USC NOTES: Ellington does a little bit of everything
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Add pass completions to Bruce Ellington's college sports resume. A point guard on the basketball team and a hybrid talent on South Carolina's No. 15-ranked football team, the Berkeley High School graduate put on a variety show in Saturday's 14-12 victory at Mississippi State.
Ellington ran four times for 25 yards, caught four passes for 32 yards and returned a kickoff for 17 yards. Best of all, Ellington -- from the Wildcat formation -- completed his first two college passes. The passes went for 16 yards to Marcus Lattimore and 8 yards to Alshon Jeffery.
Ellington was asked if he lobbied coach Steve Spurrier for throwing opportunities.
"I didn't say anything," Ellington said with a smile. "I made a good pass to Alshon (Tuesday in practice) and I guess that changed his mind."
It was USC's fifth true road victory in a row. The streak includes 2010 wins at Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson and the victory at Georgia in September. The previous record of four straight road wins was set in 1914-15, including two victories at Wofford.
Spurrier last week against Kentucky used what he calls a "spread" formation, which is the tackles split wide to the respective sides.
This week, a slight variation for a few plays had both tackles -- Cody Gibson and Rokevious Watkins -- split left with a pair of receivers.
Third down issues
Again, the Gamecocks were awful on third down: 3 for 15 on conversion attempts.
"We've got to make some of those third and shorts, that's for sure," Spurrier said. "We used to make them."
Byron Jerideau (Colleton County High School) was switched from defensive line to offensive line in practice this week (and now wears No. 77). He saw action at guard Saturday.
Brandon Shell, the superb freshman tackle from Goose Creek, is still a prime redshirt candidate and did not travel to Starkville. But he took some practice snaps with the first team this week, just in case.
South Carolina has trailed in every single game this season. Even Kentucky scored first in the Gamecocks' 54-3 waltz.
Ron Morris, etc. …
Spurrier held his postgame news conference with Ron Morris, a columnist from The State newspaper in Columbia, in attendance. Spurrier at his weekly news conference on Tuesday blasted Morris for a column about Ellington written last March and said he would no longer talk to the media if Morris was on hand … Backup MSU quarterback Dylan Favre (0 for 1 passing vs. South Carolina) is former NFL star Brett Favre's nephew … MSU linebacker Brandon Maye, a former Clemson starter, made three tackles.