Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wilds gone Wild
Last week's game against Tennessee was the first game the Gamecocks played without their star running back Marcus Lattimore. No one outside, and even some inside the football program could have predicted what was to come from freshaman running back Brandon Wilds. He started the season fifth on the running back depth chart and was almost redshirted. However, injuries to Kenny Miles, Shon Carson, Eric Baker and Marcus Lattimore pushed him to the starting position. Before the Tennessee game he had 13 carries for 75 yards and had looked fairly good coming in relief for Lattimore late in 4th quarters when the game was out of reach. During his first start Wilds looked patient, in control, and confident as he shredded the Tennessee defense for 137 yards on 28 carries and 3 catches for 31 yards. He didn't look like a freshman making his first career start as opposed to Teneessee's quarterback Justin Worley, who was also making his first start. When he was off the field, Wilds was getting advice from Lattimore and his performance showed the impact that Lattimore has had on his development. The patience he showed was reminiscent of Lattimore and it also shows the great teammate he is. The game against the Vols was a good sign for Wilds and the Gamecocks but with a vital trip to Arkansas this weekend Wilds is going to have to be near perfection for the Gamecocks to win. That means taking care of the football and not giving Arkansas a short field.