While Clemson fans worry about the status Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson, South Carolina fans now will be worrying about star wide receiver Pharoh Cooper, who suffered a rib injury in the Gamecocks’ 37-12 win over South Alabama on Saturday.
“I think our trainers said he should be OK (for the game Saturday),” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said Sunday. “He won’t do much through the week though.”
Cooper -- who had 95 receiving yards, 42 rushing yards and threw a touchdown pass against the Jaguars -- is the SEC’s second-leading receiver with 83.7 yards per game and has emerged as the Gamecocks’ most dangerous offensive player. Spurrier could tell Cooper was in pain near the end of Saturday’s game, but Cooper finished the game.
“He’s such a tough kid,” Spurrier said. “He’s not going to come out and say, ‘My ribs hurt’ like some kids do.”
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Rico McWilliams, who has started the last two games at cornerback, will not play against Clemson after suffering what Spurrier described as “a severe” concussion against the Jaguars.
“He’s not going to play for a while,” Spurrier said.
Defensive end Gerald Dixon, who missed the South Alabama game due to a shoulder sprain, is expected to return against the Tigers. Tight end Jerell Adams (oblique strain) is probable.
Junior running back Mike Davis fumbled on two of his first three touches against South Alabama and was pulled from the game because of it, but Spurrier expects his team’s leading rusher to bounce back this week, he said.
“I think he’ll be OK,” Spurrier said.
Davis was limited in practice last week due to a shoulder sprain and an illness. He did not attend any team meetings Thursday or Friday because the team’s trainer did not want him to get any teammates sick.
“He has not had a fumbling problem all year long,” Spurrier said. “I think he’ll be back ready to go Saturday afternoon.”
Junior tight end Drew Owens, who was scheduled to participate in Senior Day ceremonies Saturday but did not show up at the game, is “OK,” Spurrier said.
“Whatever issues he has will be handled and so forth,” Spurrier said.
Owens, a former three-star prospect from Charlotte, had two catches last season but has not caught a pass this year. Spurrier said immediately after Saturday’s game that he did not no where Owens was but the school announced shortly afterward that Owens had overslept and missed the game.
“I don’t think we’ve had a player just completely not show up,” Spurrier said Sunday. “We have had some injured players that didn’t come to the game. That has happened two or three times.”
Saturday afternoon, the following message was posted to Owens’ Twitter account: “I Would Like To Thank Everyone For Their Thoughts & Prayers. I Am Not Missing! Special Thanks to #GamecockNation, My Teammates & My Family!”