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Dec. 19, 2006

The University of South Carolina football squad (7-5) continued its practice schedule on Tuesday at they prepare for the 2006 AutoZone Liberty Bowl, where they will face the Houston Cougars (10-3), champions of Conference USA, on Friday, Dec. 29 in Memphis. The Gamecocks took advantage of unseasonably pleasant weather by working out twice at the Bluff Road practice fields today. They will practice again Wednesday morning before breaking for the holidays.

Following the afternoon session, head coach Steve Spurrier met with the media:

“Beautiful weather again today. I think the cold air is supposed to come in tonight. We’ll just practice once tomorrow, turn them loose, then come back Christmas day and head towards Memphis where we’ll hopefully play our best game of the year in the Liberty Bowl. That’s probably what it will take to beat Houston. They’ve already won 10 games this year. They’re a pretty good team – won their conference championship and have a lot of momentum, so we need to really play well.”

On the fall grades: “Everyone that we’re counting on to play is ok. Some that we weren’t counting on may not be ok. No one is ineligible right now that we’re counting on playing.”

On Marque Hall: “He’s coming around. He’s been rehabbing. He should be ready to go by spring practice.”

On Chris Smelley’s performance in Monday’s scrimmage: “He was a lost Gamecock. He hadn’t played much in a while. We’ll work with him. He’s got to get his confidence back. He’s a freshman – he’s learning. But that just shows he wasn’t ready to play early in the season either. He’s got a long way to go.”

On the Gamecocks’ uniform at the Liberty Bowl: We’ll wear the same uniform we wore at Clemson – the garnet pants with the white top.”

On the attrition of his first recruiting class: “That goes to show you, don’t get too hyped up on those guys. Football is not for everyone. We try to do the best we can. Obviously we make mistakes just like all staffs do. That happens everywhere.”