USC still looking to be the first to score in a game
COLUMBIA -- Despite being 7-1 and ranked 10th nationally, South Carolina has yet to score first in any game this season.
Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier knows that formula will eventually catch up to any team.
The Head Ball Coach is hoping that trend ends on Saturday when the Gamecocks face eighth-ranked Arkansas. The Gamecocks can ill afford to fall behind the potent Razorback attack, which leads the Southeastern Conference in passing offense.
Arkansas has had its issues putting points on the scoreboard early as well. It trailed Texas A&M, 21-7, early in the second quarter; Mississippi, 17-0, in the first quarter; Vanderbilt, 21-7, in the second quarter. The Razorbacks went on to win all three games.
"They're such a good passing team, and they believe they can come back and win the game," Spurrier said. "It will probably be a down-to-the-wire ballgame, as most of ours are."
Arkansas' Wade suspended
Arkansas freshman wide receiver Marquel Wade was suspended for this Saturday's game against South Carolina after his hit on Vanderbilt punt returner Jonathan Krause.
Wade was ejected from the Razorbacks' 31-28 win over Vanderbilt after he leveled Krause as he was looking up and before he had a chance to field the ball.
Krause was on the ground for several minutes, but did return to the game.
"We have addressed the matter and will comply with the league's decision," said Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino.
Wade has eight catches for 62 yards in eight games.
South Carolina gave up a total of 508 passing yards in its first two games against East Carolina and Georgia.
In the last six games, the Gamecocks have given up just 579 passing yards.
Gamecocks safety DeVonte Holloman said the defensive coverages were simplified after the Georgia game.
"There are not as many checks and audibles," Holloman said. "We're not making as many pre-snap calls."
The secondary has also played better, Spurrier said.
"I think we've simplified a lot of our coverages to where we don't have all that many and there are fewer mistakes," Spurrier said. "I think that's a big part of it, and just the guys playing hard, playing their assignments, playing with effort."
Spurrier he's not sure when running back Marcus Lattimore will have surgery on his injured knee.
"I don't know that the date has been set exactly for his surgery," Spurrier said. "It'll probably be some time next week. If he'd like to go (to Arkansas), he's going with us. It was good to have him with us last week and if he wants to go, certainly we've got room for him."
Meanwhile, receiver Bruce Ellington should be healthy against the Razorbacks. Ellington, who missed most of last week (hamstring), played in just a handful of snaps last Saturday against Tennessee.
Spurrier said fullback Matt Coffee is scheduled to have surgery sometime this week on his injured knee.