Approaching the "Orange Crush" portion of the schedule, Steve Spurrier first wants to focus on the team that has been as tough on the Gamecocks as anyone lately.
The USC coach was asked Wednesday whether the makeup of this year's team would help the Gamecocks' avoid another late-season slide.
A loss to Vanderbilt two years ago started a five-game losing streak that kept USC out of a bowl game. The Gamecocks lost their final three games last season by a combined 88 points.
"I think we got a better team attitude. I don't think we have a whole bunch of guys worried about the NFL maybe like we did last year," Spurrier said. "But our schedule's tougher the latter part of the year. We all know that. But anyway, that's for after this week.
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"We've got Vanderbilt coming in. It's a game if we play well, we certainly have a good chance to win. The other games, we'll worry about them when we get there."
Senior linebacker Eric Norwood said the Gamecocks hurt themselves in losing two in a row to Vandy.
"Really the last two years we've played them it's been horrible on our part. It seems like we shoot ourselves in the foot and dig ourselves in a deep hole," Norwood said. "They play in the SEC, just like everybody else. So they've got players. They capitalized off our mistakes the last two years."
Justice will be served. Freshman tight end Justice Cunningham is expected to make his second start in three weeks after junior Weslye Saunders aggravated an ankle injury that sidelined him against Kentucky.
"Same injury, flared up on him the other day at practice," Spurrier said. "He hasn't been able to practice, so Justice is all set to start in there and we'll see how Weslye is later in the week."
Extra points. The SEC has suspended the officiating crew that blew critical calls near the end of the LSU-Georgia and Arkansas-Florida games. The crew, off until Nov. 14, worked the Gamecocks' 7-3 win at N.C. State.
That game included an apparent facemask penalty that went uncalled against USC's Darian Stewart on a State punt return that would have given the Wolfpack good starting field position for their final drive. Asked about the suspension, Spurrier said, "I don't need to talk about referees." ...
Offensive tackle Quintin Richardson missed practice Wednesday to attend a funeral for his great-grandmother in North Carolina.
Quote of the day. "I've watched it plenty of times just to watch it. That's what we do. Us football coaches, we might be a little bit on the - I'm not smart enough to tell you that word for it - but we're kind of sickos. We like to watch those things over and over, and keep getting irritated over and over and over."
-quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus on viewing Stephen Garcia's first-quarter interception at Alabama that Mark Barron returned 77 yards for a touchdown.