COLUMBIA -- South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus spoke with the media after Wednesday's practice -- an uncommon occurrence in recent months for a man who had a rough offseason and start to his third year at USC.
In July, he was arrested in Greenville for nuisance conduct after police saw him urinating on the street. The police report stated that he smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and slurred his speech when an officer approached him.
In September, South Carolina received a notice of allegations from the NCAA as part of an extra benefits investigation. Mangus was asked to appear with USC's contingent before the Committee on Infractions, Feb. 17-18, in Los Angeles. There are questions about Mangus' ties to the Delaware-based Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation, which is a focus of the probe.
In October, Mangus' frequently suspended senior quarterback, Stephen Garcia, was dismissed from the team after failing a substance test.
Mangus declined to discuss the NCAA investigation or SAM Foundation Wednesday, but did speak about Garcia, who was demoted in favor of sophomore Connor Shaw before his dismissal.
"We text back and forth occasionally," Mangus said. "He's doing fine. You spend a lot of time with somebody and all that, and something like that happens, it's a little disappointing, obviously. But wish him well and move on. Connor, you don't recruit somebody to not play. You move on and that's what we've done."
Offense must control ball
USC's defense obviously needs a strong effort to slow Clemson in Saturday's rivalry game in Columbia. The USC offense also must do its part.
The Gamecocks need to not just score points to keep up with Clemson, but also sustain drives in order to let their defensive players get some rest, because Clemson runs its offense at a fast pace and tries to snap the ball 80 to 85 times per game.
Auburn runs almost the exact same offense as Clemson, and in a 16-13 win over USC earlier this season, Auburn ran 92 plays and won the time of possession by 11 1/2 minutes.
The reason for that? Auburn was 11 of 22 on third down, while USC was 2 of 10. USC couldn't get Auburn off the field and couldn't keep its own offense on the field -- a terrible combination against any opponent, especially one that likes to play fast.
"We definitely have to try to play ball control and score as many points as we can on offense, because they have the type of offense that can keep you on the field, because they'll nickel and dime you," said USC defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward.
Gilmore wants Watkins
Clemson's best wide receiver is true freshman Sammy Watkins. USC's best cornerback is junior Stephon Gilmore, who might be playing in his final home game if he decides to leave early for the NFL.
"I'd like to play a lot of man-to-man (coverage) against him and see how his game is," Gilmore said of Watkins.
Though Gilmore is asked to play man coverage often for the Gamecocks, having him line up against Watkins is easier said than done. Gilmore usually plays on the boundary (short) side of the field. But Watkins lines up all over the field, which makes it impossible for one cornerback to shadow him.
"They move him around a lot and try to get him space, so we've just got to play him and probably play more physical for him," Gilmore said.