USC FOOTBALL

Weird day for USC

BY DANNY KELLY
danny@theitem.com
Posted 12/2/18

COLUMBIA - It was a strange game to say the least when the South Carolina Gamecocks took on the Akron Zips at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday.

The Gamecocks defeated the Zips 28-3 in a makeup game that saw rain, low crowd attendance and no …

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USC FOOTBALL

Weird day for USC

Posted

COLUMBIA - It was a strange game to say the least when the South Carolina Gamecocks took on the Akron Zips at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday.

The Gamecocks defeated the Zips 28-3 in a makeup game that saw rain, low crowd attendance and no points in the second half.

The game came about when the Gamecocks' home game against Marshall scheduled for Sept. 15 was canceled due to Hurricane Florence.

"First of all, I want to thank our fans who were here - pretty miserable day weather-wise," South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said. "They certainly were loud for us and we appreciate that, appreciate their support. (The) most loyal fanbase in the country and we certainly appreciate what they do for us."

There was an announced attendance of 53,420, but the empty seats due to the inclement weather and a game scheduled in the last couple of months told a different story.

"It was different, but I appreciate the fans that did come," junior quarterback Jake Bentley said. "It is definitely an adverse situation to come to the game with the rain and everything. I'm proud of the ones that came and we could definitely hear them."

Akron's three points were the fewest allowed by a Muschamp-led defense at South Carolina

"We just have guys coming in and getting some quality reps," junior linebacker T.J. Brunson said of the defense. "Our scheme doesn't really change much. Those guys getting those reps, they'll know what is expected and what to do in the future games. It's just another game to go out and play."

The game also saw six turnovers in a third quarter where it seemed like both teams couldn't get out of their own way.

Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, who are already riddled with injuries, senior offensive lineman Zack Bailey went down with an injury at the end of the third quarter with a leg injury.

"Zack Bailey broke his fibula, it's a non-weight bearing bone," Muschamp said. "So that's a good thing at the end of the day. I did tibia and fibula - I told him I was tougher than him. He's going to be fine. It's a setback, but it's not a catastrophic injury in my mind."

The players also felt badly for Bailey, who was playing in his last game at Williams-Brice Stadium.

"It was unfortunate, but I think hearing Coach (Muschamp) talk, saying it wasn't as bad as it could be, helped us in coming together," Bentley said. "But he is a pivotal player for us and has brought a lot of leadership and experience to the offensive line. We are definitely going to miss him, for sure."

"It is sad to see guys go down, especially seniors in their last game," junior running back Mon Denson said. "But, we are pretty glad that he got up and gave the crowd a wave to make sure that he was okay."