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Spurrier wants QBs to dive in

USC coach Steve Spurrier likes for his quarterbacks, including Stephen Garcia, above, to lead with the top of their bodies.
USC coach Steve Spurrier likes for his quarterbacks, including Stephen Garcia, above, to lead with the top of their bodies.

South Carolina fans may wince when they see quarterback Stephen Garcia barrel into a defender or dive headfirst rather than slide.

Not Steve Spurrier. The USC coach would prefer his quarterbacks lead with the top of their body, thinking leg injuries are more likely with a slide.

"I don't believe in sliding," Spurrier said. "We tell him to get low and dive forward that way you get the most out of your run. When you slide, you lose two yards every time you slide. But if you can get down there and fall forward a little bit and avoid a big hit, that's what I've always tried to tell our quarterbacks to do that I've coached.

Whether he's sliding or upright, Spurrier thinks his quarterback can get the yards.

"Stephen, he's a good runner with the ball," Spurrier said. "We've got him going forward now instead of sideways, which he did a little bit in the past. He stays forward and gets low. You usually avoid a big hit."

The spread option. It interested Spurrier that his Gamecocks are three-point underdogs to Mississippi - even though the Rebels are ranked No. 4 in the country and USC is unranked.

"They think we're pretty close," Spurrier said. "I don't know what that says. I think that says the people who do the odds think we're a pretty good team - although we're not ranked because we didn't win the game when we had a chance."

Spurrier made clear he only paid attention to the line as a basis for seeing how other people view the matchup.

Glory days. Spurrier has been showing the players game film from his Florida days. Receiver Tori Gurley said it helped to see how the Gators were "on the same page" making plays.

"One of my favorite games is when Florida played LSU and the score was like 50-to-something, and coach Spurrier was still throwing the ball downfield with second or third-team players. And they were still going out and making plays. That's exciting as a player to watch everyone go out and succeed."

Now they know him. It was against Ole Miss last year that Akeem Auguste delivered a memorable hit. Auguste, then a safety, knocked Rebels receiver Lionel Breaux so hard that he dropped the pass and stayed down several seconds.

"Nobody thought it was me," said Auguste, who was mixed up with then-safety Emanuel Cook. "They had to look twice."

Extra points. Safety Chris Culliver, defensive tackle Nathan Pepper and spur Antonio Allen were in yellow non-practice jerseys again Tuesday. Culliver (shoulder) and Allen (concussion) are still likely to play, while Pepper (knee) is less certain. ... Senior Lemuel Jeanpierre said either he or Garrett Anderson could start at center, and that it will be a game-time decision. ... Spur Alonzo Winfield has reclaimed his starting spot from Allen.

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