Gamecocks Go Through Final Tune Up For UGA

Thursday afternoon, Coach Spurrier met with the media for the final time before Carolina squares off against Georgia on Saturday night. Spurrier chatted with reporters but was careful not to say anything that could possibly come into play when the teams take the field.

The big question mark for the Gamecocks is the offensive line. Spurrier talked about how the line can improve on its lackluster play in the opener. "We hope to have a decent protection scheme, but somebody's still got to block somebody." One of the keys for the Gamecocks will be the decision making of Blake Mitchell. "Hopefully he can go back there and make good decisions," Spurrier said. He's got to make them fast. He can't get any hesitant movement." Part of the quick decision-making is the play calling. Spurrier acknowledged that he would not be able to call seven step drops against Georgia. "Obviously we can't tell Blake to go back there seven steps and check out about five different receivers. We understand that." When asked if he was satisfied with how the offensive line had done in practice, Spurrier chuckled, "I'm never satisfied completely with the way they play. If they have a no sack game and a no whiff game, that's when we'll be satisfied." Spurrier said he does expect the line to play better this weekend. "I feel we'll play better. We did a little bit better, but not enough to get me jumping up and down doing cartwheels."

Spurrier offered praise for the Georgia defense. "Georgia's really fast and strong up front," he said. Comparing Georgia's defense to Mississippi State's defense, Spurrier said Georgia is "probably just as good," but "maybe a little quicker in the secondary, but up front very similar." As a result, Spurrier expects a game similar to the opener: tight and low scoring, with extra importance on turnovers and special teams. "We know it's going to be a struggle. Hopefully their offense will struggle too. That's what we're hoping for. I wish I had confidence we could walk up and down the field, but we've not done it a whole bunch. If there's no turnovers in the game, unless one offense is just really, really good, you don't get a lot of scoring."

This week, the NCAA and SEC decided to start enforcing the conference ban on artificial noisemakers. Coach Spurrier offered his opinions on the matter. "Mississippi State is the only place that does it [brings artificial noisemakers]. I asked the ref beforehand, ‘Do you mean our fans could bring sirens in?' He said, ‘It's not that loud, I've been here before.' If you let them do it, you've got to allow everybody to do it, so that's a good rule. It is louder at other places, but you should have to make noise with your throat and voice."

Notes: Moe Brown will dress out for the game, but will not play as he continues to nurse an ankle injury. Mike West, Blake Mitchell, Chris White and Lanard Stafford are all expected to be at full speed on Saturday. ESPN continues to invade Columbia. A day after Desmond Howard was in town to film a segment, the game crew began to arrive. The production trucks are parked outside Williams-Brice Stadium, while sideline reporter Holly Rowe attended practice and spoke with players and coaches while members of the local media, still banned from practice, looked on with envy.

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