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December 19, 2007: Spurrier adds two new coaches to Gamecock staff (USC Sports)

University of South Carolina head football Steve Spurrier has added Ray Rychleski (rich-LESS-key) to his coaching staff, he announced today. Rychleski will serve as the Gamecocks' special teams coordinator in 2008.

Rychleski, 50, has spent the past seven years as the special teams coordinator and tight ends/H-backs coach at the University of Maryland. Over that seven-year period, Maryland has had zero punts blocked, the longest current streak in Division I-A football. His special team units have blocked 22 kicks and have eight returns for touchdowns in that seven-year span. In addition, Maryland is ranked second in the country in kickoff return yardage defense, allowing just 16.34 yards per kickoff return in 2007. Rychleski coached an All-Atlantic Coast Conference punter for six straight years (2001-06), had one specialist selected in the NFL draft and five others sign as free agents.

"I believe Ray is one of the best special teams coaches in the country," said Coach Spurrier. "Maryland has not had a punt blocked since he has been there. I believe we're in good hands with him coordinating our special teams."

Steve Spurrier has also named Brian VanGorder as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, it was announced today. VanGorder will officially join the Gamecock staff in January following the completion of the Atlanta Falcons' season.

VanGorder, 48, comes to Carolina after serving as the Falcons' linebackers coach in 2007. No stranger to the Southeastern Conference, VanGorder served as a very successful defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of Georgia from 2001-04. During his Georgia tenure, six of his players were selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft.

"I'm really pleased to hire a proven defensive coordinator that has an outstanding record working in the SEC," said Coach Spurrier. "Brian will personally coach the linebackers, but will actually coach all of the defensive players as we strive to improve our Gamecock defense. He's a good person, an outstanding family man and brings super qualifications and experience to this very important role in Carolina Football."

VanGorder brings more than 25 years of coaching experience to Columbia. During his four-year stint in Athens, Georgia posted a 42-10 record, won one SEC championship, two SEC East Division titles, three consecutive bowl games and posted three straight top-10 national finishes.

Source: Click Here & Click Here

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December 12, 2007: Nix off to Ole Miss (The State Paper)

When Arkansas buried South Carolina under an avalanche of points and yardage the first weekend in November, many Gamecocks’ fans wondered if defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix would lose his job in the fallout from Fayetteville.

In an ironic twist, Houston Nutt, the former Arkansas coach who administered the beating, hired Nix on Tuesday to run the defense on his inaugural staff at Mississippi.

The 35-year-old Nix goes from the hot seat to the catbird’s seat. He gets a substantial raise and the security of a multiyear contract.

Nix, who was Steve Spurrier’s highest-paid assistant with a salary of $195,000, received a two-year deal believed to be worth $300,000 annually as the Rebels’ defensive coordinator.

Spurrier has been noncommittal when asked about possible staff changes in the wake of a season-ending, five-game losing streak that left the Gamecocks with a 6-6 record and out of the bowl picture. Sources said Nix had not heard anything definitive from Spurrier about whether he would retain his coordinator’s title.

Nix, who arrived at USC before the 2005 season as a member of Spurrier’s first USC staff, was in Spartanburg early Tuesday scouting the Shrine Bowl practice for the Gamecocks. Today he will be in Oxford, Miss., for his first day with the Rebels.

“Change is part of this profession and I think the best thing for me at this time is to go work for the University of Mississippi and see what we can get done there,” Nix said in a release. “It will be great to be closer to home.”

Another possible SEC West destination came into play for Nix late Tuesday night. A source said new Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is interested in possibly reuniting Nix with his brother, Atlanta Falcons offensive assistant Derrick Nix, on the Razorbacks’ staff.

Nix, a native of Attalla, Ala., last week withdrew his name from consideration for the head-coaching position at Southern Miss, where Nix played and later coached 10 years. He interviewed with his alma mater shortly after Jeff Bower resigned after 17 years at Southern Miss, which still has not hired a coach.

