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Oct. 3, 2013

October 3, 2013

The South Carolina Gamecocks worked out at the Bluff Road practice fields on Thursday afternoon as they make their final preparations before Saturday night’s SEC Eastern Division battle with the Kentucky Wildcats.

“It was a very good week of practice,” said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “We tried to address some of the open field stuff that happened to us in the fourth quarter of the game last week. We worked on pursuit angles and stuff like that, little things that you sometimes take for granted as coaches that you can’t overlook when you have a lot of young guys in the second level of your defense.”

Coach Ward has his defense prepared to face the two-quarterback system that Kentucky employs. “They’re two different kind of quarterbacks,” noted Ward. “We know if `2′ is in the ballgame he’s going to run the football a lot more than `11′. `11′ is more of a passing quarterback. We’re going to have to stop both of them. They’ve played both of them all season and we fully expect them to play both this game.”

Coach Ward acknowledged that the defense has surrendered some big passing plays this season. “All the criticism we get, we deserve. Anytime you give up 153 yards in two plays, obviously something’s wrong. We’ll address it. We’ve got good kids. We understand when we make mistakes what we need to do to fix them. We went to work on Monday and tried to correct them. They came out and practiced hard all week. I feel like we’re going to be a better football team. We’ve started to get better as a defense. You take those two plays out and other than the first series I thought we played well in the ballgame. We’ve got to keep building. The biggest thing with us is we haven’t played well for four quarters.”

On the injury front, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not practice due to bruised ribs, but is expected to play. Center Cody Waldrop (foot) did not practice. Defensive tackle Phillip Dukes (sprained left knee) returned to practice on Thursday.

Saturday’s contest is set for 7:38 p.m. ET and will be televised by FSN with Bob Rathbun and Tim Couch in the booth and Elizabeth Moreau working the sidelines. The Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) and Wildcats (1-3, 0-1 SEC) will play in front of a sold out Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250).