COLUMBIA -- After more than a year in the South Carolina coaches' doghouse, suddenly tackle Kyle Nunn is threatening to crack the starting lineup.
Nunn rotated Monday with Jarriel King, whose job is in grave danger after a lackluster showing Thursday against Mississippi.
King was benched in the second quarter, giving way to Hutch Eckerson and Nunn. Nunn, a redshirt sophomore from Sumter, emerged to play the majority of the second half.
"I thought for his first game he did some decent things against a pretty good defensive line," offensive line coach Eric Wolford said, promising a different starting five this week against South Carolina State. "We'll see what happens the next time out."
For now, Wolford and Steve Spurrier said there are no plans to move King, the North Charleston native, to defensive tackle. Fans have worked themselves into a frenzy, believing it's only a matter of time until that move.
If it's to happen, some of that depends on Nunn's progress. The Ole Miss game was the first one in which he was eligible after a three-game suspension to begin the season.
"I was glad to be out there with my teammates," Nunn said.
Some wondered if Nunn had gotten serious enough about the team, but Wolford said he was prepared for his chance.
"If you're a No. 2 guy or a No. 3 guy," Wolford said, "you'd better go in there and do something good if you want to have another one."
Getting his shot
Kenny Miles got every second-half carry against Ole Miss, but said the running back rotation stayed essentially the same in practice Monday.
The redshirt freshman debuted two weeks ago against Florida Atlantic, running strong before a shoulder injury forced him to sit.
He rushed 13 times for 52 yards against the Rebels. Brian Maddox got only five carries, and freshman Jarvis Giles ran just twice.
"I feel like I established myself as a part of the running back group and part of the team," Miles said. "I think the Ole Miss game solidified that."
Evaluating the big win
When asked Monday night about the "big" win against Ole Miss, Spurrier became almost incredulous. Picture: A reigned-in, shorter version of Jim Mora's "playoffs" tirade.
"Big win? Big win?" Spurrier asked, disbelieving. "We got 280 yards and couldn't get a first down in the fourth quarter. ... I hope they're not too puffed up about that."
Spurrier did again credit the defense and some "gratuitous" bounces on punts.
USC had never beaten a top-5 team at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Even Rebels coach Houston Nutt said Monday that "deep down" he wasn't sure if his team was worthy of the top 5.
Kentucky game time
South Carolina's Oct. 10 home game against Kentucky will be a 12:30 p.m. kickoff, televised by Fox Sports Net. ESPN initially passed on the game, opening it up to Fox.
LB Eric Norwood was the Southeastern Conference's defensive player of the week, after his 10-tackle, two-sack performance against Ole Miss. Norwood also partially blocked a punt and was credited with two more QB hurries. ... Wolford said LG Terrence Campbell lost his starting job after a poor practice last week. Campbell didn't play against the Rebels. ... QB Stephen Garcia practiced Monday, but was limited because of the bruised ribs he sustained Thursday. ...QB Reid McCollum is still battling the flu and was kept away from the team Monday.
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