Once upon a time, South Carolina had a player who was the cornerstone of the Steve Spurrier era. Marcus Lattimore was a pillar in the Carolina program for the last three years, a foundation of two back-to-back 11-win seasons.
So, the Gamecocks’ running game won’t be any good without him, right?
That was the consensus from the uninformed talking heads prior to last night’s start, and while sophomores Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds aren’t Lattimore, they’re Carolina’s thunder and thunder.
Davis (5-9, 215) refused to be tackled early in the game, and he showed he’s capable of 20-plus carries per game, every game. He finished with 12 carries for 115 yards and one touchdown, but his 75-yard touchdown run was the highlight of the entire game.
Davis isn’t exactly known for speed as much as his ability to pound the rock between the tackles, but he outran everyone on the play. That’s a great sign for Carolina, and he has a big future. Davis’ thunder showed a little bit of lightning on the big play.
Wilds (6-2, 225) is a bully ball carrier. Similar to Davis, he brings the thunder and usually sheds the first would-be tackler. He carried 12 times for 64 yards last night, and he’ll be a great compliment for Steve Spurrier’s offense.
Wilds rushed for 486 yards and three touchdowns two seasons ago after Lattimore’s first injury. He redshirted in 2012 due to an ankle injury.
Davis and Wilds may not be Marcus Lattimore, but together – along with Connor Shaw – they are capable of helping the Gamecocks get to Atlanta. South Carolina is 10-1 without Lattimore in their last 11 games.
Photo Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports