ORLANDO, Fla. — South Carolina will be without starting quarterback Connor Shaw next weekend when it hosts Kentucky, coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday.
Spurrier said Shaw “bruised” his right, throwing shoulder on the Gamecocks’ first series in their 28-25 win at Central Florida. He did not return the rest of the game, replaced by backup quarterback Dylan Thompson.
“Hopefully in two weeks he’ll be back ready to go,” Spurrier said. “He didn’t see that guy (who hit him). He ran the option to the right, and he cut back and he fumbled on the play too.”
It was Shaw’s second fumble of the season, the first coming at Georgia.
“I’ll be preparing tonight, tomorrow,” Thompson said. “I’ll keep my mind right for that, and we’ll see how that goes.”
Backup running back Brandon Wilds dislocated his left elbow and will miss two or three weeks, Spurrier said.
Poor Jadeveon Clowney. The star defensive end just can’t catch a break with his health this season.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said Clowney had “a little flu bug” Saturday. Clowney said he started feeling sick Friday. He required fluids through an IV, and he got his own hotel room on the trip.
“To play the way he did today, he should be commended,” Ward said.
Clowney said he was far from 100 percent Saturday, both with the bug and his foot. He finished with only two tackles, and he missed two sack opportunities — though both times his pressure blew up the play.
“Missing those sacks, man, I was disappointed about it,” Clowney said. “I love how I come off the ball. I was coming off the ball hard, trying to cause disruption in the backfield. I thought I did pretty good on that, but I just could’ve played a better game, still.”
Sophomore receiver Shaq Roland was left home in Columbia for an undisclosed “violation of athletics department policy.” Asked if Roland will be able return against Kentucky, Spurrier deferred to his boss.
“Ask the athletic director,” he said. “He has a university policy that he’s dealing with right now, and it’s not drug related.”
Roland had eight catches in the first three games for a team-high 161 yards. He opened the season with a bang, catching a 75-yard touchdown from Shaw against North Carolina.
“Keep your comments to yourself #nobodywantstohearit,” Roland tweeted before the game.
South Carolina’s defense entered Saturday tied for last in the SEC with three turnovers. It more than doubled its season output against UCF.
The Gamecocks finished with four turnovers — three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Now with seven turnovers on the season, USC will start to inch closer to the middle of the pack in takeaways.
“Sometimes they come in spurts,” Ward said. “It was big in this ballgame. We had an opportunity to get some more, but it’s a positive for us because that’s another opportunity for our offense to score. So it was exciting to see the guys get some turnovers.”