Byrd eager to return following suspension

South Carolina freshman Damiere Byrd said the last four weeks were like "an extended preseason."


COLUMBIA -- After serving a four-game suspension because of his involvement with the Delaware-based SAM Foundation, freshman wide receiver Damiere Byrd is looking forward to finally getting on the football field Saturday against Auburn.

"It's going to be exciting," said Byrd. "It's been a long week. These past four weeks have been like an extended preseason for me so I'm ready to be out there on the field and finally put on the Gamecock uniform."

Byrd was the Gamecocks' leading receiver during the preseason scrimmages.

"It's been hard (sitting out) but my teammates have helped me a lot," he said. "I didn't know what the NCAA was going to do, but I'm ready to get back on the field and that's all I'm really worried about, and ready to put it all behind me."

Someone has to sit

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier wants to get freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on the field as much as possible.

The only problem is that either All-SEC defensive end Devin Taylor or Melvin Ingram, the reigning SEC defensive player of the week, would have to play less if Clowney is on the field more.

Not a situation that appeals to Gamecocks defensive line coach Brad Lawing.

"If Jadeveon plays more, than I've got sit either Devin or Melvin down and I don't want to do that," Lawing said. "When we get into passing situations, that's when I put Melvin inside and then I got all three of them on the field. I've only got two defensive end positions to work with."

Clowney leads the team with four sacks, Ingram has two and Taylor one.

More production

While Clowney, Ingram and Taylor garner most of the media attention, defensive tackle Travian Robertson has had a solid season.

But that's not good enough for Robertson, a senior, who is eighth on the team in tackles (15).

"I could get a lot better," Robertson said. "I haven't been making as many plays as I like too, but we've got a lot more games to go. With Melvin and Devin making plays, I think I can be more physical."

Miles practicing

USC running backs coach Jay Graham was uncertain if Kenny Miles will play Saturday after missing last week with a wrist injury.

"He's out here practicing. That's the thing that's important," Graham said. "He's not wearing a yellow jersey. He's out here trying to catch balls and doing all that stuff and he's catching them pretty well. It just depends on how he feels. I think it's a game time decision."

HBC said it.

Spurrier on having a confident quarterback: "I hope a quarterback would go out there, say, 'I'm ready to tear 'em up today,' instead of, 'What am I going to do today?' "

HBC said it Part-II

Spurrier on the Gamecocks' passing game against Auburn: "If we're going to beat Auburn, we've got to be able to throw the ball down the field. We can't run Marcus (Lattimore) every play."