South Carolina junior Heisman candidate Mike Davis said Friday that running backs coach Everette Sands is trying to erase the word ‘fumble’ from his players’ vocabulary this season.
Only 11 teams in the FBS ranks dropped it on the turf more times than the Gamecocks last fall who ranked last in the SEC with 13 lost fumbles — three of those credited to Davis.
“We can’t say fumble,” Davis said after Friday morning’s practice. “Our coach likes to call it failure to protect the ball. He calls it the f-word.”
Though fall camp has been intentionally uneventful for South Carolina’s primary offensive weapon, Davis says the first-team offense has an ego to repair during the Gamecocks’ second scrimmage on Saturday after a poor showing the first time out.
“I expect our offense to come out and compete hard against our defense,” Davis said. “You know, we got a little bad (reputation) from writers or whatever, so we want to come out and make a statement.”
His remarks came in direct reference to the Gamecock backfield’s subpar performance on Aug. 9 during the first fall scrimmage after South Carolina’s defense held ballcarriers Brandon Wilds, Shon Carson and Davis in check throughout the morning.
Throughout camp, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward’s been pleased with player development along the defensive line, a major question coming in after the loss of Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton.
Darius English and the Dixon brothers have all shown improvement and appear ready to take on starting roles. Fifth-year senior J.T. Surratt’s the lone returning starter up front.
“We have a great defense and great coach in Coach Ward,” Davis said. “(In the first scrimmage) we caught a couple blitzes right into our runs.”
You can watch Davis’ full post-practice interview at GoGamecocks.com.