Gamecocks return to practice fields

The Gamecocks began bye-week practice on Monday, hoping to put an ugly four game losing streak behind them. Carolina had a relatively short practice, going for about an hour and a half. Read inside for a full report on Monday's workout.

Previously, Steve Spurrier had worried about having his team practice too much during the bye week, but that is no concern this year.

"We certainly need it," Spurrier said of the extra practice. "We played eleven games, so the practice hasn't appeared to help too many guys. The way we perform in the ballgames, our fans are probably wondering what in the heck we do out here. If I was sitting in the stands, I would say the same thing."

Following the consecutive defensive meltdowns against Arkansas and Florida, Spurrier said he would be taking a look at the defensive field during practice. When asked Monday evening if he had spent any time working with the defense, Spurrier declined to say anything specific.

"Oh yeah, I watched them all," he said, referring to the offensive, defensive, and special teams units.

The Gamecocks will not focus much on Clemson this week, saving most of the game planning for next wee so they can have a normal schedule. They will practice until Thursday, and then have the weekend off.

"We watched a little tape, but we haven't done any game stuff," said Spurrier. "We'll probably do a little bit on Wednesday and Thursday."

At the end of his session with the media, Spurrier was asked if he had any problem keeping the players positive in light of the recent struggles. Spurrier used that opportunity to calmly but pointedly criticize the players, himself, and his coaches.

"You've got to do something different," he said. "You've got to make some changes and try to put them in better spots. We haven't coached very well. We're not blaming it all on the players. We need to coach better and a lot of our guys need to play better. If they are playing as well as they can, and we can get them lined up, then we're just not very good. Maybe that's just about where we are right now, but we should play better. We should play with more effort; we shouldn't let guys just run right past us all the time. There's a lot of things I think we can do better. Are we a super team? No, we're no super team, and I think people know that. We're building though. We think someday we [will be] but we need to change our habits around here. That's my responsibility, and I'm going to try. We put guys out on the field that don't play with effort, and that's embarrassing. I'm going to try my best not to put them out there."

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