Spurrier Frustrated With Offensive Progress

The Gamecocks took a day off Sunday, but Steve Spurrier did not think the rest resulted in a better practice Monday night. The good news was that Jasper Brinkley and both Lindsey twins were cleared to practice. Read inside for a full report from Monday night's workout.


Spurrier said he was not convinced Jordin Lindsey is completely cleared to play, but Jordin insisted everything has been taken care of. He spoke with the media after practice and explained what happened (see below).

As for the rest of the team, Spurrier was very upset with the day's work. For most of fall camp this year, Spurrier has been fairly pleased with the team, even though he worried about the offensive line. This was in stark contrast to his first two seasons, when he worried after every practice how the Gamecocks would win games. Monday was the first time this fall that he preached that level of doom and gloom.

"We're still sort of sluggish and slow," he said. "We have enough talent here to have a good team, but we don't look very good right now. We need to learn how to play a little quicker and faster and smarter. We're still a couple of weeks away from playing, but we're not very good right now, especially on offense."

A reporter asked if maybe Spurrier was exaggerating a bit, and Spurrier responded, "[You] haven't seen us try to block people yet, and throw and catch."

"We're not the greatest at anything right now. Blake [Mitchell] struggles a lot, the line struggles, the receivers struggle. The only consistent thing is Cory [Boyd] and Mike [Davis] running the ball, but they're not going to run very far if we can't block. We were about like this last year. Our offense didn't become a very good offense until Syvelle [Newton] started playing."

"We struggled against Central Florida and we struggled against Mississippi State the last two years, and we'll probably struggle against Louisiana-Lafayette. Heck, we're struggling throwing against the air. Hopefully our defense will play. Maybe we'll block a punt or run a kick back. There are other ways to win besides offense. I've seen some of them coaches at Alabama do it for a long time. Maybe that will be the kind of team we'll be."

Talent-wise, Spurrier said the offensive line is "about where we were last year." He insisted that the starters on the offensive line have not been decided, but acknowledged that he is fairly certain who will win the job at three of the positions.

"[Justin] Sorensen and [Jamon] Meredith will most likely be our starting tackles," he said. "Web Brown will most likely be our center, and who the guards are I don't have any idea yet."


Jordin Lindsey Discusses Eligibility

One of the enduring stories of practice this year has been the status of senior defensive end Jordin Lindsey. The History major was initially suspended pending his grades for the Summer II session of classes. When classes ended, he was ruled academically ineligible, but appealed the ruling. He returned to practice in time for the scrimmage Saturday, and spoke to the media for the first time Monday night.

"It was me being stupid," Lindsey explained. He took a speech class during Summer II, and there was a mix-up with the grades.

"There were a couple of things we had to get cleared up with Summer II [classes]. We've pretty much got it all done now. I had to fix my mistakes. It was just a miscommunication between me and my teacher. We got everything wrapped up and finished. All the grades were added up, and he didn't have some of the grades that I had, so I just had to present them and get them back together."



Twins Jordin and Dustin Lindsey both practiced on Monday night.


Although Spurrier was still unsure if Lindsey has cleared every hurdle, Lindsey promised he had been cleared by everyone. He said he had been cleared by the NCAA and the University.

"I never thought I'd miss being out here in the heat," Lindsey said, "but for those two weeks I did. It was torture, believe me."

"I'm never leaving the stadium. I'm making up for lost time, staying there extra. I've got to earn my spot back."

Sitting out two weeks of practice has put Lindsey behind the eight-ball and given Carolina's talented freshman class a chance to impress the coaches. Lindsey said he has some catching up to do physically, but his experience means he is still up to speed mentally.

"[The freshmen] are doing well," he said. "They are doing better than most people expected. They've still got some things to learn, but they're doing fine."


Notes:

- Jasper Brinkley, out since Wednesday with a sprained ankle, returned to practice on Monday night.

- Taylor Rank (shoulder) and Dustin Lindsey (knee) both went through a "light" practice, and neither wore a yellow no-contact jersey.

- The Gamecocks will scrimmage again on Wednesday night. It will be closed to the public.


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