USC Gamecocks Football

Hilinski ready to start against Florida; veteran Gamecock close to return to practice

The drumbeat has been constant, and the final injury update is good for the South Carolina Gamecocks and Will Muschamp.

The Gamecocks coach announced his starting quarterback, Ryan Hilinski, will play this weekend after sustaining a bad-looking knee sprain against Georgia. He’ll lead the Gamecocks against another Top-10 foe in the Florida Gators.

“He’s fine. He’ll start the game, and he’ll play well,” Muschamp said.

The coach said Hilinski was limited in Tuesday practice but took every snap on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hilinski was already limping when a Bulldogs defender tripped and flew into the side of Hilinski’s left knee. A brace probably saved him from something worse, but he had to sit on the sidelines as Dakereon Joyner helped the Gamecocks to the 20-17 upset of the No. 3 Bulldogs.

Hilinski stepped in as a true freshman starter after Jake Bentley sustained a season-ending foot injury at the end of the opener against UNC. He’s completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions.

Other injuries Muschamp mentioned included:

▪ Joyner is still sore dealing with a hamstring that’s been nagging. That said, he took all his snaps in practice.

▪ Defensive lineman Keir Thomas, who has missed all season after an ankle infection, could be a week away from returning to practice.

Muschamp said Thomas, who started most of 2017 and 2018, is moving around well. That said, they don’t want to rush him. There was some discussion of redshirting the Miami product, but at this rate, he’d need to sit the next three games for that to happen.

Starting right tackle Dylan Wonnum is still a few weeks away from a return after an ankle injury against Missouri. He missed the past two games and a bye week.

West Coast raised. Midwest educated. Southern football indoctrinated. Covers most everything Gamecocks, primarily football.
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