At some point after taking the Mississippi job Nov. 28, Nutt said Nix initiated contact through a third party. After Nutt received permission from Spurrier to speak with Nix, the process moved smoothly.

“Tyrone Nix is one of the up-and-coming, bright defensive coordinators in America,” Nutt said in a release. “I love the fact that he has a deep connection with the state of Mississippi. He has a great name in this state, has recruited the state and knows the high school coaches.”

Nutt was able to overlook the Gamecocks’ defensive performance in Arkansas’ 48-36 victory Nov. 3, when the Razorbacks racked up 542 rushing yards and 651 total yards - the most allowed in USC history in both categories.

Nutt attributed the Gamecocks’ problems stopping the run to injuries to a couple of key defensive players. All-SEC middle linebacker and leading tackler Jasper Brinkley and defensive end Nathan Pepper sustained season-ending knee injuries in September.

USC ranks last in the SEC and 109th among 119 teams nationally in rushing defense (209.3 yards allowed per game). Though the Gamecocks lead the SEC in pass defense, they are in the bottom fourth in the conference in sacks, forced turnovers and total defense.

For the second time in three years, Nix succeeds John Thompson, who shared coordinator duties with Nix at USC in 2005. Thompson was Mississippi’s defensive chief this year under Ed Orgeron, who was fired after going 10-25 in three seasons.

Spurrier will get a shot at Nix’s defense next year when USC faces the Rebels in Oxford on Oct. 4.

“Tyrone Nix is a good person, a wonderful family man and an outstanding football coach,” Spurrier said in a statement. “We wish him the very best at Ole Miss except when they play the Gamecocks. We understand change is part of the coaching profession and hopefully this will be a good move for everyone.”

Nix said he enjoyed his time in Columbia and said he learned a lot from Spurrier. Attempts to reach Nix and Spurrier for additional comment were unsuccessful.

Spurrier said he would look to hire a proven coordinator.

The list of candidates could include Houston Texans secondary coach Jon Hoke, who was Spurrier’s defensive coordinator at Florida from 1999-2001. Hoke turned down Spurrier’s offer to coach the Gamecocks’ defense three years ago, citing concerns about relocating his family.

Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach Brain VanGorder, the former Georgia defensive coordinator and Georgia Southern head coach, could be a target.

Florida co-defensive coordinator Charlie Strong also could be a possibility. Strong coached the Gators’ defensive line under Spurrier from 1991-94 and ran USC’s defense for Lou Holtz from 1999-2002.

A couple of other experienced coordinators could be available. Jon Tenuta and Reggie Herring are currently serving as interim head coaches at Georgia Tech and Arkansas, respectively.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.

Source: Click Here

By Joseph Person

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December 6, 2007: Nix Shuns Southern Miss Job (The State Paper)

Tyrone Nix will not be returning to his former school.

The South Carolina defensive coordinator has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head-coaching vacancy at his alma mater of Southern Miss, USC media relations director Steve Fink announced Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Nix was one of the first candidates to interview with Southern Miss officials Friday. But Nix pulled out as the search for Jeff Bower’s successor dragged into its second week.

Nix was a standout linebacker for the Golden Eagles in the early ‘90s and later coached there for 10 years under Bower, who resigned Nov. 26 following 17 seasons at the Conference USA school.

Attempts to reach Nix were unsuccessful.

Southern Miss athletics director Richard Giannini told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger this week he had interviewed about 15 candidates and might talk to five or 10 more before narrowing his list.

Among those believed to have met with Giannini are former Alabama coach Mike DuBose and Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, according to published reports.

Southern Miss is the fourth school Nix has talked to in the past 13 months. North Texas, Tulane and Alabama-Birmingham contacted him about openings last year.

When Nix withdrew from the UAB search in 2006, Spurrier told him he would have opportunities at bigger programs if the Gamecocks’ defense performed well.

USC ranks fifth nationally in pass defense (168.8 yards per game) but is last in the SEC and 109th among 119 teams nationally in rushing defense (209.3 yards a game).

