The University of South Carolina football team returned to the practice fields Monday night for the first time since Saturday’s 24-21 win over Navy. The Gamecocks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) are beginning preparations for their Saturday night SEC Eastern Division showdown with the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-0, 1-0 SEC). Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium, with ESPN2 televising the game nationwide. Mark Neely and Ray Bentley will have the call.
Following Monday’s practice, special teams coach John Butler talked about the challenge of facing Vanderbilt’s punter Richard Kent. “It doesn’t necessarily change the plans, but he’s got a big leg, a really big leg. He’s impressive and I read about him today. He’s a walk-on. He’s had four or five 60-yard punts. I actually noticed him last year. He’s a weapon for them. It doesn’t necessarily change the game plan, but we have to be aware of how far he’s punting the ball. On punts, we’re trying to get 10 yards on every return and hold them to a net punt of 35. But if a guy like that is punting the ball 55 yards, it’s going to be a challenge.”
Butler has been pleased but not surprised with the performance of placekicker Jay Wooten. “I can’t say surprised, but I can’t say expected either. He’s just hadn’t done it in a game. Mechanically, he’s pretty solid. I just hope he builds on that. Obviously, 2-for-2 on 45-plus yard field goals is outstanding.”
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields again on Tuesday afternoon.
Post practice interviews: