Coming off the disappointing 26-22 loss to Kentucky on Saturday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier spoke with reporters on Sunday in advance of the UGA game.
Here are five takeaways:
1) Quarterback Connor Mitch may be out for a while:
South Carolina’s starting quarterback, Connor Mitch, left Saturday’s game against Kentucky with what Spurrier confirmed was a separated shoulder. “Our quarterback Connor Mitch sustained a separated shoulder,” Spurrier said. “So he’s probably out for 4-6 weeks.” Mitch had not looked particularly sharp in his first two games for South Carolina — 13 of 29 for 165 yards and one touchdown — but it is never a good thing to lose a starter, especially at quarterback.
2) Perry Orth will take over at quarterback, but others may see time:
Redshirt junior Perry Orth has been the man to replace Mitch in both of the Gamecocks’ games, and Spurrier indicated that it is likely he will be the starter when the team travels to Athens to take on the Bulldogs. “Probably,” Spurrier said when asked if Orth would start. The Head Ball Coach expressed faith in Orth’s abilities saying: “I think that Perry really threw some nice balls last night. Obviously that was a bad one at the end, but we’ve got confidence in Perry.” But despite praising Orth, Spurrier also noted that freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez, from Harrison High School, may see the field as well. “Lorenzo Nunez could play some, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Spurrier said.
3) South Carolina has had tough luck with on the injury front:
During his press conference, Spurrier was asked if he thought today’s game was more dangerous than it was several years ago. The coach’s answer indicated that he may be a little frustrated with his team’s injury situation. “It’s probably a little more dangerous for all of the players because everyone is a little stronger and faster than they used to be,” Spurrier noted. “A lot of years we go we were pretty much injury free. We’ve had three guys injured in practice. That should not happen, but for some reason, it’s happened.”
4) The defense is still a work in progress:
It became apparent that coach Spurrier thinks his team still has a lot of work to do. Against Kentucky, his team trailed 24-7 at halftime but allowed the Wildcats to score only two points in the second half. “We weren’t very good at anything in the first half,” Spurrier said. “Defense played obviously very well in the second half.” He also said that they would have to “wait and see” before determining what to make of this season.
5) The defense faces a tough task next week:
Spurrier’s Gamecocks seem to be the one obstacle that UGA can’t regularly avoid in the SEC East. But for South Carolina to have success on Saturday, it will have to find a way to slow down All-SEC running back Nick Chubb. When asked about his thoughts on Chubb, Spurrier was nothing but complimentary. “Chubb is one of the best you’ll ever see,” Spurrier said. “You hope to not let him get started, you can’t give him much of a hole at the line of scrimmage.”
South Carolina will travel to Athens and face UGA on Saturday; kickoff will occur at 6 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.