Spurrier was supportive of Nix’s decision to interview with his former school, saying recently he believed Nix had a “good shot” at the job.

“He’d be an excellent head coach at Southern Miss. He went there, played there, coached there and has a lot of experience,” Spurrier said. “I always want to see my assistant coaches move up.”

But Nix, who has been at USC for each of Spurrier’s three seasons, is staying put for now.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.

Source: Click Here

By Joseph Person

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September 9th, 2007: Carolina Shocks No. 11 Georgia in Athens

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Steve Spurrier did it to Georgia again.

The ol' ball coach, who beat the Bulldogs regularly while at Florida, guided South Carolina to a 16-12 upset of No. 11 Georgia on Saturday night, signaling the Gamecocks as a possible title contender in the Southeastern Conference.

That must sound familiar to Spurrier, who won plenty of titles during his days with the Gators but kept poor-mouthing his chances with the Gamecocks.

Ryan Succop kicked three field goals, Cory Boyd ran for the game's only touchdown and South Carolina's defense held the Bulldogs out of the end zone.

That was hardly the formula Spurrier used to beat Georgia 11 out of 12 years during his dominating run at Florida, which captured six SEC championships and one national title with the coach's Fun 'n' Gun offense.

Spurrier knows he doesn't have that kind of high-scoring talent at South Carolina (2-0, 1-0 SEC), forcing him to rely on a stout defense and Succop's accurate right leg to hold off the Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1).

Georgia was the highest-ranked team that South Carolina has beaten in Spurrier's three years as coach.

The Bulldogs, coming off an impressive 35-14 victory over Oklahoma State, were held without a touchdown for the first time since a 14-9 loss to South Carolina in 2001, when Lou Holtz was the coach and Spurrier was in his final season at Florida.

Succop connected from 41, 35 and 34 yards, the last of those giving the Gamecocks at 16-6 lead with 9:25 remaining.

The Bulldogs drove into South Carolina territory on their next two possessions, but settled for Brandon Coutu's third and fourth field goals. The kicker accounted for all of Georgia's points.

Georgia got one last chance to pull out a win, getting the ball back at its own 20 with 1:20 remaining. But the Bulldogs never seriously threatened, taking a couple of penalties before Matthew Stafford threw up a desperation pass that was picked off by Jasper Brinkley.

Blake Mitchell, who was suspended from South Carolina's opener for missing too many summer classes, knelt down one time and it was over.

Spurrier walked quickly to the "G" in the middle of the field, where he shook hands with Georgia coach Mark Richt. He also congratulated a few Bulldog players before heading to the locker room, getting another round of boos from a Georgia crowd that still considers him Public Enemy No. 1.

With good reason, it turned out.

South Carolina jumped ahead with a six-play, 62-yard drive in the first quarter. Mitchell connected on 3-of-4 passes, including a 19-yarder to Kenny McKinley over the middle, and Boyd finished it off with a nifty 9-yard touchdown run.

Boyd burst through a wide hole and left Georgia safety Kelin Johnson grasping at air with a quick stutter-step, coasting to the end zone without being touched.

After giving up 252 yards rushing in last week's win over Louisiana-Lafayette, South Carolina held the Bulldogs to 128 on the ground.

Stafford faced plenty of pressure as the Gamecocks took advantage of Georgia's young offensive line. The sophomore completed just 19-of-44 pass for 213 yards, was sacked three times and spent much of the game on the run.

Mitchell had a solid night, completing 20-of-31 for 174 yards. The Gamecocks didn't take many chances, knowing their defense and running game could handle the load. Boyd ran for 76 yards and Mike Davis chipped in with 56.

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September 2nd, 2007: Gamecocks Get Passed UL-L in Season Opener
 
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Cory Boyd ran for two touchdowns and Steve Spurrier won his 15th straight college opener, 28-14 over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday night.

