The No. 10/9 South Carolina Gamecocks returned to the Bluff Road practice fields Monday night. It was the squad’s first practice since its 21-3 win over previously undefeated Vanderbilt last Saturday night.
The Gamecocks (4-0, 2-0 SEC) are beginning preparations for their Saturday afternoon SEC showdown with the Auburn Tigers (3-1, 1-0 SEC). The game will be televised nationally on CBS, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein will call the action with Otis Livingston working the sidelines.
Special teams coach John Butler was pleased with the overall performance of his units against Vanderbilt. “Joey (Scribner-Howard) punted the ball great, I think we covered pretty good. (Marty) Markett did a great job. We had one issue with protection but luckily Joey got it off. I think our kickoff coverage was good. We had one punt return where we were one block away from a touchdown I thought. We’re getting closer and closer to scoring again. It just comes down to executing and really getting 11 guys on the same page and not just nine or ten.”
Placekicker Jay Wooten missed for the first time this season against Vandy. “He missed it right off the foot. He came across it a little bit. It goes back to his fundamentals. I think he just got out of whack a little bit on that one.”
Butler is also happy with the progress of Bruce Ellington on kick off returns, but can see him improve with more time. “I think he’s done good. With his athletic ability, experience on kick returns is invaluable. The experience in the spacing will help him. I’m encouraged with where we’re headed. He just needs more time to read things and get his vision right.”
USC head coach Steve Spurrier will hold his weekly news conference Tuesday at noon.