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Carolina’s Secondary Gets A Little Younger, Thinner Due To Injury

South Carolina officials announced Monday that senior cornerback Akeem Auguste and redshirt freshman running back Shon Carson will both be out indefinitely due to injuries.  No offense to Carson, but the loss of Auguste — a starter — is the bigger concern for Gamecock fans.

Auguste suffered a torn muscle in his right thigh during a weekend scrimmage.  He underwent a procedure Sunday afternoon and is expected to miss the first month of the season before being re-evaluated by doctors.  Auguste missed most of last season with a foot injury.

Auguste had already been kept out of much of the Cocks’ fall camp with an injury in his groin area, but he was cleared to return on Friday.  Then on Saturday he aggravated the injury, leading to the “procedure.”

For Carolina, the secondary had only one returning starter — senior safety DJ Swearinger — entering camp.  With Auguste out of commission, new defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward will have to rely on youngsters and inexperienced upperclassmen to fill the slots around Swearinger.

Next Thursday in Nashville, Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers will most definitely try to exploit what on paper looks to be the Gamecocks’ biggest defensive weakness.  That makes the pass rush provided by guys like Jadeveon Clowney all the more important to protect the back end of Carolina’s defense.

As for Carson, he underwent surgery on his left wrist.  But Marcus Lattimore and Kenny Miles are 1-2 on Steve Spurrier’s depth chart.  That injury — while unfortunate — the Cocks can afford.  The one to Auguste?  A much bigger deal.

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Writer: Secondary Becoming A Concern For USC

Travis Haney has left The Charleston Post & Courier for a job covering the Oklahoma Sooners’ football program.  Congrats to him.  Meanwhile, as the CP&C looks for a new full-time Carolina beatwriter, longtime sportswriter Andrew Miller will be handling some of the Gamecock coverage this fall.

In his introductory blog on the paper’s website, Miller puts forth a number of observations he’s already made regarding the SEC East favorites.  The one that stands out, is as follows:

“The injury to back-up safety Brison Williams might not seem like a big deal, but it’s turning into one.  With the suspension (DeVonte Holliman) and injuries (Akeem Auguste) the secondary is looking a little thin.  Now, I know every coach whines even when the back-up walk-on long snapper gets injured, but this is starting to turn into a real concern for (Ellis) Johnson, who’s going to have to scramble to fit the right pieces together by the East Carolina game.”

Two thoughts:

1.  If the secondary is banged up, the pass rush becomes even more important for the Cocks.  Jadeveon Clowney will need to be all he’s been cracked up to be right off the bat.

2.  After East Carolina, Steve Spurrier’s crew heads to Athens to face Aaron Murray, the league’s top returning quarterback.  Again, if the secondary is limited, Carolina’s pass rush will have to find a way to get consistent pressure on the very mobile Murray.

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