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Practice report: Spurriers have faith in play-calling

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Steve Spurrier Jr. sat in an air-conditioned booth for last week’s Georgia game with access to television replays and a fountain drink machine. But the USC receivers coach would have preferred being on the sideline sweating alongside his players.

But after calling the offensive signals from the field the first two games, Spurrier Jr. has returned to the press box, his perch the previous three seasons.

“I personally kind of like the field because you get your hands on people and you look into people’s eyes and you get a feel of the game a little bit more,” Spurrier Jr. said Thursday. “But I also think what I’ve done in the past as far as watching what defenses do, it’s a lot better from upstairs. You know what you’re looking for.”

Though the Gamecocks’ running game has sputtered and big plays have been scarce, Steve Spurrier and his son have faith in their dual play-calling system. The elder Spurrier said he called most of the plays in the 14-7 loss to Georgia.

The 36-year-old Spurrier Jr. said he is OK with the arrangement.

“I’m prepared to do as much or little as I’m called upon to do,” he said. “But I think it’s working pretty well. What we’re doing and how we’re doing it is working. I think it’s going to be good for us.”

Stock rising

Left tackle Jarriel King. The Georgia Military transfer will make his second career start vs. Wofford, while Jamon Meredith, a three-year starter at tackle, will start at left guard. Spurrier hopes the 6-foot-7, 285-pound King will bring toughness to the line.

Stock falling

Left guard Lemuel Jeanpierre. The redshirt junior from Orlando, who has nine career starts, will come off the bench after starting the first three games.

Injury report

Receiver Kenny McKinley (right hamstring) will miss his second consecutive game and is doubtful for Alabama-Birmingham, according to Spurrier. Receiver C.C. Whitlock (quadriceps) is doubtful. King, who has a heart condition, missed a day last week with a “health condition” but is OK, Spurrier said on his call-in show.

Extra points

Spurrier Jr. said second-year receivers Joe Hills and Jason Barnes should play “a lot” vs. the Terriers. … King, fullback Patrick DiMarco, defensive tackle Jonathan Williams and spur linebacker Darian Stewart will serve as game captains. … Tight end Alex McGrath and defensive end Clark Gaston will suit up after being named the scout team players of the week.

Quote of the day

“We didn’t bring him in here to be a backup. We brought him in here to be a starter. Hopefully, he’s going to be a starter the rest of the year.” – Spurrier on King.

Scouting report

Mike Ayers, who has a record of 134-93-1 in 21 seasons, is the winningest coach in Wofford history. Ayers arrived at Wofford in 1988 after three years at East Tennessee State.

-- Joseph Person

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