Gamecocks Look to Avoid Trap

Coming off perhaps the biggest win in school history with a 36-14 victory over Florida to clinch the SEC East championship, the Gamecocks returned to practice Monday night to prepare for Troy

If you looked up the definition of a ‘trap game' in the dictionary, you would see a picture of the 2010 South Carolina football schedule with the Troy game circled. Coming off an SEC East championship-clinching game against Florida and a match-up with bitter rival Clemson in two weeks, a 5-4 Sun Belt team coming off a 52-35 loss to FIU may not garner much attention. Many Gamecock fans probably forgot Carolina even played Troy this late in the season. The Gamecocks must stay focused to avoid an upset.

"It's a big challenge," defensive tackle Melvin Ingram said. "We've just got to stay mentally focused and prepared ready to play."

The Gamecock defense is coming off it's best performance of the season in a 36-14 victory over the Gators in the biggest game in school history.

"We probably executed our assignments better than we've done all season," defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. "We kept it simple on defense and the young men prepared themselves well to go do that."

The Gamecocks limited the Gators to 226 yards - most well after the game was decided - of total offense and only one offensive touchdown late in the game. Through three quarters the Gators had only 67 yards.

"We feel good," defensive end Cliff Matthews said. "We still have a lot of work to do and we're just going to continue taking it one game at a time."

With the exception of the Arkansas game, the secondary has slowly improved from week to week and limited the Gators to 191 yards. The secondary recently began having their meetings together, a decision that seems to be paying off.

"Anytime you hear the same voice (is good)," Ward said. "Coach (Shane) Beamer talks in the meeting just like I do so we all need to be in there together."

If Troy has a strength it is clearly their passing game. The Trojans are 13th in the country in passing, averaging 296 yards per game.

"They're real good," Ward said. "They're very efficient - 300 yards per game - so it will be a big test to see how much we've improved. Hopefully it will pay off like it did last week."

"They pass the ball a lot," safety D.J. Swearinger said. "That's another challenge for our secondary - we've been not so good in the past games - so we've got to take this challenge and play hard."

While the Gamecocks certainly don't have to have the same performance from last week, they certainly can't afford to have the same kind of performance they had the last time a pass-happy offense came into Williams-Brice.

"As long as we stay focused we will be a good defense," linebacker Josh Dickerson said. "We just have to stay focused the whole week."

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