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  • By Athlon Sports, 5 months 3 weeks ago

    The SEC has more than its share of quality quarterbacks, each with a superlatives. AJ McCarron is the winner. Aaron Murray is the career achiever. Johnny Manziel is the most dynamic.

    After Saturday, it would be tough to argue against South Carolina’s as the toughest.

    Shaw sustained a knee injury in the loss to Tennessee, making him an emergency-only quarterback against Missouri. With backup Dylan Thompson struggling, South Carolina couldn’t afford to hold Shaw out any longer. Steve Spurrier turned to Shaw in the second half as the veteran quarterback led a 17-point comeback to beat Missouri 27-24 in overtime.

    The effort earns Shaw Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.

    “I went over and asked him if he could play and he said sure,” Spurrier said. “I said we had to make the move now. Dylan was just a little off here and there. I thought he had a few guys open and he zinged them out, but he threw some good balls. It just wasn't his night and Connor gave us a little sharpness in there.”

    Shaw finished 20 of 29 for 201 yards with three touchdowns to keep South Carolina alive in the SEC East race.

    Athlon Sports Week 9 Awards

    National Offensive Player of the Week: Connor Shaw, South Carolina

    Shaw, nursing a knee injury, came off the bench in the third quarter with his team trailing 17-0. About two hours later, the Gamecocks walked off the turf at Faurot Field with an improbable 27-24 win in double-overtime. Shaw was the man most responsible for Carolina’s season-saving win. The senior completed 20-of-29 passes for 201 yards with three touchdowns  — despite not playing the entire first half. The Gamecocks tied the game when Shaw connected with Nick Jones on a 2-yard touchdown with 42 seconds remaining in regulation and sent the game into a second overtime when Shaw found Bruce Ellington for a TD on 4th-and-goal from the 15.

    National Defensive Player of the Week: Trent Murphy Stanford
    Murphy, much like the rest of the Cardinal defense, was all over the field against Oregon State. Murphy posted eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks against the nation's leading passer. He leads the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss after back-to-back stellar showings against UCLA and Oregon State. The Cardinal's defensive performance — holding the Beavers to a season-low 288 yards — on the road was a championship-style performance. 

    National Freshman of the Week: John O’Korn, Houston
    Houston has been one of the biggest surprises this season that has gone virtually unnoticed. The Cougars eclipsed last season’s win total by picking up their sixth win of the season with a 49-14 victory over Rutgers. Making the start more unlikely has been the play of freshman quarterback John O’Korn, who stepped in to replace injured starting QB David Piland earlier this season. O’Korn completed 24 of 30 passes for 364 yards with five touchdowns in the rout of Rutgers. O’Korn arrived to Houston from South Florida high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas.

    National Coordinator of the Week: Jim Knowles, Duke
    The Blue Devils’ defense had some help from a sluggish Virginia Tech offense, but for the second week in a row, Duke’s defense has stepped up when it mattered. The Blue Devils didn’t allow a point in the second half of last Saturday’s victory over Virginia and held the Hokies to just 55 yards in the fourth quarter, which was just enough for Duke to score a 13-10 win in Blacksburg. The Blue Devils forced four interceptions off Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and generated four tackles for a loss. Duke has held its last three opponents to five yards or less per play, and only one team in the last three games against the Blue Devils has scored more than 10 points. Knowles has pushed the right buttons this season, and the key stops on defense are a key reason why Duke is 6-2.

    Athlon Sports Week 9 Conference Awards

    Offense: Duke Johnson, Miami
    Defense: Kelby Brown, Duke
    Freshman: Jameis Winston, Florida State
    Coordinator: Jim Knowles, Duke

    Big 12
    Offense: Desmond Roland, Oklahoma State
    Defense: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
    Freshman: Shock Linwood, Baylor
    Coordinator: Josh Heupel, Oklahoma

    Big Ten
    Offense: Braxton Miller, Ohio State
    Defense: Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
    Freshman: Tyvis Powell, Ohio State
    Coordinator: Matt Limegrover, Minnesota

    Offense: Tyler Gaffney, Stanford
    Defense: Trent Murphy, Stanford
    Freshman: Scooby Wright, Arizona
    Coordinator: Derek Mason, Stanford

    Offense: Connor Shaw, South Carolina
    Defense: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
    Freshman: Jeremy Johnson, Auburn
    Coordinator: Mark Snyder, Texas A&M


  • By Stephen Schindler, 5 months 3 weeks ago

    South Carolina will head to Columbia for a showdown with the SEC East-leading Tigers without their starting quarterback. Connor Shaw suffered a sprained right knee late in the Gamecocks' loss to Tennessee last Saturday and will be extremely limited in practice this week. Dylan Thompson isn't the average backup, however; as he does not lack in big-game experience. Thompson won each of his previous two starts and eclipsed 300 passing yards in each. He led South Carolina to a victory over Clemson in the 2012 season finale and also threw a touchdown against Michigan in last year's Outback Bowl.

  • By Athlon Sports, 6 months 2 weeks ago

    The midpoint of the 2013 season is getting closer...

    Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

    College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Tuesday, October 1st

    South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

    In case you missed it: Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds is stepping down.

    Lost Lettermen has a look at college football's top-10 most ridiculous mascot costumes.

    Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon was arrested late last week on assault charges.

