College Sports

Spurrier says lineup changes are coming

COLUMBIA -- It seems to be an annual event.

South Carolina opens season, South Carolina doesn't play very well, coach Steve Spurrier promises lineup changes, Spurrier delivers.

"We've got to keep making changes, the way I look at it," Spurrier said Tuesday, four days from a so-so season-opening win over Louisiana-Lafayette. "If players can't get it done, you try the next guy. Then you may come back to that guy.

"But you keep changing until you find some guys that really want to play well, and can play well."

The depth chart listed three definite changes but there could be more -- or fewer -- as the week goes on. As Spurrier pointed out, playing at No. 11 Georgia on Saturday might not leave as much margin for error as playing at home against the Ragin' Cajuns.

Redshirt freshman Kevin Young moved ahead of Lemuel Jeanpierre at right guard and sophomore Freddie Brown was listed ahead of Moe Brown as one of USC's starting wide receivers. The chart also listed senior Blake Mitchell returning to quarterback, although Spurrier said a definite QB decision wouldn't be made until Thursday.

"We feel like that may give us a little advantage over Georgia in preparation for the game," Spurrier said.

Mitchell is returning from a one-game suspension and Spurrier said at Monday's practice the senior had "a good chance" of starting. An injury to Chris Smelley -- he slightly sprained his shoulder after getting sacked in his start against ULL -- might be to Mitchell's benefit, but Spurrier said Tommy Beecher, who threw for 138 yards and a touchdown last week, could also get a look.

Young could make his first career start after Jeanpierre was thrust into an emergency start last week. An understudy to James Thompson, Jeanpierre got the word the day before that thanks to Thompson's three-game suspension for violation of university policy, he'd be starting.

He played well but Spurrier figured he'd give somebody else a shot, similar to the receiving position. Moe Brown was demoted after an average game against ULL, where he was rung up twice for penalties on consecutive plays, and also after the tape revealed he was getting bullied on his routes.

"He's not a real big young man," Spurrier said. "He sort of gets tossed around. We thought Freddie would do better downfield."

Freddie Brown caught two passes for 18 yards against the Cajuns and has two inches and 30 pounds over Moe Brown. Spurrier said Moe could also start as a third wide receiver, but some of the Gamecocks' other wideouts -- Chris Culliver, Matt Clements and/or Jason Barnes -- could see some action.

It's par for the course, it seems. Spurrier has yanked players in and out of the lineup during the early season for each of his three years, trying to find the most committed and the most talented, figuring there's a happy medium somewhere.

"We're just going to have to get prepared and practice as well as we can," Smelley said.

"The way we played the other night was embarassing at times," Spurrier said. "I apologize to our fans again. I've apologized every year I've been here, I might as well apologize again."

SOUTH CAROLINA (1-0, 0-0 SEC) AT NO. 11 GEORGIA (1-0, 0-0)

• When: 5:45 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.

• TV: ESPN2 (cable channel 28 in Rock Hill)

• Tickets: Sold out