Gamecocks finish up preparations for Hogs

The Gamecocks finished up final preparations for the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday, with a short practice off of Bluff Road. Coach Steve Spurrier said the Gamecocks are looking forward to trying to play better against the Hogs than they did last weekend in Knoxville.


"We're looking forward to going out to Arkansas, the weather's supposed to be nice," said Spurrier following Thursday's workout. "They've got that sort of Astro-turf, sport grass, so it'll be a little bit like the Ole Miss game last year on that surface."

Spurrier said that while the Gamecocks are always looking to improve, it is hard to imagine his team playing any worse than they did on Halloween against the Tennessee Volunteers.

"We're looking forward to going out there and competing with Arkansas, and we believe we're going to play a lot better than we did our last time out," noted Spurrier. "We'll see if we can. We can't play much worse than we did the other game, but then again, we've not played super all year. Obviously it catches up with you when you play a team that makes no mistakes and plays well."

As always, Spurrier said that it will ultimately come down to what his quarterback can do against the Razorbacks defense.

Spurrier stated, "We'll see if Stephen Garcia can make good decisions, take care of the ball, hit the right guys, all those kind of things."

Improvement will have to take place on both sides of the ball, as the Gamecocks face perhaps the best quarterback in the conference in Ryan Mallet. The transfer from Michigan has lit it up all year, and many are saying he is one of the best passers in America.

"We'll see if we can stop Arkansas some. They've got a good offense, they've scored a lot of points."

Another area of difficulty for the Gamecocks has been kick coverage, as they have given up kickoff returns for touchdowns in SEC contests against Georgia and Vanderbilt.

Spurrier proclaimed, "We need to play well on special teams. Their kickoff returns are one of the best in the conference. I think they lead the SEC, (and) that's sort of a sore spot for us, kickoff coverage. So we've got to be on top of our game special teams wise if we're going to have a chance."


Notes:

- Spurrier said that Kyle Nunn and Garrett Chisolm will be his best options on the left side of the line. Nunn will start at left tackle, while Chisolm will start at left guard.

- Also, the Head Ball Coach said that Chisolm is particularly excited to play Saturday in his first start for the Gamecocks, and he told the coach he "could play the whole game." Spurrier joked that Chisolm probably hasn't done that since high school, but is looking forward to seeing what Chisolm can do with increased playing time.

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