Spurrier expects to have Shaw back
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's offense almost certainly was going to be in big trouble if it entered Saturday's Southeastern Conference regular season finale against Florida without quarterback Connor Shaw.
But USC coach Steve Spurrier expects Shaw will be able to play. He suffered a concussion in Saturday's loss at Arkansas, and as of Sunday, his status for the Florida game was uncertain.
"We think Connor's going to be all right by the middle of the week," Spurrier said. "Clint Haggard, our trainer, gave him the test to see how he was doing, and he's been doing very well."
The Gamecocks didn't practice Monday, instead doing just conditioning. Shaw didn't participate, but has been cleared to return to practice. Shaw's backup is redshirt freshman Dylan Thompson, who has thrown two passes this season and appeared in just three games.
In the past three games (including two wins), USC has gained 289, 318 and 207 yards, and the offense has scored 14, 14 and 21 points. Florida's defense ranks No. 14 nationally with 306.1 yards allowed per game and No. 20 with 19.7 points allowed per game. The Gators did allow 377 yards in last week's 26-21 win over Vanderbilt.
If USC beats Florida and Georgia loses to Auburn, the Gamecocks win the SEC East. If the Gamecocks lose to Florida, they need Georgia to lose to Auburn and Kentucky, next week.
Spur linebacker Antonio Allen, USC's leading tackler, missed the Arkansas game with a strained neck. But he "should be back" for Florida, Spurrier said. His replacement, Damario Jeffery, struggled at times at Arkansas.
Spurrier is less optimistic about strong safety DeVonte Holloman, who suffered a concussion in the Arkansas game when he hit his head on an opponent's leg while trying to make a tackle.
"DeVonte Holloman is still hurting a bit," Spurrier said. "We don't know if he'll be able to play."
The No. 2 strong safety is true freshman Brison Williams.
Free safety D.J. Swearinger is nursing a sprained foot, but should be OK for Florida.
USC submits hit to SEC
On the sack during which Shaw suffered his concussion, it appeared as though Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette might have made penalty-worthy helmet-to-helmet contact with Shaw. No penalty was called. Spurrier said he submitted video of the play to the SEC office.
"We'll have to see what they say," Spurrier said. "It was hands to the face. Whether or not it was helmet and hands, the head of officials (Steve Shaw) will try to figure it out. But it must not have been. The head ref (Matt Moore) was standing right there watching the play."
Spurrier noted a penalty was called on Bequette in the third quarter, before Shaw's concussion hit. Officials flagged Bequette for roughing the passer, after Shaw completed a 10-yard pass.
"The first one, they called a penalty, where the guy (Bequette) head-butted him after he threw the ball," Spurrier said.