Nov. 5, 2013
The No. 13/15 South Carolina football squad worked out Tuesday afternoon at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds.” The Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2 SEC) will also practice on Wednesday and Thursday of this week before enjoying a bye weekend.
Cornerback Victor Hampton was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the win over Mississippi State. “It’s a confidence builder, but I’ve always been a confident guy,” noted Hampton. “It just shows that if you work hard, put in the work, preparation, and everything like that, good things will come to you. But I’m not satisfied. I’m going to try to get another one.”
The coaches have presented a challenge to the junior cornerback during this bye week. “”Prepare like a leader,” said Hampton. “Be a leader. Lead by example. Come out to practice every day and work on what I need to work on to become a better player.”
Hampton admits that the bye week gives Carolina an advantage over their next opponent, the Florida Gators. “We have more days to prepare for this game than they will,” noted Hampton. “They do a lot of formations, a lot of little shifty things. We’re going to have to keep our eyes right and be focused. Everybody is going to have to be keyed in to what they’re supposed to do and trust each other.”
“They do a lot of formations,” agreed defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “They give you a lot to prepare for. There’s not one certain thing you can say that they’re going to do formation-wise, so having a week off will give us great preparation and getting a good start on it. But Florida always has good athletes,” continued Ward. “They’ve got great players. They’ve got a big offensive line. The quarterback is very athletic. They do a lot of different things.
“I think we’re getting better,” added Ward. “We try to do things a lot simpler now and some of the guys can play faster. They understand now what we’re doing, so they’re playing faster. I think that’s one of the reasons that we’re playing better.”