Tailback Marcus Lattimore is expected to return to the lineup for this week’s game against Tennessee, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said Sunday.
Lattimore sat out Saturday’s 21-7 win over Vanderbilt with a sprained ankle.
“There is a good chance he may be 100 percent this week,” Spurrier said.
Lattimore is fifth in the SEC in rushing yards per game with 89.7. Senior tailback Brian Maddox rushed for a career-high 146 yards in Lattimore’s absence.
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Defensive lineman Melvin Ingram, who suffered a broken bone in his left hand against the Commodores is expected to play with a cast on his hand against the Volunteers, Spurrier said. Defensive end Chaz Sutton, who had surgery last week to put pins in his broken right hand and missed the Vanderbilt game, is questionable for the Tennessee game, Spurrier said.
Spurrier believes the five receivers who combined to catch 26 passes Saturday might be a record for even his offense. Tori Gurley led the way with 13 catches, followed by Alshon Jeffery with nine, Ace Sanders with six, Jason Barnes with two and D.L. Moore with one.
“I told (wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr.), you better take this stat sheet when you go recruiting wide receivers,” Spurrier said.
Lamar Scruggs was credited with a catch in the official game statistics, but the coaching staff determined Sunday that catch should have been credited to Sanders.
Spurrier credited holder Seth Strickland and quarterback Stephen Garcia for their quick reaction on two loose balls against the Commodores. Strickland recovered a blocked field goal attempt, and Garcia chased down a bad snap.
“Seth Strickland did an excellent job of getting on the ball. Stephen Garcia did an excellent job of getting on that high hard one in the second quarter,” Spurrier said. “Those plays could have been disaster. You see those a lot where the other team picks them up and goes and scores.”
JURY STILL OUT
The Gamecocks allowed only 250 yards and only gave up three third down conversions on 15 attempts against the Commodores, but the defense still has some things to prove, Spurrier indicated.
“Vandy is not as challenging as Kentucky throwing the ball,” Spurrier said. “Our defense played about like we expected. We feel like our defense should hold these guys down and that’s what occurred last night.”