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Aug. 16, 2006

The South Carolina Gamecocks went through their second scrimmage of the fall on Wednesday night at Williams-Brice Stadium, reeling off 85 plays, including 47 passes and 38 rushes, over the 90-minute session.

“We’re just practicing,” reminded Coach Steve Spurrier following the scrimmage. “Nothing to get real excited about or down about. It was mostly young guys going at it and fortunately no serious injuries.”

For the second straight scrimmage, true freshman quarterback Chris Smelley provided much of the excitement on offense. The Tuscaloosa, Ala. native was the second signal-caller to see action and he responded by completing 10-of-16 passes for 181 with one touchdown. He connected with true freshman Moe Brown on a 45-yard scoring pass early in the scrimmage for his lone scoring play.

“He’s probably closing in on the second spot,” Coach Spurrier said of Smelley following the scrimmage. “He just needs to learn a lot. When Chris is out there, the ball seems to go up and down the field.”

Starting quarterback Blake Mitchell completed 9-of-15 passes for 126 yards with a pair of touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. He hooked up on a pair of scoring passes with senior Syvelle Newton, first from four-yards out, then on a 16-yard pitch-and-catch. He was intercepted by senior cornerback Fred Bennett on a ball that was tipped at the line by Casper Brinkley, and later was picked off in the end zone by safety Chris Hampton.

“Blake had another good scrimmage also,” noted Coach Spurrier.

Redshirt freshman quarterback CadeThompson hit on 4-of-10 passes for 40 yards and was intercepted by defensive lineman Matt Raysor. Redshirt freshman Tommy Beecher saw limited action late in the scrimmage and completed 3-of-6 passes for 44 yards and a pair of scores. The four quarterbacks combined to hit on 26-of-47 attempts for 391 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.

“Cade struggled again tonight,” admitted Spurrier. “He had a lot of pressure on him back there.”

Junior tailback Cory Boyd led the rushing attack with six carries for 45 yards, but had to leave the scrimmage early after suffering a cut above his mouth. Sophomore Mike Davis added seven carries for 42 yards.

Sixteen different receivers caught passes with Newton leading the way with four catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore sensation Sidney Rice had two receptions for 62 yards, including a 39-yard catch from Mitchell.

The offensive starters included: QB Blake Mitchell, tailback Mike Davis, fullback Lanard Stafford, wide receivers Sidney Rice and Kenny McKinley, tight end Robert Pavlovic, tackles Gurminder Thind and Jamon Meredith, guards James Thompson and Thomas Coleman and center Chris White. The defensive starters included: Casper Brinkley, Marque Hall, Nathan Pepper and Ryan Brown along the defensive line, linebackers Cody Wells, Jasper Brinkley and Marvin Sapp, cornerbacks Fred Bennett and Carlos Thomas and safeties Emanuel Cook and Chris Hampton.

Those players who were injured and did not scrimmage included tight end Andy Boyd (right shoulder), safety Nick Prochak (hamstring), fullback Clark Gaston (shoulder strain), wide receiver Mike West (hamstring) and cornerback Nitron Stork (hamstring).

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Thursday night, working out at 7:30 p.m.

“We’ll try to cut back a little bit through the weekend, then probably try to have one more scrimmage out here next Tuesday night,” noted Coach Spurrier. “We’re trying to find out who are best players are, so we’ll have one more dress rehearsal.”


Syvelle Newton 4-yard pass from Blake Mitchell (Succop kick)

Moe Brown 45-yard pass from Chris Smelley (Dodds kick)

Ryan Succop 20-yard field goal

Bobby Wallace 4-yard run (Hooper kick)

Syvelle Newton 16-yard pass from Blake Mitchell (Carpenter kick)

Foxy Foxworth 10-yard pass from Tommy Beecher

Chris Hail 25-yard pass from Tommy Beecher


Chris Smelley 10-16-0-181, 1 TD; Blake Mitchell 9-15-2-126, 2 TDs; Cade Thompson 4-10-1-40; Tommy Beecher 3-6-0-44, 2 TDs; TEAM 26-47-3-391, 5 TDs.


Cory Boyd 6-45; Mike Davis 7-42; Cody Lucas 4-20; Bobby Wallace 7-9 1 TD; Lanard Stafford 1-2; Bryan Kingrey 5- (-3); Blake Mitchell 1-(-4); Taylor Rank 1-(-6); Chris Smelley 3-(-15); Cade Thompson 3-(-25); TEAM 38-65 1 TD.


Syvelle Newton 4-63 2 TDs; Chris Hail 3-36 1 TD; Sidney Rice 2-62; Jared Cook 2-38; Freddie Brown 2-32; David Laggis 2-15; Robert Pavlovic 2-14; Moe Brown 1-45 1 TD; Kenny McKinley 1-18; Taylor Rank 1-15; Mike Davis 1-10; Foxy Foxworth 1-10 1 TD; Alex McGrath 1-9; Bobby Wallace 1-8; Jamal Hayes 1-8, Bryan Kingrey 1-8; TEAM 26-391 5 TDs.