Jake Bentley to Bryan Edwards highlights South Carolina spring game
COLUMBIA – Much has changed for coach Will Muschamp’s second South Carolina football team, but one thing looks to be the same: Jake Bentley to Bryan Edwards.
The pair hooked up for a 68-yard touchdown on the second play of USC’s spring game Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. And Bentley, the Gamecocks’ sophomore quarterback, found Edwards again for a 21-yard score as the Black team rolled to a 35-24 victory.
Bentley was 13 of 23 for 236 yards and those two scores and an interception in the first half, and threw a strike to tight end Jacob August for a 33-yard TD on a post route in the third quarter.
A 6-4, 220-pound sophomore, Bentley finished at 19 of 31 passes for 301 yards and three scores.
Edwards, a 6-3 sophomore from Conway, caught 4 passes for 111 yards, all in the first half. Last year, he was third on the team with 44 catches, good for 590 yards and four scores.
Former Wando High School star OrTre Smith caught a 42-yard TD bomb from Danny Gordon on the final play of the game.
Gamecock fans got their first look at running back Ty’Son Williams, a transfer from North Carolina. And Williams, 6-0 and 209 pounds, impressed with 11 carries for 83 yards and a 4-yard TD in the first half, while catching three balls for 30 yards.
• Defensive back Jamarcus King appeared to injure his right arm in a first-half collision with Bryan Edwards, and defensive back Steven Montac was banged up in the second half.
• Former Goose Creek standout Caleb Kinlaw scored a 1-yard TD in the third quarter. He transferred to USC from Pearl River Community College after two seasons at Wisconsin, and has two years to play for the Gamecocks.
• Linebacker Skai Moore, who led the Gamecocks in tackles for three straight seasons before missing last year with a neck injury, was back in action and received a big hand from the fans after his first tackle.
• New kicker Alex Woznick made 3 of 6 field goals, showing a strong leg in hitting from 47, 48 and 50 yards. He missed from 52, 33 and 55 yards.
• The Gamecocks will play non-conference games against Coastal Carolina and Chattaooga in 2018, and will face Coastal Carolina again in 2020, according to FBSschedules.com.
CCU will play in USC’s opener on Sept. 1, 2018, and will earn $1.2 million for the game. The payout for the 2020 game will be $1.4 million, the report said.
Chattanooga, a member of the FCS Southern Conference, will collect $400,000 for the 2018 game.
USC’s non-conference schedule for 2018 will include CCU, Chattanooga, Marshall and Clemson. The Gamecocks will be at home to SEC foes Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M, and will visit Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.
• USC handed out its spring awards, with QB Jake Bentley the offensive player of the spring, and sophomore defensive lineman Dennis Wonnum the defensive player. D.J. Smith and Bryson Allen-Williams won for special teams, and tight end Hayden Hurst won the outstanding student-athlete award.
Receiver Bryan Edwards was honored for highest GPA on the offense; defensive lineman Daniel Fennell had the best GPA on defense; and kicker Alex Woznick won for special teams.
• Former kicker Elliott Fry made the “celebrity catch” on a 2-point conversion.
• Among prospective recruits visiting USC for the spring game was Fort Dorchester quarterback Dakereon Joyner. He recently announced his final five choices on Twitter, naming USC, Georgia, North Carolina State, Oregon and Alabama. He plans to announce his choice on Father’s Day in June.
Another prospect reportedly at the game was Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk, who plans to transfer as a graduate student for his final season. The 6-4, 215-pounder also has visited East Carolina and Southern Miss. He missed the 2016 season with a torn Achilles tendon.
Also on hand was highly regarded defensive end Xavier Thomas. The 6-3, 268-pounder is expected to choose between USC and Clemson.