Tuesday practice recap: Shaw rests; Wilds practices

GoGamecocks staff reportsOctober 29, 2013 

South Carolina tailback Brandon Wilds

DWAYNE MCLEMORE — dmclemore@thestate.com

No. 14 South Carolina practiced in preparation for Mississippi State on Tuesday and GoGamecocks.com was there. The highlights:

* Quarterback Connor Shaw (virus/illness) did not practice Monday or Tuesday. He was not in attendance Tuesday. Steve Spurrier earlier Tuesday said he wasn't sure exactly what the sickness is. Dylan Thompson is currently taking the first-team snaps and would start Saturday if Shaw can't go.

* Running back Brandon Wilds practiced Monday and Tuesday after missing four games recovering from a dislocated elbow suffered against UCF. On Tuesday he practiced in pads but did not take part in the contact drills. Wilds' availability will be better known when we hear from offensive coaches after Wednesday's practice.

* Offensive guard Ronald Patrick was in yellow again as he rests his sore ankle.

* Kaiwan Lewis started in place of T.J. Holloman at middle linebacker last week because "Kaiwan was healthier," linebackers coach Kirk Botkin said. Holloman had started four straight games in the middle but missed several days of practice last week due to a minor knee injury. Both players are practicing this week, and either could start Botkin said.

* Defensive line coach Deke Adams said Mississippi State's offensive linemen play a more aggressive scheme than the team saw against Missouri. "This is a great conference. You know you're going to see great players every week. They've got really big guys up front. It's a little bit different than last week, a lot more aggressive. Missouri's scheme was a little different. They're going to run the quarterback and going to get downhill, so we've got to be aggressive and we've got to set the tone up front.”

* Defensive tackle Gerald Dixon Jr. is still recovering from a sprained ankle. Adams is hopeful the team will have him back for Saturday's game.

* Defensive backs coach Grady Brown said everyone in the secondary is healthy right now, including Chaz Elder, who had battled a concussion.

* Brown said he was happy with the secondary's play against Missouri's tall receivers, except for the 96-yard touchdown pass. "That's one thing that we have to get corrected within these last four games. You just can't give up long touchdowns. If we could take that one away, which we cannot, we did a pretty decent job against a really good group of receivers."

* Brown said that cornerback Ahmad Christian did not see much game time against Missouri because Christian typically lines up as a nickel back or a dime back, and that position was not in the game plan as much against the Tigers. "Unfortunately for him it just happens sometimes where some games he plays a lot and some games he does not, if there are no injuries."

* Other players who did not practice or wore yellow jerseys were: Cody Waldrop (ankle), Devin Washington (concussion), and Mike Matulis (shoulder).

* According to USC, a few hundred tickets remain on sale for Saturday's game. Kickoff is set for 12:21 p.m. on SEC TV. Dave Neal and Andre Ware will be in the booth, with Cara Capuano working the sidelines.

* The Gamecocks will practice again at 4 p.m. Wednesday. It is closed to the public.

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