Ward gets high marks from Spurrier

South Carolina is ranked fifth nationally in scoring defense, and what coach Steve Spurrier likes best about his defense is how disciplined defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has that unit playing.

“He’s coaching a very sound fundamental scheme, and our players are making very few mistakes,” Spurrier said. “That’s smart coaching when guys don’t make mistakes. He’s got some good players to work with, especially up front. Our defensive line is a good one, and if we’re going to have a big year, they have to play well in every game.”

The Gamecocks have only given up 20 second-half points in their first four games. The only second-half touchdown they’ve allowed in two SEC games was a meaningless one and came last week with 17 seconds to play in the 31-10 win over Missouri.

Moreover, South Carolina has given up just one red zone touchdown to this point.

Spurrier promoted Ward to oversee the Gamecocks’ defense after Ellis Johnson left just prior to the bowl game last year to take the Southern Miss head-coaching job.

“Lorenzo Ward is an excellent coach and does a super job. Very seldom have I had to go in there and say, ‘What in the heck are you guys doing?’” cracked Spurrier, adding that the scheme Ward is running is a “little different” than what Johnson ran at South Carolina.