Monday Report

The Gamecocks will be without its top tailback because of a concussion suffered against Arkansas....

As Florida begins preparations for its final regular-season showdown without any serious injuries, South Carolina can't say the same.

The Gamecocks will be without its top tailback, as TB Demetris Summers is expected to miss Saturday's game because of a concussion. Summers, who leads his team with 577 yards on 112 carries, was injured on the first play of the second half against Arkansas on Thursday.

The freshman spent the night at Little Rock Hospital, but tests on Summers' neck came back negative, South Carolina's The State reported. Holtz said Monday he would certainly miss Saturday's game.

"The trainers make the decision and their philosophy is he had a concussion, and after a concussion clears, we take seven days," Holtz said. "He could be back against Clemson."

Don't expect the injury to change the Gators' plans for the Gamecocks, though. CB Keiwan Ratliff said the defense knows such a situation can hurt more than it helps.

"If you're a tailback at this level, you're capable of having a big day," Ratliff said. "It's just like us. We had three good tailbacks who could beat you on any given Saturday. You still prepare for a great tailback. We don't say they don't have a running game. We just say the next guy is going to step up."

USE IN A FULLBACK

Chances are, he'll never get much glory. He'll never be hoisted onto anyone's shoulders after any one game. But as the Gators' primary fullback, Billy Latsko has found his place on this year's team.

Latsko, a Gainesville native who worked as a middle linebacker on the scout team in 2002, has seen action far more at his new position than ever before. The redshirt freshman has chalked up an 11-yard carry against Georgia and a 16-yard catch against Kentucky.

But offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher said he isn't looking for Latsko to pick up big gains.

"A lot of times when we go with a fullback, we're taking [tight end] Ben [Troupe] out of the game," Zaunbrecher said. "That's a chance to rest him a little bit. That's how we've done it this year."

Against Vanderbilt, the 5-foot-10, 214-pound back gained just one yard on one carry. But he also acted as the primary blocker on multiple situations for the tailbacks.

"He had good numbers on the sprints and the jumps," Zaunbrecher said. "I didn't see him as a scout-team linebacker. He has the chance to catch passes and blocks a lot. He has a chance to be a really good player at that position."

BRIEFLY

Coach Ron Zook said his team remains healthy as the Gators begin preparations for the Gamecocks. TB Ran Carthon (bruised ankle), LB Reid Fleming (hip pointer) and Daryl Dixon (shoulder) all practiced despite the nagging injuries. All are expected to play Saturday….Zaunbrecher said his veteran wide receivers, including Kelvin Kight, O.J. Small and Carlos Perez have provided the Gators with something his underclassmen struggle to grasp – calm composure. "The young guys get so excited to be in the game, they don't see things as well as they normally do in practice," he said. "With a young quarterback, it's nice to have guys that get to the right spot."….Zaunbrecher is now accepting recommendations for one unlikely situation the Gators found themselves in Saturday. "If anybody has a good play for 3rd and 46, I don't have too many for that one."


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