By Carl Prather| August 13, 2011 at 1:18 AM CDT - Updated August 21 at 10:35 PM
The Gamecocks held their first two-a-day workouts on Friday and head coach Jack Crowe feels like his team is continuing to learn in preparation for the season opener against UT Martin, which is less than three weeks away.
"Today was the first two-a-day and it stretches everybody," Crowe said after the Gamecocks worked for just over two hours in the afternoon. " It takes a little bit more concentration and we've made it physical on top of that. There is a coming to a point where the men get separated from the boys.
"There is every indication that there is enough maturity on this team to keep pace," added Crowe.
Jax State hit the field at 6:15 a.m. for its first practice of the day in full pads, and then returned at 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon working in just helmets and shoulder pads. Crowe says the team is still learning and Saturday's scrimmage is going to go a long way in determining his 70-man dress roster.
"There is still a lot of learning," Crowe said. "There is going to be some big things decided in our scrimmage tomorrow. Today is where they can come out and show us what they can do, having their thoughts together and being comfortable with their calls and their techniques are.
"It's a big practice day. We are still looking to shore up that group of newcomers that we can actually put into the game against UT Martin and play at the level that we are going to have to play at to accomplish our goals," Crowe concluded.
The Gamecocks will hold their second scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday evening, but the workout is closed to the public.