Typically, with an offensive line — barring dips in performance or injury — the same five stay out there all game.
That hasn’t been the case for South Carolina this season, especially of late, with multiple younger or reserve linemen seeing action by design and, according to the coaching staff, making the most of their opportunities.
“It was good to get them in at the end just to get them playing time. They practice so hard and really well. Then it showed in the game,” offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said. “I think there wasn’t a huge drop off when they went in there and I think that’s going to help us build depth moving forward.”
South Carolina’s been largely set on the offensive line but two reserve players saw at least 15 snaps up front in a 45-20 loss to the Vols.
Vincent Murphy got 21 snaps at left guard, ending with a 54.1 overall PFF grade. He ended with a 57.5 run block grade but allowed one quarterback hit in 17 pass block snaps.
Tyshawn Wannamaker finished with a PFF grade of 55.2 in 16 snaps at right tackle. He had a 49.6 run block grade but was great in pass protection, not allowing a pressure.
“I thought they played great. You guys have seen it in this building. We’re about accountability and competition. If guys practice well, we want to reward them and give them opportunities to play,” head coach Shane Beamer said.
“Vinnie Murphy has spent a ton of time up in this building preparing himself mentally for the opportunity to play and practiced really, really well. Tyshawn Wannamaker’s practiced really, really well and continues to get better. I’d throw Hank Manos in that group as well. Hank didn’t get in there (Saturday) but he’s one who’s practiced really, really well.”
Getting those two in were certainly by design with Beamer telling Satterfield and the offensive staff he wanted to get those young players in by the second or third drive Saturday, if able.
The Gamecocks weren’t, but inserted them in late and thought they played really well and could potentially early more time moving forward.
“We certainly want to continue to develop depth at all positions as the season goes on and create competitions. Those guys practiced really hard,” Beamer said. “They deserve the opportunity to get in there they got in there and played great.”
It’s also been a revolving door at the left tackle spot between Jazston Turnetine (43 snaps against Tennessee) and Jakai Moore (33), who ended with PFF grades of 68 and 62.5, respectively.
Who’s really stood out in Jaylen Nichols’ stead, out with an ankle sprain, is Vershon Lee — 63 overall grade against Tennessee with one pressure allowed in 29 pass snaps — and he’ll likely hold down the left guard spot moving forward.
“Vershon played well against Tennessee and certainly had some plays we’d like to have back like we all did but I’d anticipate that going forward for this week assuming he continues to practice the right way,” Beamer said. “A lot of those guys who can lay the guard position — Vinnie, Hank, Jaylen — are practicing well also.”