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Aug. 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

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The University of South Carolina football team mixed things up today, working out in the morning for the first time during the preseason camp. The squad practiced for a little over two hours in full pads as the temperatures rose at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds” on Wednesday.

“We had a decent practice,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “Some of the guys are doing very well and some of them need to improve, but that’s why we practice. Nobody got hurt, I don’t think, so it was a good one. We are starting to get use to the heat, so our conditioning is extremely important.”

Coach Spurrier was asked about mixing in the Oklahoma drill during Tuesday night’s practice. “Sometimes we think we need to practice a little bit tougher than we do,” noted the Head Ball Coach. “We had a one-on-one Oklahoma drill and we may do it next week, or the week after. It’s sort of unrealistic, but it’s just a toughness drill. Two guys trying to knock each other back is all it really is, but it serves a purpose. “

Quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus is pleased with the play of his troops thus far. “They are all doing pretty well. Connor (Mitch) and Perry (Orth) have gotten a lot of reps, and I’m very pleased with the progress they have made over the summer,” said Mangus. “They all had good summers and have showed a lot of progress here from the springtime over the summer. It’s been good to see, but we’ve got a long way to go. “

Mangus knows that he will get a better read on the progress of his backup quarterbacks as the live scrimmages begin. “As much grass time as they can get always helps,” Mangus said. “They have to get out there and play, make mistakes and then learn from them. They’ve gotten a lot of reps so far, but once we get out here in a live scrimmage and let them go play, that will help. We’ll see how it all shakes out here shortly.”

Senior quarterback Dylan Thompson likes the way he and his receivers are developing. “I think we’re doing a really good job,” said Thompson. “We’re working really hard, but it’s a process. We’re growing and trying some new stuff. Some stuff isn’t going to look as good right now as it will in the season, but that’s why you get out here and practice it. You mess up a few times, you learn from that, and keep going. “

Thompson likes the mentality of the team at this point of camp. “Guys are getting more prepared time and time again. Everyday it seems like guys are getting better. Coach Mangus spends so much time with us in the room, individually, teaching us. We feel pretty high (on confidence). We are putting a lot in right now, especially for those younger guys. A lot is going in and they’re catching on and doing a great job. We are on pace, like Coach Spurrier says, we are on pace to go and play.”

Those who wore yellow “no contact” jerseys on Tuesday included Rory Anderson (triceps), Kevin Crosby (foot), Shaq Davidson (knee), Gerald Dixon Jr. (foot), Terry Googer (hamstring), Ali Groves (hamstring), Alan Knott (knee), Blake McClain (foot), D.J. Smith (wisdom teeth), Brock Stadnik (knee), Devin Washington (hamstring), and Michael Washington (back). Donell Stanley (wrist) was not at practice after undergoing surgery recently.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Thursday at 9:50 a.m. This is a change from the original schedule. The practice is open to the public.

The annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day is set for Sunday at Colonial Life Arena. Doors will open at 1 p.m. Student-athletes from football, cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will be on hand to autograph the official team posters.