Entering the Kentucky game, redshirt freshman wide receiver Lamar Scruggs hadn’t had a catch since the season-opening win against Southern Miss, and that was a 6-yard grab.
Scruggs did not see the field in the Gamecocks’ victory against Alabama on Oct. 9, but he was out there early against Kentucky and played 12 snaps.
“He knew what to do, and he wants to play,” wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said. “He is kind of a pesky kid. He keeps hanging around and finds a way to get into practice. He wants to play; he really does. That may have been bigger than anything, he kept showing up.”
Scruggs had one catch for 39 yards against the Wildcats and was the target on the decisive pass play, which was tipped and intercepted by Anthony Mosely with four seconds left to seal Kentucky’s win.
“His number was called, and he had an opportunity to go make a huge play,” Spurrier Jr. said. “It would have been a heck of play, but I certainly didn’t hold that against him.”
Scruggs said he was surprised the play was called for him to get the ball but didn't make any excuses.
"I wanted to come down with the ball, try to be a hero for the team," he said. "I just didn't make the play. It just comes down to that."
Scruggs, from Jacksonville, Fla., was part of the 2009 recruiting class that included receivers Alshon Jeffery, DeMario Bennett and Deangelo Smith.
He had nearly 60 offers including Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU and Miami. Considered 46th-best wide receiver at the time by Rivals.com, he ultimately chose USC over Ole Miss.
Scruggs has “found a niche” as the Y receiver in South Carolina’s four-wide receiver set, Spurrier Jr. said.
Sophomore wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was in his regular full-contact practice jersey on Wednesday afternoon. Coach Steve Spurrier said the SEC’s leading wide receiver missed Tuesday’s practice because of a pulled muscle in his abdomen.
“He felt a little twinge in his abdomen area, but he should be OK,” Spurrier said.
Jeffery has caught 40 passes for 690 yards and five touchdowns this year.
Jeffery was named to Phil Steele’s Midseason All-American first team. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is second on the team with 37 tackles and also has an interception, was named to Steele’s third team. On Tuesday, Jeffery and Gilmore were named to Steele’s All-SEC first team.
Lattimore and defensive end Devin Taylor were named to the second team, and quarterback Stephen Garcia, defensive tackle Travian Robertson, defensive end Cliff Matthews and kicker/punter Spencer Lanning were named to the third team.