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Nov. 4, 2010

Gamecock Football Practice
November 4, 2010 • Columbia, S.C.
Coach Johnson

The No. 19 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC) continued preparations for this week’s SEC battle with the 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (6-2, 3-2 SEC) at the Bluff Road practice fields on Thursday afternoon.

Assistant Head Coach – Defense Ellis Johnson indicated that DeVonte Holloman (strong) and D.J. Swearinger (free) would start at the safety positions on Saturday. Akeem Auguste will back up Swearinger and Swearinger would be the backup for Holloman.

Johnson knows the Gamecock defense will have its hands full tying to contain Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. “Mallett is a really good player, but he is a key ingredient in a group of kids that fit what (Bobby) Petrino likes to do. He loves to stretch the field, vertically and horizontally, and open up his running game. It’s so much stretch and pressure on you all the time to defend those things. Nobody has stopped Arkansas,” continued Johnson. “We aren’t going to stop Arkansas. We’ve got to manage it and keep it from being anything where it just blows the game out and hope we get some turnovers. We have to get some turnovers and get him off the field.”

Coach Johnson said that the team has worked hard to improve its pass defense. “We’re doing a lot more `good-on-good’ pass skell now during the course of the week. I think it’s helped our offense a little bit too, but I know it’s helped us moreso. Our scout team this year is not capable of duplicating anything close to what our opponents are doing in the run game or the pass game. I think it has made us a lot better. Our man coverage technique has improved, our zone awareness and speed has improved. And it’s got to. It hasn’t been good.”

Game time is set for 7:06 p.m. on Saturday, November 6 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The contest will be televised nationally on ESPN with Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge in the booth and Holly Rowe on the sidelines.