In Tuesday's press conference, interim head coach Mike Bobo and several players discussed how sophomore running back Kevin Harris has been an encouragement to the team as he looks to reach 1,000 rushing yards during Saturday's game.
“I didn’t think we’d make it this far, to be honest," Bobo said on South Carolina and Kentucky being the only two teams in the SEC to play their 10th game on Saturday.
Bobo said the team is focusing on stopping Kentucky's run game while preparing for a physical Kentucky offense.
Freshman quarterback Luke Doty said the offense will have to focus on tempo and playing fast against an equally physical Kentucky defense.
Bobo also spoke on the mindset the team has to close the season as it looks toward the possibility of playing a bowl game this year.
“If you’re a competitor, you step up and you answer the challenge and you own the situation you’re in; you go to work," Bobo said. "So if you have the opportunity to play, competitors want to play.”
Bobo emphasized the mental toughness of senior wide receiver Shi Smith. Smith is questionable to play on Saturday due to concussion protocol but has been practicing this week.
“Your legacy is not going to be in wins, your legacy is going to be how you fight through adversity," Bobo said. "How do you pass down to the younger guys when things aren’t going that good, 'How do I work; how do I go about my business?' And I think Shi is a really good example of that."
Sophomore running back Kevin Harris has been a hot topic as he prepares to hit 1,000 rushing yards this Saturday, an achievement his teammates have been looking forward to.
“I was talking to him about it all day today, all morning — really since after the game — how excited we are to get him to that mark," redshirt sophomore wide receiver Dakereon Joyner said. "He’s easily one of the best backs in the country.”
Harris has impressed his teammates, especially Doty, with the amount of effort and determination he puts into every game.
“He doesn’t stop; he doesn’t quit; and he just keeps pushing. He’s going to do the same thing on Saturday, and he’s going to get that 1,000 yards," Doty said.
Harris also brings an added element of positivity and motivation to the team's dynamic, according to Doty.
“He's a big ball of sunshine. I mean, he brings a lot of positive energy out there, so I know that’s awesome for me being back there; you know, I’ve got a guy I can feed off of and really bring that same energy," Doty said.
According to Bobo, Doty is another player that brings an extra spark of positivity to the team.
Bobo talked about bringing the idea of "Positive Thursday" to South Carolina from his previous position as the head coach of Colorado State to help get the team in a good mindset before Saturday games.
"When I came here, Luke Doty, it doesn’t matter whether he threw a pick or he misread something, he is the most positive guy in the world, so I changed it to ‘Luke Doty Thursday,'" Bobo said.
The Gamecocks play their last game on road in Lexington, Kentucky, against the Kentucky Wildcats at 7:30 p.m.