S. Brown, Jeanpierre get the call on o-line

The Gamecocks practiced Thursday for the final time before facing off against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday afternoon. After weeklong tryouts on the offensive line, Coach Steve Spurrier announced the two projected starters at the offensive guard spots following Thursday's workout. Read inside for a full report on the Gamecocks' final preparations for Vanderbilt.


After announcing "open tryouts" early in the week, Spurrier finally revealed who the starting guards would be against the Commodores. Seaver Brown held onto the starting left guard spot, and Lemuel Jeanpierre will return at right guard, taking the place of James Thompson. Both positions could still change before kickoff, however.

"Lem may get the nod at right guard, right now, along with Seaver at left guard," said Spurrier. "He looks pretty good at times, but if he'd been looking super, he'd have been playing all year right there. Sometimes it finally clicks. Sometimes they start playing better, so we just keep giving guys chances."

That rationale is one of the main reasons quarterback Blake Mitchell will see action in relief of starter Chris Smelley this weekend. Spurrier did not want to get into too much detail about what could happen depending on each player's performance. However, he did acknowledge that there is a scenario that could see Mitchell play more than a handful of snaps.

"We all felt like Blake deserves to play some, and we'll see how he does," Spurrier explained. "If he does well, he'll play some more. If Chris is struggling and Blake is playing well, he'll play a little bit more. We're just trying to be fair."

Spurrier said that Mitchell will come in sometime in the second quarter. He would not reveal how he might judge his quarterbacks, but he said it would be pretty easy to decide who would play down the stretch.

"I'm just going to do whatever I think is best for our team to win the game," he said. "We've got a one-man committee. There are no arguments, no arguments amongst the coaching staff."

The status of a pair of players who have dealt with injuries this week was also settled on Thursday. Safety Stoney Woodson has been hampered with a hamstring injury, and he is doubtful for Saturday's game. Starting center Web Brown had an infection in his elbow that caused him to miss practice, but he returned Thursday and is expected to play against the Commodores.

"Web, hopefully, will be able [to play] by Saturday," explained Spurrier. "He did a little bit today, not much."


Notes:

- Spurrier announced that sophomore linebacker Vandaral Shackleford was back working with the varsity this week in practice, after working on the scout team for the past several weeks.

- With the State Fair in town, fairground parking on Saturday will be on a first come-first serve basis. The gates will open at 7 a.m., and vehicles will be allowed to enter through either Gate 6 or Gate 10 off Assembly Street and Bluff Road, respectively.


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