It was a disconcerting sight for USC fans: A few minutes after starting tight end Weslye Saunders was transported to the locker room on a golf cart Wednesday, his replacement also was carted off the field.
But it turns out the situation with freshman tight end Justice Cunningham is not serious.
"He had cramps," Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said. "Justice is a guy that sweats a lot, and he gets cramps on (hot) days like this if he doesn't drink a lot of Gatorade."
Cunningham should be pounding the fluids between now and Saturday, when the Pageland Central graduate is expected to make his first career start against Kentucky. Spurrier said Saunders is out with an ankle injury, creating an opening for a player who arrived at USC with little acclaim.
Never miss a local story.
"Justice is a strong freshman. That's why he's able to play as a freshman," Spurrier said. "We were going to play him right away. And he's worked his way up to the starting position."
The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Cunningham has played in all five games this season, and caught his first pass last week against S.C. State. Redshirt freshman Mike Triglia will be the No. 2 tight end.
History is bunk. Free safety Chris Culliver said the Gamecocks' nine-game win streak against Kentucky has no bearing on this week's game.
"We don't really care about statistics in the past. It's this year. It's this game," Culliver said. "It's not last year and the history we had before then. We're going to play all-out and do what we have to do to win the ballgame."
But Culliver conceded that Kentucky players likely will have motivation to end the slide. "They probably do because we have a tradition of beating them," he said. "They probably got it circled, and that don't really matter too much."
Big test. Kentucky will be without both of its starting cornerbacks. All-American candidate Trevard Lindley is out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain, while Paul Warford has a quadriceps injury.
Freshman Martavius Neloms will make his first career start in place of Lindley. Neloms, a Memphis native, led the state of Tennessee with eight interceptions last fall, returning two for touchdowns.
"He's a physical guy. He's got great confidence, but very little experience," coach Rich Brooks said. "So this will be a major challenge for him as a true freshman, going on the road and playing a team that has the talent at receiver and quarterback that South Carolina has."
Injury report. USC center Garrett Anderson missed Wednesday's practice with a back injury but is probable for Saturday. Lemuel Jeanpierre is expected to start at center. ... Guard Terrence Campbell is out indefinitely with a neck sprain.
Old Kentucky home. Backup receiver D.L. Moore is the lone Kentucky native on USC's roster. Moore, a redshirt freshman with two catches for 10 yards, said he was recruited by Kentucky and Louisville but wanted to leave the state.
"Coming from a small town, I just wanted to get out of Bowling Green and come to a new place," Moore said. "When I first came here I loved it, and this is where I'm at."
Smelley update. Former USC quarterback Chris Smelley, who transferred to Alabama to play baseball, said this week he has no plans to play football for the Crimson Tide.
Smelley started 15 games during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and did not rule out trying football when he left USC in January. But he said he was "100 percent committed" to baseball.
"To try and do both would be like climbing over a mountain," Smelley told The Mobile Press-Register.
He said it. "Our crowds are a little bit that way, as well. The tailgaters don't quite have enough time to get well oiled," - Brooks on the notion that fans at early-afternoon games are more docile.