Depending on which perspective you have, South Carolina is on the cusp of a great turnaround fueled by a reset coaching staff and plenty of experience and talent returning on the offensive and defensive lines, or is in the middle of a grueling rebuild.

There are pieces in place for a big season, but the Gamecocks also have a difficult schedule with an uphill battle against traditional rivals and multiple SEC East teams being on the upswing.

There are plenty of new faces on the roster, and positions that need to increase production. How that pans out will play a major role in what kind of season the Gamecocks have. Many concerns start with injuries at quarterback and running back.

Here are the 5 biggest concerns I have about South Carolina:

5. Wide receiver production

While there are plenty of names ready for potential breakout seasons, there’s little past production to go on. That’s troubling because several guys should have established themselves at least as a No. 2 receiver by now. Those names include Dakereon Joyner, Josh Vann and Xavier Legette, who have shown flashes at times, but overall fizzled when expected to be a viable option when Shi Smith was double covered, for example. There are freshmen like O’Mega Blake and Sam Reynolds, and transfer Ahmarean Brown who have optimistic projections. Jalen Brooks was expected to contribute last season after a prolonged eligibility issue, and OrTre Smith has long been a possible contributor but has been slowed by injuries. Both have fallen short of expectations.

The concern starts with Luke Doty’s ability, when healthy, to get the ball downfield, and secondly, this group’s likelihood of producing a bonafide No. 1 target.

4. New faces in the secondary

This is one of those glass-half-full, or glass-half-empty perspectives.

On one hand, as Shane Beamer likes to say, there are a slew of new faces since spring practice. However, 5 of the defensive backs who got most of the playing time last year either left for the NFL or transferred. The concern lies with the starting lineup, and if a transfer can immediately step in. The transfer portal brought Tyrese Ross (Washington State), Carlins Platel (Assumption) and Karon Prunty (Kansas) and to illustrate the situation, all were considered as potential starters. But the first sign of trouble came when Prunty entered the transfer portal.

3. Will special teams be an upgrade?

Because of his father’s reputation, and Beamer’s career history as a special teams coach, the expectation is that the special teams will improve. But the Gamecocks already have established and veteran personnel, including fifth-year senior Parker White at place-kicker, punter Kai Kroeger and Matthew Bailey at long snapper.

The return game is more of a concern, even if the Gamecocks get a boost from the kicking game. The returners weren’t displayed during the spring game, which led some to wonder if Beamer has a wrinkle up his sleeve. For a team that will be an underdog in most of its games, this area is one avenue to close the gap.

2. Running game sequel

Kevin Harris was one of the only bright spots last season, and ideally, bringing on MarShawn Lloyd and ZaQuandre White should help lessen the load and diversify the offense. However, Harris has missed time this preseason with a back injury — and is only somewhat back at practice this week — and a quick glance at the SEC rushing leaders in recent years sees very few repeat 1,000-yard rushers. Sure, it can be done, but it historically hasn’t, at least at a consistent rate.

This goes hand in hand with the concern at wide receiver and the downfield passing game. If I’m a defensive coordinator, why wouldn’t I put 8 or 9 defenders near the line of scrimmage and force Doty or Zeb Noland or Jason Brown to beat me down the field?

1. Quarterback

Luke Doty has been fully entrenched as the starter for a while, and now his foot injury complicates the situation. Though the wild card of graduate-assistant-turned-quarterback Zeb Noland adds a twist, the Gamecocks at least have options. This injury no doubt sent alarm bells because, given his playing style, Doty leaves himself susceptible to injury, and that begs the question about the backup QB.

Behind Doty: a group of true freshmen, a transfer, or someone who’s never taken a snap. Jason Brown, the transfer from Division II St. Francis who played well in the spring game, appeared to have the inside track before Noland came on the scene about a week ago.

Long term, Doty’s development under Marcus Satterfield is part and parcel with this concern as his decision-making on when to scramble, how he throws downfield, and whether his leadership traits can translate to wins.