COLUMBIA, S.C. – It was Day 8 of fall camp on Monday at South Carolina, and senior Perry Orth said there have been no changes to the quarterback situation as he continues to compete with freshman Brandon McIlwain.
Orth did, however, offer up that he felt Monday saw the offense move the ball very well.
“Actually, (Monday) may have been our best practice offensively,” he said. “Not really any turnovers, I don’t believe. I don’t really remember. We are starting to get a grip on what Coach (Kurt) Roper wants from us.
“I know quarterbacks, we are getting better each and every day. The offensive line has done an incredible job blocking this fall camp. The running backs, everybody has been doing really well. You could tell today things were clicking.”
It was Orth’s turn to run with the first-team on Monday, while McIlwain worked with the twos. It will flip back again Tuesday as the pair continues to alternate days, an even split that has been maintained through eight days of camp, Orth said.
But while there has been no indication of which way the quarterback battle ultimately will lean, Orth said he no longer feels like an underdog thanks in large part to having started eight games last year.
“Maybe last season I probably did,” he said. “Not now. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve played in games. I’ve played in tough environments. I’ve played in big-time ball games.
“No, I don’t feel like an underdog now. I feel like I just have to take it each and every day as serious as I can because I’m in a heated competition with a talented quarterback.”
The Gamecocks, whose opener comes Sept. 1 at Vanderbilt, will hold their first fall scrimmage on Saturday, and Orth knows it could lead to some separation one way or the other.
“They will probably give us a heads up after the scrimmage on Saturday, I would assume,” he said. “Until then, we will probably continue to split reps evenly.”
Mike Wilson covers South Carolina athletics for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on the Gamecocks.