Brown, Beecher Shine In Wednesday Scrimmage
"We had a chance for the young guys to play a little bit today. Some guys did some good things. I think Freddie Brown caught most of the passes, and Tommy Beecher got in there and threw some good ones. Some of these guys may have improved their position here," said Spurrier.
Quarterback Blake Mitchell, who is currently running second team behind Syvelle Newton, received reps for the first two offensive series and completed 5-7 passes with 1 touchdown. Cade Thompson also received a few reps, but redshirt freshman Tommy Beecher saw the most extensive action in the thirty minute scrimmage. Coach Spurrier commented on the quarterback play by saying, "Blake (Mitchell) did some good things in there. He hit some good balls here and there. Tommy Beecher probably got to play more than anybody. We hadn't seen him in a while, so he did some good things."
Sophomore Dakota Walker has been moved back and forth from defensive end to outside linebacker throughout the 2006 season, but Walker was once again lined up along the defensive front in Wednesday's scrimmage, and the New Jersey native played well in primarily a pass rushing role. Spurrier acknowledged Walker's play after the scrimmage, as he said, "Dakota (Walker) played about the whole scrimmage for some reason. I think the defensive guys just wanted to get him in there for pass rushing, and of course we threw about every snap."
With this being the team's bye week, Spurrier did not emphasize a physical, smash mouth approach to Wednesday's scrimmage, but rather used it to fine tune the passing game. By doing that, Spurrier believes that injuries are less likely to occur. "I hate to see a lot of guys hit the ground, but usually you can throw the ball and nobody gets hurt. If you want to know why we're throwing every down, we're trying to work on our passing game. I don‘t think anybody got hurt today, so that was the best part," said Spurrier.
Wednesday's practice was the final workout of the week for the Gamecocks. They will go through film sessions and position meetings on Thursday before enjoying the weekend off.
Safety Emanuel Cook, who has sat out the past three games with a knee sprain, was back practicing with the first team defense on Wednesday. Coach Spurrier acknowledged Cook‘s return and stated that he will be good to go when the Gamecocks play Vanderbilt next weekend. "Yeah, (Emanuel Cook) is going to be able to play. He played a little bit (today)," said Spurrier.
Tight end Andy Boyd is another player who has had his share of injury trouble this season, and Spurrier gave the latest update on Boyd's status. "He's trying to get back. We'll evaluate him next week."
Stanley Doughty, who is expected to see situational action along the offensive line in short yardage situations as well as his normal duties at defensive tackle, has changed jersey numbers to #54. This is due to the fact that offensive guard Thomas Coleman also wears #55.