Gurley: May the best team win

Few teams in America possess a quarterback or an offense that is as highly respected and feared as Ole Miss. But come Thursday night, Tori Gurley and the rest of his South Carolina offensive teammates will be looking to put up some numbers of their own against the Rebel defense.

Gurley was on hand at Tuesday's press conference, elaborating on the team's goals as they move forward in the season and what it would be like to take down a highly touted team like Ole Miss.

According to the redshirt freshman wide receiver, the Gamecocks are still in the process of getting better and trying to fully come together as a unit this season. The offense has looked very capable the past two games, but Gurley says there is still a great deal of work yet to be done.

"We're just going to continue to work hard," Gurley stated. "Stephen (Garcia) and I are still getting the timing down with each other, and he's doing that with (the) other receivers. As long as we keep doing what we do in practice, we should be okay for the rest of the games."

After catching 12 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown in the first three games this year, Gurley says that he is a lot more comfortable and feels the offense is beginning to take shape, which will only lead to more offensive production down the road.

"We're starting to jell together. The first game everyone was a little nervous and worked up. The second game, we were still trying to feel each other out. But last Saturday, you know, we had the opportunity to just be explosive."

Many fans have concerns about playing in a Thursday game after the short week, and how that will affect their team's durability. The Gamecocks will have only four full days between the games against Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss. However, according to Gurley, fatigue will not be a problem for him and the Gamecocks.

"I'm a little dinged up, but when Thursday comes around, you know, the adrenaline gets pumping and the crowd is going to get me into it," Gurley proclaimed. "I'm just going to go out and play as hard as I can."

While Gurley was happy with the progress of the offense during the win over Florida Atlantic, he knows the 2009 Gamecocks must produce some big wins over quality opponents if they really want to become the "New Carolina." Their last win against a top 10 opponent came on October 4, 2007 when they took down the Kentucky Wildcats in a Thursday night clash. Gurley said that a win against the Rebels might also help the Gamecocks re-establish themselves as a contender in the SEC East.

"Winning on Thursday would be huge for the school, and for the football program, and for the team, because it's going to give us the confidence to play these other contenders and hopefully knock them off as well," said Gurley. "Our goal is to get to the SEC Championship, and Ole Miss is in our way, so we just have to take it one game at a time."

There is no doubt that any Thursday night game on ESPN is a huge national stage. Getting the opportunity to play in front of the entire country against a top ten team is something that Gurley and the Gamecocks know they can use to make a statement. Whether they will or not remains to be seen.

"We're playing in front of the country so both schools have to go out and perform well because other teams are picking up notes and tips on how we're going to play as well as the (rest of the) SEC. So we've just got to go out and represent the conference well and our teams well, and may the best team win."

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