Along with Boyd's scoring runs of 2 and 4 yards, quarterbacks Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher each threw a TD pass for the Gamecocks (1-0), who played without suspended starter Blake Mitchell.

The Ragin' Cajuns (0-1) fought back to tie it after South Carolina took a 14-0 lead less than 6 minutes into the season.

But it's usually a mistake to bet against Spurrier -- especially in opening games.

He came into this one 16-1 alltime in college. The lone loss? To the Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium in 1989 in his s final season at Duke.

Even Spurrier's nightmare NFL career -- he was 12-20 in two season in Washington -- always began strongly with the Redskins winning in Week 1 both his years.

Louisiana-Lafayette lost its fifth opener of the last six years -- two to South Carolina, one each to Texas A&M, Texas and LSU.

Despite the win, Spurrier couldn't have liked what he saw out of his offense for most of this one.

Smelley threw a 2-yard scoring pass to tight end Andy Boyd. Beecher, normally a third stringer, followed on the next series with a 19-yard TD strike to Kenny McKinley. To many in the announced crowd of 78,234, the rout looked on no matter who got took the snaps.

That's when Louisiana-Lafayette got back into it.

Quarterback Michael Desormeaux finished off an 80-yard drive with a 14-yard TD run.

One series later, Desormeaux moved the Ragin' Cajuns 89 yards to the end zone. Chancellor Robertson got the tying touchdown from 3 yards out.

Boyd answered with a go-ahead touchdown, diving in to end his 2-yard run with 24 seconds left before halftime.

Boyd added the second half's only score on a 4-yard run that put South Carolina up two touchdowns.

Louisiana-Lafayette tried to get back into it, but was twice stopped on fourth down inside South Carolina's 5.

Desormeaux ran for 116 of the Ragin' Cajuns 252 yards rushing. He also completed 12 of 19 for 63 yards.

Smelley and Beecher, both likely to go back to the bench when the Gamecocks go to Georgia next week, combined to go 21 of 21 for 238 yards passing.

Mitchell, a fifth-year senior, was given a one-game suspension by the athletic department for missing too many summer school classes. The Gamecocks also played without two others who started games a year ago.

Safety Emanuel Cook was out recovering from an appendectomy performed last weekend. He was also arrested on a weapons charge Aug. 24. Defensive end Jordin Lindsey was ineligible because of academic concerns.

Right guard James Thompson, expected to make his first start, was held out for undisclosed reasons.

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August 22, 2007: USC to Play Closed Scrimmage Wednesday
 
Last Two-a-day

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks worked out twice on Tuesday at the Bluff Road practice fields, their fourth and final scheduled two-a-day practice day of the fall camp.

Scrimmage Wednesday

The squad will put on the pads again Wednesday night and hold a scrimmage in Williams-Brice Stadium. The scrimmage will be closed to both the public and to the media.

"After the scrimmage tomorrow night we'll start coaching those we think can play and we'll start having a help team, a scout team," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier following the evening workout. "We've practice a whole bunch and we're trying to find out who can play in certain positions, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow night."

Offense 'a little better'

Coach Spurrier noted that the offense looked a little better on Tuesday than they had previously. "A little bit (of improvement) throwing against the air," said Coach Spurrier. "But when we started blocking though, we had trouble. If we didn't have to block, we'd have a heck of an offense right now. Unfortunately, blocking is a big part of the game."

Shane Matthews Visits

"Shane I think's going to get into coaching here real soon," Spurrier said. "He wanted to come up and hang around a couple days. So it's good to see one of our former players come up here and visit with us a couple days, and hopefully learn a little bit about coaching."

Other Practice Notes

"We'll play a lot of people in the first game," noted Coach Spurrier, "especially on defense and possibly on offense, too. We may get beat, but we still going to play a lot of people. I'm not saying we'll play a lot of people because we'll be way ahead, but we've got to play a lot of people because clearly some of them are not that much better than the others."

