The South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3, 2-3 SEC) spent Thursday afternoon at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds.” The Gamecocks are preparing for Saturday’s SEC showdown with the No. 5/6 Auburn Tigers ( 5-1, 2-1 SEC) at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The SEC Network will televise the 7:30 p.m. ET game nationally with Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer in the booth and Maria Taylor on the sidelines.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward knows his unit will be challenged to slow down the Auburn running game. “You have to be really sound on what you do on defense because they give you a lot of different formations, a lot of different shifting movement,” said Ward. “You have to make sure you fit where you’re supposed to fit based on the defense that’s called to even have a chance. Then you still have to be physical.
“Hopefully we can go and play the way we did against Georgia,” said Ward. “If we play with that level of emotion and that level of enthusiasm, we’ll have a chance. Hopefully we can get turnovers. We’re going to have to get turnovers if we’re going to win this ballgame.”
Coach Ward confirmed that defensive tackle J.T. Surratt (hamstring) practiced today and will be available on Saturday. He was unsure if he would start the game, however, based on just one day of practice this week. Linebacker Jonathan Walton (concussion) also practiced today and has been cleared to play on Saturday. Ward also said that Bryson Allen-Williams has been moved to defensive end and could see some action there on Saturday. “Bryson Allen-Williams is playing end for us for the rest of the season,” noted Ward.
Coach Ward indicated that Chris Moody and T.J. Gurley would be the starters at safety, with Chaz Elder backing up Moody. “I think Chaz has shown this week that he’s been focused and making the proper checks. He’s shown he’s ready to play.”
The Gamecocks will have a short workout on Friday afternoon before boarding a flight to Columbus, Georgia, where they will stay on Friday night before venturing to Auburn on Saturday.