COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC) - With just three days remaining until the 2013 football season gets underway, the University of South Carolina football team worked out at the Bluff Road practice fields Monday evening. The Gamecocks are preparing for Thursday's season opener against the North Carolina Tar Heels. The 6 p.m. ET game will be televised nationally on ESPN.Senior quarterback Connor Shaw knows the North Carolina defense will challenge the Gamecock offense on Thursday night. "They're athletic on defense," said Shaw. "Of course, we feel like we can hurt them on some things. We've got to come in prepared and execute and do what we know how to do best. Our scout team is giving us some good looks so we'll see what happens on Thursday."Junior Bruce Ellington, the top Gamecocks' top returning receiver, did not practice on Monday. "Yesterday I came out and practiced good but had a little tweak, but I think I'll be ready to play Thursday," said Ellington. "It's a day-by-day thing. There's not any pain when I'm jogging, but when I hit full speed I feel it a little bit. But I think I can fight through it."In addition to Ellington, those who remain on the injury list include Rory Anderson (hamstring), Cedrick Cooper (elbow), Cody Gibson (knee), Carlton Heard (hamstring), James King (foot), Mike Matulis (shoulder), Kyle Morini (elbow), Gerald Turner (ankle) and Devin Washington (concussion).The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.