Source: Click Here and Here

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August 21, 2007: O-Line, Offense continue to struggle
 
Weekly Update

As the Gamecocks wrap up the first two thirds of pre-season football practice, the O-line is still struggling. The result: struggling quarterbacks and receivers.  After Monday night's practice Spurrier was unhappy with the Offensive line. However, the Gamecock's head coach still acknowldges that South Carolina has the players to make a good line, they just aren't executing yet. 

As the O-line struggles Spurrier continues to compliment South Carolina's running backs Mike Davis and Cory Boyd.  Spurrier is also impressed by Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley. Coach says that the backup quarterbacks are two of the most pleasant suprises of the pre-season. 

Another impressive aspect of South Carolina's team is their defense. The depth at defense will be one of the Gamecock's biggest strengths in 2007.  This is the main reason that the head ball coach still believes his team has a shot at winning an SEC title.

Tuesday, South Carolina took part in a two-a-day practice.  There will be an update from this practice later tonight.

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August 17, 2007: Gamecocks Take Part in Two-a-day Friday (uscsports)
 
Scrimmage Saturday

The South Carolina Gamecock football squad worked out twice on Friday in preparation for Saturday's scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks will take the field around 4 p.m. for the scrimmage, which will be open to the public free of charge.

Barnes to Receiver

The big news out of camp today was the move of freshman Mark Barnes from safety to wide receiver. Barnes is a 6-2, 189-pounder from Columbia's Richland Northeast High School. "He originally wanted to play wide receiver," noted Head Coach Steve Spurrier. "We said, `what the heck, let's give him a shot right now.' He was doing fine at safety, but this is the time of year you look at everybody. We normally let everyone try at the position they want to first. That's where he wanted to go but we thought he could get on the field quicker at safety. Now, we said heck, let's see what he looks like at wide receiver. That's where he wants to play. He looked pretty good at times," admitted Coach Spurrier. "He caught a bunch of passes here and there."

Lindsey Situation Still Unresolved

Friday also saw the return of defensive end Jordin Lindsey to the practice field. "He was here," said Coach Spurrier. "I guess he's eligible to practice. Nobody's told me anything official, but it must be good news that he will be eligible. We'll find out in the next day or so. We think he's going to be eligible but we don't know for sure yet. He either is or isn't. We hope he is. He played well last year. He's a good player."

Injury Update

Tommy Beecher came out of the evening practice with a sore shoulder, making his status for Saturday's scrimmage is questionable. Jasper Brinkley (sprained ankle), Dustin Lindsey (knee surgery) and Leon Gamble (thumb) also were sidelined on Friday.

The Gap Continues to Close at QB

Coach Spurrier addressed the quarterback situation. "Blake (Mitchell) in all likelihood is going to be our starter, but he knows he needs to play well. These guys have proven out here that they can play. I think (Blake) will (play well). It would be nice to have one quarterback all year. I don't just switch them for the heck of it. I switch them because I think the other guy gives us the best chance to win."

Source: Click Here

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August 14, 2007: Gamecocks Practice Tuesday Night (The State Paper and uscsports
 
Wallace Out Until 3rd Game:
 
backup tailback Bobby Wallace will miss up to six weeks with a broken collarbone, Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said after Tuesday night’s practice.

Wallace, a junior from Conway, sustained the injury Monday after landing on his shoulder – much like former Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson did in breaking his collarbone during the 2006 season.

Spurrier expects Wallace to be back for the third game – the Sept. 15 home date with S.C. State. Wallace, who has 46 career carries for 242 yards and a touchdown, is the Gamecocks’ third-string tailback behind Cory Boyd and Mike Davis.

Spurrier said Wallace’s injury would not necessarily change the status of freshman Brian Maddox, whom Spurrier would like to redshirt.

“We’ll have to wait and see if somebody else gets hurt or whatever,” Spurrier said. “Brian’s doing well. He could play if we had to go play with him. He’s about ready to play.”
 
Receivers Improving:
 
"The receivers are coming around," continued Coach Spurrier. "We have to find out who can catch besides Kenny (McKinley). We know Freddie Brown can catch. So we'll wait and see who really steps forward from the other guys."
 
