The No. 15/13 University of South Carolina football team (5-1, 3-1 SEC) returned to the Bluff Road practice fields Thursday afternoon. The Gamecocks are preparing for Saturday’s SEC contest at Mississippi State (3-3, 0-3 SEC). Game time is set for 12:21 pm ET and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Cornerback Marty Markett (concussion) is fine, according to assistant head coach – defense, Ellis Johnson. “I wish he would have had more days of practice, but physically he’s fine.” Johnson is uncertain if he will start this week or not.
Defensive tackle Melvin Ingram (foot) had a full week of practice, noted Johnson. “He should be ready to roll.”
Johnson commented on the departure this week of Stephen Garcia. “I think it’s always hard when you lose a teammate. These guys have a lot of feelings for Stephen and it’s something you wish wouldn’t have happened, but I think they’ve moved on and are trying to focus on what’s at hand and go ahead and get ready for Saturday. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, it’s not going to change it. They’re disappointed about it but I think they’ve moved on.”
Johnson said his defensive plan would not change much no matter who is quarterbacking Mississippi State. “All you can do is keep practicing what they run on film. We know the routes they run. We know the protections. You just have to have a little different mindset when you’re on the field. We can’t change all the calls. The gameplan is what it is.”
With the move of Byron Jerideau to the offensive side of the ball, Johnson indicated it would mean more snaps for both Kelcy Quarles and Aldrick Fordham. “Jerideau had done a good job when he was in there. He had not been playing a huge number of snaps. I hope he can help us on offense and get some reps over there because he was giving us a few quality reps. I don’t think it’s a problem for us unless we have somebody go down.”
The Gamecocks will practice again Friday afternoon before departing for Mississippi State.