COLUMBIA — The University of South Carolina football team was slated to practice twice on Thursday as they continued preparations for their January 1 date in the Outback Bowl with the Michigan Wolverines (8-4). The Gamecocks (10-2) worked out for nearly two hours in the morning at the Bluff Road practice fields. They started the afternoon session in Williams-Brice Stadium before moving inside for meetings as rain began to fall.
“We’re getting ready for the game, going through our stuff and getting the game plan down,” said quarterback Dylan Thompson. Head coach Steve Spurrier has indicated that although Connor Shaw would start the game, Thompson would see action. “It definitely gets you a little more amped up for it,” admitted Thompson. “Honestly, I felt we’re in great hands with Connor and great hands with myself, so however that works out Coach will make the right decision and we’ll roll with that.
“It’s my job to work as hard as I can and be ready when my number’s called, just like every other second guy on the depth chart,” continued the sophomore signal-caller from Boiling Springs, S.C., who started the regular season finale at Clemson. “Whatever opportunity I get is what I roll with.”
“Connor is getting as healthy as he’s been in a while,” noted quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus. “He’s looked good. (The quarterbacks) had good tempo and good enthusiasm about them. (Connor) has had a pretty good stretch of staying off (his injured foot), hopefully that will pay off. Connor’s been the starter. He’s earned it. It’s nice to have a couple guys who can go in there and play. That hadn’t been the case necessarily over the last few years. Both will play (against Michigan).”
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Friday afternoon and again Saturday morning before breaking camp for the Christmas holidays. The team will fly to Tampa on December 26 and begin bowl week practices on December 27 at Jefferson High School.