The South Carolina Gamecocks worked out for two hours Saturday night in helmets and shorts as they continued their preparations for next week’s season opener against Southern Miss. That contest will kick at 7:36 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, with a national television audience watching on ESPN.
“We’re looking forward to the ballgame,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following Saturday’s workout. “Looking forward to practicing a little harder the next couple of days and getting ready for a ballgame.
“There’s always just a little bit more awareness that the game is getting closer,” continued the Head Ball Coach. “Four weeks is a long time before you play a game. You have to pace yourself. I’ve seen teams that get ready too early and forget to get ready the week of the game. We haven’t overdone it. Our team will be ready to play. Southern Miss is a good team and they believe they’re going to come in here and beat us. What we have to prove is we are a tough, disciplined team. The last time we attempted football at South Carolina, we were not.”
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Coach Spurrier still has not named either Stephen Garcia or Connor Shaw as his starting quarterback for the opener. “They’re about the same. Both of them are going to play. The one that is playing the best will play most of it probably. I’m not 100 percent sure (who will start). Somebody may twist an ankle between now and then, so I don’t know who’s going to start.”
Linebacker Shaq Wilson continues to wear a yellow non-contact jersey at practice. “He might play a few plays. If he’s not 100 percent we won’t play him,” said Coach Spurrier. “He hasn’t practiced all year.”
Coach Spurrier admitted that the Southern Miss defense could give his team a challenge. “They are active. They have just as good of athletes as UConn. UConn clobbered us. They’re a good, tough bunch. They play like a lot of people play. They’re all over the place – a little man, a little zone blitz and zones. They’ll probably have some new blitzes.”
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Sunday at 6 p.m.
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