After a brief test run, Steve Spurrier quickly figured out why quarterback Connor Shaw wears a glove on his throwing hand.
“One day I was out there messing around and you can grip that ball,” Spurrier said. “A little sticky on it. Makes sense. Guarantee, I wish I had one when I was playing.”
Throughout his two-year career, Shaw has gone back and forth between using the glove and his bare hand in practice and in games.
“I told him, ‘I’d wear it if I was you,’ ” Spurrier said. “So, he wore it.”
Shaw also prefers the Wilson GST game ball, a tan ball that Spurrier says is easier to grip. Former starter Stephen Garcia preferred the Wilson 1001 game ball, a darker, harder ball.
“You saw the tan ball go through the air?” Spurrier said. “Connor prefers the tan ball, Stephen (liked) the darker one.”
Each offense gets to choose which ball it uses with during games.
Starting offensive tackle Rokevious Watkins was wearing street clothes as the Gamecocks practiced Wednesday afternoon. Watkins suffered a concussion in Saturday’s win over Kentucky and is questionable for this week’s game. Starting cornerback Marty Markett (concussion) also is questionable.
ASSISTANTS OFF LIMITS
Spurrier might continue to limit media access to his assistant coaches for the remainder of the season, he said.
“It’s week to week,” he said. “We’ll wait and see.”
For most of his tenure at South Carolina, Spurrier has allowed his assistant coaches to speak to the media. That changed last week, when only assistant head coach for defense Ellis Johnson spoke to the media. Johnson is the only Gamecock assistant who has been made available to the media since Sept. 28.
“Sometimes it’s better to have just one or two voices coming out of a program, a lot of people think,” Spurrier said. “In the past, I have freed up almost everybody to talk and looking back it probably wasn’t a good idea.”
None of the offensive assistant coaches who were requested by media members were approved to speak following Wednesday’s practice. Quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus, who was arrested for nuisance conduct in the offseason and was named in the Notice of Allegations sent to the school by the NCAA, has not been allowed to speak to the media all season.
MSU MUM ON QB
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has not decided on a starting quarterback for Saturday’s game, he said Wednesday.
“They are all working hard. They are all playing well,” he said. “When we decide a starter, we are going to go with who gives us the best opportunity to win the game. If it’s one, we’ll go with one. If it’s two, we’ll go with two. If it’s three, we’ll go with three.”
Senior Chris Relf has started the last 19 games for the Bulldogs but was replaced by sophomore Tyler Wilson last week. Wilson led a comeback win against UAB. Dylan Favre, the nephew of former Brett Favre, also is an option.
Spurrier was asked during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference if his outburst directed at The State columnist Ron Morris on Tuesday was meant to divert attention from the upcoming news of Stephen Garcia’s dismissal.
“No, it was not,” he said. “I did not like doing that, the incident. I said what I needed to say yesterday, and I am not getting into that anymore. Hopefully, that discussion is all over.”
Wide receiver Bruce Ellington said he will check in on the basketball team, which begins practice this week, but he will not work out with the team. Ellington was the team’s starting point guard last year and plans to return to the basketball floor when football season is finished.