Aug. 16, 2005
The South Carolina Gamecocks practiced twice on Tuesday, including an hour-long scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium during the evening hours.
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The Gamecocks scored four touchdowns (three on offense and one on defense) and kicked three field goals during the scrimmage. Freshman running back Mike Davis carried into the endzone from three-yards out for the first score. Two other freshmen, Cade Thompson and Carlos Thomas, hooked up on a nine-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore quarterback Blake Mitchell hit freshman Kenny McKinley on a 20-yard scoring strike. Mitchell was also picked off by sophomore Ko Simpson, who returned the interception 44 yards for another score. Freshman Ryan Succop was successful on two-of-three field goal attempts, hitting from 47 and 27 yards out, while Josh Brown made just one-of-three, connecting from 38 yards.
The quarterback trio of Mitchell, Thompson and Antonio Heffner combined to complete 19-of-37 passes for 218 yards. Mitchell, the projected starter for the opener against <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Central Florida, was 12-for-18 for 146 yards. Thompson was 6-for-10 for 65 yards, while Heffner was 1-of-9 for seven yards. Heffner was the game’s top rusher with three carries for 24 yards, including a 32-yard burst on a quarterback draw. He also had a long run called back due to a penalty. Freshmen Bobby Wallace carried six times for 21 yards, while Davis finished with six carries for 15 yards.
McKinley caught a game-high four passes for 57 yards, while Thomas logged three catches for 37 yards. Kris Clark added two receptions for 38 yards.
Following the scrimmage, Head Coach Steve Spurrier met the media:
“Pretty sloppy little scrimmage. There were some good plays here and there and a lot of bad plays. Offense – we’ve got to learn to get up on the ball and go. We waste way too much time. Defensively we had some breakdowns in the secondary. Guys are not protecting the deep ball well enough. Hopefully we can learn from it and be ready September the first.
“We had a good scrimmage in that nobody got hurt. I think Syvelle (Newton) slightly strained his groin muscle, but it didn’t appear too serious.
“Blake threw some real good ones tonight. The interception was a lousy play. He tried to throw too quickly and Ko made a beautiful play. We gave them one.
“We weren’t real good on field goals again. If you have to kick one to win a game, hopefully our guys will come through. We’ve got confidence Josh (Brown) can do it.”
The Gamecocks will hit the practice fields again on Wednesday, working out from 3:30 -5:30 p.m. at the Bluff Road practice fields. It is the final practice that is open to the public.
PASSING: Mitchell 12-18-146-1-1; Heffner 1-9-7-0-0; Thompson 6-10-65-1-0. Team: 19-37-218-2-1.
RUSHING: Heffner 3-24; Wallace 6-21; M. Davis 6-15 1 TD; Ashcraft 1-8; Sims 1-7; McKinley 1-5; Thompson 3-(-6), Mitchell 2-(-9). TEAM: 23-65 1 TD.
RECEIVING: McKinley 4-57 1 TD; Thomas 3-37 1 TD; Clark 2-38; Lee 2-19; Turman 1-20; Newton 1-8; Jeffcoat 1-8; Williams 1-7; Cook 1-7; Boyd 1-6; Murdock 1-6; M. Davis 1-5. TEAM 19-218 2 TD.
INJURY REPORT: Wide receiver Syvelle Newton suffered a slight groin injury. Wide receiver Michael Flint underwent successful surgery on his injured hand on Tuesday and was at the evening scrimmage. He is expected to be sidelined three to four weeks. Others sidelined in the yellow jerseys include Sydney Rice, Seth Edwards, Gurminder Thind, Lanard Stafford, Nathan Pepper and Eric Stroman. Cornerback Fred Bennett, running back Taylor Rank and defensive tackle Marque Hall returned to action.
OTHER NOTES: Several national media members were in Columbia today to interview Coach Spurrier. Papers represented included the New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Kansas City Star and the Boston Globe. Sports Illustrated will also have a feature story on the Gamecocks’ head coach in this week’s issue.