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Aug. 25, 2008

The South Carolina Gamecocks practiced Monday afternoon in the rain at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds.” The squad continues its preparations for Thursday night’s season-opener against NC State. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN.

“We had a rainy day today and practiced pretty much right on through it,” said Head Coach Steve Spurrier after the two hour workout. “A lot of dropped balls and stuff like that but it could be wet Thursday night. We had a decent practice and we’ll see what happens Thursday night.”

The big news of the day was that junior Taylor Rank will get the starting nod over senior Mike Davis at the tailback position. “Taylor Rank is going to start. Taylor’s had a little bit better preseason practice. He had a good summer going to workouts and Mike did too. Mike will be in early though. He’s ready to play. (Taylor) has performed well, taken care of the ball, knows what to do. He’s a good solid back. But Mike will be in there pretty early.”

Darian Stewart tried to practice a little bit today,” noted Coach Spurrier. “He’s a wait-and-see for Thursday.” Stewart has been sidelined for the last week or so with an injured left foot. Larry Freeman and Antonio Allen figure to see more playing time if Stewart is unable to answer the bell.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. Coach Spurrier will host his weekly call-in show Tuesday night from Wild Wings Café in the Vista. The show runs from 7-8 p.m. In addition, a pep rally featuring the USC band, cheerleaders and Cocky will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. outside Wild Wings.