"I wanted to come over and tell all of you that the quarterbacks - Stephen and Connor - were a lot sharper." Spurrier told the group. "They got the ball out of their hands - didn't have as much hesitation as we usually have around here. Receivers caught about everything, but it is just practice. But we were encouraged by tonight's practice. Hopefully we can get a little bit better tomorrow and be ready for Thursday night."
Though the quarterback position has been heavily criticized by Spurrier and it is still unknown who the starter will be Thursday night, Garcia and Shaw continue to make strides at getting better and getting to the point Spurrier wants them to be.
"Stephen had one of his best practices and Connor did some good things so we hope we're making progress." Spurrier said. "We believe we are definitely ahead of where we finished last season, but until we play the game we won't know. They had a good one so I wanted to say they had a good one. They've had a lot of lousy ones before so that's why I've been a little critical. But when they've had a good one I'll tell you guys they had a good one."
True freshman running back Marcus Lattimore agreed with Spurrier that tonight was one of the best practices the Gamecocks have had so far.
"It was real crisp." Lattimore said of the practice. "Everyone knows their assignments. It just looks good out there. We feel confident about what we want to do on Thursday."
Lattimore, the top-rated running back in the nation last year, knows that he's going to play Thursday night. He doesn't know how often, but he knows when his number is called he's going out there to produce.
"I feel confident. The whole running back group feels confident. I know we're going to produce. I know it's going to be different (than high school), but if I have no mental worries I know I'll be fine."
One of the toughest things for an incoming freshman to pick up is the Spurrier offense. Lattimore feels that he's ready to get out there on the field to play and he gives a lot of the credit to his high school, Byrnes.
"I think I picked up the offense pretty good. It was a smooth transition because we run a lot of similar plays that I ran in high school."
Lattimore knows that when the first note of "2001" is blared from the speakers inside Williams-Brice Stadium and 80,000 Gamecock fans rise to their feet to welcome the 2010 edition of Gamecock football he'll know he's arrived.
"Spencer (Lanning) told me there's nothing like being on the field so I'm just excited and ready to experience it." Lattimore said. "I know it's going to be something I remember for the rest of my life."