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Aug. 17, 2006


The South Carolina Gamecocks practiced for 90 minutes Thursday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields. They did not practice in pads after scrimmaging on Wednesday night. The squad will return to the practice fields twice on Friday, working out at 9:30 a.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. All practices remain closed.

Tailback Cory Boyd returned to practice after suffering a facial cut in Wednesday’s scrimmage. Wide receiver Mike West remained sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Following Thursday’s session, Head Coach Steve Spurrier addressed the media:

“We watched the tape. There were a lot of good plays here and there and a lot of plays we could do better. Just trying to get our guys to play their assignments better and play with more effort. It was not a very pretty scrimmage, but most aren’t. What’s important again is that we had no serious injuries at all.”

About the offensive line: “They were a little bit better. Jamon Meredith was a little bit better. Jamon was improved. Chris White and some of the other guys inside played fairly solidly.

“Defensively, Emanuel Cook had another solid scrimmage… Marquee Hall, Fred Bennett was pretty solid back there.”

“We’re two weeks away. We need to practice another five days or so, and then we start preparation for Mississippi State. We haven’t talked much about them at all.”

“There are still a lot of jobs unsettled right now. Between now and opening day who knows what all can happen.”

“We’re in very good health. A lot of players have improved. We’re about where we expected to be.”

On Chris Smelley: “If he’s our second-best, he’ll probably play. Right now we’re planning on him playing. We’re not in position where we’re going to get up by 40 points and put him in – we probably won’t have any of those this year. If the game’s close and Blake (Mitchell) is playing well, he stays in there. If he plays like he played some last year, Smelley will get his chance. Simple as that. Blake knows he can play a lot better than he played at times last year.”