Cam­per goes from bench to vi­tal con­trib­u­tor on USC O-line

The State (Sunday) - - Usc Football - BY BEN BREINER bbreiner@thes­tate.com

Blake Cam­per was in a spot where any player might sulk.

The South Carolina right tackle had been benched for a fresh­man in Dy­lan Won­num. Pub­licly the coaches said he didn’t do any­thing wrong, but in his se­nior sea­son, he got passed.

Then he got called upon again.

Dur­ing Sat­ur­day’s game against Ole Miss, left tackle Ma­lik Young went down with an in­jury. He was start­ing in place of Den­nis Da­ley, who missed the game with an an­kle in­jury. So USC was down to tackle No. 4, which was Cam­per, a starter only a few weeks prior.

“We cross-train him a lot,” Game­cocks coach Will Muschamp said. “Not as much as a nor­mal left tackle is go­ing to get trained, so give Blake credit. (Eric Wol­ford) does a re­ally good job of shuf­fling guys through­out the week sit­u­a­tion­ally for some­thing like this.”

Muschamp pointed out that the line hardly gave up any pres­sures, and the lone sack was a busted pro­tec­tion, so not the fault of the of­fen­sive line.

The left to right tran­si­tion isn’t an easy one, es­pe­cially on short no­tice. It means a player has to set his feet the op­po­site way, not un­like a base­ball player flip­ping to hit with the op­po­site hand.

“It’s just a tes­ta­ment to our coach­ing staff,” quar­ter­back Jake Bent­ley said, “how they pre­pare us for games.

“Blake did a great job. … He was ready to go. His mind­set was right be­fore the game. That’s why he was able to help us out.”

BIG AD­JUST­MENT

South Carolina’s de­fense gave up 44 points in its first 10 drives.

It gave up 16 yards in its fi­nal four se­ries.

Muschamp said there was a sim­ple change at work, as USC sud­denly found a way to cor­ral a high-fly­ing Ole Miss at­tack.

“We played a lit­tle bit more man at the end,” Muschamp said, “made (Rebel QB Jor­dan) Ta’amu throw into a lit­tle bit more tight spa­ces.

“Our cov­er­age was good when we were in man and that’s what we talked in the sec­ond half as far as play­ing a lit­tle bit more man cov­er­age be­cause in the zones, they re­ally hurt us.”

He pointed out the play­ac­tion passes gave Ta’amu time and ex­tra pro­tec­tion, and in zone, he was able to pick on USC.

Muschamp also noted the Game­cocks had to pro­ceed gin­gerly be­cause of in­juries in the sec­ondary. At var­i­ous points, R.J. Rod­er­ick, Jamyest Wil­liams, Steven Mon­tac and Javon Charles­ton all got hurt. It meant sel­do­mused red­shirt fresh­man Jaylin Dick­er­son was forced into ac­tion, and at points, the team had four fresh­men, three true, in the sec­ondary.

On those fi­nal four drives, Ta’amu was 3-for-8 for 10 yards and got sacked on a third down. His team con­verted only one of five third downs.

“They were just catch­ing lit­tle zone passes on us,” Mon­tac said. “We just switched it up, manned it up. They can’t re­ally beat man-to-man like that.”

NOTES

The 616 yards al­lowed was the most ever in a South Carolina win. It was the sev­enth-most yards ever al­lowed by USC.

Team cap­tains were Javon Kin­law, D.J. Won­num, Zack Bai­ley and Bryan Ed­wards.

Wide re­ceiver Chavis Dawkins made his first start of the sea­son and the third of his ca­reer.

Tail­back Mon Den­son had his first ca­reer 100yard rush­ing game. Fel­low run­ning back Ty’son Wil­liams had 100 re­ceiv­ing yards.

GAVIN MCINTYRE

South Carolina run­ning back Rico Dow­dle is helped off the field dur­ing the game against Ole Miss on Sat­ur­day in Ox­ford, Miss.

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