ORLANDO, FLA. (USC SID) – The University of South Carolina football team held its first practice on Friday morning since its arrival in Orlando. The squad worked out for about 90 minutes at Celebration High School in Kissimmee.
“I thought the guys came out focused and did a great job,” said defensive line coach Deke Adams after the first workout. “We’re getting ready to win a football game. We’re not going to sit back and get young guys reps and things like that. We’re preparing like a normal game. We’re preparing to win. Today was a really great practice.
“We’ve got to win the line of scrimmage,” continued Adams. “We’ve got to be physical up front. We’ve got to play hard. We’ve got to play fast. We’ve got to win the line of scrimmage. (Wisconsin is) big up front. They’re physical. We know they love to run the football and that’s going to be a challenge for us. We’ve got to line up and play well. We want to be aggressive as possible like always.
“They are similar to Arkansas,” noted Adams. “Some of the philosophies are the same. Overall, it’s very similar to what Arkansas does.”
Linebackers coach Kirk Botkin expects the trio of Skai Moore, Kaiwan Lewis and Sharrod Golightly to start at the second line of defense against the Badgers.
“This is a D-line, linebacker game,” said Botkin. “It’s going to be physical – a hit-you-in-the-mouth physical game. It’s a good competition. We’re going to have to tackle well. We’re going to have to fit everything right and make sure everybody’s on the same page.”
Botkin feels the physical game sets up well for Lewis. “Kaiwan Lewis is a between-the-tackles, in the box guy. He’s young, but he’s really doing a good job of trying to be a leader. He’s probably the most physical guy, day in and day out. He doesn’t mind the pounding.”
After practice, the team had an opportunity to go to Disney World.
The Gamecocks will practice again at Celebration High School at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The first 15 minutes of practice are open. Later in the day, the team will head to Universal Studios.
The No. 8/8 Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) and No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) will meet at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Wednesday, January 1. Game time is set for 1 p.m. ET and the game will be televised nationally on ABC with Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Tom Luginbill handling the broadcast.