Practice Report: Changes Abound For Gamecocks

Coach Spurrier and defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix met with the media on Thursday afternoon for the final time before Saturday's game against Wofford. Coach Nix said there would be a few changes in his defensive lineup, but Coach Spurrier remained tightlipped. Read inside for the full report.

A day after practicing indoors to avoid the rain, the Gamecocks returned to the Proving Grounds for their final tune-ups. For one, Spurrier was glad to be rid of the rain. "Sunshine came out today and we got back a little heat. I came out today and thought I might need the windbreaker." Knowing that the media crowding around him was only interested in one question (hint: it is a combination of the word "quarter" and "back"), Spurrier feigned ignorance and spoke about his excitement to play Wofford. "We're ready to play Wofford. I know we're going to get their best shot, and I know they're excited and going to give us everything to kick our tails here Saturday night. Obviously if we don't play well, it's nobody's fault but our own."

After he finished, the first question was lobbed Spurrier's way. Would he announce the changes on offense now? "We're going to announce them a little later on," Spurrier said. When it was pointed out that he would not be speaking again before the game, Spurrier smiled. "[SID Steve] Fink said the ratings wouldn't be very high this week, so we are going to announce the starting lineups on radio tonight. We're trying to get our ratings up […] so y'all listen in."

The primary change that the offense is facing comes under center. Spurrier continued to be mum about his starter, saying only, "We're practicing three guys right now." Starter Blake Mitchell continues to be suspended indefinitely. Spurrier said he spoke with Mitchell yesterday. "I talked to him yesterday. He basically told me what happened." Spurrier added that, while he was disappointed in Mitchell, he continues to wait before making any permanent decisions about Mitchell's status. "It was very unlike him personality wise to get in a scuffle. We will wait and see where the facts come out before we make any real permanent decisions on him. [There are] two sides to all stories."

Defensively, Nix will be making a couple of changes. Freshman Rodney Paulk will slide into the starting lineup at linebacker, replacing Marvin Sapp. Jasper Brinkley will again start in the middle. Former starter Jordin Lindsey, who had lost his job at defensive end in the fall, will be returning to the starting lineup at linebacker. Nix faces an unusual task this week, as he must prepare his team for Wofford's option offense. When asked if the option was fun for him to prepare for, Nix grinned and said, "Yeah, it's football." He said the team does not treat it differently than it would any other offense. "Every [game] is an opportunity [and] a challenge. You prepare every week, so every week you take it as a challenge to get our guys prepared for whatever offense we face."

Tune in to Coach Spurrier's call in show this evening at 7 p.m. to hear Spurrier address the offensive changes that will take place this Saturday.

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