Injured Matthews says he will play on Saturday

Brown, Saunders expected back against Vols; Arkansas game slated for noon

semerson@thestate.comOctober 27, 2009 

USC defensive end Cliff Matthews

C. ALUKA BERRY/CABERRY@THESTATE.COM

Cliff Matthews knows he scared some people - fans, coaches, teammates - when it took him a while to get up after suffering a shoulder stinger on Saturday.

But the South Carolina junior defensive end was fine then and is fine now.

"I knew right away what it was," Matthews said after Monday's practice. "I just gotta go get some treatment on it and move on."

Matthews, who suffered the stinger in the final minutes of the victory against Vanderbilt, didn't return to the game. He was limited to no-contact during Monday's practice, but every indication is he will play.

"It just took a little out of me, but I'm gonna be ready for Saturday," he said.

Injury updates. Spurrier expects receiver Moe Brown (concussion) and tight end Weslye Saunders (ankle) to both play at Tennessee.

Brown missed the Vanderbilt game and has yet to be cleared for Tennessee. Saunders played some against Vanderbilt but was hindered by his ankle and didn't catch a pass.

"Moe should be cleared Wednesday, I think," Spurrier said.

No line changes. Offensive line coach Eric Wolford said he plans to stay with the lineup that finished against Vanderbilt: Jarriel King at left tackle, Lemuel Jeanpierre at left guard and Garrett Anderson at center.

Guard T.J. Johnson will remain the only player to have started every game. Hutch Eckerson stays at right tackle, with Quintin Richardson, who began the season there, having some catchup to do.

"He's gotta do some things here on the practice field before we feel comfortable putting him back out there," Wolford said of Richardson. "He knows what those things are. And until he does them, we don't feel comfortable just putting him out there for charity reps."

Wolford also said JUCO transfer Rokevious Watkins will redshirt. The team also hopes to save freshman Nick Allison's redshirt, but he's practicing just in case.

Afternoon game. USC's game at Arkansas on Nov. 7 will start at about 12:20 p.m., the schools announced Monday.

It will be just the second day game so far this season for the Gamecocks, who kicked off against Kentucky at noon on Oct. 10. Otherwise, all of USC's games have started at 7 p.m. or later.

The start times for the final two regular-season games, against Florida and Clemson, have yet to be announced.

Tiffin, not Kiffin. Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin had a couple words for Spurrier after Saturday's win over Tennessee.

Tiffin made four field goals in the game, after Spurrier had pointed out that Tiffin and his holder used white tape to mark the spot of his kicks. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tiffin was unaware it was against NCAA rules.

"I guess I should thank coach Spurrier for helping get my concentration level raised," Tiffin told reporters after the game.

He said it. "If I've got the best players, I'll out-coach anybody, yeah. Sometimes it comes down to the best players, did anybody ever tell you that?" - Spurrier when asked if he was confident enough in himself that he would out-coach his counterparts.

Reach Emerson at (803) 771-8676.

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