Brandon Wilds wants the football, so Gamecocks should give it to him
Brandon Wilds isn’t often vocal, but when he is, the message is loud and clear.
South Carolina’s senior running back wasn’t happy following the Gamecocks’ home loss to Kentucky and didn’t feel he got enough touches despite showing increased burst at full strength for the first time in several years.
Asked about his team’s struggles inside the red zone, Wilds was blunt with his assertion: “I didn’t get the ball.”
Wilds rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries, but only three attempts came in the fourth quarter (one on the final drive which resulted in Perry Orth’s comeback-ending interception).
If South Carolina’s going to miss a bowl game for the first time in seven years this fall, Steve Spurrier should at least go down with a fight — putting the ball in the hands of his best playmakers offensively.
He’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing Wilds was force-fed 20 or more carries in Athens, a plethora of plays were designed with a Pharoh Cooper emphasis and less stress was placed on a former walk-on quarterback in charge of dissecting Jeremy Pruitt’s defense.
The Head Ball Coach’s late-game decisions have been criticized by casual observers and the media for several years and Saturday’s loss was another prime example of Spurrier trying to do too much with too little.
The first step to recovery is admission:
Spurrier on Brandon Wilds’ comments: “I don’t have too many problems with Brandon.” Blames himself for play-calling.
— David Cloninger (@DCTheState) September 13, 2015
South Carolina isn’t a passing team and Spurrier knows it. He mentioned “piecing it together” offensively this week since he believes the Gamecocks “aren’t talented enough to play poorly and win.”
Out-manned on both sides of the football in Saturday’s game against Georgia, South Carolina is a 17-point underdog that could benefit from a stubborn, run-heavy approach offensively.
Wilds is the Gamecocks’ best between-the-tackles runner in the backfield and played angry the last time these two teams met. Protecting a fourth-quarter lead, Wilds ran six times for 59 yards against the Bulldogs during the 2014 campaign, including a much-needed 6-yard bust on third-and-7 in the final two minutes that set up Dylan Thompson’s controversial game-winning sneak.
Behind Wilds is Shon Carson, whose sudden surge as a fifth-year senior means he has shed the “depth option” label. Carson’s a considerable home run threat at No. 2 ahead of David Williams.
It’s time Spurrier lets his players decide the outcome and if Wilds wants the ball, I say give it to him.