Gamecocks Continue Preparations For Bulldogs

Coach Spurrier met with the media following Wednesday afternoon's practice to talk about the Gamecocks continuing preparations for the showdown with Georgia on Saturday evening. Spurrier was upbeat but focused squarely on the Bulldogs. He talked about what the Gamecocks must accomplish in practice, as well as what must be done to be successful in Saturday's game.

Previously, Spurrier had spoken about the need to practice with greater urgency, and when asked if the team had responded well this week, he said, "We tried to a little bit. We still need to play a little tougher and a little faster. We had a fairly decent practice today, so hopefully we can match Georgia's team speed. They play quick, fast, and they're a well-coached team. We need to play as fast and quick as they do."

The Georgia game is always an emotional contest for Carolina. Not only are the games between the border rivals historically close, but also each team features numerous players who crossed the Savannah River to play their college ball. Spurrier knows that beating Georgia would be special for many of the Peach State players on the Gamecock roster, but he added, "It's a special game for all of us." The Gamecocks nearly pulled off the upset last year, and Spurrier talked about what has to change this year to end up on top. "We had a chance to beat them last year. It didn't work out, but we were fortunate in a lot of games. We're going to try to play without a lot of big errors. Hopefully we'll play well, and if we do, maybe we'll be in it with a chance."

On the injury front, the Gamecocks are getting healthy. Chris White and Blake Mitchell both took part in Wednesday's practice and felt fine. However, because of class, White only had an abbreviated practice. "He had class from 3:30 to 5, so he got here about 5:30. He got about ten plays in. That's the way it is some days; they've got class." Mitchell went through the entire practice. When asked how Mitchell had done, Spurrier was succinct: "He's fine. He's looked about like he does every practice." However, freshman wide receiver Moe Brown remains doubtful for Saturday's game with an ankle injury. "He's not quite ready. He's still gimpy. It takes a while." Spurrier said that, while a redshirt for Brown is always an option, "We're probably going to need him down the road."

Perhaps the biggest surprise this week from the Proving Grounds was that Matt Raysor has been moved from defensive tackle to the offensive line. Raysor said that he had never played offensive line before, and had a lot to learn, but Spurrier was confident he would make an impact. "We got Raysor over there to see if we can get a little punch, get a little fire, get a little physical play on the offensive line. We've got to try to coach him up a little harder and get him in there some if we can Saturday night. Maybe he's got a little bit more punch than what we've got in there now. If he can learn what to do between now and the game, we'll put him in there."

Notes: Jeremy Ware has left the team. Spurrier gave no details about why Ware chose to leave. Kenrick Ellis is still waiting to hear from the NCAA Clearinghouse, but he remains on campus. Spurrier briefly mentioned his appearance on Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s radio show Tuesday night. "He asked me to come by. It was way too smoky in that bar. Dale's a good guy, and he asked me to come out for about 15-20 minutes."

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