News of the day
Right guard Heath Batchelor has been suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules, USC media relations director Steve Fink said Monday night.
Batchelor, a returning starter, has missed playing time the past four games for missing classes and failing to show up for at least one 5:30 a.m. punishment run.
The announcement came after Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Monday.
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Batchelor, a redshirt sophomore from Haleyville, Ala., started the final four games of the 2007 season and the first three games this year. The 6-foot-7, 309-pound Batchelor was one of four players suspended against Alabama-Birmingham for excessive class absences last school year.
Terrence Campbell, a redshirt sophomore from Austell, Ga., has started at right guard the past four games, although Batchelor came off the bench to play in three of them.
Trick plays. The Gamecocks went the first six games using few if any trick plays, then unveiled two new wrinkles at Kentucky: the tackle-eligible play that resulted in tight end Weslye Saunders’ game-winning touchdown catch and the ‘Wild Hog’ formation in which tailback Bobby Wallace took the snap from center and the quarterback lined up wide.
Though Wallace might not have the passing ability ex-Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden showed off in the Wild Hog, the Conway native likes the new look. “I think it’s going to be something pretty good, a different formation for us,” he said.
Dion LeCorn, who started six games at receiver last season as a freshman, has been moved to spur linebacker. LeCorn's playing time at receiver had been reduced significantly with the emergence of Jason Barnes, Moe Brown and Joe Hills.
Batchelor. Much was expected of the big lineman after he came on strong at the end of last season. His off-the-field issues will affect the Gamecocks’ depth if he is out for any length of time.
Tight end Jared Cook did not practice Monday and kept his sprained right foot in a protective boot, but he is probable for Saturday’s game against LSU. Kicker Ryan Succop (abdominal strain) kicked Monday and is expected to play.
Quarterback Stephen Garcia and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn were selected as SEC players of the week for their performances in the 24-17 win at Kentucky.
Garcia, who came off the bench and led a pair of fourth-quarter scoring drives, was the freshman of the week. The right-hander was 10-of-14 passing for a career-high 169 yards and a touchdown.
The redshirt freshman from Lutz, Fla., is scheduled to make his first career start this week.
Munnerlyn, a junior from Mobile, Ala., earned the nod as the special teams player after returning a kickoff 84 yards to set up a touchdown and taking a blocked field goal back 81 yards for a touchdown.
This is the third consecutive week USC has had at least one player honored. Succop was the special teams player after making four field goals against UAB, while quarterback Chris Smelley was the offensive player after passing for a career-high 327 yards and three touchdowns at Mississippi.
Quote of the day
“I guess he handled it OK. It wasn’t much different from all the other nights, except he went first and Chris Smelley went second,” — Spurrier on Garcia.
— Joseph Person