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Nov. 20, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (5-5) continued workouts at the Bluff Road practice fields Thursday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s game vs. South Alabama (6-4). Kickoff for the contest is Noon ET at Williams-Brice Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on FSN with Bob Rathbun (play-by-play), Tim Couch (analyst) and Olivia Harlan (sideline) on the call. It is also available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”

South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward met with the media after practice. Ward indicated that sophomore defensive end Gerald Dixon likely won’t play this week due to an AC strain.

“He hasn’t practiced all week,” said Coach Ward. “David Johnson and Bryson Allen-Williams will probably start at both ends. David and both Geralds, had better games for us up front last week.”

Ward and the Gamecocks are aware of the talent that South Alabama sophomore quarterback Hunter Vaughn possesses.

“He’s an athletic quarterback that can throw it and can run it,” indicated Ward. “We play a lot of quarterbacks that can throw it and run the football. He is adding on to the rest of the guys we have played so far.”

Vaughn leads a solid offense for South Alabama that mixes up both the pass and the run.

“They are a zone read team and they spread you out and throw the football,” said Ward. “They try to move the ball methodically down the field. They have some big receivers. (Wes Saxton), one of their better tight ends, is supposed to be back. They have some good skill players. They have a big back and a scoot back that can really cut.”

Ward was pleased with the performance of both Skai Moore and Jonathan Walton at the linebacker position and will start both of them again in the same spots.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” said Ward. “We had some good production from both of them in the Florida game. Hopefully we will have that production this Saturday.”

Overall, Coach Ward senses that the defense is looking to build off last week’s performance and is anxious to get back on the field for this Saturday’s game.

“I think (the players) understand now that if 11 people are trying to do the same thing – the enthusiasm, the hustle, and getting guys to the ball – if you do that, good things will happen. Not that they didn’t do it in the past, but I think (our players) understand we can do it, (we) can play (well). I think there was a little doubt after the way a couple of games ended, I think (last week) will give (our players) some momentum and confidence going into this ball game.”