isn't enough energy and stamina to go around for the Vols.
Tennessee started true freshman Justin Worley, who threw the ball 20 times in the first half, but showed that he's still just a youngster. He wasn't awful by any means, but still has a ways to go before he's ready for the SEC. He forced throws, including one at South Carolina's goal line that was intercepted. He was replaced by Matt Simms after that pick.
But it wasn't all on Worley. South Carolina's defense played a major role as well. The Gamecocks held Tennessee to 186 yards, including 35 on the ground, and forced two turnovers. Tennessee was also 2-of-14 on third downs. This defense just continues to carry South Carolina. It will have to from here on out with the way this offense is (not) moving the ball right now.