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Gamecocks report: Inside slant

The Sports Xchange
 
Inside slant · Notes, quotes · Strategy and personnel
 

South Carolina enters its bye week disappointed following its first loss of the season, a 35-27 decision to Auburn on the road, which drops its record to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play.

Many of the Gamecocks spent Monday attending the funeral of former teammate and Denver Bronco wide receiver Kenny McKinley before getting back to work on Tuesday as they attempt to prepare for their toughest challenge of the season, a home encounter against the defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Gamecocks enter the bye week with a question to be answered. Who will start at quarterback?

Stephen Garcia, who has started every game for Carolina in the last two seasons, was in the midst of one of his best passing games against Auburn. But, with USC holding a 27-21 lead entering the fourth quarter, he fumbled twice to allow the Tigers to claim a comeback victory.

USC coach Steve Spurrier likes the makeup of freshman Connor Shaw, who relieved Garcia in the latter part of the fourth quarter. He directed the team on two drives but suffered two interceptions.

Still Garcia will remain the starter, as Spurrier said Tuesday.

The Gamecocks are probably in their best health of the season as only strong safety DeVonte Holloman was injured against Auburn. He suffered a mild concussion and is expected to be ready for the game.

Junior linebacker Shaq Wilson played for the first time after suffering a hamstring injury during the pre-season. He played well picking up seven tackles and covering two fumbles.

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