South Carolina could be on their way to the SEC Championship Game appearance if Ole Miss can help them out this weekend with a win over Missouri. The hope for South Carolina is to avoid injuries the rest of the regular season while also getting some of their key players back to full strength. On Wednesday South Carolina had defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (foot) and running back Mike Davis (assorted) return to practice.
Clowney hurt his foot last week against Florida, just adding to what has been an up and down year for one of the game’s top defensive players coming in to the season. Clowney has said he will have surgery after the season as he prepares for the NFL Draft. Davis, the SEC’s leading rusher, has been banged up with injuries to his shoulder, ribs and ankle in recent games. Clowney and Davis each sat out of practice on Tuesday.
South Carolina faces Coastal Carolina this weekend, so the need to have these key players on the field is not all that high. For South Carolina, all eyes should be set on Clemson in the final week of the regular season, and if all works out the sEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles (headache), safety Brison Williams (forearm), linebacker Cedrick Cooper (groin) and fullback Jordan Diaz (knee sprain) were all kept out of practice on Wednesday.
Neutral site kickoff games are a boon to all involved, and a number of cities are moving to join Atlanta, Dallas and Houston to get in on the action. One of those locales is Orlando, playing match-maker with its newly-renovated Citrus Bowl as a cherry on top.
Florida State and Ole Miss will open the 2016 season in the House of Mouse, and Alabama-Louisville following in 2018.
According to Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, another game is in the works that would interest the entire Sunshine State: a renewing of the on-again/off-again Florida-Miami rivalry.
Bianchi writes a Gators-Canes reunion would open the 2019 season, but the deal “has not yet been signed.”
Florida has been notoriously hesitant to leave Ben Hill Griffin Stadium during the month of September, saying its annual Jacksonville game with Georgia and home-and-home rivalry with Florida State require the Gators to stay home as much as possible to balance its budget. Neutral site games are a nice hedge to that position, as they allow programs to go on the road while taking home a check comparable to a home game. Florida has already agreed to a 2017 game with Michigan at AT&T Stadium in the Dallas area, and playing Miami in Orlando would represent another step in that direction.
The Gators and Hurricanes have played 55 times previously in a series dating back to 1938, but only six times since ending a streak of annual games in 1987. Miami holds a 29-26 lead and has claimed seven of the past eight, including a 21-16 decision in South Beach in 2013.
Colorado had already lost one starting inside linebacker to injury. Now, the Buffs have lost another.
Kenneth Olugbode sustained an unspecified leg injury in the Week 5 loss to Oregon. As a result, Olugbode will miss 4-6 weeks.
At minimum, Olugbode will miss games against Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State and UCLA, possibly returning for the Nov. 7 game against Stanford. Missing six weeks would see him miss the Stanford and USC games, returning, Nov. 21 vs. Washington State.
“It’s going to be a big loss,” defensive tackle Justin Solis said according to the Denver Post. “It starts up front with us, the D-line. Not having K.O. out there is a huge loss, but it’s definitely something we accept as a challenge as a D-line. We’re going to step it up while he’s out.”
Olugbode had started all five games this season after starting all 12 games as a sophomore last season. Ryan Severson is expected to take his place in the starting lineup.