FAIR CATCH: Gamecocks still in search of complement to Smith in passing game

FAIR CATCH: Gamecocks still in search of complement to Smith in passing game
Collin Hill throws to Shi Smith during the Gators' game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. / UAA Communications photo by Kelly Chase (Source: Kelly Chase)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Another week has gone by and Shi Smith has shown his worth in the South Carolina offense.

The senior caught 12 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown in the Gamecocks 38-24 loss to No. 3 Florida.

While Smith has continued to shine for the Gamecocks, the rest of the Carolina wide receivers have yet to break out. Rico Powers, Xavier Legette, Keveon Mullins, and Josh Vann were targeted a total of 12 times. Combined, they had five catches. Granted, Smith was targeted 18 times and even he had a few drops against the Gators defense.

Still, one has to wonder how much longer will it be before the Gamecocks find their second punch to create a 1-2 combo in the passing game to help Smith, Collin Hill, and the offense.

“We’ll continue to evaluate our options,” said Muschamp. “We’ve got to get the best guys out there who we feel like can help us win games.”

What we haven’t seen much of so far are two guys that the Gamecocks were high on coming into the season -- Dakereon Joyner and Luke Doty. The freshman quarterback was moved to wide receiver to help Carolina in the department, but he wasn’t targeted in Saturday’s game and he saw very little action against Tennessee.

If Carolina’s hope is to be more aggressive on offense in the passing game, that starts with finding a receiver who can get open. So far, that’s one of the burning questions Will Muschamp and company have to find answers for soon.

This season, WIS Sports Reporter Emery Glover will provide reaction from games in an op-ed called “Fair Catch.” Be sure to catch the latest installment every week.

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