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Gamecocks Work Out in Tampa

Dec. 27, 2008

Gamecocks' Hospital Visit | Practice Report

The University of South Carolina football team worked out at Jefferson High School in Tampa for the first time on Saturday as they began their final week of preparations prior to the New Year's Day bowl game against the University of Iowa. Game time is set for 11 a.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium on Jan. 1 between the Gamecocks (7-5) and Hawkeyes (8-4).

Following the two-hour work out, head coach Steve Spurrier met with the media:

"We had a pretty decent practice today. Stephen (Garcia) threw the ball around fairly well. Chris (Smelley) did also. Most guys caught it pretty well. It's a little breezy right here, but it didn't seem to affect the balls too much. The heat and a little bit of humidity - we're trying to get used to that. It was a pretty good first practice down here in Tampa. Everybody is here. Everybody made curfew last night, so everybody's in good shape. Injured guys will come with the second group."

On how the Gamecocks decided to practice at Jefferson: "We had a choice to go either here or all the way out to South Florida, we just thought we'd save a little time on the bus by practicing here. This field is very nice. We've got plenty of room right here close to the hotel."

On working on Garcia's tendency to scramble out of the pocket too soon: "We're emphasizing it to try to trust the pass play, try to trust his protection a little bit more and try to throw the ball if at all possible. His old habits are to just take off immediately instead of giving the pass play a full opportunity. So he's been doing better in practice. Now when the game starts, then we're going to find out if it's going to kick in."

On getting back to practice after the lay off: "Our guys should be in good shape. In the four or five days off we encouraged them to work out on their own. I think a lot of them did. The conditioning was fairly decent today."

On the possibility of adding Duce Staley to the staff: "We're working on that. There are some things that have to happen before that, but we'd love to have Duce as a member of the athletic department. We're all fond of Duce Staley and we think he's an excellent representative of the University of South Carolina and hopefully we can get him a little more associated with our team."

Following Saturday's practice six Gamecocks =¬ Stephen Garcia, Dion Lecorn, Marvin Sapp, Spencer Lanning, Patrick DiMarco and Brian Maddox - visited patients at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. On Saturday night, the squad will walk to the St. Pete Times Forum for the hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers.

The Gamecocks will return to the Jefferson High School practice fields on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.



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