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April 7, 2008

The University of South Carolina football squad held a scrimmage on Monday night at Williams-Brice Stadium. A couple of hundred folks were on hand for the second scrimmage of the spring. In addition to “regular” work, the team worked on third-and-short situations, goal-line situations and redzone situations.

“I thought we got some pretty good work done,” said Head Coach Steve Spurrier following the scrimmage. “Nobody got seriously hurt, just a few bumps and bruises. The defense played well at times. The offense did a little bit here and there.”

The quarterback competition remained tight, with sophomore Chris Smelley and junior Tommy Beecher touting nearly identical numbers. Smelley completed 14-of-19 passes for 143 yards, while Beecher connected on 13-of-19 passes for 142 yards. Both led scoring drives during the “regular” phase of the scrimmage. Beecher threw the lone interception on a pass that was picked off in the end zone by freshman Akeem Auguste on a one-handed acrobatic grab.

“They’re pretty even,” said Coach Spurrier of his quarterbacks. “If we had to play right now I think both of them would play. You don’t know who’s in there and who’s not. When one separates from the other then we’ll know who to put in there.”

Junior tight end Jared Cook was the top receiver with six receptions for 48 yards. Junior wide out Moe Brown had a big night with five catches for 63 yards. Senior wide receiver Larry Freeman added four catches for 39 yards.

“Jared Cook made a bunch of catches again,” said Coach Spurrier. “He and Weslye (Saunders). Moe Brown is catching everything this year. Moe seems to have his confidence level a lot improved from his first couple of years here. He’s developing. Freddie Brown is our slant specialist. He can catch the slant with guys hanging all over him. He does a good job there. Larry (Freeman) had another good scrimmage. Larry acts like he really wants to play this year. When Kenny (McKinley) gets back, it looks like we’ll have a pretty good receiving bunch I believe.”

For the second straight scrimmage, the Gamecocks struggled to muster much of a running attack. Junior Mike Davis, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury for much of the spring, led the ground game with six carries for 16 yards.

“We didn’t run the ball very well,” admitted Coach Spurrier. “Our run defense looked good. Our run offense didn’t look all that good. I didn’t see many holes. There weren’t many to run through. I think our defense against the run is hopefully going to be much, much improved from where we’ve been. We’ve got nowhere to go but up.”

The Gamecocks will return to the practice field on Wednesday at 7 p.m.


Ryan Succop 46-yard field goal

Jared Cook 14-yard pass from Chris Smelley (Succop kick)

Larry Freeman 9-yard pass from Tommy Beecher (Stephen Huegel kick)

Heath Batchelor fumble recovery in end zone

Tommy Beecher 5-yard run

Mike Davis 1-yard run

Eric Baker 1-yard run

Jared Cook 5-yard pass from Chris Smelley

Mike McQueeney 1-yard run

Brian Maddox 9-yard pass from Tommy Beecher


Chris Smelley 19-14-0-143; Tommy Beecher 19-13-1-142; Mike McQueeney 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 38-27-1-285


Mike Davis 6-16; Dion Lecorn 1-9; Eric Baker 7-6; Taylor Rank 3-7; Tommy Beecher 3-5; C.C. Whitlock 1-4; Brian Maddox 5-2; Mike McQueeney 1-1; Larry Freeman 1-(-5); Chris Smelley 2-(-8). TOTALS: 30-37.


Jared Cook 6-48; Moe Brown 5-63; Larry Freeman 4-39; Mike Davis 3-20; Weslye Saunders 2-34; Joe Hills 2-31; C.C. Whitlock 2-24; Jason Barnes 1-12; Brian Maddox 1-9; Larry Freeman 1-5. TOTALS: 27-285.