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Oct. 21, 2014

The South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3, 2-3 SEC) worked out Tuesday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields. The Gamecocks will be traveling to the plains this weekend to take on the No. 5/6 Auburn Tigers (5-1, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday, October 25, at Jordan-Hare Stadium. That game is scheduled for a 7:30 ET kickoff and will be televised nationally on the SEC Network. Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer will be describing the game from the booth with Maria Taylor on the sidelines.

Several players sat out Tuesday’s practice including defensive tackle J.T. Surratt (hamstring), linebacker Jonathan Walton (concussion), defensive end Mason Harris (knee) and offensive lineman Cody Waldrop (knee).

With injuries mounting along the defensive line, defensive line coach Deke Adams said that starting positions were wide open. “Right now it’s open,” said Adams. “We’re going to see who has the best week of practice. J.T. was out yesterday and out today, but in his mind, he’s going to be ready to play. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. Everybody is in consideration (to start). Right now every position is open. Guys got to do the job and we’ve got to get better.”

Defensive backs coach Grady Brown knows it will be a challenge for the Carolina defense to slow down the high-powered Tiger attack that is known for their ability to run the ball, but can also move it effectively through the air. “They can throw it really well,” noted Brown. “Nick Marshall is a really good quarterback. He throws the ball really well. They have at least two of the top receivers that we’ll see between No. 1 and No. 18. It’s a challenge, but you have to try to stop the run and make teams one-dimensional. By the same token, they might be good enough to beat you if they are one-dimensional,” continued Brown. “We’ve got to go out, execute our assignments, execute the calls, play fast, try to create turnovers and just play our best game on Saturday.”

Linebackers coach Kirk Botkin echoed Brown’s thoughts on what Carolina needs to do to pull the upset. “Our guys have to be disciplined and concentrate on where their eyes are supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing, play after play after play,” said Botkin. “It’s going to be a four-quarter ballgame. (Auburn) is going to be physical and they’re going to try to wear you down with the up-tempo offense. We can’t give up the big play, give them anything cheap, keep everything in front of us, play great redzone defense, make them kick field goals when they’re down there. It’s going to be a fun place to play,” added Botkin. “I’ve played there. It’s a fun place to play and it’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Gamecocks are scheduled to practice again on Wednesday afternoon.