Gamecocks get in final spring game prep

The University of South Carolina football squad wore helmets and shorts as they practiced inside Williams-Brice Stadium on Thursday afternoon. It was the team's 14th practice of the spring and its final tuneup before Saturday's Garnet & Black Spring Game.

"Just a helmet practice today, nothing exciting," said head coach Steve Spurrier. "We did a few situations, like Hail Mary passes, one minute left in the game, quick, hurry-up stuff. We're looking forward to the spring game. Hopefully we'll have a big crowd.

"We're still a `wait-and-see' bunch, continued Coach Spurrier. "Alshon (Jeffery's) gone, so there's a bunch of yards there. Melvin (Ingram's) gone, so there's a bunch of sacks, special teams scores, defensive scores. Antonio Allen is gone. So we're an unknown team right now. Somebody has got to step forward. We don't do a lot in the spring, so we'll find out when we play Vandy, first game on Thursday night. That's when we'll find out what kind of ball team we've got."

The team will wrap up its spring drills on Saturday, April 14, with the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game. Admission is free for the 1 p.m. contest at Williams-Brice Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with Dave LaMont providing the play-by-play and Charles Arbuckle handling the color commentary.

The game is scheduled for four 12-minute quarters. The clock will stop during the first half and will run continuously in the second half. The annual football awards will be presented by Head Coach Steve Spurrier at halftime.

Prior to the game, several current and former Gamecock players and staff members will participate in a "Kids Day" event in the south end zone that will begin at 11 a.m. The motivational speeches are geared towards younger Gamecock fans, but everyone is invited. Those fans interested in attending this event should enter through Gate 16 beginning at 10:30. The remainder of the gates will open at 11:30 a.m. with festival seating available throughout the lower bowl of the stadium.

The 2012 football poster will be available for fans from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in front of the Gameday store at the Floyd Football Building on the north end zone side of Williams-Brice. Fans are allowed up to five posters per person while supplies last.

In addition, the Gamecock Club is again hosting the popular Fan Fest event before and after the game. Before the game, a Cornhole Tournament and a Tailgate competition will take place outside the stadium. Appoximately 30 minutes after the game, Fan Fest will move inside Williams-Brice. Fans will be allowed on to the field for photo opportunities, field goal attempts and other assorted stations of activities.

Parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. ETV Lots will open at 8 a.m. for $10. Seawell's will open their grass lot at 9 a.m. for $5. The Fairgrounds will open Gates 6 and 10 at 9:30 a.m. for $10. The Athletics' Key Road parking lot will open at 9 a.m. and is free to the public. There will be no parking available in the old Farmers' Market due to the on-going construction in that area.

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