Gamecocks continue USM prep

The South Carolina football team continued it's preparations for 2 hours at the "Proving Grounds" Saturday night in preparation for Thursday night's season opener against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Head coach Steve Spurrier met with the media following the practice.

"It wasn't too hot." Spurrier said of the weather Saturday evening in Columbia. "There was a nice little breeze. Hopefully it'll be like this in about five days. We're looking forward to the ballgame."

As the game draws near - just 5 days away - the anticipation of another football season continues to rise around the state. Spurrier says the anticipation is growing on the team as well.

"There's always just a little bit more awareness that the game is getting closer." Spurrier said. "(We're) looking forward to practicing a little harder the next couple of days and getting ready for a ballgame."

Spurrier is still unsure who the starting quarterback will be on Thursday. As the game draws near it's unknown whether Spurrier will even publicly name a starter until game day. Spurrier continues to believe that quarterback's Connor Shaw and Stephen Garcia are even right now.

"They're about the same." Spurrier said of his two quarterbacks. "Both of them are going to play. The one that is playing the best will play most of it. I'm not 100 percent sure who will start. Somebody may twist an ankle between now and then, so I don't know who's going to start."

Spurrier gave a small preview of the Southern Miss defense as well.

"They're active." Spurrier said. "They have just as good of athletes as UConn. UConn clobbered us. They're a good, tough bunch. They play like a lot of people play. They're all over the place - a little man, a little zone blitz. They'll probably have some new blitzes. Everyone has new one's now-a-days."

Spurrier also said that the odds of seeing linebacker Shaq Wilson for an extended period of time is slim.

""He might play a few plays." Spurrier said of Wilson, who was once again in a yellow jersey. "If he's not 100 percent we won't play him. He hasn't practiced all year."

After three long weeks of practice, Spurrier and the Gamecocks are happy just to finally be preparing for the Golden Eagles as opposed to just hitting on each other.

"Four weeks is a long time before you play a game." Spurrier said of the time between the opening practice and the season opener. "You have to pace yourself. I've seen teams that get ready too early and forget to get ready the week of the game. We haven't overdone it. Our team will be ready to play. Southern Miss is a good team and they believe they're going to come in here and beat us. What we have to prove is we are a tough, disciplined team. The last time we attempted football at South Carolina, we were embarrassing."

Spurrier said that the school still has not heard back from the NCAA regarding the agent issue with Weslye Saunders or the Whitney Hotel issue that involves Saunders and several other players. Spurrier still believes that the issues will be resolved before Thursday night.

"We haven't heard anything." Spurrier said. "We should hear something this week. They usually tell you something before the first game. If we don't hear any news we'll play everybody we got -- almost everybody we got."

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