Injuries deplete Razorbacks' receiving corps
COLUMBIA -- Arkansas is without its top receiver, losing Greg Childs for the year due to a knee injury. But the wait is still on as far as the status of its No. 2 receiver.
Joe Adams declared Tuesday that his injured ankle was 80 percent healthy, but he didn't practice Tuesday and it was unclear how much he was able to do Wednesday.
In addition, Razorbacks special teams coach John L. Smith said Wednesday that Jarius Wright, and not Adams, will likely return punts this weekend. Adams is Arkansas' most dangerous return man.
He's second on the team, to the injured Childs, with 30 catches for 544 yards and four touchdowns. Adams sat out last week against Vanderbilt.
"I think he feels the urgency he needs to get back out there so he tried to do some things," Hogs offensive coordinator Garrick McGee said Tuesday. "We'll continue to evaluate him and see what happens."
Same ol', same ol'
Gamecocks offensive line coach Shawn Elliott wasn't unhappy Wednesday, but he wasn't happy, either. He continues to see what he calls "average" play from his unit each week.
"I think at times they did what they needed to do and other times they didn't," Elliott said, echoing his sentiment all fall. "It wasn't a great performance by no means. We're nowhere near being good.
"There's improvements, but it's sporadic. … Consistency is something we've got to get handled."
Somewhat alarming: Arkansas is second in the SEC (to South Carolina) in sacks, with 24. Often, Stephen Garcia didn't appear to have a lot of time last week against Tennessee.
"They've got some pretty quick defensive ends that get pretty wide splits and come off the edge pretty good," Elliott said. "They've got a few blitz schemes they work with, to bring a little bit more pressure than you're expecting. But it's nothing out of the ordinary."
Even though the drive ended with a Garcia interception, South Carolina debuted a new wrinkle on its first drive last week against Tennessee.
Garcia was split out wide at receiver, with freshman Connor Shaw at QB in a shotgun formation. Shaw said the intention was to run a draw, but a false start scrapped the play and plan.
"They're trying to find a way to get me on the field," said Shaw, who also entered for a play in the fourth quarter. "That's exciting for me, to keep doing what I have to do in practice."
The bigger question is, Can Garcia catch, if he needs to? "He's got some skills," Shaw said. "He's got some athleticism. I think he could catch it."
Judging by his season-high 184 yards against Tennessee, USC freshman Marcus Lattimore seemed to bounce back pretty well from the ankle injury that sidelined him the week before at Vanderbilt.
Running backs coach Jay Graham said he didn't notice Lattimore favoring the left ankle at all during the game. Tennessee likely agrees. Vols coach Derek Dooley called Lattimore "Secretariat" after the game.
"It was probably good we were able to hold him out for the Vanderbilt game," Graham said. "With an ankle, you don't want it to linger, if he's not 100 percent. You can twist it and maybe still play, but you'll be hampered. He was able to fully recover, though."