South Carolina had hoped freshman running back Shon Carson would be supporting Marcus Lattimore on the field this season.
Instead Tuesday, it was Lattimore supporting Carson when it became official that the Gamecocks’ second-team tailback will miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury in last week’s win over Georgia. Carson will have season-ending surgery in “a week or two,” head coach Steve Spurrier said.
“We got out of class today, and he’s got his head down,” Lattimore said. “I told him he’s got to keep his head up. I just tell him, ‘Let God handle it, it’ll be fine.’ I know he is struggling right now.”
Carson was injured on his only carry, a 2-yard gain. He has three carries for 9 yards this season, and he will be eligible for a medical redshirt season.
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“We’ll try to redshirt him and give him four more years to play here,” Spurrier said. “He is an outstanding runner with the ball. He is really going to be a great tailback. (Redshirting) will separate him (another) year from Marcus and maybe give him more opportunities down the road.”
Carson was being counted on to add some speed to South Carolina’s backfield. The injury throws into doubt whether he will attempt to join the baseball team as a walk-on as he had planned.
“He’s a strong kid,” Lattimore said. “You can see it when you look at him an ACL shouldn’t keep him down long.”
Kenny Miles will be the Gamecocks’ No. 2 running back.
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Wide receiver D.L. Moore, who has shoulder and ankle injuries, will miss Saturday’s game against Navy, Spurrier said.
Spurrier also gave starting quarterback Stephen Garcia a vote of confidence during his weekly press conference. Garcia is 18-of-40 passing for 252 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“Stephen is our quarterback,” Spurrier said. “We all firmly believe he’s our best guy now. The competition is over. He’s got every opportunity to take us as far as he can.”
The passing offense and passing defense aren’t getting the same benefit of the doubt.
“I still think our players are better than we are performing right now, but we’ll find out,” Spurrier said. “We have to coach better.”