Spurrier: "We're Going To Be a Running Team"

The Gamecocks returned to the practice field Monday and worked through their second two-a-day of fall camp. The players worked out in shorts during the morning, but donned full pads for the evening session. The practice was the last open practice of the fall, and Coach Spurrier spoke with the media following the second practice.

"We had another normal practice," said Spurrier. "Guys were hustling around and so forth. It was a good practice." Spurrier addressed whether he thought the grind of practice was affecting players. "This is sort of the hump week. We're still 17 days away from playing, so this is a week of just practice and trying to learn, learn, learn." Spurrier said the learning part was crucial if the team hoped to improve. "The guys have been pretty good attention wise in meetings and so forth. We've had a ton of meetings, so that's good. We should be a lot more knowledgeable than we were last season."

For the first time this fall, both Cory Boyd and Mike Davis participated fully in practice. Spurrier was thrilled with his two running backs. "Cory and Mike are both backs that can knock a linebacker backwards. We've got two good running backs." He was especially pleased with Davis' first day back, saying, "Mike did some good things." Though he did not see many reps during practice, Spurrier is happy with backup running back Taylor Rank. "He had a good scrimmage the other day. He caught that pass and zipped down the sideline and scored. It was a heck of a play."

"We're going to be a running team and a little bit of a passing team," Spurrier said. "Obviously we're not good enough blocking guys to go back there and throw it a whole bunch. That's why we've got to mix it up." However, Spurrier said the blocking is not where it needs to be in the running game either. "We're trying to find run plays where you don't have to block anybody, but you can't find but so many draws, and everybody's playing the draw. We've just got to block some people. We have good runners and the guys at times block pretty well, but overall we need to block better. We just have to block a little bit better here and there."

There were a handful of personnel changes for the practice. Chris Smelley split second team reps with Cade Thompson. "[Smelley has] done pretty well for a true freshman. He knows [the playbook] pretty well. Not completely, of course, but decent enough that he can play if needed." Another freshman, Moe Brown, has also caught Spurrier's eye. "He's probably in the top four or five receivers. He's got a lot to learn, but he's trying as hard as he can and he's doing well." Carlos Thomas saw snaps at safety after playing cornerback throughout camp. Spurrier said it was just an experiment. "Carlos moved around over there a little bit. This is the time of year you try guys at a lot of positions."

Brandon Isaac's academic issues appear to have been resolved, though Spurrier was unsure of the specifics. "They tell me everybody's eligible and I go by that." On the injury front, Nick Prochak sat out practice with a pulled hamstring. Chris White suffered a slight shoulder injury in the morning practice. Spurrier joked, "We came out here with no pads on and Chris White rolls on the ground and hurts his shoulder a little bit. Maybe we ought to scrimmage instead of coming out here with just helmets on."

Spurrier explained his decision to close the remaining practices. "All the other schools close up, and now I know why. We've just got people reporting everything that happens, and we just don't need to do that. We just had too much stuff in the papers [and] the Internet. Sorry for the fans, they enjoy it, and if it was just the fans we'd leave it open." Spurrier told reporters the decision was for their own good, saying, "That will give you guys some free time also."

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