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Aug. 5, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina football team took to the practice fields for the first time Saturday, and approximately 1,500 fans braved rainy conditions to watch the Gamecocks in action.

Sophomore Mike Davis watched the practice from the side while attending to an infection in his left foot. He is expected to miss a couple of days of practice.

Practice number two of the fall is set for Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.

Following are some post-practice comments:

Head Coach Steve Spurrier:

“We were out here a while tonight. It was a pretty good opening session. Nobody got hurt. We got a lot of throws in, runs and plays. The guys were lively. So it was a pretty good session.”

On the quarterbacks: “Tommy Beecher caught our eye today. Tommy Beecher came back and zinged it around pretty well tonight. He was the one who caught our eye. Cade (Thompson) threw some good ones. Chris Smelley threw some good ones here and there, but overall we weren’t particularly sharp.”

On offensive lineman Garrett Anderson being with the “Ones”: “That doesn’t surprise me. He wanted to redshirt, but he knows now that he’s probably going to get to play. He and Kevin Young will have a chance to play in there at the guard position.”

On the special teams: “We had the kickers’ derby before practice tonight. Ryan Succop was kicking well. Charlie Carpenter kicked well. He’s in the race to be our kicker now.”

On Moe Brown: “He may be the fastest guy on the field. He plays fast, too. Walk-on Marquise Brown looked good too.”

Quarterback Blake Mitchell
Regarding the first day of practice

“It was a decent day. Just your regular first day of practice. We still have a long way to go and need to come out here every day until we get better.”

Regarding the chemistry he has with receiver Sidney Rice
“He always runs good routes and he always gets open, so it’s pretty easy to find him.”

Regarding the 1,500 fans who attended practice in the rain
“These fans are excited and they come out and support us.”

Regarding his performance Saturday
“I think I had a decent day. I still have got a lot to learn and a lot of things to improve on.”

Regarding any differences from last year to this year
“This year’s I’m a little more comfortable and a little more confident. Last year I was nervous a little bit, but I’m just a little more relaxed this year.”

Regarding the atmosphere at practice
“You’ve got to have fun when you’re out here, that’s part of the game. You’re supposed to have fun when you’re out here playing.”

Wide Receiver Sidney Rice:

“It was great (to get out here and practice). I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

On going against Fred Bennett: “You just shake hands after each play. I told him to go hard every play.”

“I think the attitude has changed. Coach (Spurrier) wants everybody committed. I think everybody’s getting after that out here on the field. There’s no jogging on the field. We’re trying to get better as a team.”