One question answered, another not so sure.
South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott said after Wednesday’s practice that redshirt freshman center Clayton Stadnik will make his second consecutive start against Vanderbilt on Saturday, but coach Steve Spurrier wasn’t as definite about cornerback Victor Hampton.
Hampton’s availability might not be determined until Saturday.
“I think he’ll probably suit up,” Spurrier said. “He was out today. He should be ready by Saturday, I would think. If not, we’ll proceed with Ahmad (Christian) and Jimmy Legree and, hopefully, they’ll play a little bit better, as all the other guys.”
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Hampton practiced Monday but sat out Tuesday and Wednesday with a boot on his right foot, protecting an ankle injury. He missed the first half of last week’s loss at Georgia for violating team rules, but played the second half.
Christian started his first career game against Georgia and could make it two against the Commodores. Jamari Smith and Rico McWilliams are listed under Legree on this week’s depth chart.
Stadnik played well against Georgia, snapping one ball out of reach of quarterback Connor Shaw. Starting center Cody Waldrop saw a specialist about his sprained foot this week — the good news is there is nothing seriously wrong with it, and the Gamecocks hope to have him back practicing next week — but he’s out for this week.
That leaves it up to Stadnik, with true freshman Alan Knott behind him. Elliott was pleased with Stadnik’s performance.
“He went in there and did OK,” Elliott said. “All in all, I’m fairly pleased with what he did. He showed some grittiness and toughness.”
Spurrier said the Gamecocks are flying around with more energy and enthusiasm this week. Not that they didn’t have it last week, but a loss naturally churns up some more emotion.
“When you get your tails beat, you’re in the dumps for a day or two, then you understand, ‘Hey, we got to learn from it and move on,’” Spurrier said. “It’s no disgrace losing to a team like Georgia at their place, but it was a little disgraceful some of the plays we all made and some of the calls we coaches made were a little embarrassing at times. But it’s history. Got to learn from it.”
USC is hoping to get its first SEC win on Saturday against a team it has won four straight against. Vanderbilt is also looking for its first SEC win after losing to Ole Miss in its season-opener.
“That game’s behind us,” Spurrier said. “Hopefully we can learn from it, hopefully we can eliminate a lot of mistakes, as players and as coaches, and we’ll look like a good ball team Saturday night here at 7 o’clock.”
No change on deck
With Hampton questionable and Lorenzo Ward saying last week that he would be taken off of kick return for a while anyway, Shon Carson was given the job for the Georgia game. There are no plans to change that for Vanderbilt, running backs coach Everette Sands said.
Carson returned six kicks for 111 yards, an average of 18.5, with a long of 27 against the Bulldogs.
Players who did not practice or wore yellow jerseys were: Hampton (ankle), Waldrop (foot), Devin Washington (concussion), Devin Potter, Carlton Heard (hamstring) and Mike Matulis (shoulder).
The Gamecocks will practice at 4 p.m. on Thursday. It is closed to the public.
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