Gamecocks rested for Arkansas

Head coach Steve Spurrier says the Gamecocks should be rested for the matchup with Arkansas. South Carolina is coming off a much needed bye weekend that allowed several Gamecocks the opportunity to rest and get ready for this important game for South Carolina.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said Tuesday afternoon during his weekly press conference what everyone else already knew - the Gamecocks needed the bye weekend.

"It's good to be back after a week off. I think our players and team enjoyed the week off. I think we needed it. We've had a bunch of nagging injuries that hopefully will be healed up and ready to play this Saturday at noon when Arkansas comes in."

Some of those nagging injuries include quarterback Connor Shaw and defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles and Jadeveon Clowney. Shaw suffered a sprained foot towards the end of the Tennessee game on October 27 while Quarles suffered a sprained shoulder against LSU on October 13. Clowney has been battling a foot injury for much of the season.

"He sprained his foot against Tennessee at the end of the game," Spurrier said about his quarterback Shaw. "He was gimping around last night at practice. He stood in the pocket and threw a few, but he couldn't run last night. Hopefully by the middle of this week he can go."

Spurrier said that Thompson had a good practice on Monday night and would be available if he was needed. The interesting thing with Shaw's injury is that if the Gamecocks had a game this past weekend, Spurrier doesn't think Shaw would have been able to play based on his performance in Monday night's practice.

"Dylan Thompson is ready to go. Dylan had a good practice. Connor has a little rehabbing to do before he can go this Saturday. I doubt if he could have played if we had a game last week the way he was gimping around last night."

On the defensive front, Spurrier said on Tuesday that Kelcy Quarles will be able to play this weekend. The sophomore defensive tackle was listed as the starter on the depth chart released on Tuesday. In regards to Clowney, Spurrier admitted that Clowney doesn't practice all week due to his foot injury. He generally practices about half the time but is usually fine to play on Saturday.

"He's got something like D.J. Swearinger had last year. When the season is over, there is a surgery they can do. It's not painful right now. He doesn't practice all that much, he goes about half the time. He's okay on Saturdays though, he's ready to go."

One player that will not be available to play this weekend is junior running back Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore suffered a severe knee injury against Tennessee on October 27 and will miss the remainder of this season. This is the second straight year Lattimore's season has ended short due to injury.

Lattimore had surgery this past Friday and based on all accounts, the surgery was a success. It's not known whether or not more surgeries will be required, but for now, Lattimore is resting in Columbia and doing well.

"From what the doctors said, the surgery was successful. Now it's rehab and rest for however long it takes. We'll wait and see. He's doing well; he's back in Columbia."

Spurrier also said that Lattimore should make an appearance this Saturday at Williams-Brice. He recently broke the record for most rushing touchdowns and most total touchdowns by a Gamecock and the plans are to place his name on the walls with other Gamecock greats to be recognized for his record-breaking career so far at South Carolina.

"I think he will be at the game Saturday. We are looking forward to that. I guess I can announce that they are going to put his name on the wall for scoring the most touchdowns and the rushing touchdowns. I think he's replacing Harold Green and George Rodgers. That announcement is going to be right before the game or between first and second quarters. I think our fans need to know that. Marcus will be here. I'm sure he'll get an ovation, maybe like there's never been here at Williams-Brice."

Seeing Lattimore on the field will certainly be a special moment for the Gamecocks and the fans in attendance this Saturday. South Carolina, though, will still need to focus on the Razorbacks, who have beaten the Gamecocks three straight years.

"They've certainly played us very well the last three or four years," Spurrier said on Tuesday. "We need to have a good game if we're going to beat these guys. We're looking forward to it."

Arkansas brings a prolific passing attack to Williams-Brice this Saturday and Coach Spurrier knows his secondary will need to show improvement to see if they can stop the passing attack of Razorbacks' quarterback Tyler Wilson.

"When you play a good passing team you have to mix it up. We have worked on it for a couple of weeks now. We'll find out if we've made any progress because Arkansas is the best passing team in the conference right now."

The importance of this game keeps several goals alive for the Gamecocks. South Carolina may not be playing for an SEC championship this year, but they know how important this game is to keep moving forward as football program.

"It's a huge game for us. I think our guys are fresh. We had a pretty good practice last night as far as guys jumping around and they looked like they were having fun playing football. Hopefully that will continue as we go through this week and we'll get ready to play our best game of the year against Arkansas at 12 noon Saturday."

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