News of the day
It turns out Kenny McKinley was injured and ill last week at Vanderbilt.
Sidelined after the first quarter with a right hamstring injury, South Carolina’s All-SEC receiver could do nothing but watch - and feel nauseous - as the Gamecocks stumbled to a 24-17 loss.
“I was sick out there. I was sick,” McKinley said Monday. “It’s over with now and I really don’t want to think about it too much. Move on to Georgia.”
But USC might be moving on without McKinley, who remains “very doubtful” for Saturday, according to USC coach Steve Spurrier.
McKinley said he “didn’t do much of nothing” Monday as he tries to heal a hamstring he pulled when hit from behind on a crossing pattern at Vanderbilt. The senior from Mableton, Ga., said he must be careful not to rush the healing process.
“Of course, I want to play, my last time playing against Georgia. I’m going to do all the treatment and rehab and everything to try to get back right,” he said. “But if I feel like I’m not going to help my team … I just got to let it go and let these other guys go out there and prove themselves.”
McKinley, who is closing in on all of the Gamecocks’ major receiving marks, has caught at least one pass in a school-record 35 consecutive games. USC media relations director Steve Fink said the streak would remain intact if McKinley does not play.
Fifth-year senior Jamon Meredith, back from an NCAA-mandated, two-game hiatus that restored his redshirt year, took reps Monday at left tackle and left guard. Spurrier said he would decide later this week where to slot the two-year starter.
Stock falling Middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley was credited with a career-low one tackle vs. Vandy, and had several missed tackles. “I don’t think it’s rust,” said Brinkley, who missed most of last season following knee surgery. “It’s just not playing with the right technique and the right leverage.”
Receiver Moe Brown missed Monday’s practice with a strained right knee, but is expected to return today. Tailback Mike Davis, who sustained a thigh injury against Vanderbilt, is fine.
Quote of the day
“It’s time for those boys to go out there and grow into men,” - McKinley on the Gamecocks’ young receivers.
Quarterback Tommy Beecher, who has not been available to the media since before the N.C. State opener, shared first-team reps with Chris Smelley. Spurrier said both are scheduled to play against Georgia. … The Sept. 20 game vs. Wofford game will kick off at 7 p.m. and be available on pay-per-view throughout the state. … Spurrier said French-born fullback Yvan Banag is supposed to get his student visa renewed this week, clearing him to practice.
-- Joseph Person