Injury Report Along With A Few Other Notes

Insider notes plus the injury report as of early Sunday a.m. in the morning ...

Chad Walker's knee looked bad. It is a dislocated knee cap and it does appear that he may have ACL damage as well.

This is speculation on our part, but educated speculation. Chad Walker may have played his last game as a Gamecock. The 6-4 311 pound redshirt junior will not return this year. It will take a lot of rehab in a short amount of time for him to be ready to participate and contribute next year.

Preston Thorne was on crutches in the TV room near the lockeroom cheering wildly for his friend Orus Lambert when Lambert intercepted the ball and ran it back to the one yard line. Thorne's right ACL is torn. They had already x-rayed the right knee by the start of the fourth quarter and decided that Thorne will need surgery to repair the tear - surgery will take place in two to three weeks probably/ironically in Birmingham, Alabama.

Stephen Sene has a pretty serious stumped toe. He stopped short of saying it was a turf toe injury but he was limping badly after the game. It was obvious that the toe was causing him a lot of pain.

Hart Turner was taken from the game briefly with a wrist injury, but he assured us afterwards that this is not going to hamper his playing time - he said his wrist is "fine." We need to wait for the official report from Rod Walters, but Turner should be available for the UT game.

Chris White was ejected for trying to get a UAB player to quit yanking at the back of his helmet in the pile. White, who is slightly conscious of his neck injury, felt uncomfortable with having his helmet yanked forward from behind in the pile and reacted accordingly. He is going to have to control his emotions in the future as he becomes the back-up center behind John Strickland by default now that Walker is gone for the season.

Eight prospects were at the game Saturday night.

Mike Rathe signaled the plays into Pinkins and Swygert Saturday night and was seen encouraging Swygert before he went into the game. We like this because it shows Rathe is a team player. We also observed that Rathe must be deeper into the Skip Holtz doghouse than we expected - he has lost his ball holding job on the xtra point team as well.

Randy Jackson played - but he was beaten in the series that saw UAB get that final score. It did not look good for Jackson and the coaches are going to see it in the film. This may signal the end for Jackson as far as any further effort being made to redshirt him this year.

Matthew Thomas is going to move way up the SEC list of leading kick-off returners in the conference this week. Thomas is quietly having a big year both with and without the football in his hands.

With Randy Jackson playing so horribly as a tweener, and with Preston Thorne gone for the year Paul Lounseberry is left with a bit of a delimma. Brandon Schweitzer needs to be cleared to play this week. Eric Stroman needs to be cleared to play this week. Chad Walker played some against UAB and faired well. Jason Capers saw some down time as a tackle and it was suggested to us that Darrel Slay may have been moved back to defensive end to compensate for moving Jason Capers to tackle. Right now Capers is a tweener, but he appears to be handling it well performing admirably both as a tackle and even as an end when called upon to do so. #66 Natron Scott, a walkon, might be the first 'go-to guy' on the depth chart against what may be the strongest running game the Gamecocks will see this season when they travel to Knoxville.

We have yet to confirm that Cory Boyd has been permanently moved to the defensive side of the ball although we will say that not seeing him play on offense against UAB is telling. Gonzie Gray played instead - and that in itself is even more telling.

..... and even more telling perhaps is that Kenny Irons did not play a snap in this blowout. Instead he stood on the sidelines with Regis Edgerson all night - we never saw Irons take his helmet off. Irons needs to find a way back onto the field someway, somehow. Special teams perhaps, kickoffs and kickoff returns. Whatever it takes to stay sharp and frosty - comfortable with contact.

Syvelle Newton and Noah Whiteside may be the two best true freshmen wide receivers in the SEC - and we expect that to be punctuated this week against Tennessee. We cannot tell you why, but we expect it to become evident this week.

Had Meat Summers been allowed to score one more touchdown (a fourth) he would have broken the USC school record for most scores in a game by a freshman. South Carolina has had only two players score four TDs in a single game in her history. Mike Dingle did it against Virginia Tech in 1990 and Stanley Pritchett did it against Mississippi State in 1995.

The duo of George Gause and Moe Thompson are beginning to blossom and people within the program are making note of it - look for these two guys to have a big game in Knoxville. Both are ranked in the Top Ten in the SEC for total sacks. Number one is UT's linebacker Kevin Simon. And situated inbetween Gause and Thomas is UT's defensive end Constatine Ritzmann.

According to our man on the scene after the game Coach Holtz has never looked as stunned as he did last night about the poor performance of the USC kicking game. Remember, Weaver missed two field goals but Charlie Carpenter added to Holtz's woes by missing an xtra point attempt. Holtz evidently looked to be in shock after the game - all because of his kicking game. The poor KO coverage may have had something to do with his depleated state of mind as well. Two more missed field goals in this game solidifies USC's position as the worst field goal kicking team in the SEC by far.

The Gamecocks should remain the stingiest of all pass defense teams in the SEC after their performance against UAB. Remember, this was a concern for USC coming into the season - but Coach Gutnekust continues to get the job done. Jappy O's and Paul Lounseberry's line is getting it done too.

Giving up four personal foul penalties is not going to help the Gamecocks much in the penalties department. The Gamecocks are last in 'Opponents' Penalties' and somewhere in the middle of the pack in the SEC in team penalties. The last time the Gamecocks recorded four personal foul penalties in the same game, to the best of our knowledge, was the 1996 game against Tennessee in Columbia.

The Gamecocks may move to last in the SEC in terms of kickoff coverage after the UAB game, replacing Vanderbilt in the cellar in that particular catagory in all likelihood.

As of Sunday at 3:AM the Gamecocks are either ranked last or next to last in eight of thirty statistical team catagories kept by the SEC.

Teddy Crawford is a hitter. Once thing he is not is a wrapper-upper. Crawford is going to be congratulated on his spectacular hits in the UAB game, and then reminded that he needs to start wrapping up else Tennessee backs and wide receivers will bounce off of him for extra yardage.

The SEC will get to see two of the best linebackers in the conference statistically speaking this Saturday when USC's Marcus Lawrence and UT's Kevin Simon take the field in Neyland.

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