Kenny Miles will finally get his shot. The 2009 leading rusher for South Carolina will get the start when the Gamecocks travel to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores Saturday night. With Marcus Lattimore remaining questionable for the contest, Miles should get his shot to prove that he belongs in the rotation.
"I'm sure he is (ready)," running back coach Jay Graham said following Wednesday night's practice. "He's been really patient and worked hard. He's looked very good in practice this week so hopefully we can carry it over to the game."
"Of course I am," Miles said when asked if he was ready for his first start of the 2010 season. "I just (want to show) that I can play and I can help the team out."
Miles rushed for 640 yards and a touchdown last season and his 5.4 yards per carry was highest on the team for players with at least 50 rushes. Miles had one of his best games of the season against Vanderbilt last season, rushing for 102 yards on 18 carries.
"I don't really focus on last year," Miles said. "I just focus on this year and what's about to happen now."
What's happened this year for Miles has been a lack of opportunities. Miles has seen limited action this season and only has nine carries for 39 yards through half the season. For a player that ran the ball 117 times last season to be on pace for only 18 carries this season is very difficult. Despite that, Miles has displayed a great attitude.
"It's been great the whole time," Graham said. "We've talked and he's had a great attitude, he's always got great effort in practice, so I'm sure he's looking forward to this Saturday."
Miles says he's only needed to look to two places for help and advice to remain positive; his faith and his parents. Miles, who was in a hurry to get to a Bible study following practice feels there's nowhere else he needs to turn to.
"Just praying about it," Miles said. "Seeking God out on it and talking to my folks."
Graham and head coach Steve Spurrier, as well as many players, always talk about Miles' attitude. They constantly call Miles a great teammate that always displays the right attitude. Lattimore has established a close relationship with Miles.
"That's a great guy," Lattimore said. "That's my boy. I've gotten nothing but respect for him. I know he's going to do his thing this Saturday. He's been here - he's been in the SEC - so he's taught me a lot."
Despite not getting a lot of game reps, Graham says that Miles has been getting a lot of reps in practice and he's looking forward to seeing what Miles will do Saturday night. While a lot will be made of Miles' opportunity, Miles only sees one thing that's important.
"I see this as my chance to help my team out to get another ‘W' in the win column Saturday night," Miles said.
Lattimore Injury Update
- Lattimore did not practice with the team the entire practice, but worked out with the trainers on the side a good bit. He left during practice to head back to the locker room, but came back out for the last hour or so of practice
- Lattimore said he did some running, cutting, and some back pedaling. He felt some pain, but not a lot and he feels that he's way ahead of schedule and considers himself 80-85%.
- Lattimore says if the game was Wednesday night there would be no way that he would play. He's never missed a game due to an injury and says he does want to play Saturday night, but he'd prefer to only have a limited role.
- Graham says Lattimore is day-to-day and they should find out a lot more about what his availability for the game will be Thursday.
Miles Ready to Prove Himself
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