Rico Dowdle to start at RB; depth chart updates for NC State game

Rico Dowdle to start at RB; depth chart updates for NC State game

By Jeff Owens/Photo by Allen Sharpe

Though he is not listed as the starter on the latest depth chart, sophomore Rico Dowdle will start the season-opener at running back, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said Monday.

Dowdle led the Gamecocks with 764 yards rushing and six rushing touchdowns last year, while splitting time with A.J. Turner. Dowdle, Turner and newcomer Ty'Son Williams are all listed at running back on the updated depth chart released Tuesday. 

Stronger, deeper offensive poised to protect Bentley, lead offense

Muschamp said Dowdle would start against NC State Saturday but that all three backs would play. 

"I'm very comfortable playing all three," Muschamp said. "… Rico will probably start the game and certainly Ty'Son is a guy who is going to play and A.J. will probably be in in the third series of the game and we are still going to work through a rotation … but whoever has got the hot hand will carry us. 

"All three guys deserve to play and all three guys desere to start. We may find time to get two of them on the field together."

Running backs coach Bobby Bentley said last week that Dowdle and Williams are similar backs, but that he sees all three playing. 

"Ideally, the starter would go two series, the No. 2 guy that third series, and then from then on you kinda go with the hot hand," he said. "I'm not a guy who believes in the running back gets a long run and you take him out. I think if he makes a long run and he's still fresh, you keep him in there. He's reading the defense, so let him go."

Bentley and Offensive Coordinator Kurt Roper also plan to get the ball to Turner in a variety of ways. A good pass catcher, Turner has worked in both the backfield and the slot during training camp. 

"He's one of the fastest guys on our team and practices so hard," Bentley said. "We obviously need to get the ball to him as much as we can on the edge and in the backfield. I just think he's a guy who, as a staff, you sit down and say you need to get the ball in his hands."

The Gamecocks only have two players who will miss the season-opener due to injuries. WR Randrecous Davis (hamstring, groin) and freshman DB Tayvn Jackson (hamstring) won't play. Safety Steven Montac, who has been out with a broken foot, was back at practice Monday and will be available to play, Muschamp said. 

Here's a look at the latest depth chart released Tuesday: 

2017 Depth Chart

Offense

WR

1 Deebo Samuel

6 Terry Googer

WR

89 Bryan Edwards

18 OrTre Smith

WR

13 Shi Smith

LT

77 Malik Young

74 Dennis Daley

LG

72 Donnell Stanley

50 Sadarius Hutcherson

C

70 Alan Knott

60 Chandler Farrell

RG

51 Cory Helms

63 Blake Camper

RT

78 Zack Bailey

69 D.J. Park

TE

81 Hayden Hurst

87 Kiel Pollard

TE

40 Jacob August

3 K.C. Crosby

QB

19 Jake Bentley

12 Michael Scarnecchia

RB

5 Rico Dowdle

Or 25 A.J. Turner

Or 27 Ty'Son Williams

Defense

DE

95 Dante Sawyer

Or 5 Keir Thomas

DT

90 Taylor Stallworth

97 Kobe Smith

DT

93 Ulric Jones

99 Javon Kinlaw

DE

8 D.J. Wonnum

35 Daniel Fennell

LB

4 Bryson Allen-Williams

29 Antoine Wilder

LB

6 T.J. Brunson

44 Sherrod Greene

LB

10 Skai Moore

11 Eldrige Thompson

CB

7 JaMarcus King

3 Chris Lammons

S

24 D.J. Smith

17 Javon Charleston

S

3 Chris Lammons

9 Keisean Nixon

CB

16 Rashad Fenton

21 Jamyest Williams

N

21 Jamyest Williams

3 Chris Lammons

Specialists

PK

42 Alexander Woznick

Or 43 Parker White 

KO

43 Parker White

P

20 Joseph Charlton

85 Michael Almond

LS

45 Ben Asbury

49 Matthew Smith

KR

1 Deebo Samuel

16 Rashad Fenton

PR

3 Chris Lammons

16 Rashad Fenton

H

17 Danny Gordon

85 Michael Almond

 

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