Lorenzo Ward: Surratt will play vs. Auburn, Allen-Williams switches positions
South Carolina’s defensive line woes are no secret this season.
After losing much of their 2013 defensive line to the NFL, the Gamecocks have struggled to replace that production and have racked up an SEC-low eight sacks in seven games.
In order for South Carolina to be competitve against Auburn this upcoming weekend, pressure in the backfield is a must or the Gamecocks defense may get gashed by Gus Malzahn’s high-powered offense.
Fortunately for head coach Steve Spurrier and his team, the defensive line will get some help up front with the return of defensive tackle JT Surratt, who injured his hamstring against Furman last weekend.
“JT is playing,” defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said after Thursday’s practice. “He practiced this week, his hamstring was bothering him earlier in the week, but he’s going to play.”
Surratt was initially described last Sunday by Spurrier as “probably doubtful” for the Auburn game, but the senior captain progressed quickly throughout the week. He’s started all seven games for the Gamecocks this season will be a welcomed presence on the interior as they try and figure out how to stop Auburn’s powerful rushing attack.
“We have to be physical and do a good job of gang tackling the quarterback and running back,” Ward said.
The Gamecocks will also see a new face on the defensive line starting this weekend. Ward announced freshman linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams has officially moved to the defensive end.
“He’ll play some defensive end,” Ward said. “It’ll probably be Darius [English starting], but Bryson Allen-Williams is playing end for us the rest of the season.”
So far this season, Allen-Williams has just 10 tackles, but leads the team with four quarterback hurries.