COLUMBIA, S.C. – On Friday, South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson talked about the desire to play fast increasingly throughout fall camp.
Early Saturday morning, the Gamecocks practiced provided a glimpse of what Robinson was talking about when he said, “How many times can we play fast in the course of a practice?”
South Carolina started off right away in practice with up-tempo reps, pitting the offense against the defense. When the drive concluded with the first unit getting the reps, a second unit hopped in and took its turn and so on.
Robinson expressed Friday that the plan throughout fall camp is to increase the number of reps where the team will “play fast.”
“If it was 20 today, how many times can we play fast tomorrow? 21?,” he said. “Alright, continue to get better every single day and when we start to do that, when we can play fast for 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 reps, then we can put a whole game together. Then we will be ready to play.”
Orth kicks off practice
When the Gamecocks came out of the first period into the 11 on 11 portion, senior Perry Orth was the first quarterback to get snaps. He hit his first couple passes before throwing an interception that was tipped by a wide receiver before being picked off by safety D.J. Smith.
Freshman Brandon McIlwain hopped in next. He had a pass deflected by freshman defensive lineman D.J. Wonnum, who senior Darius English said has been having a good camp.
First-team reps for Turner
While Orth was getting the first reps at quarterback, his running back was redshirt freshman A.J. Turner.
Following Turner was Darius Paulk and Rod Talley. Turner came up a little bit gimpy later on in practice as it appeared he was favoring his left ankle.
One of the first players to jump out as being involved in the first run on Saturday was freshman defensive end Kier Thomas.
The early enrollee from Miami also was praised by English on Friday for his play in camp.
Donell Stanley also was getting first-team reps at right guard, running with Mason Zandi, Zach Bailey, Cory Helms and D.J. Park.
Marc King has been working through the early transitions of playing at a different level, from what was said on Friday.
On Saturday, the junior college transfer cornerback drew the ire of Will Muschamp for being too handsy and being flagged for pass interference. The head coach loudly told King that it was time to grow up.
Punt return options
The usual suspects were involved in a special teams period, as Rashad Fenton and Chris Lammons both were among the 10 or so players catching punts.
Freshman wide receiver Korey Banks and former quarterback Lorenzo Nunez also were getting looks.
Mike Wilson covers South Carolina athletics for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on the Gamecocks.