Gamecocks Begin Preparations For FAU

The Gamecocks returned to the practice fields on Monday evening seeking to get the taste of a win that was too close for comfort out of their mouths. The team went in full pads, rather than the normal Monday workout in shorts, and Coach Spurrier met with the media following practice.

"We did a lot more tonight, and we need to do a lot more during the week," said Coach Spurrier. "It was spirited, and hopefully we can show some improvement. We've got a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully we can put on a performance that when the fans leave the ballpark they've still got hope. It's hard to have much hope in our team. We're struggling, but I still think we can play a lot better than we've played recently."

There is very little question about where the Gamecocks are seeking the most improvement. Two true freshmen were shuffled into the offensive line against Wofford, but they made little difference in the end result. Worse, though, is that the more experienced linemen did nothing to hold up their end. "It's all of them," Spurrier lamented. "Every now and then we may block a play correctly, but not very often. We're better in practice than we are in games. It's usually about four out of five or three out of five that are taking a wrong step or falling down. We need to get Matt Raysor a chance. Look for him to play hopefully a lot this week." Spurrier singled out Wofford's Mitch Clark as a player who consistently blew up Carolina's blocking. "Wofford's got an excellent defensive line. That number 91 (Mitch Clark) of theirs was very difficult to block. Hopefully Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee don't have anybody like that guy."

After making a surprise return to quarterback, Spurrier said Syvelle Newton will not be moving anytime soon. When asked about his quarterbacks, Spurrier sang a familiar refrain. "Syvelle is going to start. He gives us the best chance to win right now." Spurrier talked about the adjustment Newton has had to make playing quarterback in Spurrier's offense. "He's never really dropped back and picked them out. He's usually taking off running and hit somebody on the run. It's a little different for him, but he did a lot of good plays the other night. He thought it was difficult back there, but he's there. I think he'll do better this game."

The most surprising quarterback news concerned heralded and impeccably named freshman Chris Smelley. Despite seeing action in the first two games of the year, Smelley may be holding a clipboard for the rest of this season. "Chris Smelley didn't do much. He's got a little bit of a heel [injury]." Spurrier did not offer any specifics on the injury, but said, "I don't know what we're going to do with him. He may be held out or not."

The Gamecocks injury list has swollen following the first quarter of the season. The good news is that Andy Boyd, who has been out for the past month with a shoulder injury, is healthy and will start against FAU. With Boyd coming back, Spurrier announced that Jared Cook would be returning to wide receiver. "He's not a tight end. He's not a blocker, so he wasn't any help trying to block. [Boyd] will give us a chance to run the ball much better." Cory Boyd had his right foot in a boot, and is listed as questionable. However, he appeared to have a little ways to go to be questionable. Cody Wells sprained his ankle during practice, but it should not be serious. Rodney Paulk appeared to be fine after suffering a minor injury against Wofford. Captain Munnerlyn returned to practice, but did not wear pads. He had an ice pack on his arm following practice.

Noah Whiteside and Ty Erving are eligible to play against Florida Atlantic after serving a three game suspension. Both practiced and are available to play. However, Spurrier would not comment on how much either would play.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories