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March 22, 2006

The University of South Carolina football squad wrapped up practice number six of the 15 scheduled during the spring session by moving from the “Proving Grounds” of the Bluff Road practice fields into Williams-Brice Stadium for a 30-minute scrimmage at the end of the two-hour session on Wednesday.

The highlight of the scrimmage came on the first play when junior quarterback Blake Mitchell hooked up with a wide open Sidney Rice, who sauntered in the end zone on an 80-yard pitch-and-catch. Mitchell, who is the incumbent signal-caller, finished the day 2-for-4 for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt freshmen quarterbacks Cade Thompson and Tommy Beecher took most of the snaps on Wednesday. Thompson was 3-for-6 for 29 yards and an interception, while Beecher was 4-for-9 for 42 yards and a touchdown. Beecher completed a five-yard scoring strike to tight end Jared Cook late in the contest.

Junior Cory Boyd was the workhorse out of the backfield, carrying six times for 17 yards, while sophomore Bobby Wallace had five carries for 24 yards. The top rusher was sophomore Mike Davis, who carried just once for 27 yards.

The Gamecocks will not practice on Thursday, then will return to the practice fields on Friday afternoon, and have their first major scrimmage of the spring on Saturday morning at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Following today’s session, Coach Spurrier addressed the media:

“Nothing too urgent (today). We let all the guys play. Saturday we will have a good scrimmage. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. We’ll get started around 10:30 or so Saturday. It’s open to the public. Anybody who wants to come out, we appreciate it. We like to have some people in the stands when our guys are playing. We’re going to keep score – offense against the defense… the loser has to run.”

“Until we scrimmage on Saturday, that will tell the story as to where the offense and the defense are.”

On the play of the offensive line: “They’re doing ok. The first line has played very well I think. The second line gets pushed around a little bit, which is expected. We have to have two or three of those incoming freshmen ready to play.”

“Fred Bennett had an interception today. He made a nice play.”


PASSING: Blake Mitchell 4-2-0-82; Tommy Beecher 9-4-0-42; Cade Thompson 6-3-1-29.

RUSHING: Mike Davis 1-27; Bobby Wallace 5-24; Cory Boyd 6-17; Cade Thompson 3-(-5); Blake Mitchell 1-(-6).