Final preparations made for Navy

The University of South Carolina football team continued its preparations for Saturday's home opener against the Navy Midshipmen. Both teams enter the contest with 2-0 records, while the Gamecocks are ranked 10th in the country, according to the Associated Press.

VIDEO: Johnson after practice


Following Thursday's practice, Assistant head coach – Defense, Ellis Johnson spoke to the media about the challenges of facing the Navy option attack.

"We've got to find a way to out-execute them in three days on what they've been doing for 13 years," said Johnson. "The only frustrating thing is that some of the things we're not doing well as a football team had to be put on the back burner – third-down coverages and some of those things we've been trying to improve upon that have been keeping us on the field. It's wishbone week and we've had to focus on things that don't have any relevance to that. It's been a good week of practice and a good week of preparation. We'll just have to see if we can hang in there and out-execute them.

"Our biggest problem has been tackling," continued Johnson, "and if that doesn't improve obviously against a wishbone team you're not going to fare too well. Some of the things we've been doing poorly in coverage … we just haven't had much time to practice on this week. I hope we'll still make steady progress as a team. But right now we just need to focus on Navy, play the wishbone and be ready to go."

DeVonte Holloman will play at strong safety this week after playing the Spur position last week. Coach Johnson is unsure if he will remain there or not.

"I don't know about permanent. We've got major problems. We've got some guys that aren't playing well, but we've got Brison Williams and Akeem Auguste, who we thought coming into this camp and after about two weeks of camp, we thought were going to be our starters. That's two out of four who are sitting on the bench hurt. We've had some decent play by the other guys, but it hasn't been consistent enough. We desperately need to get some of them healthy and back on the field. We don't have good rotation, we don't have good competition for jobs back there and it's hurting our play."

Tickets remain for Saturday's game for $40 each. To obtain single game tickets, fans can go online to the official website of Gamecock Athletics, gamecocksonline.com, www.ticketmaster.com or call the ticket office at 803-777-4274 or 800-4SC-FANS.

NOTES:

- Johnson said that Auguste is out for "weeks." He wasn't sure if seeking a medical redshirt for the senior was a direction the staff should take or not.

- Freshman free safety Brison Williams got his cast removed today from the arm he broke in preseason camp. The cutoff date for whether he'll play or redshirt may come the bye week.

- Redshirt freshman CB Victor Hampton is scheduled to be back next week but Johnson cautioned that Hampton needed to have good behavior up to that point and forward as well.

"The last three or four weeks he's done great; I'm real proud of him," Johnson said. "But he's got to get to next Saturday. Hopefully, he can help us."

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