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Sept. 24, 2007

The 16th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) worked out at the Bluff Road practice fields on Monday night. It was their first practice since dropping a 28-16 decision at LSU last Saturday. The Gamecocks are beginning preparations for their meeting with the Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The 12:30 p.m. contest will be televised by Lincoln Financial Sports.

“We had a typical Monday night practice,” said Head Coach Steve Spurrier. “Guys were bouncing around a little bit. We’re looking forward to the ballgame Saturday at 12:30. Hopefully we’ll have a full house out here. I think it’s Homecoming, so we’ll have a Homecoming Queen and so forth. Hopefully it will be a fun day. Mississippi State is a very tough team – 3-1 just like us, so we have our work cut out for us this Saturday. They’ve got a good defense and run the ball well. The way we’ve been trying to stop the run we could be in trouble if they start rolling up and down the field. That’s the key to the game right there – if we can slow them down some.”

Coach Spurrier was asked about the injury to All-SEC linebacker Jasper Brinkley: “Jasper ended up tearing a ligament in his knee in the first quarter of the game. He tried to go back in but couldn’t move at all. I think he’s scheduled for surgery Wednesday. In all likelihood he’s out for the year. The positive part is that I think we’ll be able to get a medical hardship. So we believe he’ll be back next year. It’s up to the NCAA. They’ve been pretty helpful to student-athletes in the past few years. Next year at this time we might be saying we’re glad he got hurt,” continued Coach Spurrier. “We all plan on being here next year. We should definitely have a stronger team next year, so in a way having Jasper here next year is a positive. As far as this year, Marvin Sapp I think is scheduled to take his spot, but other players have to step up and start making some tackles. It’s as simple as that.”

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Tuesday afternoon.