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Gamecocks return to practice following busy day with fans

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A day removed from Fan Appreciation Day at Colonial Life Arena, the South Carolina Gamecocks returned to the Bluff Road practice field to hone their skills before their nationally-televised season opener against new conference foe Texas A&M.

"It was a good practice for the defense," said head coach Steve Spurrier. "The offense struggled a bit. If you watched us practice, you would think we've got the all-conference players on defense and not many on offense. Hopefully none of our first (team) linemen get hurt. We're thin in the backups on the O-line."

Head coach Steve Spurrier and his staff have been working with a number of players in drills and believed that this approach may be the reason the team didn't look as sharp. However, that may change later this week.

"Probably Thursday or Friday, we'll have a scout team ready and start coaching the guys who are going to play in the games," Spurrier said. "Right now, we're coaching everybody and it's sort of helter-skelter for the offense, but the defense is coaching everybody, too. Their guys seem to know what they're doing. They're probably a little ahead of the offensive guys right now."

Defensive line coach Deke Adams was pleased with his unit's play during Saturday's scrimmage and believes they can build on that.

"They all did some good things. There were times where we needed to be more aggressive and be better in our technique and there were times where we did things really good. It was a great measuring stick for us right now."

Among those that Adams expects to see growth from are the interior defensive linemen. With playing time on the line, the players are pushing each other for the opportunity to take the field against the Aggies.

"The competition is pretty good right now," noted Adams. "J.T. [Surratt] is doing really well. [Gerald] Dixon, Jr. is doing really good. [Phillip] Dukes is doing well. The biggest surprise right now is Deon Green. He's doing great. He's had a great camp up to this point. Hopefully he'll continue to get better and stay healthy and be a help to us this year."

The Gamecocks will get back to work at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the Bluff Road practice field. All practices from this point forward will be closed to the public.

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