Notebook: Foot, knee sideline Clowney

Connor Shaw aggravates his sprained foot

jkendall@thestate.comNovember 17, 2012 

Jadeveon Clowney is hopeful he will play this week against Clemson, but no one is ready to guarantee South Carolina’s sophomore defensive end will be on the field against the Tigers.

“Hopefully, he’ll be ready Wednesday or Thursday, but we’ve got to wait and see,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “He was hurting (Saturday).”

Clowney, who did not dress out for Saturday’s 24-7 win against Wofford, said after the game that he has tendinitis in his left knee to go along with the sprained right foot that has kept him out of practice for the last three weeks and required a walking boot Saturday.

“I hope so,” he replied when asked if he would play against Clemson.

“We thought he’d be OK (this week),” Spurrier said. “He couldn’t push off, couldn’t get in his stance. He had a little knee problem and his foot.”

Clowney was named one of four finalists Saturday for the Lombardi Award, which goes to the nation’s best lineman or linebacker. Earlier this week, he was named a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best defensive player.

He leads the Gamecocks in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (17). He also has 42 tackles. He ranks third in the SEC in sacks and first in tackle for loss (2.12 per game).

Quarterback Connor Shaw did play against the Terriers but aggravated his sprained foot on the first series of the game. Shaw limped throughout the game and was wearing a walking boot in his postgame news conference.

“I am a little banged up,” he said. “It was bothering me through the game but it was tolerable.”

Wide receiver Bruce Ellington suffered a bruised right hand.

High note

In their final game in Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina’s seniors added to their school record with their 36th career win.

“It’s something we are doing here,” running back Kenny Miles said. “We are a winning team now. We are trying to create a tradition. Hopefully the seniors next year will break it. We are trying to build something here.”

Miles led South Carolina with 127 rushing yards, and senior safety D.J. Swearinger led the team with 12 tackles.

“My career has been short actually it seems like, but it has been great to make history,” Swearinger said. “It was great to go out with a bang.”

Twenty-eight Gamecocks were honored prior to the game, including juniors Chaun Gresham, DeAngelo Smith and Travis Ford. The inclusion of Gresham, Smith and Ford in the pregame ceremony could be an indication that this will be their final year with the team, however Miles participated in senior day last year and returned this year.

Closing fast

Senior cornerback Akeem Auguste, who started Saturday, got the first interception of his career last week. This week, he scored his only touchdown, a 31-yard fumble recovery return that served as South Carolina’s final points. Auguste has missed 18 of the last 24 games due to injury.

“I didn’t play a lot this year, but I am making the best of my time now,” he said. “It didn’t hit me (it was my last game) until we started going over there to the student section and realizing this is the last student section I see that will be cheering for me. It’s been a blessing to be out here the last couple years, and I have enjoyed every bit of it.”

Game balls

Along with several defensive players, center T.J. Johnson received a game ball Saturday. South Carolina’s offensive line didn’t have a great day against Wofford, but Spurrier described the game ball as a kind of lifetime achievement award. Johnson has started a school record 51 games.

“I don’t think we had a bad snap, haven’t had one in a long time, maybe shouldn’t talk about that,” Spurrier said. “He’s been very solid and consistent for us.”

Quotable

“I hadn’t thought about this one too much. The next one will be a little bigger. I am just tied right now. Ties are… whatever, but the next one will be a little more special.” – Spurrier on tying the school’s all-time wins record at 64

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