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      Spurrier, Gamecocks ready for opener with Aggies

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Steve Spurrier's done with "talking season" and is ready to see No. 9 South Carolina live up to the high expectations it has dealt with since finishing a third straight year with 11 wins.

      The Gamecocks and Spurrier open things Thursday night against Texas A&M, the eighth time in the coach's 10 years at South Carolina he's gotten an early start to the regular season.

      "The opportunity to open up college football gets our players a little juiced up through the preseason practices," Spurrier said. "They know it's a national TV game so they want to look good and play well."

      And Spurrier is confident with "talking season" over, his players have prepared to take that next step forward. The Gamecocks were picked this summer as preseason favorites to win the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division. As Spurrier has continually said, if you do that, you have a chance to win the league title -- a goal he's coveted since taking over the program.

      "We've not won an SEC yet," Spurrier said. "That's something we hope to do some day."