COLUMBIA — Giving a quick rundown of South Carolina’s injury report Tuesday, coach Steve Spurrier initially forgot to mention starting center Cody Waldrop.
A couple minutes later, he realized it was a significant oversight.
“I forgot about him, but I shouldn’t have because he’s a key player, anytime your starting center has a foot sprain,” Spurrier said.
Spurrier said Waldrop’s status for Saturday’s mega-contest against No. 11 Georgia is “wait and see.” The redshirt freshman was prepped all offseason to replace T.J. Johnson as the Gamecocks’ starting center. Waldrop will have field tests Wednesday or Thursday to see if he can play this weekend.
If Waldrop is unable to play, fellow redshirt freshman Clayton Stadnik will start. Stadnik handled snaps for USC’s first-team offense during Monday’s practice.
“Young Stadnik was out there snapping yesterday, so he’s next in line,” Spurrier said.
Spurrier said receiver Bruce Ellington was 100 percent healthy after recovering from a hamstring injury. Ellington played in Thursday’s opener against North Carolina, catching one pass for 17 yards. Spurrier also had no new, significant injuries to report with the Gamecocks defense.
Aware of ‘underdog’ role
If Spurrier was perturbed after Clemson jumped over his team in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll on Tuesday, he didn’t show it.
The Tigers were ranked No. 4 by the AP after Saturday’s win against Georgia, which was ranked No. 5 at the time but dropped six spots following the loss. The Gamecocks remained at No. 6, their preseason ranking.
Spurrier showed a bit more surprise with how Las Vegas views Saturday’s game.
“They’re 11 now? Oh, OK,” Spurrier said. “I guess they’re still favored over us.”
Georgia is a three-point favorite Saturday, according to Sportsbook.com. A team is generally given three points on the spread for playing at home, so the line is a bit misleading.
Still, Spurrier noticed.
Careful how you celebrate
Like everyone else, Spurrier thought the season-ending knee injury Georgia star receiver Malcolm Mitchell suffered Saturday was unfortunate. Mitchell was merely celebrating a teammate’s touchdown early in the Bulldogs’ game against Clemson when he jumped in the air, landed awkwardly and tore his ACL.
“You can get hurt that way,” Spurrier said. “You tell your guys to be careful in their celebrations. You come down the wrong way, and you can tear your knee up, which is what happened to their player.”
As for the influence Mitchell’s absence will have on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs passing game?
“I don’t know. I have no idea,” Spurrier said. “I’m sure they’ve got the next guy who comes in and tries to run the same routes as well as he did. That’s what we would do if one of our top guys gets hurt. Hopefully the next guy can fill his shoes.
“Georgia has been recruiting, now. I know they’ve got some receivers there. They’ve got a lot of ballplayers.”
Bunch added to roster
Former Bishop England star Andrew Bunch has walked on for the Gamecocks. Bunch, who helped the Bishops to the Division II-AA state title during his senior season, will play wide receiver for the Gamecocks. The 5-11, 185-pound Bunch was the Division II-AA player of the year his senior season at Bishop England. Bunch was a member of the Presbyterian College football team a year ago, but did not see any action. He will not be eligible this season and will have three years to play three beginning in 2014. He will wear No. 21.
Also, former Bluffton High School punter Mallie Sprouse joined the team. Sprouse turned down a scholarship offer from Presbyterian to attend South Carolina. He will wear No. 46.
It’s a girl
A few minutes after his Tuesday news conference wrapped, Spurrier popped his head back into the media room under Williams-Brice Stadium. He had an announcement.
Scott Spurrier and his wife welcomed their daughter, Charlotte Mae Spurrier, into the world Tuesday. She is the head ball coach’s 12th grandchild. Watching Spurrier with a beaming smile, you’d think Charlotte was his first.
“I had to tell somebody!” Spurrier said as he left the room.
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