COLUMBIA — Rico McWilliams and Al Harris Jr. will start at cornerback this week for South Carolina, with usual starter Chris Lammons out with an injury suffered in practice.
Lammons twisted his knee breaking up a pass this week in practice, head coach Steve Spurrier said Thursday night on his weekly radio show. “Lammons is out” for Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. home opener against Kentucky, Spurrier said. USC’s left corner becomes the second player injured in practice this week, joining offensive lineman Cody Waldrop, who cracked a bone above his ankle.
“All of our injuries have happened in practice, and I can’t stand that,” Spurrier said. “But we’ve got a lot of guys ready to play.”
Harris will start in Lammons’ stead, according to co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. Spurrier added that starting quarterback Connor Mitch has practiced “tentatively” this week after suffering a hip pointer in the opener. “He’s throwing the ball decent. He’s not running full speed yet. He should be by Saturday,” Spurrier added.
Lorenzo Nunez didn’t play in USC’s season-opening victory over North Carolina, but Spurrier continues to hope to get the true freshman quarterback in a game. “We’re trying to work him in,” Spurrier said. “He got a few snaps (Thursday). We may move him around a little bit, this, that, and the other. We need to get him in there and see what happens.”
Mitch and backup Perry Orth saw action in the 17-13 win over the Tar Heels. Nunez has “a lot of ability,” Spurrier said. “He throws the ball well, but every now and then it gets away from him. We need to get him in there and see what happens.”
— USC used 10 different defensive linemen against North Carolina, and that rotation could increase as the season goes on. “I think we’ll do it with regularity, if we’ve got guys who can show us they can play in practice,” Ward said after practice Thursday. “You’re probably going to see even more players this week.”
— Ward said Taylor Stallworth would remain the starter at one defensive tackle. Gerald Dixon Jr. is expected to start at the other tackle, with Cedrick Cooper and Marquavius Lewis at the ends.
— Spurrier continues to look for more out of receiver Terry Googer. “We’re trying to get him to play faster,” Spurrier said. “He’s sort of an easy-going, lackadaisical guy, and this is a fast-paced game.”
— Under first-year coordinator Shannon Dawson, Ward said Kentucky’s offense somewhat resembles that of West Virginia, where Dawson worked the previous four years. “From the plays we’ve seen from West Virginia, the games they played last season, and the stuff (Kentucky) has been doing this year, they’re very, very similar,” Ward said.
— Former USC cornerback Wesley Green has transferred to Indiana. Green, cited for marijuana possession in March, parted with the Gamecocks in preseason camp. The redshirt freshman, considered a four-star recruit out of high school, will sit out this year under NCAA transfer rules.
— David Caraviello