More Injury News:

In other injury news, freshman receiver Joe Hills remains out with a right knee sprain. Center Jeremy Burgess (concussion) and fullbacks Taylor Rank (shoulder) and Jim Hutton (shoulder) all returned to practice, but were held out of contact drills.

Freshman defensive back Jamire Williams was back after missing Monday night’s practice with a hamstring injury.
 
Other Practice Notes:

USC still has not heard whether defensive end Jordin Lindsey will be eligible. Lindsey has practiced only once since preseason camp began Aug. 4.

The Gamecocks return to the practice fields Wednesday for their second two-a-day session. Spurrier’s squad will scrimmage Wednesday night, but the scrimmage is closed to the public.

USC will hold its next open scrimmage at 5 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium, although few starters are expected to participate.

Source: Click Here and Here

By Joseph Person

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August 14, 2007: Gamecocks Take Part in First Two-a-day Practices (The State Paper & uscsports)
 
Some Small Injuries
 
Monday was the first time South Carolina worked out twice a day and small injuries began to mount for the first time.

Running back was the hardest hit area with Bobby Wallace and Taylor Rank suffering right shoulder sprains. Rank injured his shoulder on Sunday and practiced on a limited basis for the two sessions.

Wallace left the night practice early with his right arm in a sling.

“We had a couple of pretty decent practices, we think,” coach Steve Spurrier said.

Wide receiver Joseph Hills continues to be out with a right knee sprain. Center Jeremy Burgess missed his second straight day after suffering a slight concussion during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Freshman defensive back Jamire Williams also missed practice with a hamstring injury.

 
Lindsey's Situation Unknown

That status of Jordin Lindsey is still in limbo. The senior linebacker wasn’t at practice on Monday and Spurrier said he still didn’t have any official word.

“Still don’t know,” Spurrier said. “Jordy wasn’t here but Dustin (Lindsey) was. I think Jordin is still working on his situation, so we’ll see what happens.”

Other notes:
 
Former player Matt Raysor still hasn’t found a place to play this season. The senior left the team before the start of preseason drills and hoped to land at South Carolina State. But according to the Bulldogs Sports Information Director Bill Hamilton, Raysor didn’t have enough transferable hours for his major.

Raysor will reportedly look to transfer to Benedict or several smaller Division I-AA schools in Alabama.
 
Possible Scholarship Contender:
 
Coach Spurrier mentioned that walk-on Bryan Kingrey is a possibility for one of the available scholarships. "He's a potential candidate," said Spurrier. "He's a good student, does everything we ask. He's a good player - a good walk-on. He's done very well."
 
Take Your Showers:
 
Spurrier also addressed the fact that some of his players aren't as hygienic as he would like. "You don't shower in high schools anymore," Spurrier said. "They get a towel, wipe the sweat off and go. When they come to college, they think that's what you're supposed to do. I'm sure all over the country, that's what they have to do."
 
Other quotes from Spurrier:
 
"We just had a little bit of hitting tonight," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier following the evening session. "A little bit of goal line scrimmage, tackling and so forth."

Source: Click Here and Here

By Chris Dearing

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August 13, 2007: Gamecocks Practice Sunday; QB Gap Closing (The State Paper)
 
Notes from practice
 
South Carolina held its annual Fan Appreciation Day earlier on Sunday then worked out for two hours that night at the Bluff Road Practice Fields.

The Gamecocks concentrated on special teams and the two-minute drill in practice.
Center Jeremy Burgess was the only injury from the scrimmage held on Saturday. The junior suffered a slight concussion and was held out of practice.

Steve Spurrier still didn’t have a definite word on the status of Jordin Lindsey but the senior practiced again Sunday night.
 
Schedule for the rest of the week

Spurrier said they would probably scrimmage again Wednesday night but that it would be closed to the public. He expects the first-team offense and defense to get a lot of action. But he did indicate that they would hold another open scrimmage next Saturday.
 
