COLUMBIA — South Carolina center Cody Waldrop will visit a foot specialist after missing the Georgia game Saturday with a sprained right foot, coach Steve Spurrier said Tuesday.
Waldrop is “very doubtful” to play Saturday, Spurrier said. In his place, Clayton Stadnik is expected to make his second straight start. Stadnik was the Gamecocks’ center during Saturday’s 41-30 loss at Georgia.
Despite the loss, Spurrier was pleased with Stadnik’s play Saturday in Athens.
“Clayton Stadnik played pretty well,” Spurrier said. “Had one pressure there, sort of lost the rusher there. Got stuck one-on-one with one of their D linemen. Other than that, he played well. Clayton Stadnik, he has come around nicely. Give the kid credit.”
Spurrier said safety JJ Marcus has “a chance” to play Saturday. He missed the Georgia game after dislocating his shoulder in the opener against North Carolina.
Spurrier showed some frustration with opponents’ strategy to play keep-away with USC defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, running plays to the opposite side their star junior lines up.
What can the Gamecocks do to get their end involved in more plays?
“We need to line up on the other side and put about five guys over there and anticipate they’re going to run over there,” Spurrier said. “That’s what we should do, but we didn’t get lined up well the other day.”
There was more than a hint of Spurrier sarcasm, but USC could adopt some of it as a game plan going forward. After North Carolina and Georgia refused to run plays to Clowney’s area, perhaps the defensive line could stack the opposite side to persuade opposing offenses not to play keep-away.
Gamecocks fans aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed quarterback Connor Shaw’s instinct to quickly tuck the football and run.
Shaw ran the football 16 times for 75 yards Saturday at Georgia. Spurrier has no problem with his quarterback picking up yards on the ground, but said Shaw can still throw more.
“I wish Connor would throw a few more,” Spurrier said. “He likes to run, and he makes a lot of good runs too. But when he gets the ball out of his hands, we’re usually in pretty good shape.”
Children’s cancer awareness
Spurrier entered the media room Tuesday with a red whistle around his neck. He said his assistant coaches will wear one during pregame warmups Saturday, and for good reason.
The Gamecocks are trying to raise awareness this week for fighting children’s cancer, Spurrier said.
“We’re encouraging all our Gamecocks to do whatever we can in our fight against children’s cancer,” Spurrier said. “This is the game this week against Vanderbilt. We do have a helmet sticker, also, that will be on the helmets.”
Spurrier said players also will wear wrist bands during the game to promote awareness.