After two games and six players taking snaps behind center for the Gamecocks, there have been a few constants for the Carolina offense.
The position behind center has been a revolving door almost with Connor Mitch, Perry Orth, Lorenzo Nunez, Brandon Wilds, David Williams and Pharoh Cooper all taking their turn at quarterback.
Now with Mitch out four to six weeks with a separated shoulder, the former walk-on and Publix employee Orth will be starting in hostile territory in one of the Gamecocks’ biggest rivalry games of the season at Georgia.
But what has remained the same for the offense, and what Orth may rely on between the hedges, has been the production from running backs Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson, the push from the offensive line and Mr. Everything Pharoh Cooper.
Wilds and Carson have been on fire to start the season, combining for 269 yards on 39 carries and have one touchdown.
Wilds is bruising his way through defensive lines averaging just over 5 yards per carry and Carson has bolted past defenders and is averaging over 12 yards per carry.
They have proven to be an effective one-two punch in the backfield and defenses get beat up by the 220-pound Wilds and then the speedy Carson bolts around defenders for bigger gains.
The two have been a reliable option in the backfield and could be a reliable safety net for Orth to fall back on.
How have Wilds and Carson been able to get their yardage? The beef on the South Carolina offensive line is playing a big role.
The offense is averaging 6 yards per play this season and the fact that the backs have been finding running lanes and Mitch having time in the pocket.
If Orth wants to be successful at Sanford Stadium, the offensive line will need to make sure his jersey doesn’t get dirtied. Yes, he can run well but the more he scrambles, the more room for mistakes.
And when Orth drops back to pass, who will he be looking for? More than likely, he’ll be looking around for No. 11. Cooper, who has been rock-solid through the first two games.
While he isn’t putting up numbers like the Tennessee game last year, he’s making the timely catch and getting the big gain when he needs to. He had nine catches for 100 yards against Kentucky, including a 16-yard grab on third-and-12.
It was his fifth career 100-yard game and first of the season. Cooper’s been playing well so far, leading the team with 145 yards and a touchdown.
Orth has playmakers built around him whether they come in the form of two different SEC backs, a squadron of 300-pound bruisers or a lanky Heisman hopeful.
If the Gamecocks can lean on them and take the pressure off their newly elected starting quarterback, then Orth may not feel the pressure to succeed and it could give the team a better chance come 6 p.m. Saturday.