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USC’s Clowney Will Play In Opener, But Ellington Still Injured

gfx - they said itEarlier this week, Steve Spurrier called out three of his top players for not bouncing back from injury quickly enough.  Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Damiere Byrd returned to practice the next day.  Fellow wideout Bruce Ellington has not.

According the Gamecock coach, Clowney is now fully cleared for Carolina’s opener against the other Carolina two weeks from today:

 

“Clowney’s back full-go, he looks good.  Get the word out to those national media boys.  Clowney’s back in good shape, back in the fold.  He’s going to play against North Carolina.  All communication problems have been solved.  He’s back on the team in good standing.”

 

Spurrier’s quip about “those national media boys” feels a bit off since he himself told reporters that Clowney and the others might not play.  He also knows how to play the media like a harp.

As for Ellington, the coach said: “Bruce is still hurt.  He’s got a lingering injury that prevents him from practicing.  I don’t know when he’s coming back.  You’ll have to ask Bruce and the trainers about that, but he hasn’t done anything for a good week.”

Ellington — USC’s leading receiver last year — is dealing with a hamstring injury.

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Spurrier’s Veiled Message Received By Carolina’s Clowney, Byrd

gfx - they said itYesterday we told you that Steve Spurrier had on Monday gigged three South Carolina starters for not working through their injuries.  The Ol’ Ball Coach suggested that receivers Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney might not play in the opener if they don’t get back on the practice field.  “We got a bunch of hurt guys that act like they’re really hurt right now; they may not play,” Spurrier said.

Just for emphasis, he added: “All I’m trying to say, if they can’t play, we got plenty of guys who can play.  So we’re not depending on them.”

Two of the three players Spurrier called out — Clowney and Byrd — were back on the practice field yesterday.  Spurrier then reported that all’s well again in Columbia (which suggests Spurrier views Ellington’s hamstring issues are legit):

 

“Jadeveon is doing fine.  Bruce is doing fine.  Damiere is doing fine.  We had a communication problem.  They didn’t know they’re going to be out here watching practices.  We had a communication problem and now we’re ready to go.”

 

Ah, so it was failure to communicate.

 

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Spurrier Sends A Message To Carolina’s Banged-Up Stars

gfx - they said itDefensive end Jadeveon Clowney and receivers Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd have been put on notice.  Their head coach wants them back on the practice field ASAP.

According to GoGamecocks.com, Steve Spurrier announced after last night’s practice in Columbia that his banged-up stars might be held out of the Cocks’ opener against North Carolina in 16 days:

 

“We got a bunch of hurt guys that act like they’re really hurt.  Right now, they may not play…

Damiere and Bruce tried to run this morning and it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re out the first game, the way their hamstrings are coming around.  So we’re planning on playing, maybe without them.  And right now, Clowney’s got a bruised shoulder.  If it doesn’t come around real soon, we may play without him in the first game.”

 

Asked if he might be trying to light a fire beneath the three players, Spurrier added: “All I’m trying to say, if they can’t play, we got plenty of guys who can play.  So we’re not depending on them.”

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Spurrier Says Shaw’s Practice Today Will Determine USC’s Starting QB For UAB

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw missed last Saturday’s blowout win over East Carolina with badly bruised throwing shoulder.  Depending on how that shoulder holds up today in practice, Shaw will either start or sit versus UAB in two days.

Steve Spurrier said yesterday that he will have to “see if he can throw full-go Thursday before we’ll know if Connor is able to play.”

 

“If he can throw it down the field without any pain, he’ll start Saturday night.  If he can’t throw anything but screen passes, I think we’ve got to let (Dylan Thompson) play.”

 

Spurrier has been quick to say that the starting job will go back to Shaw when he’s fit.  But after Thompson’s passing performance last Saturday — 27-of-31 for 330 yards and three touchdowns — it’s a good bet Shaw fears being Wally Pipp’d in Columbia.  (Look it up.)

Meanwhile, receiver Damiere Byrd told The Charleston Post & Courier that Shaw “is looking good” and is “getting better.”

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