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Sept. 20, 2009

The University of South Carolina football team worked out for a little more than an hour on Sunday afternoon, a change from its regular routine, in preparation for Thursday night’s SEC battle against Ole Miss. The game is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. on ESPN with Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews as the announce crew.

“We’re just getting ready a little bit today for Ole Miss,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following the helmets and shorts practice. “Tomorrow will be a big practice day. We’ll try to get the gameplan ready tonight and tomorrow morning. They are pretty similar to last year (when South Carolina posted a win in Oxford). We’re probably a little different than maybe we were. They are a very good team as we all know. It’s a wonderful opportunity and challenge for us.”

The offense has shown some life over the last two weeks after struggling in the opener, but Coach Spurrier is not convinced it is running on all cylinders. “The offense has made some improvement but still could make so much more. We can’t hit a deep pass to save our lives around here. We have guys wide open but something always happens. We’ve got a long ways to go, but the running plays were encouraging the other night.”

The Gamecocks have been hurt by a rash of injuries, especially on the defensive side of the ball through the early going. “The guys will get a lot of treatment all week,” noted Coach Spurrier. “Hopefully Nate Pepper will be able to do something. Ladi Ajiboye is back off of his three-game suspension so he’s available. Hopefully some of the other guys will be ready to play also at full speed.”

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Monday night at 6:30 p.m.