Gamecocks face tough test in unbeaten Central Florida

Last week’s bye has the South Carolina football squad more than ready to return to the gridiron Saturday at Central Florida.

The No. 12/13 Gamecocks face the Golden Knights at 12:07 p.m. Saturday, and the game will be televised nationally on ABC. The Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC) and Knights (3-0, 0-0 AAC) will play in front of a sold out Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323) on the UCF campus.

The week off has helped defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Chaz Sutton, who have both been battling foot injuries.

“They’ve been doing good,” said defensive line coach Deke Adams. “They’ve been working hard. They were banged up a little bit, but got a little rest last week. They’ve been practicing hard. They’ve been going the last couple of days so I look for them to be ready Saturday.”

Adams knows that it will take more than just Clowney and Sutton to slow down UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. He has led the Knights to three straight victories, including a win at Penn State on Sept. 14. UCF also has had a week off to prepare.

“It’s important for all of them to play well, not just those two guys,” noted Adams. “He’s a veteran quarterback. They have a veteran front. They’ll give us their best. I’ve been up against those guys a number of times. I know how hard they play and know what type of atmosphere will be down there. It will be a big challenge for us.”

UCF will be missing a key component of its defense. Starting linebacker Willie Mitchell remains on indefinite suspension after a DUI arrest earlier this month. Mitchell did not play in UCF’s win at Penn State and will not see action Saturday.

The junior was arrested by university police and charged with the driving under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor, on Sept. 7. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to court records.

Coach George O’Leary said the suspension will remain in effect until the university’s Office of Student Conduct has a hearing on the matter.

Mitchell started the Golden Knights’ first two games this season and had eight tackles, including six solos.

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