USC NOTES: Alshon Jeffery mum on NFL
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had the play of the game in Saturday's 41-20 win over The Citadel -- a one-handed grab in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. After the catch, fans chanted, "One more year! One more year!"
Jeffery, a junior, is eligible for the NFL draft and was considered before the season to be a strong candidate to turn pro early. Defenses have focused on him this year, and he entered Saturday with just 38 catches for 504 yards and five touchdowns. He had five catches for 81 yards and the touchdown against The Citadel.
Did Jeffery hear the fans' chanting?
"Yeah I heard that," he said.
Any thoughts on it?
"Nah, I don't have no thoughts on that," he said.
It must have been a relief for him to have more of an impact Saturday than he had in any of the previous four games.
"It's not a relief," Jeffery said. "I'm happy. Y'all may think I'm frustrated. But I'm happy. As long as we're winning, I'm cool with that."
Kickoff coverage woes
The good news for USC was that it kicked off seven times Saturday. The bad news for USC was that it gave up returns of 30 and 37 yards. USC entered the day ranked No. 69 nationally with 21.8 yards allowed per return.
"Our kickoff coverage was pitiful," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "That's all you can say. It's pitiful (that) the guys out there can't tackle The Citadel players. But that's where we are right now and we'll try to do something next week to see if we can cover a kickoff or two.
"We're redshirting a lot of guys that I think are going to be good football players. Next year, I'm hoping we're going to have some guys that can cover kickoffs. Right now, I don't know if we've got anybody. We don't have too much that can cover. Simple as that. We've tried about everybody and I guess we'll keep trying."
Trick play for Ingram
For the second time this season, USC faked a punt by snapping the ball to defensive end Melvin Ingram. He ran for 19 yards and a first down. In the win over Georgia, Ingram had a 68-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. Ingram said the Gamecocks run the play every day in practice.
The Citadel's only pass completion came on the final drive when backup quarterback Aaron Miller, a true freshman, threw an 8-yard pass to Rickey Anderson.
Starting quarterback Ben DuPree was 0 for 1 passing.
Two senior linebackers went out strong on defense for The Citadel. Rod Harland led The Citadel with nine tackles and also had a sack and a tackle for loss.
Tolu Akindele had eight tackles
Citadel 2012 opener
The Citadel opens the 2012 season against Charleston Southern. The other two non-conference games are N.C. State and VMI.