Spurrier encouraged with team's progress

The Gamecocks were back in full pads on Thursday, working hard as they continue to practice in anticipation of Saturday's scrimmage. Coach Spurrier was upbeat after practice, saying that his team and most importantly, his quarterback, are making strides.

"Stephen Garcia threw the ball the best he's thrown all spring today," said Spurrier. "Connor Shaw had a good practice; the receivers caught about everything, Weslye Saunders caught a few passes, so it was an encouraging day. Defense looked good too; they were tough to throw on."

Red zone efficiency was also a lot better today according to Spurrier, as the team converted down around the goal line much better.

"It's always encouraging when we can keep the ball in the ballpark, so often we throw it out of the ballpark down here, so that was very encouraging for our team."

After experimenting with a camera on Garcia's helmet earlier in the week, Spurrier said he did much better today. On the helmet cam day, Garcia threw several interceptions and appeared to be looking at the wrong things in the defense according to his coach.

As they pass the halfway point of the spring, Spurrier said that he has been encouraged by what his team has accomplished so far, but was also looking forward to getting several of his key contributors back for fall practice.

"We're a little encouraged the way some things have happened. And again this is not our real team, it's just who is available to practice right now. Cliff Matthews, Chris Culliver, a lot of them are on the sideline that will be playing next year."

Notes

- Spring game will not be a full four quarters due to the injury situation and lack of healthy players right now. Spurrier said they would play 2 and a half to 3 quarters.

- Alshon Jeffery was in a study hall during practice Thursday, but will be back for the scrimmage Saturday.

- Brian Maddox fell on his hand today, but the injury looks to be minor.

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