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Practice report: Norwood on UK success

News of the day

Eric Norwood tied an NCAA record, twice found the end zone and scored a post-game interview with ESPN sideline siren Erin Andrews.

But the linebacker said his performance in last year’s 38-23 win against Kentucky was “an average game to me.”

Norwood matched an NCAA mark with his two fumble returns for touchdowns and had five solo tackles in the nationally televised, Thursday night game. But Norwood said the fumble returns were a product of luck.

“I was real fortunate that game,” he said. “The D-line got the rush. I just happened to be the fortunate one to be around the ball.”

Norwood gained fame among USC fans after the game by turning away from Andrews during the interview to face the Gamecocks’ band during the playing of the alma mater. He said he was upholding a school tradition and would have done the same thing to any reporter.

Stock rising

Quarterback Chris Smelley was getting booed at home two weeks ago against Alabama-Birmingham. Now he’s the SEC offensive player of the week and says he’s practicing with more confidence. “It felt good,” Smelley said of the SEC honor. “Hopefully, I can keep getting better.”

Stock falling

Heath Batchelor , who is struggling with "going-to-class" issues and inconsistent play, according to Steve Spurrier. Thus Terrence Campbell is expected to make his fourth consecutive start at right guard in his place. Batchelor, who started the first three games, missed too many classes and failed to show for a 5:30 a.m. punishment run Wednesday, sources said. Injury report

Strong safety Emanuel Cook (sprained ankle) and tight end Jared Cook (sprained foot) didn’t do much Wednesday, but should be fine Saturday, Spurrier said. Receiver Kenny McKinley, who returned last week after missing three games with a hamstring injury, said he is about 95 percent.

Quote of the day

“I’ve had some try to get fired,” – Spurrier when asked if he’d ever fired an assistant at midseason, which Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville did to offensive coordinator Tony Franklin.

Extra points

USC’s Oct. 18 game against LSU will kick off at 8 p.m. on ESPN, or 12:30 p.m. on Raycom’s regional telecast. CBS announced it would broadcast Alabama-Ole Miss that day, but ESPN elected to use a six-day selection in choosing between USC-LSU and Vanderbilt-Georgia. … Reserve fullback Yvan Banag has returned to outside linebacker, where the played for most of his first three seasons.

-- Joseph Person

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