USC quarterback Connor Shaw has been nursing a sore back and missed a practice last week with back spasms. But after practice Monday night, quarterbacks coach GA Mangus echoed earlier comments by coach Steve Spurrier that Shaw is fine and ready to start Thursday night at Vanderbilt.
The Gamecocks will practice again Tuesday afternoon and will leave Columbia Wednesday for Nashville. Thursday’s game will be on ESPN with a 7:00 kickoff.
AUDIO: GA Mangus [2:21]
AUDIO: Shawn Elliott [2:08]
AUDIO: Steve Spurrier Jr. [3:00]
AUDIO: Kenny Miles [:58]
AUDIO: TJ Johnson [1:47]
USC’s official practice report:
The ninth-ranked University of South Carolina football squad worked out for a little over two hours Monday night at the Bluff Road practice fields. The squad practiced in full pads just three days away from the season opener, set for Thursday night in Nashville against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Junior quarterback Connor Shaw missed a practice last week with back spasms, but is deemed ready to go for Thursday. “Connor’s the starting quarterback right now,” said quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus. “We expect him to go out there and play well.”
Mangus was asked about the Commodore defense. “Vanderbilt is aggressive, very aggressive, sound, smart. They’ve been that way all along. They’re in their right spots and make you execute. They’ve traditionally had good secondary players and they’ve got a couple returning that are good players. They’ll be ready to play. We’re looking forward to it.”
Mangus, who has been a key recruiter in the New Jersey area for the Gamecocks, has seen two of his recruits depart this fall in redshirt freshmen Tanner McEvoy and Sheldon Royster. “It happens all the time. It’s just coincidence,” said Mangus. “It happens that guys leave all the time around college football. We wish them well. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.” Mangus went on to say that it would not deter him from continuing to recruit that area of the country.
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.