Entering the 2019 season, depth and experience at running back appeared to be one of South Carolina’s strengths.
The experience paid off early in the season with senior Rico Dowdle and grad transfer Tavien Feaster both having big games. Now the depth is paying off with freshmen Deshaun Fenwick and Kevin Harris playing key roles in last week’s 24-7 win over Vanderbilt.
That depth likely will be in play again Saturday when South Carolina, (4-5, 3-4 in the SEC) faces Appalachian State.
Though Dowdle is expected back from a two-week absence due to a knee injury, Feaster is out with a groin strain. Senior Mon Denson also missed most of last week’s game with a strained neck.
With Dowdle sidelined, Feaster hobbled and Denson down last week, Fenwick had a big game in his first action of the season. The redshirt freshman rushed for 102 yards on 18 carries while Harris added 20 yards and a touchdown. Harris had a big game in Week 2, rushing for 147 yards and three touchdowns in the second half against Charleston Southern.
“I was ecstatic to get a chance to run the ball,” said Fenwick, who considered transferring earlier this season. “I just made the most of my opportunities. … Going forward I’m just going to continue to work hard and when my number is called, it’s called. I’ll do what’s best for the team.”
With Feaster likely out, he could get plenty of opportunities again.
“Rico's back and looked good today, and obviously Deshaun did some nice things Saturday,” Muschamp said Tuesday. “And then Kevn Harris. So we’ve got four guys we have confidence in.”
Two more freshmen could see action at tight end after the loss of Nick Muse to season-ending knee surgery. Muschamp said Tuesday that KeShawn Toney and Trae Kenion could see work in two-tight end sets with Kyle Markway.