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Sept. 10, 2007

The 17th-ranked South Carolina Gamecock football team returned to the practice fields on Monday evening. It was the squad’s first workout since posting a 16-12 win over 11th-ranked Georgia on Saturday. The Gamecocks are preparing for next Saturday’s non-conference tilt with in-state foe South Carolina State. That contest will kick off at 7:05 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

“It’s sort of amazing that (South Carolina State) has been playing football for 100 years and we’ve been playing about 114 years and it’s the first time the schools have ever met,” said Head Coach Steve Spurrier following the workout. “It should be an exciting evening. They’re a good team, I think picked to win their conference, so it should be a heck of a game.”

Several players were held out of practice on Monday including wide receiver Chris Culliver (left ankle), linebacker Dustin Lindsey (right knee) and defensive lineman Nathan Pepper (right leg). Linebacker Cody Wells returned to practice after missing Saturday’s game at Georgia with a leg injury. Others who remained sidelined include Kevin Young (left ankle), Bobby Wallace (right shoulder) and Yvan Banag (right knee). Quarterback Chris Smelley was limited in his work due to a sore right shoulder.

The Gamecocks got a boost from safety Darian Stewart, who made his first career start on Saturday at Georgia. “Darian’s one of those players that plays fast in the game. He doesn’t time out all that great in the 40-yard dash, but he plays faster when the game starts. We’ve got some guys that can run real fast on the clock but don’t play very fast in the game. Darian really had an excellent game except for running into the punter that time. That was his one terrible play.”

The offensive line showed some improvement against Georgia, but Coach Spurrier does not seem to be 100 percent satisfied with the line. “We may move big Kendrick Ellis over to offense. He doesn’t get to play much on defense. They’ve got too many guys over there. We’ve probably done a poor job of trying to beef up our offensive line. We’ve got too many guys stacked up on the d-line right now so Kendrick and Terrence Campbell are two guys that we need to look at. We’ll try them at guards. They may be our backup guards this week.”