September 19, 2014

Listen to Jameis Winston talk about half game suspension & Clemson (AUDIO)

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

Clemson will not face Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in the first half of Saturday night’s showdown in Tallahassee.  FSU announced a half game suspension for Winston for his vulgar expressions in front of students on campus Tuesday.

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#STRecruiting: Silva pondering the decision now that visits are done

Chris Silva

Chris Silva

6-8 Chris Silva of Gabon, Africa saw enough on his official visits to USC, Rhode Island and Seton Hall to know where he will go next after he finishes this season at Roselle Catholic in New Jersey.  He will announce the decision Friday afternoon at 3:30.

Silva visited USC last weekend so it remains to be seen if the last place he saw will be the first place on his mind Friday.

“He loved the visit, loved the school,” said Silva’s coach Dave Boff.  “Coach Martin and coach Figger did a great job of explaining what his role would be and how they would develop him as a player.  He enjoyed the visits to all three schools.  It’s going to be a real tough decision.”

Boff is expecting coaches from all three schools to get in to see Silva before Friday.  He says his standout prospect knows what he’s looking for in  a college basketball program.

“It’s the combination of things most kids look for,” he said.  “Playing time, being comfortable with the players and coaches and can I be developed.  I think he’s put himself in a situation where he can’t make a bad decision.”

Boff said he does not expect Silva to make the final decision until Friday.

#STRecruiting: Gamecocks reaching out to Arcega-Whiteside of Dorman

JJ Arcega-Whiteside

JJ Arcega-Whiteside

Stanford commit WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside of Dorman is hearing from USC once again. Though he says his commitment to the Cardinal is strong, Arcega-Whiteside is talking to the Gamecocks.

“They lost one of their commitments at wide receiver and we’re talking,” he said. “They want me to come down for a game.”

Arcega-Whiteside is unsure of the visit, however. “I really don’t know yet,” he said. “I need to talk to my parents about it. Right now, I’m just focusing on my season.”

His official visit to Stanford is scheduled for January 16th. Other schools that maintain contact are Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.

“Stanford knows I can’t come out there  every weekend so they just check on me to see how I’m doing,” he said.

Arcega-Whiteside is averaging 150 receiving yards a game and has seven touchdowns this season.

USC defense not getting too cocky after win over Georgia (AUDIO)

USC still has a lot of work to do on defense.

USC still has a lot of work to do on defense.

The South Carolina Gamecocks worked out at the Bluff Road practice fields on Tuesday afternoon. The No. 14/16 Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC) are preparing for Saturday’s SEC Eastern Division battle with the Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2, 0-1 SEC).

Two starters, offensive guard Cody Waldrop (knee) and defensive tackle J.T. Surratt (back) were held out of practice on Tuesday with injuries.

“We’re getting better,” said linebackers coach Kirk Botkin after Tuesday’s practice. “We’re not there yet. We need a little more consistency, but we’re getting better. Every game brings new challenges. You have to come out here and work, pay your dues, work on tackling and work on taking good angles. As long as you’re doing that I think good things will happen.”

Botkin indicated that his starting group of linebackers is not set in stone. “We’re still maybe tinkering. It depends on how you play and how you practice. We play a lot of guys,” noted Botkin.

Like the linebackers, the defensive backs have shown some improvement from week one to week three. “Each week we’ve been taking small steps in the right direction,” said defensive backs coach Grady Brown. “The only problem is in this league you need to take big steps in a positive direction. That’s what we’re focusing on. Each week we’ve played a little bit better, but a little bit is not going to get it. We need to make a jump.”

Coach Brown is not focused on which quarterback Vanderbilt may play on Saturday. “With where we are as a secondary, I’m not sure that we can be overly concerned with who’s playing at quarterback. We need to be concerned about taking care of our assignments, not having assignments bust, being able to line up properly, executing the proper technique.”

Like Botkin, Brown’s secondary is not set in stone. “We’re just trying to get the best players on the field at that particular time, depending upon down and distance, depending upon what the offense is trying to do. We’re just trying to put the best players on the field that can help us win and get us off the field on third down and get to third down for that matter,” said Brown.

Game time Saturday from Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and the contest will be televised nationally on the SEC Network with Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer in the booth and Maria Taylor on the sidelines.

AUDIO: Deke Adams [1:45]

AUDIO: Kirk Botkin [1:42]

AUDIO: Skai Moore [2:36]

AUDIO: Grady Brown [4:18]


Talking Tuesday: Spurrier does best to generate excitement for Vandy (AUDIO)

Steve Spurrier says they got breaks against Georgia liked this  missed 4th quarter field goal

Steve Spurrier says they got breaks against Georgia liked this missed 4th quarter field goal

No doubt the USC football team is still dealing with the hangover from the big win over Georgia.  The job for Steve Spurrier and his assistants this week is to get their players to buy in to their argument that Vanderbilt can defeat them Saturday night in Nashville if they don’t play at a high level.

The Commodores are coming off their first win of the season over Massachusetts, and Spurrier remembers that two seasons ago his team had to go to the wStill have to get defensive players in better position and they have to coach better. Still searching to get better results.ire to pull out a victory over the Commodores.  So, Tuesday he did his best to talk up Vandy while also driving home the point that his team, despite the Georgia win, still has issues and needs a lot of work.

Some of Spurrier’s key comments:

  • Vandy plays tough. Players are smart. Different environment for team in Nashville after three home games.
  • “If we think we’re a pretty good team because we beat Georgia with some pretty good breaks, we’re fooling ourselves.”
  • Receivers caught about everything. It was Rory Anderson’s week to catch a lot of passes.
  • Mike Davis was running around at practice last night and is going to be fine.
  • Had to calm Thompson down the other night, in fact he felt they were celebrating too much after Wilds’ TD in 4th quarter.
  • Vanderbilt lost a lot of seniors from last year and is playing a lot of young guys on defense.
  • Not sure what they would do at quarterback if Thompson got hurt, rotate around with Cooper, Mitch and Orth.

AUDIO: Steve Spurrier previews Vanderbilt [15:48]

A win would give Spurrier 202 as an SEC coach and would move him past Vince Dooley into 2nd place on that list.

USC leads the series 19-4 including 10-2 in Nashville.  Spurrier is 19-2 against the Commodores.

USC won 17-13 in Nashville two years ago despite two turnovers on their first three plays from scrimmage.

USC is 12-5 in their last 17 true road games.