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Dec. 29, 2011

December 29, 2011
Coach Spurrier Jr.
Coach Mangus Brandon Wilds
Kyle Nunn Terrence Campbell

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of South Carolina football team worked out at Celebration High School in Orlando on a Thursday. It was the squad’s second workout in Florida as they prepare for Monday’s Capital One Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Game time is set for 1 p.m. ET at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus has been pleased with the practices of sophomore signal caller Connor Shaw. “He had a good one today,” said Mangus. “He threw it around very, very well. Connor does all that stuff. You don’t have to worry about a bunch of stuff, he’s going to be ready to go. He’s a focused kid.

“We’ve been harping on protecting the football,” continued Mangus. “You see it a lot in bowl games in general. You get a little layoff and a lot of times taking care of the ball – you see a lot of funky plays in bowl games and turnovers. It happened to us last year. You can’t turn the ball over and expect to beat a good football team. Connor’s done a good job of protecting the football all year.”

The Gamecocks have been more of a running team this season, but still look to have a balanced attack. “We’ve got to find a way to get people open, whether it be our backs, Alshon (Jeffery), Ace (Sanders), Bruce (Ellington),” said receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. “We’ve got a long list of guys and we’re going to find our best plays to get the ball to them. (Nebraska) is a good team. They’re fundamentally sound. They do different things with their safeties. We’ve got to play well and the quarterback has to make good decisions. Hopefully when the ball gets there, it’s going in the right direction and we can come down with it.”

Freshman running back Brandon Wilds looks to be back at full strength after suffering a slight hamstring injury in the week of practices in Columbia. “It’s good,” said Wilds. “I’m running on it now.” Wilds indicated he would be at 100 percent by game day.

Kyle Nunn is happy to be back practicing after missing several weeks with a back injury and blood clot in his leg. “My first couple days (of practice) were kind of shaky, but I’m back now. The back injury caused my leg not to work as it was supposed to because it was pinching on the nerve. It’s really scary when you wake up and can’t feel your leg. As soon as the surgery was over, all the feeling came back and everything was back. It was good.” Nunn has been practicing at left tackle. “I feel really good about myself right now.”

The Gamecocks will work out again at Celebration High School on Friday at 1 p.m. The practice is closed, with the exception of the first 15 minutes to the media.