Gamecocks Gear Up For Wednesday Scrimmage

The Gamecocks worked through a quiet practice on Tuesday afternoon, which is typical for a bye week. The focus this week is on the younger players, who will have a chance to make their mark in a scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon. Coach Spurrier announced the scrimmage following practice, and he then shocked everyone by announcing that it would be open to the public.

Fans and media had been banned from practice since video of a scrimmage appeared on the Internet. "If they want to come out tomorrow about 5:00 that'd be good," Spurrier said. The scrimmage will feature mainly younger players, and will last 30-40 plays.

One player who fans can expect to see in the scrimmage is Dakota Walker. Walker has been inconsistent at times, often finding himself out of position and unable to play up to his potential. "He may play some," Spurrier said. "We've got to try to get him back on the field. He can make some plays as a pass rusher, as an option [defender]. We're trying to figure out how to use our guys better, and hopefully we can do it from here on out."

The wide receiver position figures to be a point of emphasis during the scrimmage as well. Spurrier has a stable of young wideouts that he is trying to get ready for major playing time. They have practiced well, but still need work. "Some of the young receivers did some good things," said Spurrier. "Chris Hail, Moe Brown, and Freddie Brown caught some balls and did some good things, so that was encouraging for us. [Moe Brown] is making improvement. Chris Hail had some improvement today. Freddie Brown is coming around a little bit, and Jared Cook. They all are second year guys and a couple of first year guys. They just need time, doing it over and over again. Repetition is the mother of learning."

When asked if he were concerned about the team, especially the younger players, losing focus during the bye week, Spurrier shrugged it off by saying, "We're doing okay. We don't go crazy on it, as far as over emphasizing, but we try to have good practices. We had a decent practice today. That was encouraging. It's just like preseason practice. We haven't done much with Vandy yet. A week is plenty of time to prepare for an opponent. We'll start getting into those guys this weekend."

As for the state of the team, Spurrier was considerably more upbeat than he was in the immediate aftermath of the win against Kentucky. "We're in better shape than we were this time last year. We were 1-3 in the conference, so we're 2-2 now so we're one game better than we were at this point last year. We've got all these conference games in a row. I don't know if we can do what we did last year, but nobody gave us a chance to win them all last year. Nobody gave us a chance, but somehow it all worked out. In life you've got to have hope that something good will happen."

Notes: Cory Boyd had on a yellow injury jersey. Spurrier said Boyd jammed his neck, but will be fine in time for Vanderbilt. The coaches conferred, and agreed to try defensive tackle Stanley Doughty at offensive guard in some short yardage situations. Mike West continues to sit out with a hamstring injury, and Spurrier said it has reached the point where the coaches are not counting on West to play anytime soon. Spurrier said he would have preferred to get both Mike Davis and Bobby Wallace in the game more against Kentucky. Both have practiced well, and Spurrier said, "We need to get Bobby a carry or two or three every game, and Mike some more too."

Wednesday's scrimmage will be at 5 p.m. at Williams Brice Stadium. The scrimmage will be open to the public, and fans are encouraged to attend.

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