Gamecocks Begin Preparations for Clemson
Nov. 24, 2008
After enjoying the weekend off, the University of South Carolina football team returned to the Bluff Road practice fields Monday afternoon as they began preparations for Saturday's regular season finale against the Clemson Tigers. It's the 106th meeting on the gridiron between the Gamecocks (7-4) and Tigers (6-5). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with kickoff set for noon Eastern time at Clemson's Memorial Stadium.
Following Monday's workout, head coach Steve Spurrier indicated again that Chris Smelley would see the bulk of the action at quarterback. "We're going to give the game to Chris Smelley," said Coach Spurrier. "We're going to give him the opportunity to go out there and play the entire game. We're hoping he can go the distance. We'll give him every opportunity to do that." Back up quarterback Stephen Garcia was sick and not at practice on Monday. In his absence, Tommy Beecher took more reps during practice.
Coach Spurrier reminded the media that the Gamecocks are 7-4 and have an opportunity to finish with an excellent record. "We're thankful we're 7-4. When you look around the country, there's a lot of parity. Some of our coaching buddies are saying we wish we were 7-4, so we're not sitting around here moaning and groaning about anything. If we finish strongly, we have an opportunity to have an excellent season."
The Gamecocks should be healthy going into Saturday's game. Some of the players that were slowed by injuries last week were back at practice today, including Akeem Auguste, Eric Baker, Captain Munnerlyn and Carlos Thomas, although Baker was seen limping off the fields following practice. "Brian Maddox got some snaps tonight behind Mike Davis," said Coach Spurrier. Maddox has been slowed in recent weeks by a knee injury.
The Gamecocks will return the practice fields on Tuesday afternoon.