Created: Wed, 09 Oct 2013 07:18:00 EST
Updated: Wed, 09 Oct 2013 07:20:52 EST
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – The No. 14/12 South Carolina football team returned to the Bluff Road practice fields on Wednesday. The Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) are preparing for Saturday’s SEC matchup with the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-3, 0-2 SEC).
Junior All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney returned to practice on Wednesday. Clowney did not play in last week’s game against Kentucky due to a muscle strain around his ribcage.
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw has put together an outstanding season thus far, connecting on over two-thirds of his pass attempts. “He’s been pretty accurate since he’s been here,” said quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus. “He threw about that for the season last year, which was a school record I believe for a season. He’s an accurate passer and he has been, and makes pretty good decisions. He’s good at getting down to his check down. While there’s sometimes where maybe he could force one in there, he doesn’t do it and that keeps us from making those plays that get you beat. He’s playing well but he needs to continue to play well.”
Mangus certainly likes Shaw’s ability to run and keep a drive alive. “That’s the thing that gets kind of lost. Everybody talks about passing percentage and this and that. But the other night, a prime example, it was third-and-nine and we’ve got a play on that has no chance and he scrambles out and goes and gets right by the first down marker, runs over a guy and gets the first down. The third down conversions when you move the chains with your feet is a disheartening feel for a defensive coordinator.”
Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott continues to sing the praises of redshirt freshman center Clayton Stadnik, who has filled in admirably with Cody Waldrop sidelined. “It’s really good (for a backup to step in with no noticeable dropoff). Anytime you lose what you have as a starter who has an injury and you put your backup in there and the guy’s unproven - he just stepped in. He was probably a little bit nervous in that Georgia game, and you didn’t see any falloff. I was really pleased with that. He played well against Georgia. He’s had three pretty quality starts. Everything he’s done has been good. He’s just a steady man right now and that’s a pretty good thing. He hasn’t played bad at all.” Elliott indicated that Stadnik would be the likely starter again this week at Arkansas, as Waldrop did not practice on Wednesday.
Saturday’s game is set for 12:21 p.m. ET (11:21 a.m. local) at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000) in Fayetteville. The game will be televised by SEC TV, with Dave Neal and Andre Ware in the booth and Cara Capuano on the sidelines. The SEC TV package is picked up in the Palmetto State by WOLO in Columbia, WMMP in Charleston, WSPA in Greenville/Spartanburg and WWMB in Myrtle Beach/Florence.