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Gamecocks look to cure red-zone ills

South Carolina has a 30-second video on its Web site that shows the Gamecocks dancing and chanting during a locker room celebration following last week's 16-10 victory against No. 4 Mississippi.

USC coach Steve Spurrier understands the excitement but thought the celebration might be more muted for a few players.

"It was interesting to me how the guys all celebrate the victory so much, even guys that didn't play very well," Spurrier said Sunday. "I'm one of those guys that if I didn't play very well or the people I coach didn't perform all that well, it puts a little bit of damper on it."

While acknowledging he was happy with the win - USC's first at home against a top-5 opponent in its history - the Head Ball Coach said the Gamecocks have work to do offensively if they hope to build on it.

The Gamecocks drove inside the Ole Miss 10-yard line three times on their first six possessions and settled for a field goal each time. After taking a 16-3 lead midway through the third quarter, USC went three-plays-and-punt on its next five series to keep the Rebels within striking distance.

"Now obviously, you want to win. ... So we were all happy with the win," Spurrier said. "But on the other side, we didn't perform at a high level offensively. So we're concerned about that. And I can assure you all of us offensive coaches are looking forward to this week of practice to see if we can't get our guys respectable on offense."

Through four games, the Gamecocks are last in the SEC and 95th among 120 teams nationally in red zone offense, scoring on 73 percent of their chances inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

USC has given up more sacks than anyone in the conference and is next to last in the SEC in scoring with 24.5 points per game.

But it has not been all doom and gloom for the Gamecocks' offense. Quarterback Stephen Garcia has taken much better care of the ball, putting USC among the top 20 nationally in turnover margin (plus-1 per game) after the Gamecocks threw more interceptions than anyone in the country last season.

And the running game, which was the SEC's worst in 2007 and '08, is averaging 50 more yards a game than it did a year ago.

But Spurrier would like to see more consistency from the offensive line. In the past two games, first-year line coach Eric Wolford has replaced both starters on the left side.

In the second half against Ole Miss, seldom-used Kyle Nunn replaced left tackle Jarriel King, who became a starter shortly after arriving from Georgia Military last August.

"We're not filing Jarriel King. But hopefully Jarriel can eliminate a lot of mental errors that continue to plague his play," Spurrier said. "But he wasn't the only one that had some mistakes in there. We've got to get a lot better up front. No question about it. And I think we have the capabilities."

King is one of a number of offensive linemen with experience on the defensive line, an area that continues to get depleted for the Gamecocks. Defensive tackle Travian Robertson sustained a season-ending knee injury against the Rebels, while Nathan Pepper and Melvin Ingram also have missed time there.

Spurrier said he would consider moving an offensive lineman to defense if necessary.

"We haven't had any injuries on the O-line. If we have to put a guy over there to help the team, certainly ... we'll do that."

But for now, Spurrier wants to improve the offense - and give everyone a reason to celebrate.

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