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Gamecocks finalize some defensive starting spots before season opener

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Brison Williams (Source: TheBigSpur.com) Brison Williams (Source: TheBigSpur.com)

The Gamecocks went about putting the final touches on their game plan for their season opener against Texas A&M at practice on Tuesday.

Among the finalizations for Steve Spurrier's team was determining a few of the starters for the nationally-televised contest against the Aggies. The defense will see Jonathan Walton get the start at weakside linebacker over projected starter Skai Moore.

"You just got to make sure he does what he was supposed to do when you ask him to do something," said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward when asked about the decision not to start Moore. "He has to get treatment. He hurt his shoulder a little bit, so he didn't go to treatment. You don't go to treatment you don't play. You got to go to treatment."

Also getting the starting nod from Ward will be T.J. Holloman over Kaiwan Lewis at middle linebacker. Despite the changes, Ward has confidence in all of his linebackers.

"We've got nine guys when you count the two Spurs that can play (linebacker)," said Ward. "I don't care who will start. You can shake them in a bag and I think you get really good players in all of them."

Ward noted Brison Williams and Al Harris Jr. would be the starting cornerbacks. According to Ward, Harris won the starting spot over Rico McWilliams.

"Either one could start,"  Ward said about his two young defensive backs. "Coach Brown feels good about both of them. Whether (Harris Jr.) makes mistakes or not, Rico will play early. Rico has earned the right to play and so has Al. They both will play."

The Gamecocks confirmed Chaz Elder and Chris Moody will start at the safety positions in front of T.J. Gurley and Kadetrix Marcus.

Ward understands the challenge the Aggies will present for his young players, but he is confident in his players' abilities.

You've got to be confident in the young men you put on the field," Ward said. "It's a reflection of you. We'll play well. We just got to get lined up in a hurry because they're going to go fast, and execute our assignments."

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