The University of South Carolina football squad returned to the Bluff Road practice fields Monday night for the first time since its 33-16 loss at Arkansas on Saturday. The Gamecocks (6-4, 3-4 SEC) began preparations for Saturday’s SEC showdown with topranked Florida (9-0, 7-0 SEC). Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The game will be televised nationally by CBS.
“This game is to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project,” said Head Coach Steve Spurrier following Monday’s shortened workout. “It’s a wonderful project that hopefully all of us Americans can contribute to in whatever way we can. We had a video today that our team saw about a group of soldiers that had been wounded in the war. We had one, Steven Diaz, talk to the team. He was wounded over in Iraq and spent a year and eight months in Bethesda Hospital just patching his body back together. He’s doing pretty well now. I think he lives here in Columbia. He’s one of the honorary captains for the game on Saturday. I hope we’ll be inspired,” continued Coach Spurrier. “We were actually inspired pretty well the last game, we just didn’t play real well. We had some chances and didn’t capitalize and the other team played very well.”
Coach Spurrier knows the Florida defense is highly regarded. “They stuffed us pretty good last year. We know about them. There are a lot of good defenses in the SEC. We have to find a way to move the ball, stay on the field some and go from there.”
Coach Spurrier cut Monday’s practice to just over an hour. “We shortened up a little bit. It’s late in the year and we’ve had 10 straight weeks of it, so we’re trying to freshen up our guys a little bit.”
Coach Spurrier also praised the South Carolina women’s soccer team for its SEC title. “Coach Shelly Smith and her team – congratulations. I think that’s the first SEC championship by a sport since I’ve been here in five years, so congratulations to our women’s soccer team. It’s a wonderful achievement for our university and our girls’ soccer team.”
The Gamecocks are scheduled to return to the practice fields Tuesday afternoon.