    Northwestern will have running back Venric Mark back in the lineup against Ohio State.

    Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum has been cleared to return to action.

    Ohio State safety Christian Bryant will miss the rest of the season due to injury.

    Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage left last week's game due to injury but is expected to start next Saturday.

    Why is Florida State's defense struggling to stop the run? 

    NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell is getting closer to a return.

    Ole Miss has a few notable players injured - but all are expected to play against Auburn.

    A good read on the expectations and the downfall of Lane Kiffin at USC.

    BYU will have running back Jamaal Williams and receiver Cody Hoffman back in the lineup on Friday night against Utah State.

    ULM QB Kolton Browning is expected to miss the rest of the year with a torn quad muscle.

  • By Steven Lassan, 6 months 3 weeks ago

    South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw suffered a sprained shoulder in the first half of Saturday’s game against UCF and won’t return to action.

    Prior to his injury, Shaw completed 1 of 2 passes for four yards, while rushing for 30 yards on four carries.

    Shaw will be missed, but South Carolina has a capable backup in Dylan Thompson.

    After the game, coach Steve Spurrier indicated Shaw would be out at least two or three weeks due to the shoudler injury. South Carolina host Kentucky next Saturday and plays at Arkansas on Oct. 12.

  • By Steven Lassan, 7 months 1 week ago

    Even though South Carolina and Georgia played in Week 2, it’s a huge game for positioning in the SEC East title picture.

    With everything on the line in Saturday’s game, it was no surprise to see the intensity for both teams at a high level.

    In the third quarter, South Carolina’s defensive coaching staff had a disagreement on the sidelines, which nearly came to blows.

    Check out defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, linebackers coach Kirk Botkin and line coach Deke Adams get into a confrontation on the sidelines:

  • By Steven Lassan, 7 months 3 weeks ago

    South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney didn’t make a huge impact on the stat sheet on Thursday night (three tackles), but the junior was around the line of scrimmage most of the night. Clowney’s presence altered North Carolina’s gameplan from the first snap, as the Tar Heels did their best to avoid No. 7.

    North Carolina’s offensive line did a decent job of keeping quarterback Bryn Renner upright, but the Tar Heels draw a negative grade for this cheap shot on Clowney. Kiaro Holts appears to be the lineman in the SB Nation gif, as he dives at Clowney’s knees well after Renner has thrown the pass. The junior defensive end did not suffer an injury and stayed in the game after the shot from Holts.


  • By Steven Lassan, 8 months 8 hours ago

    College Football’s 2013 season has yet to start, but the SEC is already planning for 2014. On Wednesday, the conference released its 2014 slate, headlined by a Thursday night opener on Aug. 28 between Texas A&M and South Carolina.

    Here are a few key takeaways from the schedule release: (Click here to check out the full schedule)

    * Texas A&M at South Carolina (Aug. 28) – Excellent way to open the season, but don’t expect Johnny Manziel or Jadeveon Clowney to be playing in this one.

    * Georgia at South Carolina (Sept. 13) – Another early season matchup between these two East Division rivals.

    * Florida at Alabama (Sept. 20) – An early preview for the SEC Championship?

    * Florida at Tennessee (Oct. 4) – A slightly later date for this game in 2013.

    * Alabama at LSU (Nov. 8) – Always huge SEC West title implications when these two teams meet.

    * LSU at Texas A&M (Nov. 27) – Thanksgiving night matchup between these two teams should be must-see television.

    * Arkansas at Missouri (Nov. 29) – Border rivals meet for only the sixth time…and the first time as SEC opponents.

    Crossover Games

    East Division

    Florida: at Alabama, LSU
    Georgia: at Arkansas, Auburn
    Kentucky: at LSU, Mississippi State
    Missouri: at Texas A&M, Arkansas
    South Carolina: Texas A&M, at Auburn
    Tennessee: at Ole Miss, Alabama
    Vanderbilt: Ole Miss, at Mississippi State

    West Division

    Alabama: Florida, at Tennessee
    Arkansas: Georgia, at Missouri
    Auburn: South Carolina, at Georgia
    LSU: at Florida, Kentucky
    Mississippi State: at Kentucky, Vanderbilt
    Ole Miss: at Vanderbilt, Tennessee
    Texas A&M: at South Carolina, Missouri

  • By Steven Lassan, 8 months 2 weeks ago

    Football is back. Yes, we made it through a long offseason once again.

    And what better way to announce that football season is back with a video of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney flipping one of the sleds in practice?


  • By Steven Lassan, 8 months 3 weeks ago

    Is South Carolina the latest team to have a chrome helmet in the uniform rotation? It’s possible.

    The team’s equipment staff tweeted out a photo of this chrome helmet, but also mentioned later on that South Carolina will be wearing its traditional white helmet in 2013.

    So will this helmet see the field? Who knows. But it’s a pretty cool (and shiny) look for the Gamecocks.

  • By Steven Lassan, 9 months 3 hours ago

    As you may remember, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had some interesting comments at SEC Media Days last week. The junior noted Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, Georgia's Aaron Murray and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson were all scared when they played South Carolina last season.

    Well, the tables were turned this week, as Boyd had a chance to respond to Clowney at ACC Media Days:



    Expect to see plenty of highlights from both players this fall, but you can expect Boyd to have the Nov. 30 date circled when Clemson takes on South Carolina.