USC released its updated depth chart today, and there were no real surprises.
T.J. Johnson is listed as the starter at right guard ahead of Heath Batchelor, but both likely will play against N.C. State.
The three first-team receivers are Tori Gurley, Moe Brown and Jason Barnes, who complained a couple nights ago about not receiving an explanation from coaches about why he was dropped behind Gurley.
Gurley and Brown will be on the field if USC opens in a two-receiver set. Barnes is now working at the “B” (or third) receiver with D.L. Moore, who’s listed as a second-teamer.
Brian Maddox, as expected, is the starting tailback with Jarvis Giles and Kenny Miles behind him (in that order).
Defensively, the Gamecocks apparently are still uncertain – or unwilling to release their plans, anyway – on the Chris Culliver-Akeem Auguste decision. Culliver and Auguste are both listed as first-team options at cornerback and free safety.
Talking to Culliver the other night, it seems like he would prefer to play safety but is willing to go to corner if that’s where he’s needed.
And how about the two players at the other corner? Stephon Gilmore and D.J. Swearinger – both freshmen. It would be interesting to find out if there’s another BCS school with a pair of true freshmen at one of its corner spots.
Finally, on special teams, there is no backup listed for Spencer Lanning at kicker or punter. Adam Yates’ groin cannot heal fast enough.
Also of note: Alshon Jeffery and Bryce Sherman do not show up anywhere on the two-deep. Doesn’t mean they won’t play.
Sherman’s behind Culliver and Auguste among kick returners, and Auguste and Gilmore on punt returns. Jeffery could be a jump-ball option in the red zone.
We have our first howling from the Wolfpack.
N.C. State beat writer Ken Tysiac of the News & Observer in Raleigh (former Clemson beat writer at The State) reports on his blog that State defensive end Willie Young provided the Gamecocks’ ample bulletin-board material during a session with reporters today.
Hit Ken’s blog to read the full text, but if you want the condensed version, Young:
–Replied, “No,” when asked whether Steve Spurrier is an offensive genius.
–Downplayed Stephen Garcia’s scrambling ability. “Until he hurts us, I’m not worried about him. It’s as simple as that. Until he starts to hurt us, he can stand back there and juke and jive all he wants to. But until he hurts us, he has no effect on my pass rush or anything I intend to do.”
–And took a jab at Gamecocks tight end Weslye Saunders, the Durham native who said last week he planned to ask Spurrier for permission to take a celebration penalty when he scored against the Wolfpack.“He just talked himself into the biggest MA (missed assignment) possible. I’ll just put it like that. That leads to nothing but mistakes. I think he’s trying to draw attention to himself. … Because I know, me and my goons, we ain’t seeing it.”
Nothing signals the start of football season like a little trash-talking. It’s almost here, folks.