Strategy And Personnel

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--LB Shaq Wilson, once called by former defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson the smartest defensive player he ever coached, got off to a quick start in 2012 after what he deemed a sub-par 2011 campaign. Wilson tied for the team lead with eight tackles and was credited with half a tackle for loss. He also picked up a first-quarter interception that he returned 37 yards to set up Carolina's first touchdown.

--TE Justice Cunningham caught only one pass against Vanderbilt, but it could not have come at a more important time. On a second-and-7 play with the Gamecocks driving for the go-ahead touchdown, he caught a 20-yard pass from Connor Shaw. Cunningham managed to hold on despite getting speared on the play. The resulting 15-yard penalty gave USC and first-and-10 at the Vanderbilt 17.

--CB Jimmy Legree received his first start and showed he was up to the task. In addition to playing well in pass coverage, he picked up seven tackles in run support and broke up a pass.


--Redshirt freshman LT Brandon Shell, who entered the Vanderbilt game with a bruised foot, missed the fourth quarter because of exhaustion. He returned to practice and did not appear to be hindered in his walking.

--Senior RB Kenny Miles left the game against Vanderbilt with an undisclosed injury. His availability for Saturday's game against East Carolina has yet to be determined.

--Junior QB Connor Shaw was forced to leave the Vanderbilt game late in the second quarter with a bruised right shoulder. With South Carolina trailing 13-10, however, he returned to lead the Gamecocks to the winning touchdown. It's believed he will be available to start Saturday's game against East Carolina, but his practice this week might be limited.


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