COLUMBIA -- While South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw's concussion might prevent him from playing against Florida in Saturday's SEC regular season finale in Columbia, Gators senior QB John Brantley should play despite hurting his right (throwing) arm in a win over Vanderbilt.
Brantley, a second-year starter, was hit on the arm with about nine minutes to go. His arm went numb, coach Will Muschamp said. True freshman Jacoby Brissett replaced Brantley for the Gators' final drive, on which they scored a touchdown to go up 26-14. They won 26-21.
Brantley didn't practice Monday, but Muschamp expects him to be ready for Saturday.
"He's fine," Muschamp told reporters Monday. "He just got a funny hit on it. He probably could have gone back in. I told him, 'Just sit down, we'll let Jacoby finish it.' It was just one of those things, a funny injury, nothing serious at all."
Vanderbilt was Brantley's second game back after missing two with a high ankle sprain. His first game back, a loss to Georgia, was the fourth straight loss for Florida (5-4, 3-4 SEC) -- the first time the Gators have lost four straight since 1988.
The Gators went 8-5, 4-4 last season, and a loss to USC would mark their first back-to-back non-winning SEC records since 1986-87 (2-4 and 3-3). Florida finishes with Furman and Florida State after USC, as it tries to avoid its first losing overall record since 0-10-1 in 1979. The Gators' only non-winning year since then: 6-6 in 1987.
Brantley last season completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 158.5 yards per game, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. This season: 58.8 percent, 194.3 yards per game, six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Saturday's kickoff is noon on WCSC-TV (CBS).
Hampton No. 1 on KO returns
Cornerback Victor Hampton handled kickoff returns for the first time all season in Saturday's 44-28 loss at Arkansas. He returned all six -- one for 55 yards, which set up a touchdown drive. He fumbled away his last one, when the game was already essentially over.
Entering the Arkansas game, wide receiver Bruce Ellington had handled 11 of USC's 18 kickoff returns. Free safety D.J. Swearinger and corner Stephon Gilmore had two each. The Arkansas depth chart listed Swearinger and Ellington as the top two kickoff returners. Coach Steve Spurrier said Hampton would continue returning kickoffs, "if he can hold onto the ball."
Hampton, who backs up Gilmore, and Ellington are listed as the top two kickoff returners on the Florida depth chart. Hampton returned kicks during spring practices, but fell back on the depth chart when he was suspended for this season's first three games (undisclosed violation of team rules).
"Just got to get used to carrying the ball again, holding it high and tight when I get into traffic," he said.
This and that
The Gamecocks did not practice Monday, instead only doing conditioning. So their regular media interviews with defensive players and coaches were moved from Monday to today. … Spurrier, of course, is best known for his time at Florida (1990-2001), which includes the national championship in 1996 -- 30 years after he won the Heisman Trophy as a Gators quarterback. But playing Florida as USC's coach isn't a big deal to him anymore. "It probably was the first year, but now this is the seventh game, so I think all of that, it's just our team against their team," he said. He is 2-4 against Florida, having snapped a four-game losing streak last year.
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