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USC practice report: Smelley, Garcia banged up

News of the day

South Carolina’s backup quarterbacks were banged up in Saturday’s scrimmage, leaving Tommy Beecher and a pair of freshmen to take the snaps Sunday.

Chris Smelley (jammed right thumb) and Stephen Garcia (sprained right ankle) were sidelined for the two-hour practice. Neither injury is considered serious, although Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier was uncertain how long the players will be out.

Aramis Hillary and Reid McCollum, who are likely to redshirt, shared reps behind Beecher.

Stock rising

Tailback Bobby Wallace. The fourth-year player from Conway made a couple of nice moves on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Garcia on Saturday. Though he also dropped a pass, Spurrier said he needs to get Wallace more touches.

Stock falling

The vertical passing game. “We’ve got a guy running deep wide open and we never throw it down there,” Spurrier said. “Then when we throw it down there, it bounces off hands.”

Injury report

DT Marque Hall was held out, as he has been periodically since knee surgery in 2006. RB Mike Davis (shoulder) did some running; TE Jared Cook (toe) participated in noncontact drills. C Garrett Anderson reinjured his right shoulder. LB Jasper Brinkley (ankle) and T Jamon Meredith were out.

Quote of the day

“Competition? I didn’t know it ever started. It ended last spring. Tommy’s our quarterback. I told you that. … Chris Smelley’s second right now. Stephen Garcia’d be third. Garcia made a few decent plays (Saturday),” -- Spurrier on the quarterback situation.

Extra points

Freshman WR C.C. Whitlock returned home to Chester to attend to “family issues,” Spurrier said. … OL Elliot Williams, a signee from Woodstock, Ga., will enroll at Georgia Military College after failing to qualify. … Coaches await word on WR Tori Childers, who re-took a standardized test after a testing agency flagged a previous score. … T Jarriel King, who transferred from Georgia Military, has three years of eligibility remaining.

Up next

USC will hold its first two-a-day with closed practices scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. today.

-- Joseph Person

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