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Nov. 18, 2014

The University of South Carolina football team (5-5, 3-5 SEC) worked out at the indoor facility on a chilly Tuesday afternoon in Columbia. The Gamecocks are preparing for their final home game of the 2014 season, a Saturday noon start against the South Alabama Jaguars (6-4, 5-3 Sun Belt). A win would make the Gamecocks bowl-eligible for a 10th-straight season.

The Gamecock defense played probably its best game of the season last Saturday at Florida. That may have been in part to a change at linebacker, where Skai Moore moved from Will to Mike and Jonathan Walton was inserted into the starting lineup at Will. “They’re both playmakers,” said linebackers coach Kirk Botkin. “They both make a lot of plays for us. They’re still young. There’s a lot to Mike linebacker of communicating and setting the front,” continued Botkin. “Seven or eight guys are totally dependent on what he says. We had the open week so we decided to do it then and teach Skai the Mike spot. For the first time out, I thought he did pretty well. Consistency still with those guys is the biggest thing – just doing their job day in, day out and every play.”

The linebacker position has been shuffled several times throughout the season. “We’re going to try to play the best ones out there,” noted Botkin. “If you’re not getting the job done, there’s somebody behind you. The best motivator that we have is playing time. Get the job done or we’ll try to find somebody else who can.”

Spur linebacker Sharrod Golightly is one of 17 seniors who will be making his final appearance at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday. “I don’t think it will really hit home until the first kickoff,” said Golightly. “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m grateful for every moment I’ve had out there.” Golightly hopes to “go out with a bang. Go out being a leader and just show them how it’s done and try to come out on top,” he said.

Saturday’s game will be televised on the Fox Sports Net, with Fox Sport South picking it up in the Columbia area. Bob Rathbun will have the play-by-play with Tim Couch providing the color commentary. Olivia Harlan is the sideline announcer.

The Gamecocks will practice again on Wednesday afternoon.