Notebook: Shaw on track to play vs. Wofford

DeAngelo Smith (concussion) not expected to play

jkendall@thestate.comNovember 14, 2012 

Junior quarterback Connor Shaw will play Saturday against Wofford despite a nagging foot injury, quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus said Wednesday night, and the Gamecocks are hoping he continues the streak he’s been on the past two games.

“He played really, really well against Tennessee and continued that Arkansas,” Mangus said.

Shaw has completed 36-of-54 passes for 628 yards and five touchdowns in the last two games. In the previous two weeks, against LSU and Florida, Shaw completed 28-of-54 for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

“We did some things in the Tennessee game getting him out of the pocket and giving him some visual passing lanes, and he took advantage of it and there was a great comfort zone there,” Mangus said.

Competition level also was a factor. Tennessee and Arkansas are ranked No. 113 and No. 114 in the nation in passing defense. LSU and Florida are No. 3 and No. 17 in the country in passing defense, respectively.

“What I like to see is to you get better when you don’t play your best,” Mangus said. “He has done that. He’s bounced back, and he’s played really well the last two games. That’s the kind of kid he is.

“There are things he learned from those games (against LSU and Florida) that he’s going to take into the future, and hopefully when we get in that situation again, there is going to be a better level of execution.”

On the move

Senior safety D.J. Swearinger may continue to move around the secondary for the rest of the season.

Swearinger started the first nine games of the season at safety but was moved to cornerback against Arkansas and responded with 13 tackles and an interception that he returned 69 yards for a touchdown.

“Playing post safety, you just don’t get much action and that’s the player he is,” secondary coach Grady Brown said. “We have to put him in position where he can be as active as he was last week. At the end of the day, the only way you win is to put whoever is playing the best on the field at the same time.”

More Twitter talk

Coach Steve Spurrier was asked during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference why he bans his players from social media website Twitter during the season.

“The reason is what can you ever gain by putting your business on the street? You can’t gain anything there,” Spurrier said. “I think the bad sort of outweighs the good. We allow our guys to Twitter in the offseason as long as they keep it clean. We have had some issues prior to guys putting filthy language and stuff on Twitter so we have kind of closed it up. Most of those guys are not with us anymore.”

Tough season

Spurrier has not spoken to former defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson this season, although the two have traded text messages, Spurrier said.

Johnson left before the bowl game last year to take the head coaching job at Southern Miss, and it hasn’t gone well in his first season. The Golden Eagles, who won Conference USA last year, are 0-10 this season.

“He always says good luck against Georgia, Florida, somebody (by text message),” Spurrier said. “Occasionally, some of the other defensive coaches have said hello to him. I think my wife and his wife text each other occasionally, that’s about it.”

Injury report: Smith still out; Clowney rests foot

Wide receiver DeAngelo Smith is expected to miss his second straight game this week. Smith suffered a concussion and a cut above his eye when he and a teammate bumped heads in the locker room “just horse playing around,” wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said.

“It’s still banged up,” Spurrier Jr. said. “He couldn’t look out of his eye for a couple days. His eye looks better, but he is still having some headaches.”

Smith has not practiced this week.

Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not practice Wednesday due to the foot injury that has limited his practice time since the Sept. 29 Kentucky game. He is expected to play Saturday.

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