Offensive Line 'better than last year'

Spurrier also said the offensive line is improving.

“We’ll have a better line than we did last year at this time of the season, I think,” he said.
 
Backup QBs Improving

Spurrier also said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Tommy Beecher or Chris Smelley if the situation called for it.

“They are pretty close right now,” Spurrier said.
 
Tight Ends

Spurrier said if the season were to start right now, Andy Boyd and Jared Cook would be the two starting tight ends. He also added that Weslye Saunders needed to lose some weight but that he should be in the mix also. Saunders is currently listed at 279 pounds.

“Weslye is too heavy, he’s still to heavy,” Spurrier said. “I talked to him the other day. He’s got to lose some weight. He’s a talent now. He’s a big guy that can catch and he’s a pretty good blocker but he can’t play at 280. He’s got to get down some. He would be very good at 260 I think.”

“Jared’s ready to play. He and Andy Boyd would be the first two. (Nick) Prochak has done some good things in there. (Robert) Pavlovic is sort of the blocking specialist.”
Two-a-days

The Gamecocks will finally hold their first two-a-day practices on Monday. They will go light in the morning and then return in full pads at night. They are currently scheduled to have two-a-days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. Spurrier isn’t a big fan of it but said things can be learned during that time.

“We’ll practice twice but I don’t really know how much more you get out of it, practicing twice than once to tell you the truth” Spurrier said. “As long as you need and want to, you can get a lot accomplished. I’m a big believer you can learn things in the meeting rooms and walk through and stuff like that.”

Source: Click Here

By Chris Dearing

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August 12, 2007: Gamecocks Play First Scrimmage (uscsports.com)
 
Large Crowd
 
An estimated crowd of 6,000 waited as rain and lightening delayed the start of the South Carolina Gamecocks first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday afternoon. But when the weather cleared, the fans got what they came to see, as many of the highly-touted newcomers made a solid impression in their first playing opportunity at Williams-Brice Stadium.

'Encouraging Things'

"It was an okay scrimmage I think," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier. "The offensive guys did a few good things, the defense did a few good things. Nobody got hurt, which is always most important. But we're a little sluggish. We don't go fast enough. We don't get up and go fast enough. We don't get out there and get set quick enough. So we've got to pick up our speed. It was mostly first and second year players," noted the Head Ball Coach. "So there were some encouraging things done today."

Quaterback Story

With senior Blake Mitchell watching from the sidelines, Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley took turns at quarterback through the early drives, then freshman Stephen Garcia worked into the mix as the scrimmage progressed. Beecher completed 8-of-11 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown, Smelley was 6-for-10 for 71 yards and a TD and Garcia finished the day 5-for-8 for 50 yards and a touchdown. None of the quarterbacks threw an interception.

"Chris and Tommy are still fighting for number two (quarterback on the depth chart)," said Coach Spurrier. "They're pretty close."

Running and Catching

Neither Cory Boyd nor Mike Davis saw any action at tailback on Saturday. Bobby Wallace led the rushers with seven carries for 28 yards, while freshman Brian Maddox carried six times for 21 yards.

Jared Cook led the receivers with three catches for 35 yards, including a five-yard touchdown catch from Garcia. Freshman tight end Wesley Saunders also hauled in three catches for 33 yards. Speedy freshman receiver Chris Culliver caught one pass, a 42-yard scoring strike from Beecher that tipped off the hands of defensive back Mike Newton. Moe Brown also scored on a 13-yard pass from Smelley.

Fan Appreciation Day Sunday

The Gamecocks will take part in Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Colonial Center, then will return to the practice fields Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. The first day of two-a-days is set for Monday.

Source: Click Here

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August 10, 2007: Gamecocks Practice in Pads for first time (uscsports.com)
 
Gamecocks back to full health:
 
The South Carolina Gamecocks put on full pads for the first time this fall, working out for a little over two hours at the Bluff Road practice fields on Thursday night. The Gamecocks were nearly back to full strength, as offensive lineman Garrett Anderson (right hand) and wide receiver Leon Gamble (hamstring) returned to full practice.

