COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 17, 2013) – The University of South Carolina football team practiced Tuesday afternoon at the Bluff Road "Proving Grounds." The No. 12/13 Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC) have a bye this weekend. Their next contest is scheduled at UCF on Saturday, September 28.
The Gamecock defense has had to deal with several minor nagging injuries during fall camp. "We've had a lot of foot injuries this year, more than normal," said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. "You always want to build a continuity having the same 11 guys that are starters playing. But it's something you have to deal with." Both starting defensive ends, Jadeveon Clowney and Chaz Sutton will be day-to-day at practice throughout the rest of season due to foot injuries, according to Ward.
The Gamecocks will have linebacker Cedrick Cooper ready for the UCF game. "Cedrick will be ready. I think we might move him to Mike linebacker," noted Ward. "We probably need help there. We need to get more physical at that spot. We figure we need to get more productive at the Mike linebacker spot so we're going to try different guys," continued Ward. "We'd like to see our Mike linebacker make a lot of plays, and we're not getting the productivity we feel like we should get. They're young guys and they're going to get better. Kaiwan (Lewis) is still starting and T.J. (Holloman) is still his backup, but we're going to get a third guy in the mix."
The defensive line showed improvement last week, according to Ward. "Our leadership should be up front. That's where we've got the most experience. I think as a defense, we took care of our assignments more than we did two weeks ago when we played Georgia. Guys hit the gap right and we had very few mental errors so we felt good about playing gap responsibility. That's what we've got to do the rest of the season."
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Wednesday.
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