South Carolina's depth problems in the secondary could be coming to an end with the return of freshman safety Brison Williams.
Williams, who enrolled last January and took part in spring drills, broke his arm during preseason camp and has not played yet this season.
Defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward said Williams, who had his cast removed last week, will be in the lineup on Saturday against Auburn.
"He'll play this week," Ward said. "We're going to prep him this week and if he does well in practice, he'll play. I think Brison's a smart young man and he knows what we're doing. We feel good about Brison."
Williams will play at safety behind starter DeVonte Holloman.
Meanwhile, Akeem Auguste, who has missed all but one game with an injured foot, is not expected to be back in the lineup anytime soon. "His foot is still sore," Ward said. "We've got to go by what the trainers say. If we get him back, we get him back."
Ellington making progress
Former Berkeley High star Bruce Ellington is making strides as a kickoff returner, special teams coach John Butler says. "I think he's done good. With his athletic ability, experience on kick returns is invaluable. The experience in the spacing will help him. I'm encouraged with where we're headed. He just needs more time to read things and get his vision right."
Ellington is averaging 22.7 yards a return (4th in SEC). He also has carried the ball five times for 14 yards out of the Gamecocks' wildcat formation. He has two receptions for 15 yards.
He said it
In perhaps the most obvious statement of the week so far, defensive line coach Brad Lawing said the absence former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, last year's Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, will "make a difference" on Saturday.
Ingram grabs SEC defensive honor
Defensive end Melvin Ingram was named the SEC defensive player of the week for his performance in the 21-3 win over Vanderbilt.
Ingram, a 6-2, 276-pound senior from Hamlet, N.C., scored his third touchdown of the season, this time falling on a fumble in the end zone in the second quarter for the Gamecocks' first points in the victory. He was also credited with four tackles on the night, three for losses that accounted for 24 yards, and a pair of sacks. He also broke up one pass.
Ingram led a defense that limited the Commodores to five first downs and 77 total yards on 48 plays, an average of 1.6 yards per play. Ingram was SEC special teams player of the week following the Georgia game.
USC's game with Kentucky on Oct. 8 will kickoff at 12:21 p.m., and will be aired on the SEC Network. The Gamecocks lead the all-time series 14-7-1, including a 6-3-1 mark in Columbia. Kentucky posted a 31-28 win in Lexington last season, snapping Carolina's 10-game winning streak in the series. USC coach Steve Spurrier is 17-1 all-time against Kentucky.