"I don't think anybody got hurt, so that's always good," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier.

O-Line Performing better:

"Overall it was a pretty good practice I thought. The offensive line blocked the right guys most of the night. It was probably the best the o-line has done. Of course, if they do well you worry about your defense. What counts most is what happens in the game."

Sophmore Receivers Shine:

Coach Spurrier has been impressed in the early camp by sophomore wide receivers Moe Brown and Freddie Brown. "Moe Brown has improved," said Coach Spurrier. "Moe Brown is catching the ball and running better routes. Last year he was just sort of `out there'. He's making catches and doing good things this year. Freddie is doing well. Freddie's a little faster and a little quicker and catches everything. A very reliable receiver."

Sam Pope Has Left the Team:

Coach Spurrier also confirmed that defensive back Sam Pope has left the team. Pope was a junior college transfer who joined the squad this fall. "Sam wanted to go play. I think he's going to Hampton. He's got some friends up there and feels like he has a chance to go up there and be a starter. We wish him the best. We thought he had a chance to be a pretty good player, but he decided he wanted to go somewhere else, so that may work out best for him."

New Numbers:

Several players donned new jersey numbers including: Mark Barnes (13); Chris Culliver (17), Dion Lecorn (18); Chris Hail (28); Cedric Snead (46); Patrick DiMarco (47) and Thomas Hooper (94).

Scrimmage Saturday; Fans urged to Attend:

The Gamecocks will scrimmage on Saturday afternoon in Williams-Brice Stadium. The scrimmage will be open to the public. "It will be mostly players that haven't played much and players that need to play some," said Coach Spurrier. "I'd appreciate a big crowd. The practice will begin at 4 p.m. with the scrimmage starting between 4:30 and 5 p.m."

Source: Click Here

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August 09, 2007: Gamecocks Practice Light Wednesday (uscsports.com)
 
For the fifth consecutive night, the University of South Carolina football squad worked out for about two and a half hours Wednesday at the Bluff Road practice fields. Because of the high heat and humidity, the squad left the pads in the locker room and practiced in helmets and shorts.

"We had a little lighter practice tonight," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier following the workout. "It actually wasn't as hot as we anticipated. We didn't do any hitting whatsoever. We gave them a break tonight. We'll put on the full pads tomorrow night."

Blake Mitchell was named to the Manning Award Watch list earlier in the day. "He's got a chance to have a big year," said Coach Spurrier. "If we can block well, run well and get some guys open, he's got a chance. Quarterbacks on winning teams get a lot of awards."

Freshman Patrick DiMarco moved to the defensive side of the football. He is now playing outside linebacker/rush end.

The team will scrimmage for the first time this fall on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Fans are invited to attend the practice that will begin around 4:30 p.m.

Source: Click Here

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August 08, 2007: Game Times for First Three Games Set (Spurred)

Today, the University announced the times for the first and third games of the season.  The Gamecock's first contest against Louisiana Lafayette on September 1st will kickoff at 7:00pm.  The September 15th matchup against South Carolina State will also be a 7:00pm kickoff.  Both of these games will be available on pay-per-view throughout the state.  Mike Morgan and former Gamecock and heisman trophy winner George Rogers will be the commentators for the broadcasts.  South Carolina schedule thus far is:

Sept. 1- Louisiana Lafayette (7:00pm) [pay-per-view]

Sept. 8- at Georgia (5:45pm) [espn2]

Sept. 15- SC State (7:00pm) [pay-per-view]

Sept. 22- at LSU (TBA) [TBA]

Sept. 29- Mississippi State (TBA) [TBA]

October 04- Kentucky (7:30pm) [espn]

The rest of the games' times and television converage are unannounced.  To see the rest of Carolina's 2007 schedule click HERE.

Source: Click Here

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GO GAMECOCKS!