Press conference notebook: Anderson doubtful for opener

Elliott Fry remains the favorite to win kicking job

dcloninger@thestate.comAugust 25, 2013 

Steve Spurrier previewed the North Carolina game on Sunday and GoGamecocks.com was there. The highlights:

* The Gamecocks are ready to start. As usual, they’re tired of hitting each other and want to start hitting someone else.

* Bruce Ellington (hamstring) and Jerell Adams (sprained ankle) should be ready to play. Ellington ran around at practice on Saturday, as did Adams. Rory “Busta” Anderson (hamstring), after lightly practicing early in the week, did not practice on Saturday. Spurrier doubts that he’ll be ready to play. Cedrick Cooper (dislocated elbow) is also unlikely to play and may be able to return in a week or two.

* Spurrier sees some similarities with UNC’s hurry-up offense – most notably Clemson. The key is just to line up and be ready for it.

* Elliott Fry remains out front for the place-kicker job. Spurrier won’t hesitate to put him out there in any situation on Thursday.

* Jadeveon Clowney, even with the hype, continues to lead the team on and off the field. He was first in wind sprints after practice on Saturday.

* Spurrier reflected on his rivalry with North Carolina, when he was at Duke. “I’m a Dukie, and a Gator, and now I’m a Gamecock.” It’s still fun to think about those old rivalries, such as how Georgia was a rival with Florida and now is with USC.

* Victor Hampton is ready to return kicks and hopes to be as explosive as Ace Sanders was.

* Pass protection has been much better in the recent practices. “It’s been very good when Clowney’s not in there.”

* Connor Shaw will start. Dylan Thompson may play, or may not play. They’ll just have to see how the game goes.

* There are three true freshmen listed among the top six linebackers. Spurrier is concerned about the team’s depth, but if the players have to play, they have to play.

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