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March 19, 2011

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Gamecock Spring Football Practice
March 19, 2011 • Columbia, S.C.
Coach Spurrier
Coach Johnson Ace Sanders
Eric Baker

The South Carolina Gamecock football team moved inside Williams-Brice Stadium for the first time this spring on Saturday morning. After going through a little more than an hour with their usual drills, the team went 11-on-11 for the final portion of the practice in front of several hundred fans on a warm spring day in Columbia.

“It was a typical scrimmage somewhat,” said head coach Steve Spurrier following the workout. “The defense got the best of the offense today, but that was expected. We have some young offensive linemen that need to learn how to play, hopefully real soon. The quarterbacks played so-so. Dylan Thompson hit two big balls. At least we hit two big passes, otherwise we would have been shutout today. It was a good practice and hopefully we can learn from it.”

Three quarterbacks took snaps today. Thompson, a redshirt freshman, was the most effective, connecting on 9-of-15 passes for 131 yards. He found DeAngelo Smith on a 38-yard scoring pass and hit Ace Sanders on a 45-yard pitch and catch. Sophomore Connor Shaw was the first quarterback used. He went 6-for-15 for 78 yards and threw two interceptions. Junior Seth Strickland completed 7-of-9 passes for just 23 yards.

“(Shaw) did ok,” said the Head Ball Coach. “I thought he would be a little quicker making decisions, but then again the protection at times was not very good. He does such a good job of getting the ball out of his hands in practice, but all of a sudden he was a little hesitant out here today, he and Seth. But that’s why we practice. He hasn’t played much at all. I expect him next week to be just a little quicker making decisions and getting the ball out of his hands.”

Junior Eric Baker did most of the work on the ground, leading the team with seven carries for 34 yards. He also caught four passes for 17 yards. Ace Sanders was the top receiver with four catches for 61 yards.

“Eric is fully recovered from his knee surgery and is 100 percent. He and Kenny (Miles) give us two really solid players at tailback, along with Marcus (Lattimore). We’re in good shape at running back. I wish I could say that about offensive guard. We’re a little thin in the O-line. Maybe we need to recruit some of those defensive linemen who are not playing.”

Defensively, D.J. Swearinger, Shaq Wilson and Jared Shaw all recorded interceptions.

In other news, Stephen Garcia and Andrew Clifford rejoined the team following a three-practice suspension. Tight end Justice Cunningham missed his second straight practice with an infection. Defensive line coach Brad Lawing also missed his second straight practice, but is expected back next week.

The Gamecocks will return to the Bluff Road practice fields on Tuesday afternoon. All practices are open to the public.


DeAngelo Smith 38-yard pass from Dylan Thompson (Adam Yates kick)

Jay Wooten 35-yard field goal

Ace Sanders 45-yard pass from Thompson (Joey Scribner-Howard kick)

PASSING: Dylan Thompson 9-15-1-131, 2 TDs; Connor Shaw 6-15-2-78; Seth Strickland 7-9-0-23. TOTALS: 22-39-3-232, 2 TDs.

RUSHING: Eric Baker 7-34; Josh Hinch 2-12; Kenny Miles 5-8; Joshua Blue 1-5; Ace Sanders 1-2; Seth Strickland 1-1; Connor Shaw 5-(-1); Dylan Thompson 1-(-3). TOTALS: 23-58.

RECEIVING: Ace Sanders 4-61, 1 TD; Eric Baker 4-17; Jason Barnes 2-45; Kenny Miles 2-20; Chaun Gresham 2-13; Lamar Scruggs 2-5; DeAngelo Smith 1-38, 1 TD; Nick Jones 1-14; Byce Sherman 1-7; D. L. Moore 1-5; Billy Byrne 1-4; Corey Simmons 1-3. TOTALS: 22-232, 2 TDs.