South Carolina fans have yet to arrive here in any significant numbers, but based on the school’s ticket sales, they probably will begin filing in Monday.
The Gamecocks, meanwhile, held their third practice at Celebration High on Sunday afternoon, and the team’s mood remains light.
Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles joked with reporters before practice that a child at a morning bowl event at DisneyQuest told him he was too fat to ride a kids’ ride. “They’re mean,” the 298-pound, full-bellied Quarles joked.
The smiles at practice probably will start to disappear about the time USC fans arrive. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is a big believer that teams can prepare too soon for a game, missing their peak performance, and that’s a particular risk at a bowl game.
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South Carolina’s players have taken in nightlife and theme parks and Monday will get to spend the $450 Best Buy gift cards they get from the Capital One Bowl, but that’s the last of the non-football events and the focus will begin to turn to the game.
The players (and the rest of us who have been here since Dec. 26) seem to feel like it’s about time.